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Council candidate Terry Rice on SPD, bike lanes, and being a ‘practical progressive’

(KTTH photo)

Terry Rice is running for Seattle City Council to replace the retiring Mike O’Brien in District Six, and for those of us who are frustrated with the direction the city is going on some key issues, how exactly does Rice stand out?

He is the managing director of the tourism company Savor Seattle, and comes from the fun and often unpredictable world of startups. He joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss his candidacy, and why he calls himself a “practical progressive.”

“What it means to be a practical progressive for me is that we champion progressive values while looking for the pragmatic solutions that we know are going to address the underlying causes of the challenges that we see in Seattle,” he said. “So when it comes to addressing property crime, we have to begin by understanding that we can’t look at public safety just through the lens of SPD, and we can’t arrest our way out of homelessness.”

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Rice believes that the city needs to get staffing at SPD back to healthy levels and give police better facilities in the North Precinct, but Rice says that we can’t arrest our way out of this problem.

“We have to look at where do we provide the support and the outreach programs … to begin to address the systemic issues that put people on the street, and put them in that position where then we see increased rates of property crime or people sleeping outside or unsheltered.”

Regarding the push to bike lanes, Rice believes in the original bike master plan and wants the city do more, not less, to make it a reality.

“I support the the original one and it’s disappointing that we’re not carrying through on that. The reality of the situation is that Seattle is going to continue to have greater traffic issues and greater congestion if we don’t find more ways to make it easier for people to select something other than their car,” he said.

“So this means a mix of transportation modalities. It absolutely means that folks should have access to safe ways to bike, whether it’s to work or with their kids to the park. But it also means that we have to make big investments in our light rail system and our bus system and in things like car shares and electric scooters.”

RELATED: An argument for Seattle’s controversial bike lanes

Rice also wants additional pedestrian safety in the final miles, including crosswalks that light up in all neighborhoods, well lit sidewalks, and real-time tracking of buses for passengers, among other investments.

“We’re not saying you can’t own a car. We’re not saying that we’re going to have a war on cars,” he said.

“We’re saying that we’re gonna make it the easier choice, so that when you think about traveling from Greenwood to downtown to go see a movie or go see a show, the idea of getting in your car and fighting traffic and paying for parking, versus going one or two blocks over and hopping on a bus — that you know is reliable, you know is safe, you know you can pay for — that becomes a much more appealing option.”

To learn more about Rice’s campaign, visit electterryrice.com

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

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