How Candidates Stand on Walkability: 2013

During election season the Feet First Policy Committee reaches out to candidates about their perspective on creating more walkable communities. Take a look at the candidates’ answers to our questions. We hope this information will help you when filling out your ballot.

 

Seattle Races:

Mayoral race
Mike McGinn (incumbent)
Ed Murray

 

City Council Races:

    Position 2

Richard Conlin (incumbent)
Kshama Sawant

 

    Position 4

Sally Bagshaw (incumbent)

 

    Position 6

Nick Licata (incumbent)

 

    Position 8

Mike O’Brien (incumbent)
Albert Shen

 

Bellevue Races:

    Position 4

Kevin Wallace (incumbent)
Steve Kasner
 

    Position 6

Lynne Robinson (incumbent)
Vandana Slatter

 

Des Moines Races:

    Position 7

Dave Kaplan

 

Federal Way Races:

    Position 2

Kelly Maloney (incumbent)
Mark Koppang

 

    Position 4

Jeanne Burbidge (incumbent)
John Fairbanks

 

    Position 6

Diana Noble-Gulliford (incumbent)
Martin Moore

 

Kirkland Races:

    Position 1

Martin Morgan (incumbent)
Jay Arnold

 

    Position 3

Penny Sweet (incumbent)

 

    Position 5

Amy Walen (incumbent)

 

    Position 7

Doreen Marchione (incumbent)

William Henkins

 

Mountlake Terrace Races:

    Position 4

Kyoko Matsumoto (incumbent)
Wanda Clarke-Morin

 

SeaTac Races:

    Position 6

Pam Fernald (incumbent)

Joe Van

 

Mike McGinn, Seattle Mayor (incumbent)

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

There are several potential funding sources, such as real estate excise tax, Bridging the Gap funds, other tax revenues, grant funds, or a combination of those options. I will work with our central budget office to determine the best way to allocate the $5 million commitment by the 2015 “due date”, so that we can take advantage of Sound Transit funding and build this important connection.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

In the proposed 2014 budget I’ve allocated additional funding for station area planning and transit oriented development. I’ve proposed these funds because these stations need to be a center for growth, for walkability, and for livability. Additionally, the Community Cornerstones project underway in the Office of Housing provides funding for housing loans, business development support, and support for development of a multicultural community center along the Southeast portion of light rail. As these station areas are developed we will do all we can supporting economic development and concurrent street design to ensure that  mixed use, walkable, and quality communities are built up around the stations.

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

 

Already, there is a strong partnership with some departments such as the Department of Planning and Development through efforts like station area or other planning efforts, with the Office of Economic Development around studying and improving Seattle’s business districts, and with Seattle Public Utilities on increasing green infrastructure throughout streets in Seattle, to give a couple examples. Through the Road Safety Action Plan, SDOT and SPD have also been working on stepping up enforcement efforts and using data to achieve decreases in fatalities and serious injuries. I have worked to increase coordination of various departments that construct projects in our right of way. I will continue to look for more opportunities like these for coordination and integration upon re-election.

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

 

My past policy changes for Safe Routes to School have been to increase funding in our 2013 and 2014 budgets, by over $15 million–even prior to the City receiving school zone speed camera revenue, I had increased SRTS funding. For 2014 and beyond, policy changes that could occur as part of my School Road Safety Initiative launched this year will be guided by the recommendations of our School Road Safety Task Force and Interagency Team as they advise the City through the process of creating a School Road Safety Plan. Feedback to date has shown strong support for many different SRTS tools, and I am happy that we will be able to invest millions in education, encouragement, and engineering improvements for 2013 and 2014. Next year as the plan nears completion, we will evaluate which policies may be implementable mid-year.

 

Regarding Seattle Public Schools, we have made sure to include the school district in the planning process and on the Interagency Team and will continue to engage SPS leadership as we move ahead.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

There is still a long process ahead of us, including several steps in environmental review and design. Your continued comments on issues of concern through scoping, the EIS process, and in working with SDOT project staff are important as we move forward. Walkability, safety, and other people-oriented aspects of this design will be a large part of its success.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

Yes, I support increasing the level of funding and have worked to do so each year in office.  
As the economy continues to improve, we will be more able to allocate funding toward infrastructure, and I support increasing funding for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation incrementally through the city budget. Earlier this year when Spokane Street Viaduct savings became available, I elected to spend $1.9 million of those funds on pedestrian or bicycle safety projects – namely Northeast 75th Street, East Marginal Way, and Admiral Way and 47th. Also announced recently (on the first day of school), the revenue from school zone cameras will go directly back into pedestrian safety education and improvements near schools, which amount to a several-million-dollar increase in investments each year. I will continue to support the school zone camera program. Long-term, there may be other funding options (such as a Bridging the Gap Levy renewal that will begin to be discussed in 2014) that can be utilized as well.  A new local funding option, if passed by the legislature, could also increase funding for local streets. We are also using road maintenance dollars to not just repave streets, but redesign them. For example, our 23rd street corridor project will widen sidewalks, better support transit and convert a dangerous four lane arterial into one lane each way with a center turn lane. Delridge repaving, Northgate/105th Street repaving, rechannelization projects, and major projects like Mercer Street all include benefits to people walking that total several million over the last two to three years, though you may not count these projects toward your total. 

  

7)  In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

I support rechannelization from four lanes to two on any street that is under 20,000 vehicles per day, and potentially on streets that are slightly higher than that. There are no streets that have been converted to three lanes that I would recommend changing back to four lanes; all streets rechannelized have shown safety increases and make it easier and safer for pedestrian crossings.

 

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor Candidate

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

Sound Transit and the City of Seattle have each pledged $10 million for pedestrian and bicycle improvements around the Northgate station, half of which will be devoted to the proposed bridge connecting the station to NSCC. Even so, the bridge is currently underfunded by $8-10 million, and Sound Transit will reallocate any unspent funds if this project remains underfunded by July of 2015.

 

It’s an unfortunate reality that Seattle cannot fund every beneficial project. We simply do not have the money. We need to get clear on our priorities, rather than relying on half measures.  We have a Pedestrian Master Plan, a Bicycle Master Plan, a Transportation Master Plan, and need a Freight Master Plan.  What we lack is a unified plan and coherent set of priorities. I will address this with my Move Seattle Initiative, which will harmonize different transportation modes and clearly lay out what we need to do most. This will allow us to more effectively lobby the state legislature for additional funding.

 

Locally, Seattle has a set of financial tools available to generate funds for public works projects. I am interested in exploring the expanded use of Local Improvement Districts, which assess taxes on nearby properties that stand to benefit from a proposed project. If a project is backed by the majority of local businesses, we can work with them to form a Business Improvement Area to generate revenue for project funding.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

The Mount Baker light rail station, as with other stops in South Seattle, suffers from design and infrastructure flaws that hinder pedestrian and Transit Oriented Design more generally.  For instance, the Mount Baker rail station is placed across busy, one-way arterials from retail destinations, and is some distance from connecting Metro transit stops.  Many large, stand-alone commercial and industrial building occupy large parcels near the station, and the station itself is poorly connected to nearby residential areas.  Further, like many neighborhoods in South Seattle, Mount Baker’s sidewalk and street maintenance has been perpetually underfunded.  All of this renders the area much more hospitable to cars than pedestrians, but park-and-ride spaces are not provided at light rail stops.  So, we find ourselves with under-utilized light rail stations and people continuing to drive.

 

There are some near-term strategies to improve walkability around the Mount Baker station.  We should look at reconfiguring traffic flows along and around the area where Rainier Ave S. and MLK Jr. Way S, and explore whether converting one-way to two-way arterials would make it easier to walk to the station.  But these strategies offer only moderate benefits.  We have to do more.

 

As Mayor, I will lobby for a second Bridging the Gap levy, prioritize investment in our infrastructure, and address our rapidly growing backlog of street and infrastructure improvements. Going forward, we need to ensure the consistent application of our infrastructure and transportation priorities across local and regional agencies.  There is no substitute for appropriate planning.  We need to think seriously about our zoning and land use decisions around light rail stops, and incentivize the development of mixed-use and multi-family residential areas.  We also need to insist on strong and reliable public benefit criteria for developers, so that those who seek to benefit from public investments in our neighborhoods give back to those neighborhoods. 

