The resolution is sponsored by Councilmember Conlin, and reflects detailed work made possible by collaboration with WSDOT, and good relations built over time.
It recommends actions by the City and State resulting from the Seattle Community Design Process, which the City and WSDOT committed to in an agreement passed by the Council in 2011.
Work on the design process included working with the Seattle Design Commission, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, and City neighborhood groups. Residents from Laurelhurst, Montlake, Madison Park, Ravenna-Bryant, and Roanoke/Portage Bay, University District were involved, along with Forterra and the Cascade Bicycle Club.
The resolution endorses the general vision in the Seattle Community Design Process final report, and concurs with specific recommendations, including:
- Shifting the bridge to the north of the position in the EIS preferred alternative, while working (included in an amendment) with the Queen City Yacht Club to ensure any effects are addressed;
- A bicycle and pedestrian path across I-5, and
- Buffering along East Lake Washington Boulevard
It also states that the City and State should continue to develop options on issues raised in the report, including:
- A statement of support for providing a bicycle and pedestrian path on the Portage Bay Bridge, while minimizing the width of the bridge, and seeking to preserve a reliable transit pathway across the bridge to and from I-5;
- A wider range of options for the Montlake lid, and how best to support connections for transit, pedestrian and bike users;
- An amendment includes pursuing improvements in bicycle and pedestrian connections for people of all ages and abilities throughout the project area; you can view my comments thanking Conlin for this language here, in particular the importance of the language regarding people of all ages and abilities.
Finally, the resolution designates the Design Commission as a coordinating voice across City departments.
I support providing a bike and pedestrian trail on the Portage Bay portion of the replacement bridge, with minimal expansion of the size of the bridge. I am pleased the resolution supports developing options to accomplish these goals. I also support improving bicycle and pedestrian connections, accessibility and safety in the Montlake area, and adjacent neighborhoods.
I look forward to supporting the resolution.
Currently, there is a funding shortfall of approximately $1.4 billion for the Seattle portion of the 520 project. WSDOT is studying tolling on I-90 as a possible funding source; the Council received an update on I-90 tolling at the January 28 Council Briefing meeting. The Environmental Assessment of I-90 tolling required by the state legislature is underway. Findings are anticipated for early 2014; the state legislature would need to authorize tolls.