JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle council members have literally no clue what bike lanes cost

Oct 1, 2018, 6:14 AM | Updated: 10:05 am
bike lanes...
Bike lanes on Second Avenue. (SDOT)
(SDOT)

As the mayor’s office and some council members push forward with plans to spend millions on bike infrastructure — even though bike commuting just hit a 10 year low — the Seattle Department of Transportation won’t explain to the Seattle City Council how much bike lanes costs, according to one city council member.

“I still don’t have a real answer how much a bike lane costs,” Councilmember Debora Juarez recently complained. “I don’t know if it’s just cones and paint or if it’s digging up sewers and pipes … I don’t know. SDOT has never provided us with that.”

This remarkable revelation was made at a recent Select Budget Committee meeting where they discussed budgeting for certain transportation-related projects.

RELATED: Did Mayor Durkan discriminate with her ORCA plan?

Juarez is struggling to understand why SDOT is moving forward with bike lanes that her constituents don’t want, when there are unacceptably large portions of her district without sidewalks.

“And if you’re just putting them in to slow down traffic, then tell us you’re just putting in something to slow down traffic, so putting in bike lanes,” Juarez said, suggesting SDOT is solely interest in slowing down cars, not providing a service people are asking for.

That implies an irresponsibly wild misuse of tax dollars on something they haven’t put a clear price tag on

No clue on cost

The conversation between Councilmembers Juarez and Sally Bagshaw, an advocate for bike lanes, was nearly comical as they tried to decipher its cost, in front of SDOT representatives.

Juarez: We have two bike lanes in (District 5) that aren’t even used. So I’m going to ask you to be accountable to us, to tell me, how you’re justifying those bike lanes and their maintenance, particularly when I heard numbers … how much are we spending per mile on a bike lane? On the last number we heard … was it $10 million dollars or something like that?

Bagshaw: I think that is one of those debatable points that we’ll need to actually get some facts because sometimes we talk about moving utilities, and moving lights, moving water mains and that gets rolled into a per mile construction. But it may be more appropriate to look at the whole street as we’re building. That’s a fight I would prefer wage with some facts.

Juarez: I’m not suggesting it’s a fight, but what I’m suggesting is we don’t have a complete picture of exactly what that means when we meet with constituents…

What’s particularly frightening is that Bagshaw – and other council members – are pushing for bike lanes when she is clueless as to the cost. And then we wonder why we’re running low on tax dollars for projects people actually want. The council gets mad when we stop them from grabbing tax dollars for homeless projects, for example. Maybe if they were better stewards of our tax dollars, voters wouldn’t be so reticent to cough up more funds?

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

Seattle homeless Ballard Commons park...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle activists bail out homeless suspect in brutal eye gouging of cop

An anti-bail, Seattle activist group bailed out another homeless, prolific offender. It makes this city less safe.
2 days ago
Keith Wagoner, Secretary of State...
KTTH staff

Washington Republicans set sights on reclaiming secretary of state seat in 2022

State Sen. Keith Wagoner is hoping to become the next Republican to serve as Washington's secretary of state in the 2022 election.
2 days ago
King County Courthouse...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Prosecutor wants bulletproof glass to protect from criminals it lets out

The King County Prosecutor's Office is advocating for bulletproof glass to protect its offices from some of the very criminals it refuses to prosecute.
3 days ago
Aki Kurose Middle School...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle school violence surges after police ban, district won’t reconsider decision

Violence is nothing new for South Seattle. It prompted extra police patrols near at least four schools in the district, according to a police source.
4 days ago
Everett homeless camping, no sit no lie, Snohomish County...
KTTH staff

Councilmember: Snohomish County sales tax increase getting ‘rushed with minimal transparency’

Snohomish County Council could soon pass a 0.1% sales tax increase, as part of a process Councilmember Nate Nehring says is littered with issues.
7 days ago
WSU...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: WSU amplifies claim that farmers markets, food charity are ‘white supremacy’ in action

Washington State University is amplifying claims that farmers markets and food charities are examples of "white supremacy" and "white dominant culture."
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Rantz: Seattle council members have literally no clue what bike lanes cost