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

 

Seattle faces very complex transportation challenges.  Adequate solutions will require competent executive oversight and seamless coordination between city departments and agencies. Unfortunately, our administrative infrastructure has been undercut by the current administration. The current Mayor’s severe cuts to the Department of Neighborhoods, including layoffs and closures of Service Centers (“Little City Halls”), has made it more difficult for residents to find out what is happening in their community and express their concerns or frustrations. As Mayor, I will reinvest in the Department of Neighborhoods, and work closely with our Neighborhood Districts to expand outreach efforts and render community engagement more efficient and effective.   

 

Unfortunately,  we no longer have the Office of Policy and Management, which functioned to help the city coordinate its efforts on large projects, and see them through to completion. In the absence of OPM, with only ad hoc guidance by the Mayor’s office, the transportation concerns of Seattle residents often get lost in the shuffle.  Moreover, the lack of executive leadership on large projects results in an inconsistent application of our transportation priorities.  In Seattle, the right hand often doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.  As Mayor, I will work to reestablish an office dedicated to policy and program management.

 

We also must ensure that the Design Review process remains faithful to the neighborhood objectives outlined in our neighborhood plans.  These objectives were determined by sustained and substantive public input, but can be ignored in favor of citywide design review guidelines, or by the Department of Planning and development. Of course, our development decisions can impact transportation planning as well as the walkability of our neighborhoods.

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

I secured the first State funding for Safe Routes to School; I know how important this program is. Seattle needs to work more closely with Seattle Public Schools to identify safety hazards around neighborhood schools.  The Public Schools are often the first to hear from parents about these concerns, but there is no protocol in place for these concerns to be communicated to the city.  Seattle needs to be proactive about the safety of our children, to reach out and involve groups of parents, teachers, non-profits and transportation advocates, and aggressively fund necessary infrastructure and traffic mitigation improvements.

 

The Mayor has succeeded in spearheading and finding some funding for our Safe Routes to Schools initiative, and I applaud his efforts.   As Mayor, I would expand the use of traffic cameras near schools, and dedicate the generated revenue to local infrastructure and safety improvements. But the Mayor and city departments have often failed to listen to and act on Seattle residents’ safety concerns.  The community around NE 75th had consistently raised concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety, particularly around Nathan Eckstein Middle School. It took the tragic deaths of Judy and Dennis Schulte, and the critical injuring of their daughter Karina and her infant son, Elias, to move the city to act.

 

But we must do more.  The Bridging the Gap Levy is up for renewal in 2015, and I will work closely with Seattle’s legislative delegation, and our local and regional partners to lobby for state funding to address our backlog of street and sidewalk infrastructure maintenance.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

Seattle’s waterfront is a relatively untapped public resource, which should function as community and neighborhood hub, with green spaces, parks and recreational centers, entertainment venues and thriving retail districts. We currently have the opportunity to realize the dream of a Seattle Commons running all the way from the Olympic Sculpture Park to the Stadium District. 

 

But current designs are concerning.  According to the recent proposals, there will be an 8-lane highway, over 100’ wide,  stretching between Pioneer Square and the waterfront.  This is anathema to our commitment to walkable neighborhoods. Although current designs include a pedestrian promenade, it is bordered along its length by a massive street separating it from downtown neighborhoods. This will serve to accommodate freight mobility, ferries, rapid transit and single-occupancy vehicles. 

 

I am stuck with the thought that we could have done better; that more of these transportation modes could have utilized the tunnel or other corridors farther away from the waterfront.  I am concerned about ease of access to the waterfront by elderly or disabled person, who will now have to traverse multiple lanes of traffic to get from downtown to the pedestrian promenade.  This is a crucial period for public comment and input on these designs, and I think out concerns should be made clearly and forcefully.  This project will fundamentally reshape the character of our city, we owe it to ourselves and future generations to get this right.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how? 


Yes, I support increasing funding for the implementation of the Pedestrian Master Plan. Unfortunately, since 2008 SDOT’s revenue from the City’s general fund has decreased by 26%, which has profoundly impaired out ability to address our rapidly growing maintenance backlog. Despite increasing revenue, most of SDOT’s money is earmarked and tied up in large projects. The lack of Operational and Maintenance support from the City has brought little street or sidewalk repair, and almost no expansions to pedestrian infrastructure. We must establish a clear set of funding priorities, which will require the integration of our currently disparate Pedestrian, Bicycle, Transit and (the forthcoming) Freight Master Plan. We must aggressively lobby for increased infrastructure funding, as mentioned above, and renew the Bridging the Gap Levy.  We must leverage public/private partnerships, offer development incentives and strengthen public benefit criteria to generate revenue.  Finally, we should explore the use of financial tools, like Local Improvement Districts and the voluntary Business Improvement Areas to secure funding from property and business owners who stand to benefit from infrastructure investments. 

 

7)  In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

I support these configurations where appropriate, but unlike the current Mayor I don’t think they are appropriate everywhere.  These types of reconfigurations are certainly appropriate in areas where we are facilitating density, and encouraging mixed-use and multi-family development.  They are also appropriate around schools, major institutions like hospitals, stadia and other areas where pedestrians converge  and people congregate. 

 

Current revisions of this sort (e.g. along NE 65th and NE 75th) have slowed traffic and will likely improve pedestrian safety.  But these revisions also included bike lanes on either side of the street and got rid of all street parking.  This was a mistake, and disproportionally impacts the elderly and disabled.  Unfortunately, this is a consistent blind spot of the current administration.

 

Richard Conlin, Seattle City Councilmember Position 2 (incumbent)

 

1)  Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

I developed the funding plan for this bridge, and persuaded the Sound Transit Board and City Council to approve the investment in partnership with King County. For the City share, we can us a variety of sources, but I would think that the Real Estate Excise Tax is the most immediately promising option. In 2014 we expect our proceeds from the Real Estate Excise Tax to be more than $10 million higher than we had projected. We expect this revenue source to continue to expand in the future. These funds, which are reserved for capital projects, would be ideal for this purpose.

 

2)  A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

My committee will soon take up the update of the Mount Baker Station Area zoning, which will increase the density around this station, which will in turn lead to more development that can fund the sidewalks around the station area. I am also working on a long range plan for the area bounded by I-90, Rainier, and MLK, which connects the Mount Baker and I-90 East Link stations. Realizing the potential of this area as a transit community will again provide the opportunity to have new development provide much of the sidewalk network. Finally, I would like to see pedestrian improvements, especially in station areas, on safe routes to school, and on arterials, given increased priority in the renewal of the Bridging the Gap levy and would like to see the City try again in the future to get voter approval for an expanded Vehicle License Fee that could also provide such funding.

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

 

The key integration is among transportation, land use, and neighborhoods. These three departments should be grouped in a larger unit with a Deputy Mayor who has specific responsibility for coordinating policy and directing implementation in these areas.

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

 

The City has an Office for Education, and the Council meets regularly with the School Board. Much of the work of these two connections focuses, and rightly so, on the implementation of the Families and Education levy and supporting educational excellence in the schools. However, in the last several years, we have begun broadening our agendas to include facilities planning and coordination. Adding Safe Routes to School to these agendas makes a lot of sense, and I would like to see us develop an integrated plan for coordinating school access with the planning for new and remodeled school facilities. This is especially critical as the School District continues to implement its neighborhood school plan, which is both an opportunity for more kids to walk to school and a challenge for us to make that possible and safe. I strongly support the policy of dedicating revenues from school safety zone cameras to improving pedestrian safety around schools, and this funding resource can make major improvements in the sidewalk and safety network.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

We must keep the salience of pedestrians at the heart of our planning, and emphasize that this means all pedestrians, which requires using universal design principles to guide decisions. I am disturbed by the width of the proposed roadway, and support looking for ways to reduce it, such as by eliminating one of the two planned access lanes for ferry traffic. Managing a traffic lane to provide additional access at peak times is a better alternative than constructing a second ferry access lane that will be a barrier for pedestrians and not needed at most times.

We must also ensure that the waterfront is activated and safe at all levels. I would like to see a variety of active recreation areas as well as diverse businesses and a design that employs CPTED principles to make this area attractive and accessible for all.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

As noted above, I think we have opportunities through the renewal of BTG and another effort at getting the VLF fee approved that can increase the funding for pedestrian facilities. Traffic safety camera revenues and the use of our increasing REET revenues are other ways to expand pedestrian facility funding.

