West Seattle residents fighting shoddy SDOT bike lane study

May 28, 2015, 1:53 PM | Updated: May 29, 2015, 5:37 pm
The neighbors around Admiral Way in West Seattle were caught off guard by an SDOT plan to narrow la...
The neighbors around Admiral Way in West Seattle were caught off guard by an SDOT plan to narrow lanes and add bike lanes along the busy street, says Jason Rantz. (AP)

The neighbors around Admiral Way in West Seattle were caught off guard by a plan to narrow traffic lanes and add bike lanes along the busy street &#8212 a street that is already congested with traffic and is infrequently traveled by bicyclists.

No one was asking for this project. It was a project that the Seattle Department of Transportation determined it wanted to do to continue its agenda to force people out of cars and onto bikes.

Seemingly knowing that this project impacts a large number of people and no one wants it, SDOT tried to to push this study through without too much consulting with the neighborhood. But just in case anyone got wind of the project, SDOT decided to get creative with their study as to how deeply this would impact the neighborhood.

Related: Is this Seattle’s most insane bike lane idea?

But word got out ahead of an SDOT community meeting and boy did the neighborhood show up.

SDOT project manager Emily Ehlers stood up in front of the crowd to disingenuously imply that this whole project was really being pushed in a way to satisfy the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative, which is basically a safety initiative to make it so there are zero collisions on the streets.

She pitched the plan in a way that’s meant to derail any criticism. “The value of someone’s life does not change depending on how they travel … It’s not us versus them,” the West Seattle Blog reported her saying during the meeting.

So in other words, if someone opposes what SDOT is doing, they don’t value life. It’s a disgusting tactic that is meant to silence opposition because SDOT doesn’t want to be seen like it’s trying to get in the way of saving lives. SDOT director Scott Kubly tried to do that to me when he came on the show a couple months ago.

It may be a disgusting tactic, but when it works it’s a great way to silence opponents. It didn’t work at this meeting last week in West Seattle.

So Ehlers started her presentation by saying cars are driving really fast on Admiral Way and it’s creating really dangerous conditions. She said there are a lot of bicyclists trying to share the road and without the bike lane for them, you add these crazy, fast drivers, and that’s a bad combination that will lead to death or injury.

Ehlers added that there would be about 200 parking stalls lost due to the project. But that won’t be a problem, because only 33 percent of the stalls are occupied on Admiral Way, according to SDOT.

Where did that data come from? From December. SDOT decided to look at parking spots during the month where you’re least likely to visit Alki Beach, which would then pervert the data. This was intentional, I suspect, because it lets them cook up their data. This wouldn’t be the first time.

SDOT routinely says there are no parking problems in Seattle. It claims we have an oversupply of parking in some of the areas where it’s impossible to park.

The folks who actually live in the community are finally pushing back at the absurd number of bicyclists the SDOT activists claim are biking around the city.

Folks demanded another meeting before SDOT committed to the project. SDOT said it would commit to another public meeting.

I’m not exactly sure what will come of all this because SDOT is an agency run by bike activists who are actively trying to hurt drivers, get them out of their cars, and onto bikes. This isn’t about safety.

All “Vision Zero” is is a strategy to silence people.

Speak up.

City leaders are terrified of the public, but all too often the only people who show up to these types of meetings are the professional activists. Have you ever watched the public comments section of a city council meeting? They’re filled with the same loons who apparently don’t work and just show up and yell.

Now it looks like SDOT will add a meeting because more West Seattle residents demanded it. Next they need to demand they kill this ideological project.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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West Seattle residents fighting shoddy SDOT bike lane study