 

7) In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

We have converted more than a score of streets to road diets in recent years, and these have all been effective and generated few complaints after the initial flurry of concerns. I am not aware of any that have led to problems that would suggest reconversion, and support the effective, thoughtful, and careful work of SDOT engineers as they review and propose additional road diets in the future. Road diets reduce speeds, protect pedestrians, and do not generate congestion, and they become great assets for Seattle neighborhoods that are trying to become safer and calmer places for families and pedestrian mobility.

 

Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for Seattle City Council position 2

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

In a city with such a high density of billionaires like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and multi-billion dollar corporations like Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft, we should not be having so much trouble funding social services or expanding mass transit, and workers should not be facing unaffordable housing, low wages, and unemployment.  Instead, what we have seen is our [RK1] corporate controlled city establishment siphon off public taxes and funds to subsidize downtown real-estate developers and implement other forms of corporate welfare. Any one worker in Seattle pays a higher proportion of their income in taxes than these mega corporations do each year, due to Washington’s extremely regressive taxation system and the 500 corporate tax exemptions currently in place that cost us $6.5 billion a year.

 

I am campaigning for a Millionaire’s Tax in order to fund this pedestrian/bicycle bridge and other transit infrastructure. Further smaller measures could be taken, including reining in the exorbitant salaries of our very own Seattle City Council members. Our city councilors make the highest salaries of $120,000 per year out of anyone in their position nationwide, with the exception of Los Angeles city councilors. The city officials that represent us should not be so far removed from the lives of average working people and the impoverished. This is why if elected as city councilor, I will only take the average worker’s wage and donate the rest to building social justice [RK2] movements.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

One of my primary campaign plans is to call on the city to stop Metro service cuts and expand bus routes everywhere by adequately funding public transportation. My campaign has been working very closely with the Transit Riders Union on restoring the ride-free zone and implementing a low-income fare.

As for the concern with Rainier valley stops, it is not useful to have a light rail stop where transit riders have difficulty getting from there to where they actually need to go. So as part of an overall plan to expand bus routes, special attention should be put in the Rainier Valley stops to ensure accessibility. I think more buses should be routed through the Mount Baker stop right in front of the light rail station. [RK3]

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?
 
For too long, the city government has allowed corporate interests and wealthy real estate developers to dictate downtown development rather than including the needs and aspirations of ordinary people.  My opponent running for re-election to City Council position 2, Democrat Richard Conlin, has been a central figure in giving away prime real estate in Seattle to corporations such as Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc.  In contrast with my opponent and all the main local candidates, I do not accept corporate campaign contributions, and I will fight tooth and nail to make our city a pedestrian friendly city.  This is not just a matter of adding one walk way here and one walk way there, though we should do that.  What we really need is to fundamentally alter the urban development and investment take place so that walking and biking are at the center of our vision rather than driving private automobiles.

We also need to democratize the process of addressing transportation concerns and making policy. The SDOT does not work with enough public input and transparency, but does have vital resources and expertise on transportation issues. That is why I would be interested in organizing a committee of transit riders and transit advocacy groups like the Transit Riders Union and Feet First, with real decision-making power to work in conjunction with existing departments in the city. Leaders from lower-income communities around Seattle should have special priority in these committees. The city should also host more town hall meetings to hear the voices of the public on problems that transit riders face, ideas for change, and thoughts on new transit policies. Finally, we need to build a movement to stop the proposed massive export terminal from being built near Bellingham to prevent 18 coal trains per day from tying up Seattle traffic for 1-3 hours per day (not to mention massively exacerbating the climate crisis).

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

 

Safe Routes to School is a very creative movement that will not only make our children safer but also better integrate our neighborhoods. The city can aid this movement by providing it resources, such as street monitors and press, and ensuring that there is communication with Seattle Public Schools to figure out where the greatest needs exist and how the schools can be supported. The city should also more quickly follow up on its infrastructure plans to lay down more bikeways, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings. The city is currently very backed up on its repairs, and fixing and building infrastructure is a great way to put the thousands of unemployed people in Seattle back to work as part of a city jobs program.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

It is a shame that our downtown waterfront is dominated by a noisy highway and high-rises when it should be a beautiful place with a park, pedestrians, and cafés. While so much construction is going on at the waterfront, pedestrian safety should be a first priority. There needs to be more traffic directors; clearly designated signs for pedestrian crossings, walkways and bikeways; and wheelchair ramps should be placed at all crossing points so that people with special needs can access sidewalks with greater ease. To eliminate some of the vehicle and pedestrian traffic passing by the waterfront, Route 99 should have more stops and run more frequently (a major reason for its low ridership is its unreliability), and a media campaign can be launched by Metro to let people know Route 99 is a free and convenient way to access the waterfront.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

It is outrageous that the city has impeded the implementation of a plan that is supposed to align with the stated agenda of our elected officials. Major corporations in Seattle are now making record profits, but not creating the jobs that they promised to. It is up to the city to close corporate tax loopholes and use a Millionaire’s Tax to fund a jobs program of its own. One of the major projects of this public works program could be completing the Tier 1 project on a stricter timeline. Other public works projects could include green retrofitting homes and apartment buildings, laying down more pedestrian, bike, bus, and train routes, and repairing schools that have long been neglected in the most diverse parts of the city.

 

7) In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

I support converting arterials from four lanes to three in all situations where it would not heavily back up traffic. Seattle has one of the worst traffic situations in the country, largely due to our inadequate public transportation system. I believe more three-lane conversions could be made once the city prioritizes making mass transit more affordable, efficient, and accessible. This should include a massive investment in buses and an expansive rapid train system throughout the greater Seattle metropolitan area, funded by taxing millionaires and corporations.  In the meantime, on streets with heavy traffic and four lanes, every other possible option to improve pedestrian safety should be discussed and implemented. But on streets with lighter traffic flows, conversions should be made immediately.


 [RK1]Too sharp too early.  First we have to gain their trust before we go after their support for the Democratic Party.  Please keep in mind using this transitional approach for future questionnaires.

 [RK2]The Tea Party is a “social movement.”

 [RK3]This already exists at the Mount Baker stop and there isn’t much space for it at the other stops in Columbia City and Rainier Valley.

 

Sally Bagshaw, Seattle City Councilmember Position 4 (incumbent)

 

1)  Pedestrian and Bicycle Bride Funding at Northgate Transit Station

 

Both the Sound Transit Board and my fellow Councilmembers and I unanimously approved an investment agreement for pedestrian and bicycle access at the Northgate light rail station and surrounding neighborhoods. The City and Sound Transit both have agreed to put in up to $5 million each into this anticipated $20 project to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5.  Connecting North Seattle Community College and Northgate Transit Center will be a boon for those attending NSCC as well as for those in the neighborhoods who would like cross I-5 west of the Transit Station without a car.  Monies have also been earmarked to create pedestrian connections between neighborhoods around Northgate to the Northgate Transit Center.  This will vastly improve walking conditions for neighborhoods such as Maple Leaf, and encourage people to walk to the Transit Center.

 

The way this project will be funded is by leveraging resources from multiple sources including the federal government, State of Washington, Sound Transit and the City, must fund this project.   Funding sources would include federal grants, money from a statewide revenue package, revenues from Sound Transit (voter approved local taxes, federal grants, fare box revenues, borrowed funds (bonds), and interest revenues), and should be a line item in the next round of Bridging the Gap funding.    

 

2)   Sound Transit in South Seattle

 

Sound Transit placed the original stations with an eye to balancing route speed of Link Light Rail along this corridor with practical distances for walking.  Our south end neighbors have complained that the distance is too far between stops to be useful for those who live and work in the area, and is especially problematic for the elderly and for people who find walking difficult.

 

The problem is exacerbated because Metro Transit has reduced bus service in the area and eliminated certain routes that were less productive but nonetheless important to people wanting to get to the human services providers along the corridor.

 

It is unlikely that Sound Transit will add more stops in the immediate future, and until Metro Transit gets a local option from the State of Washington, bus service will not be restored to levels preferred by the Rainier Valley residents.

 

In the short term, routes between our light rail station and the bus transfer stops must be clearly marked, properly lighted, and designed with CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) principles.  Perhaps circulators could be considered along the route to key human service providers if jointly funded by local businesses, non-profits, and Metro.  Working with businesses along the way, pedestrian amenities such as lighting, benches or other seating could improve the corridor.

 

Longer term, discussions between neighbors, Sound Transit, Metro, local businesses and the City must continue so that proper construction and infill occurs. 

3)   Integrating transportation concerns

 

This is an area of particular interest to me.  I have worked closely with the Mayor’s Office to improve transportation connections between neighborhoods through an interdepartmental team including Parks Department, Seattle Public Utilities, and our Office of Sustainability and Environment among others.  I have championed and promoted Neighborhood Greenways with these departments, and progress is being made to improve pedestrian connections across the city.  See my articles on Neighborhood Greenways and the inter-departmental teams at multiple postings:  http://bagshaw.seattle.gov/category/neighborhood-greenways-2/

 

4)   Safe Routes to School

 

I fully support the Safe Routes to Schools program and have worked with Cascade Bicycle Club, our Seattle Neighborhood Greenways program, and with the Seattle Public Schools to encourage the legislature to adequately fund and enhance this program.  It is an program that deserves to be expanded, both in the amount of funding received and the number of schools served.

 

A report from the Washington State Department of Transportation recently found that there were zero reported collisions at Safe Routes to School locations.  In support of this program,  I worked hard the past legislative session to pass the 20 m.p.h. speed limit bill which will allow the city to reduce speeds on streets, and making safe connections to places people want to go, including schools.   We were successful.

 

The rate at which our state allocates resources for the program remains dismal. The Washington State Senate adjourned the 2013 session without passing the transportation bill that would have funded the Safe Routes to Schools program, along with many other pedestrian and transit-friendly projects.   The short-sightedness of this approach frankly made me angry.  I agree with the Republicans that we need to have an efficiently-run government, but taking a “no new revenue” stand is ridiculous as the numbers of people in our state continue to grow, our economy expands,  and our infrastructure continues to deteriorate.

 

 I have had many meetings this summer with key legislators, King County leadership, and Metro transit directors.  I am working with my colleagues, our Office of Intergovernmental Relations, legislators –both Democrats and Republicans — to pass a statewide transportation package.  I will promote a special session this fall, but if that fails, I will urge our legislators to pass a bill early in the next session so Safe Routes to School AND Metro Transit is properly funded.

 

5) The Waterfront and Universal Design

 

I have proudly worked to create, promote, fund, and design Seattle’s Waterfront for All for the past 10 years.  I co-authored a document called Waterfront for All that has become one of the cornerstones of our new Waterfront designed by James Corner Field Operations.

 

I have met with the Lighthouse for the Blind, organizations that promote positive environments for people who are deaf, and am very mindful that as we create amenities for our Waterfront, Downtown and other neighborhoods, that we must build spaces that are inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities and people with disabilities.

 

I am committed to assuring that our Waterfront is accessible to all.

 

In my role as co-chair of the Council’s Waterfront Committee, I have overseen the work done by the Design Team to assure safe and beautiful spaces for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders and motorists.

 

The challenge along our Waterfront is that thousands of people will be using a geographically constricted space and there are many “wants”.  Dedicated walkways with parkways, lighting, benches will be provided for pedestrians from the stadium district to the Sculpture Park, and the team is balancing “wants” v. “needs”.

 

Separated cycletracks for bicyclists are necessary for safety, and the challenge is to separate pedestrians, slow moving bicyclists from the speedier bicycle commuters and cars and trucks. Dedicated or managed lanes solely for buses will be needed to make sure scheduled buses run on time, and space must be reserved for  school buses bringing children to the Aquarium, large buses bringing passengers to the ships as well as tourists to the businesses along the Waterfront and Pike Place Market.  The debate is raging between Pioneer Square businesses and residents and those who live along Columbia Street about more buses being directed onto specific city streets from Alaskan Way.  These questions are being sequentially resolved so that people of all ages and abilities can get to the Waterfront on the appropriate mode.

 

The historical and popular George Benson Streetcars are also being debated as a means for pedestrians to get to and along the Waterfront, but the addition of rails paralleling the Waterfront reduces the amount of space for other modes.  Conversations continue about whether to retrofit these George Benson Streetcars making them accessible for those with disabilities (which must be done under ADA rules if the street cars are to be put back into general use), and also possibly moving the streetcar connector to 1st Avenue rather than Alaskan Way.  All of these options are currently on the table.  I will advocate for the principles of universal design to be incorporated so that our public waterfront is truly one for everyone.

 

6)  Funding for Pedestrian Improvements

I DO support funding level increases for the Pedestrian Master Plan. Leveraging investments from other City departments has already reaped good results (consider the Bell Street Park that has been funded by our Parks Department as an example; also see my discussion about Neighborhood Greenways above).  I believe a significant portion of an upcoming Bridging the Gap levy should be dedicated to pedestrian improvements.  Also, requiring private development improvements to fund pedestrian infrastructure is a means that all cities use, and is occurring in many of our developing neighborhoods.  The work that both the University of Washington and Amazon have planned in South Lake Union are excellent examples.

 

I will continue to work within the Council to provide the Pedestrian Master Plan with one or more dedicated funding sources.   We must leverage every resource we have:  Bridging the Gap, a local Transportation Investment District, Sound Transit funds, SDOT general funds, Parks Levy – you name it.   Funding safe and well-maintained streets and sidewalks continues to be a top priority for me.

 

7)   Safe Streets, Reducing Lanes

I support converting some of our four-lane streets in Seattle to three lanes.  Studies have shown that where this has been done (Nickerson, Dexter, Stone Way for example), pedestrian safety has greatly increased without adversely impact the flow of cars and freight. 

 

I want people in every neighborhood to be safe and to feel safe.  Good connections within and between neighborhoods will enhance the walkability and livability of our neighborhoods.   I promote the concept of a transportation network where pedestrians, cars, trucks, and bicycles all have their separated spaces and priority lanes as appropriate.

 

One Final Note to Feet First leadership and members:  I am a member of Feet First myself and fully support the work you do.  You can count on me to continue to advocate for safe and delightful pedestrian environments in our Downtown and other neighborhoods.

 

Nick Licata, Seattle City Councilmember Position 6 (incumbent)

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

The Real Estate Excise Tax is a good possible funding source. Commercial Parking Tax revenues are another potential funding source. Large amounts of the commercial parking tax revenues have been and will be dedicated to the Mercer project through 2015, but will be available for other projects after that. This could also be considered for the renewal of the Bridging the Gap levy. And  efforts are being made to work with PSRC to identify grants that could also apply to this project.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

I worked with the community to try to maintain Bus 42, which was useful especially to elderly and disable residents, but the route has been cut. Having better sidewalks is one important change—I think funding for linking the main business district on Rainier Avenue to the ST station needs to be prioritized.

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

Better coordination; there has been some improvement in DPD not blocking off as many sidewalks during construction.  The Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Boards should have more access to all departments’ plans that impact pedestrian and bicycle users. I proposed creation of the Disabilities Commission because of a transportation-related issue at the Seattle Center, where the needs of disabled people for pedestrian access was not accounted for in a planning process.

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

 

I have advocated for dedicating funding from speed cameras to safety for several years. I am glad the Mayor has followed through on this suggestion by creating a fund to use those revenues for safety. This is a good funding source for these projects.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

It has long been a priority of mine to ensure that despite the changes due to the deep bore tunnel and other major projects that Seattle maintain its attractive, usable, pedestrian-friendly open space. The way to ensure this happens is to manage the budget of these large projects efficiently. The city should recognize that the goals of our large transportation improvement projects must include maintaining the waterfront and pedestrian space we already have at the least. This is not an either/or situation.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

The completion of the Mercer Project will free significant annual revenues that should be dedicated to pedestrian master plan funding throughout Seattle. It’s time to focus  on implementing this plan, and step away from large road projects.

 

7)  In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

I believe looking at the data is important in analyzing these conversions. Nickerson Street is a good example—the data showed it improved safety without significant adverse effects on travel times. I haven’t seen any data that would support converting roads back to four lanes. 

 

Mike O’Brien, Seattle City Councilmember Position 8 (incumbent)

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

A pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 presents the opportunity to connect an important educational institution and a many residential units with transit and is the kind of project we should be investing in. I would prioritize this project in SDOT’s capital improvement program (CIP) and ask SDOT to keep it on the top of our lists as we apply for Federal and other grant funding that could see funds secured earlier.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

Walkability to, from and around light rail stations is an important area, particularly somewhere like Mt. Baker where there are many seniors and people with disabilities.   We need to continue expediting investment in the transit master plan and pedestrian master plan and consider prioritizing areas near transit as part of the city’s broader TOD strategies.  The upcoming renewal of the Bridging the Gap Levy is an opportunity to prioritize investments in Transit Communities that improve connections to transit.

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

A focus on transit-oriented-development is a good way to ensure that transportation – and transit – is connected with the other work the city is doing.  When we focus on building walkable neighborhoods with community amenities near transit, it requires staff in parks, housing, human services and transportation to all work together.  By focusing on place-based strategies such as this, I think we have an opportunity to foster collaboration across departments.

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

Policies that prioritize infrastructure investments near schools are key to having more safe routes built, sooner.   The city can consider policies such as speed limits and enforcement patrols or school speed zone cameras to reduce the speed of cars in safe routes areas.  In addition, the city can support the grassroots efforts of neighborhood organizations that are creating changes at their particular school with programs like the Neighborhood Matching Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund.

 

The City can best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools by building strong relationships with open communication with the District.  When we can see shared goals and the value of partnership, I think the City and District can have successful collaboration, as we have seen with the Families and Education Levy.

 

The commitment by the mayor and city council to dedicate all revenues from school zone cameras to improvements in those school zones will allow us to accelerate investments that will make it safer for kids to get to and from school.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

There are many competing priorities for the use of our waterfront, but we must continue to place people first in all of our planning and design.  Ensuring that design of roads, sidewalks and key infrastructure place people first is vital to “getting it right.”  One area of particular concern that I will continue to monitor are the crossing distances of the rebuilt Alaskan Way.  It is critical that we make getting to and from the water as safe and enticing to people as possible.

Feet First has been an important voice during the waterfront planning process and I would be happy to hear how I can better support your efforts to make the water front safe and attractive to pedestrians of all ages.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

I support an aggressive implementation of the pedestrian master plan.  This should be incorporated into the Bridging the Gap Renewal coming in 2015 and all other new transportation funding sources.  We must also take a close look at existing revenue sources and ensure that all of our dollars are being used and leverage to create safer streets.  This includes considering pedestrian master plan investments when we are working in other areas of the street including building new transit stops, neighborhood greenways and other right of way improvements.

 

7)  In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

SDOT has done a good job of identifying roads that are good candidates for this transformation.  I remember when Stone Way was being re-channeled to include bike lanes and can hardly imagine walking, biking – or even driving – without these improvements.  

SDOT has done a thorough job in studying the impacts of these road diets to ensure that we make the roads safer for both pedestrians and bikes but also maintain mobility for other modes.  We need to continue to look for opportunities to make these smart investments.  I am not aware of an arterial that should be changed back. 

 

Albert Shen, Candidate for Seattle City Council Position 8

 

1) Sound Transit has agreed to help fund a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the Northgate light rail station.  The City of Seattle needs to come up with the rest of the money for the bridge to be built.  How would you do that?

 

I am well aware of this project as I serve on the Board of Trustees for the Seattle Community Colleges. I think this will be a great asset for our N Seattle Community College and in the long term will be able to connect students/faculty/administrators  to get from our Seattle Central Campus to our North Campus.  The city needs to look at alternative funding mechanisms and for this type of project I believe a public/private partnership will be ideal.  I will look for private funding dollars to supplement funding from Sound Transit, City of Seattle and funding possibilities in the capital budget from the State Board of Community Colleges.

 

2) A frequent criticism of Sound Transit’s light rail stops in Rainier Valley, particularly Mount Baker, is the difficulty in walking between the station and other destinations, including bus transfer stops.  There are many gaps in the sidewalk network once you get beyond 1/4 mile of the stations.  How would you work to fix this to make the regional light rail network more useful to South Seattle residents, workers, and visitors?

 

This is a perfect example of disparity in our transportation plan with low-income communities of color.  The idea of public transportation is to serve people who need public transportation and this was a total miss by Sound Transit and the City of Seattle to serve diverse underserved communities. The Filipino Community Center sits in between the Columbia City Station and the Othello Station each approx. ½ mile to both sides.  At one point there was supposed to be a station at the Graham Street but that was taken out and thus left a huge gap for a community that really needs access to reliable and frequent public transportation.  I will advocate for another station to be put where it can serve these communities and in moving forward will advocate for more access to light rail in South Seattle so residents, workers and visitors can have equal access to public transportation. 

 

3) How can transportation concerns be better integrated into departments other than SDOT within the City of Seattle?

 

This will involve an overall 21st Century Strategic master transportation plan that encompasses all our various modes of transportation (freight/car/rail/bike/pedestrian) with all departments.  Everyone has a vested interested in a transportation systems that ensures our freight mobility is not hindered yet is implemented with lowering our carbon footprint.  The Offices of Economic Development, SCL, SPU, Housing, Education, and all other city departments should provide guidance/feedback/policy recommendations toward an overall transportation master plan that SDOT shall develop and govern through the Mayor’s office.  Once an overall plan is in place, then interdepartmental policies can be implemented thru working with the Mayor’s office and City Council. 

 

4) What can the city do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the City best cooperate with Seattle Public Schools?

 
The city needs to get a spine when it comes to developing policies on education in Seattle.  I am tired of hearing from our local elected officials that we cannot do anything about the Seattle Public Schools.  There is currently no direct City Council committee that addresses education. I want an education committee on the City Council and I want that committee to be a platform for having discussions and develop policies that will support and enhance the City’s role in educational policy.  With an Education committee we can integrate into the discussion transportation for kids getting to school via walking, pedestrian safety and other modes.  Without a formal platform to have policy discussions then we cannot move forward in our educational policy goals.

 

5) Seattle’s downtown waterfront is already undergoing changes as part of the seawall replacement and deep bore tunnel construction.  Much more is to come.  How can we make a busy, working waterfront safe and attractive for pedestrians of all ages, and how can we incorporate the principles of universal design to guide these efforts?

 

Fifty years ago the Seattle Center and the World’s Fair put Seattle on the international stage by showcasing human innovation and vision of a 21st century economy.  Now 50 years later, Seattle has a unique opportunity to make a new waterfront that will define Seattle for another half century.  My business is on the Seattle Waterfront Redevelopment engineering team and I am proud to be able to be part of a program such as this.  As the design process moves forward, we need to ensure that the waterfront will serve:  our tourism industries that depend on the vast amount of tourists that come to our waterfront; our freight mobility access is not impeded and our ferry system can move people, goods/services freely. Pedestrian access from Pike Place, Seattle Center, Pioneer Square and Stadium districts will be critical to a walk-able waterfront and I would like to see more pedestrian overpasses that can access the waterfront from various parts of the downtown corridor.  However we must also ensure that our senior citizens can have access to a new waterfront by roadways that support buses, shuttles and cars so they can enjoy the benefits of a new waterfront.

 

6) The 2011 SDOT budget included $15.4 million toward implementing the Pedestrian Master Plan (which contains a total of $840 million in Tier 1 needs alone).  The current funding stream will take decades to complete just the Tier 1 projects.  Would you support increasing that level of funding? If so, how?

 

YES.  Our property levy system is supposed to be used to fund long term infrastructure programs; education institutions and basic services (public safety) and other basic needs for the city.  It is not supposed to be used to fund non-metric social justice needs such as public campaign finance reform.   I will advocate for a greater integrated transportation plan that encompasses all our major transportation mobility needs: roadways/freight, transit, walkways/sidewalks and bike lanes concurrently.  Thru this plan I will evaluate a levy funding model that will ensure the ability to complete our pedestrian walkway needs.

 

7)  In recent years a number of four-lane Seattle streets have been converted to three lanes (one lane in each direction plus a two-way left turn lane).  These reconfigurations greatly improve pedestrian safety for people trying to cross the street.  Under what circumstances do you support converting arterials from four lanes to three in this manner?  Are there any places where these lane changes have occurred where the road should be changed back to four lanes?

 

The overall fundamental transportation issue we have in Seattle is that we have no mass transit system that moves large amounts of people quickly. On average; the Shanghai Metro moves 2,230 Million Annual Passengers (MAP); Washington DC Metro Rail moves over 200 MAP; the Atlanta Martha moves 70 MAP and our Sound Transit Central Light Rail moves approx. 10 MAP.  Because we have do not have a mass transit system that can move more we are faced with putting extra pressure on our roadway network with other forms of transportation such as street cars, bike lanes, light rail and the current city policy is to reduce our roadway capacity in favor of bike lanes.

 

Our maritime and manufacturing industry accounts for 17% of the local family wage jobs and over 34% of our local B&O tax revenue.  We must protect our major transportation corridors in order for these important economic engine industries to continue to support our economy.  I do not support the reduction of our roadway system in order to just make it safer for one specific demographic.  Our roadway system is used by a very diverse range of uses and I rather move our pedestrian walkways and bike lanes to grade separated modes.  For areas of high concern for pedestrian safety, there are a multitude of technology-based applications that can be deployed for pedestrian safety. More importantly I will advocate for pedestrian overhead walkways at major intersections in order to maximize safety as this is the only way to preserve a free flowing freight corridor and provide a safe walking environment. 

 

Steve Kasner, Candidate Bellevue City Council Position 4

 

1) What can Bellevue do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school? How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

In the 60’s, when I went to school, many students walked or biked to school. That trend has changed over time on a national and local level, with more children being transported by car. With increased traffic around schools, more parents feel that it is not safe for their kids to travel by bike or foot, and start driving their kids as well. This has led to significant traffic congestion around schools and either perceived or actual safety concerns for pedestrians and walkers. The City needs to acknowledge the need advocate for reduced traffic congestion around schools and provide safe routes for walking and biking for children and families – particularly those routes that connect neighborhoods to schools, parks and shopping areas. The City must support schools efforts to implement safe route to school programs by proving an adequate source of funding to address deficiencies in the pedestrian and biking system, and help encourage not only commuter carpooling to reduce congestion around schools but also multi-family carpools. By improving infrastructure and reducing congestion around the schools, they will not only be safer environments, but also healthier environments due to reduced CO2 emissions. For the past few years, the City has focused on light rail and large capacity projects to the exclusion of neighborhood transportation needs. I would make sure that the capital budget addresses transportation needs at the neighborhood level throughout Bellevue, including improvements around schools so students can travel safely to and from school.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings. Are you satisfied with Bellevue’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it? If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

Once again, I believe that the City of Bellevue has –with very few exceptions – allowed neighborhood connectivity needs to go unheeded and unfunded for the past four years. The City has a Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan that identifies needs, but available funds have been directed to large, street capacity-building projects. The level of funding for pedestrian projects is totally inadequate. I will seek re-ordering of priorities, beginning with more public input.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system. Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations. Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Bellevue?

 

We can have both. Bellevue has many communications tools that can be employed to advise people of opportunities to utilize mass transit. In addition to newsletters, web site, and e-mail advisories, the City has an outreach network that reaches into the neighborhoods to provide information and involvement opportunities to all people, including those with language and cultural barriers. I would make sure that these tools are used to promote the availability and necessity of transit. Additionally, existing and future park and ride investments can be better utilized by encouraging higher occupancy rates per stall which would help limit the capital outlay and expansion of additional park and ride stalls, as well as education and encouragement efforts to bike and/or walk to these facilities when practical.

 

4) What specific actions would you support to improve pedestrian access to future Sound Transit Link Light Rail stations in the city of Bellevue?

 

It’s a matter of priorities. Again, the City needs to focus on connectivity that meets the needs of Bellevue residents and workers. Instead of building legacy projects that don’t serve immediate needs, the Council needs to: 1) meet with residents and commuters to identify needs and gaps; and 2) prioritize spending to provide for essential pedestrian connections, including connections to light rail stations.

 

5) The two future Link Light Rail stations at 120th Avenue NE and 130th Avenue NE have tremendous potential to encourage the establishment of walkable transit oriented development around the stations. What specific actions would you support to foster this development?

 

I would support:
• An ongoing marketing campaign to establish public awareness.
• Appropriate funding of pedestrian connections to stations from nearby businesses, institutions and neighborhoods.
• Development of safety features and amenities (such as benches for resting, wayfinding, etc.) that appeal to transit users and other pedestrians.
• Encourage businesses to incentivize transit use for their employees by providing or subsidizing transit fares.

 

6) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor. Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

I support the regional trail, and would seek ways for the City to participate in trail improvements along with strong regional and public/private partnerships.

 

Lynne Robinson, Bellevue City Councilmember, Position 6 (incumbent)

 

1) What can Bellevue do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

Bellevue can reinstate the neighborhood match funds for projects like sidewalks along the walkways to bus stops and schools.  Public education on how communities can encourage walking, ie: walk pools with adult supervision would be helpful as well.  Installing and maintaining traffic signs and crosswalks are integral to Safe Routes to School.  This is something that the Transportation Commission should be involved with.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with Bellevue’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

From my contacts with neighborhoods in Bellevue, there are areas woefully served by crosswalks, sidewalks and traffic signs.  Enatai is a good example of a neighborhood that has tried unsuccessfully to have a crosswalk in a school zone and fears for the safety of their young neighbors.  The city needs to respond to the valid requests for improved public safety, particularly around schools.  There are resources for these funds, but the city needs to prioritize their allocation to these types of projects.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Bellevue?

 

Improved walkability, bikeability and parking go hand in hand with the success of Light Rail.  The city and ST need to partner to ensure that all these needs are met. 

 

4) What specific actions would you support to improve pedestrian access to future Sound Transit Link Light Rail stations in the city of Bellevue?

 

There are many options being discussed.  I prefer covered walkways, and short tunnels under intersections to access light rail stations. 

 

5) The two future Link Light Rail stations at 120th Avenue NE and 130th Avenue NE have tremendous potential to encourage the establishment of walkable transit oriented development around the stations.  What specific actions would you support to foster this development? 

 

These two stations are at the heart of the TOD planned in the BelRed Corridor.  The city needs to create dedicated infrastructure funding for these projects in order to provide the walkability/bikeability and livability that make TOD successful.  This includes funding for the daylighting of the many streams in this area and the planned creation of a chain of creek parks that people can navigate while walking between these stations.

 

6) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor.  Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

When the industrial use of the rail corridor has been exhausted, I support converting the BNSF tracks into a trail system that will still have the potential for North/South commuter rail in the future.  Our city will need to partner with the county and the surrounding region to create funding for this project in cooperation with the other cities that the rail cuts through.  

 

Dave Kaplan, Des Moines City Councilmember (incumbent, unopposed)

 

Question 1 (regarding safe routes to schools):

 

The City of Des Moines has pursued safe routes to schools for a number of years.  We have applied for and received numerous grants over the past decade to secure the funding needed to make this infrastructure a reality.  With those funds, we have added sidewalks and implemented school zone photo speed enforcement on the arterial roads fronting Woodmont Elementary and Midway Elementary.  We are also adding a flashing light warning system up at North Hill Elementary this month.  Additionally, the City has adopted a Safe Streets ordinance, with a goal of putting in the sidewalks (as funding is available) for those safe routes to school.  Lastly, we have partnered with surrounding jurisdictions on a HEAL grant for healthy living, including healthy eating and exercise.  We continue our efforts in that regard with the I-CANN program.

 

Question 2 (regarding funding for infrastructure):

 

The City of Des Moines has been successful at securing grants periodically to support installation of pedestrian ways.  We are currently working with the WA State Dept. of Transportation to provide an extension of the Barnes Creek Trail, so that it can connect with the Des Moines Creek Trail.  This will provide an important, non-motorized connection for bicycles and pedestrians from Kent-Des Moines Road up thru the center of town, and onto the trail that leads up to the City of Seatac.  That trail is part of the Lake to Sound Trail proposed and pursued by King County Councilwoman Julia Patterson.   Local funding is nearly impossible, with voters having now twice rejected local utility tax increases to fund transportation projects.

 

Question 3 (Sound Transit infrastructure investments):

 

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that Sound Transit will be providing a stop in Des Moines, though there will be two stops (near Highline Community College and at S. 272nd Street) that will serve Des Moines residents.  With east-west Sound Transit dubious at best, and King County Metro’s current service level already tenuous, there is no clear alternative to park & ride lots for the foreseeable future.  That does not mean that ALL of the investment needs to be made solely for motorized transportation, and any investment that could add bike & ride storage facilities for bicycle riders should be given serious consideration.

 

Mark Koppang, Candidate for Federal Way City Council Position 2

 

1) What can Federal Way do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

With the completion of the Mark Twain Elementary school zone improvements, the pending completion of the Lakota school zone improvements, and the scheduled school zone improvements to both Sacajawea and Federal Way High School, Federal Way has made significant steps to implement the Safe Routes to School program. However, with 37 schools in our district, we have only begun the process.

 

Understanding that both the funds and windows of opportunity to complete these projects during the year are limited, coordination of effort is essential. By working directly with the school district, the city can effectively direct its efforts to best match the needs of the student population of the district.  The first step would be to have joint meetings between members of the School Board and City Council to establish direction and priorities for the completion of the project district wide. Once directives have been set, it would then be delegated to the respective staffs for implementation with periodic oversight reviews by both the School Board and City Council to insure implementation is on track.

 

By working together to set the agenda and putting in place shared responsibilities for implementation, the School Board and City Council would be able to insure our children throughout the district have a safe route to and from their school.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with the current level of funding for pedestrian improvements in Federal Way, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

Due to the high cost of implementation of a comprehensive pedestrian solution the city has taken an incremental approach. While this approach may appear frustratingly slow, it has allowed us to put in place pedestrian improvements in many of the high pedestrian traffic areas throughout the city. As new developments are built, a key component of their final design includes pedestrian access. This is something I support.

 

The areas that remain underserved for pedestrians are the more rural neighborhoods of our city. While pedestrian traffic isn’t as high in these areas, these roads can be a safety challenge, especially those without a shoulder. I would like to see a portion of our road funds set aside to address this vital safety issue and insure pedestrians can eventually walk safely anywhere in the city. Besides sidewalks, installing curbs, or event painting a double-wide fog line can serve to effectively delineate the pedestrian portion of the roadway.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Federal Way?

 

Based on my observation, our parking facilities are still not fully utilized. Because of this I would not be a proponent of building more parking facilities until I am confident we have addressed this issue. Two components that are essential in my mind to promote rider access are improved pedestrian access and implementation of a shuttle to service the under-utilized outlying parking facilities.

 

While a shuttle would be a key part of the solution, by concentrating on improving pedestrian access there would be an opportunity to improve the esthetics of these pedestrian corridors. This would provide a solution not just for transit commuters but for recreational use as well, which is important, as I believe it is essential to tailor our solutions to have the maximum benefit for every citizen.

 

Jeanne Burbidge, Federal Way City Councilmember Position 4 (incumbent)

 

1) What can Federal Way do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

The City of Federal Way has applied for funding and received grants, also using City revenue to design and install features improving the safety of school routes.  We are among the lowest of cities in King County in terms of revenue per capita, so outside funding is especially necessary to accomplish what needs to be done.  We do work closely with the Federal Way School District on these projects, but I am certainly aware of the need to increase conversations and efforts.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with the current level of funding for pedestrian improvements in Federal Way, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

I am not satisfied with the current level of funding for pedestrian infrastructure, but also am aware of the competitive process which occurs, as I serve on the Transportation Policy Board for Puget Sound Regional Council, South County Area Transportation Board, King County Regional Transit Committee, and Transportation Improvement Board for Washington State.  Raising awareness of the needs, and lobbying for additional resources are certainly warranted.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Federal Way?

 

Structured park and ride facilities are needed when there is not available transit in a community to bring people to the buses which do exist.  This is a definite challenge in Federal Way, as King County Metro Transit has cut back on transit service in the community.  Many residents do not have access to transit without driving to the Transit Center.  Having some additional conversations about the possible additions of more pedestrian  infrastructure could help provide insight into potential opportunities.

 

Martin Moore, Candidate for Federal Way City Council Position 6

 

1) What can Federal Way do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

The first responsibility of the city in terms of promoting walkability should be to ensure safe paths for pedestrians to walk to school. This includes unobstructed sidewalks, strategically placed speed bumps, curb extensions at cross-walks and other such features which increase pedestrian safety and make drivers more aware of their surroundings.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with the current level of funding for pedestrian improvements in Federal Way, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

I want Federal Way to be a city in which young people want to stay and raise families of their own. Low walkability deters that binding sense of community which comes from connected neighborhoods. Furthermore, low walkability pushes people into their cars, increasing the likelihood they will take their business to stores outside of Federal Way. In addition to business, many studies have shown that walkability increases property values. Taken together, investments in pedestrian mobility can actually increase the tax base of the city. For these reasons I believe it is actually more fiscally responsible in the long run to invest a higher percentage of the transportation budget into pedestrian improvements.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Federal Way?

 

I am running for city council to move Federal Way forward. This will require long term planning and a reconsideration of what our city will look like in 25 years. While running light rail down I-5 and building parking garages may create the highest initial ridership numbers, it will be a waste of public resources and opportunity in the long run. Instead, if elected I will push for construction of light rail to follow Pac Highway through town and new zoning rules around future stations to encourage the development of high walkability communities. We can build a regionally connected walkable community right here in Federal Way, a community our children will be proud to live in. The Federal Way of tomorrow starts with good planning today, and if it is to remain prosperous, it must include a return to walkable communities.  

 

Martin Morgan, Kirkland City Councilmember Position 1

 

1) To make it easier and safer for kids to walk to school we need to find out what is needed from local schools, PTSAs, and neighborhoods and put in place funding for this. The city should engage individual schools and their surrounding neighbors to incorporate their needs and wants for a safer walking neighborhood. The kids and residents come first!
 
2) Residents should always come first. Safe pedestrian infrastructure should be a priority for any city. Kirkland should be working with all residents and neighborhoods to designate, then build, what is best for their needs. Until pathways are safe and well marked, there should be funding and that should be increased if necessary. Funding can come from many sources or a combination of sources.
 
3) Yes, I absolutely support the Cross Kirkland Corridor and would support it being tied to the regional trail system of the Burlington Northern corridor. Where funding is needed, I would support creative measures to accomplish this great regional opportunity before us.

 

Jay Arnold, Candidate for Kirkland City Council Position 1

 

1) What can Kirkland do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

Kirkland was the first city in Washington state to adopt a “complete streets” policy to build sidewalks and bike lanes as part of road construction.  And Kirkland has historically made safe school walk routes a priority in its pedestrian investments by the city. 

More broadly, I think the City can do more in making it safe for walking overall, as 25% of its roadway network has no sidewalks. It’s a topic that I’ve heard about several times while doorbelling.

 

In the next three years, Kirkland will update its comprehensive plan, which includes an update of its transportation master plan.  I support policy changes to:

  • Change the focus of our transportation plan and capital priorities to move people, regardless of their mode of travel. 
  • Restore neighborhood safety investments, which had been cut during the economic downturn.  
  • Establish goals for establishing “greenways” for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. 

The City can partner with the school system by

  • Coordinating the planning, transportation, and design to enhance safety as schools are rebuilt or remodeled and site configurations change
  • Upgrading signage for school zone speed limits and crossings
  • Working with PTAs on training and partnering on enforcement

 
2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with your city’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

With the passage of the Streets Levy in 2012, Kirkland provides ongoing, dedicated funding for safe school walk routes and other pedestrian safety measures, approximately $300,000 per year.   Because of the backlog of needs—especially in crossing signals—some of that investment has been front loaded and we are already seeing improvements.  That is a good base to build on.

 

As our economy recovers, I hope to be able restore neighborhood funds that would provide for investments in safety, such as sidewalks, crossings, greenways, and traffic calming.

 
3) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor.  Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

Last year, Kirkland purchased its part of the rail corridor—now dubbed the “Cross Kirkland Corridor”.  While I support linking to Woodinville, Redmond and Bellevue segments and developing a regional trail, I believe Kirkland would greatly benefit in creating the Cross Kirkland Corridor at a pace independent of regional decision-making.  With the passage of the Parks Levy in 2012, Kirkland has funding to build an interim gravel trail.  I want to pursue developing a paved trail as soon as possible that is more useful for cyclists and pedestrians, even if in segments (for example, South Kirkland Transit Center to the Google campus, or Google campus to Downtown).

Local funding for the Cross Kirkland Corridor could come from a variety of sources, including a public-private partnership, funding received for traffic mitigation, or dedicating additional money from the levy.

 

Longer term, Eastside cities, King County, and others will need to work together on a regional trail system along the BNSF corridor.  We will need to partner with Sound Transit and seek state and potentially federal funding to realize the complete vision of the corridor that accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, and transit.  

 

Penny Sweet, Kirkland City Councilmember Position 2 (incumbent, unopposed)

 

1) What can Kirkland do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system? 

 

We can keep doing what we are doing and maintain our commitment to a plan that completes all of our routes to school.  One of our major priorities is safe school walks and we put extra monies in the budget this year to accomplish more of that.  We also upgraded a number of school cross walks this year.  I believe that we have an extremely cooperative relationship with LWSD and have worked closely with them in the design of new school and maintenance of walkways around existing schools. 

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with your city’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this? 

 

I wouldn’t use the term satisfied but I’m proud of what we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do. Kirkland is so lucky to have so many sidewalks, pathways and secret cut through trails plus we are so lucky to have the maps of all of them that you helped us with to be able to share them broadly.  We are truly a walking community – you can see that in every one of our neighborhoods.  My favorite walk is through my neighborhood and along the lake to Juanita beach then up and around and down the trail that goes along Forbes Creek on the North side, up the hill to Crestwoods park in Norkirk, down the stairs and over the Cross Kirkland Trail and through Cotton Hill Park and up the new stairs (that we just rebuilt), all the way up to 116th and left all the way down to the Highlands stairs above Forbes Creek down the trail and back to my house.   If our budget situation improves with the slowly improving economy I think we could do a better job on pedestrian infrastructure, particularly in moving forward with the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  I’m also interested in improving the ped/bike access out on 100th between 132nd and Simonds Road. 

 

3) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor.  Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

Oops, I think I was already answering that question.  The rail is almost completely out, the grading and ditch work is midway done, the gravel is coming and by June, at the very latest, we will have a full bore pedestrian and mountain bikeable trail covering 5 ½ miles along the heart of Kirkland.  We are working diligently with all of the stakeholders in the rest of the BNSF corridor are aligned with us our vision for the trail, short term, and for the corridor into the future.  We are pursuing every opportunity that we can to obtain grants, to find federal monies (transportation and some bridge dollars)  Yes, I support it. 

 

Amy Walen, Kirkland City Councilmember Position 5 (incumbent, unopposed)

 

1) What can Kirkland do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

Education and Outreach to our community about the program.  Dedication of our road levy funds – we passed the levy based on supporting the program.  We have a school district coordination committee that works with the school district. 

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with your city’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

We have recently passed a road levy, and much of this is dedicated to complete streets.  We have just applied some of these funds to a series of state of the art ped crossings throughout our city.

 

3) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor.  Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

Yes.  We will have some creative ideas on how to leverage our funding – we should be able to us some utility funds, park levy funds, REET funds, grant moneys and private/public partnership funds.  We hope to partner with sponsors.  We may have to go out for a ballot measure after our interim trail is completed, in order to complete the master plan.

 

Doreen Marchione, Kirkland City Councilmember Position 7 (incumbent)

 

1) What can Kirkland do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

Kirkland has supported the Safe Routes to School movement. The Council adopted the 2013 Cross Walk initiative with funds from our recent levy for roads and sidewalks.  We have installed new crosswalks with flashing beacons at 6 schools and will be doing this for 9 more schools by the end of the year.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with your city’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

We accomplished this with the passage of our levy last year.

 

3) There has been much discussion about developing a regional trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail corridor.  Do you support development of a regional trail along this corridor, and what actions would you support to fund it?

 

We have already purchased our portion of the trail and are currently dong a Master Plan for what we call the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC).   We included funds for the CKC in our parks levy and have also received funds from the state.  I actively supported the purchase & lobbied for state funds.

 

Kyoko Matsumoto, Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Position 4 (incumbent)

 

1) What can Mountlake Terrace do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

We have already supported this program.  We have added several routes to our schools with various grants.  I think we have worked together with the school district closely on all our projects.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with the current level of funding for pedestrian improvements in Mountlake Terrace, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

We are already working on a pedestrian friendly city.  Our Transportation Master Plan has all modes of transportation identified.  We have mapped a walkable city and have made improvements as we get funding.  We have plans to add sidewalks to our neighborhoods annually and we are working on a trail that will connect a major trail (Centennial Trail) to our Transit Center via a Lakeview Trail.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for Mountlake Terrace?

 

We are already a part of the Sound Transit Light Rail plan as the first station in Snohomish County will be at our Transit Center.  We also already have in our Town Center Plan and our neighborhood plans, sidewalks and other transportation choices.

 

4) What specific actions would you support to improve pedestrian access to the future Sound Transit Link Light Rail stations in the city of Mountlake Terrace?

 

We will work with Sound Transit to link our Light Rail station with all forms of transportation.  Pedestrian friendly sidewalks and walkways, bike lanes and more.  Most of this is already in our Transportation Master Plan.

 

5) Sound Transit is currently considering two locations for its future Link Light Rail station around 236th Street SW, either at the current I-5 freeway station or further east at the current Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.  According to Sound Transit, the latter station has significantly greater potential for transit oriented development and would increase daily boardings by 1000, but would also cost an estimated $20-30 million more.  Which location do you prefer and why?

 

We would prefer the latter because it is closer to our Town Center and we spend the last 10 years planning for this station in our Town Center Plan.  As the study found, more people will use the light rail if it were located closer. The middle of the freeway is a long ways to go when you are walking to the station from a residence in the Town Center.  We are trying to encourage people to walk to the rail station, not drive to the rail station.

 

6)  Sound Transit is also considering adding a second Mountlake Terrace station at 220th Street SW.  According to Sound Transit, this station has moderate potential for transit oriented development and would add 200 boardings, but would also cost an estimated $30-50 million.  Do you favor or oppose this station and why?

I am in favor of this future station because eventually ridership will justify more stations.  This one on 220th will serve Edmonds and the hundred s of jobs at the Premera campus just down the street.  Funding for this station may not happen for many years, but at least we can have the rail run past there to be ready for the future.

 

Joe Van, Candidate SeaTac City Council Position 6

 

1) What can SeaTac do on a policy level to support the growing Safe Routes to School movement and the many communities that are working to make it safer and easier for kids to walk to school?  How can the city best cooperate with the public school system?

 

We need to work with the school district and the parents and plan the routes accordingly to the neighborhood.   I feel that the people that are writing the policy actually get out there and walk the pavement with the kids and parents so they understand what is going on.

 

2) Suburban cities throughout the Puget Sound region have tremendous pedestrian infrastructure needs such as sidewalks, pathways, and enhanced pedestrian street crossings.  Are you satisfied with your city’s current level of funding for pedestrian improvements, or would you raise or lower it?  If you would like to spend more money on pedestrian infrastructure, how would you accomplish this?

 

I am not very happy with the level of funding with in our city.   I would raise the level of funding to ensure that we have safe paths to schools, community ctrs, stores, and parks.   We need to protect our residents while they are walking.

 

3) Sound Transit has limited funds available to promote rider access to the Link Light Rail system.  Current plans call for spending much of this money on building structured park & ride lots at future station locations, although they also spend some money on new sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities near stations.  Given this tradeoff between Sound Transit spending on parking facilities and pedestrian infrastructure, which is your preferred priority for your city?

 

We have a lot of parking with in our cities. We are considered to have a lot of black top parks (parking facilities).   I would like to see more people walking to and from the light rail, restaurants and hotels.   It makes it more enjoyable to see residents and guests walking around the town.

 

4) What specific actions would you support to improve pedestrian access to future Sound Transit Link Light Rail station at Angle Lake?
(No answer provided.)
5) The future Link Light Rail station at Angle Lake has great potential to encourage the establishment of walkable transit oriented development around the station.  What specific actions would you support to foster this development?
(No answer provided.)

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