After reading the Seattle Times article on Mayor Nickels proposal to use millions of dollars on the Mercer Street Project and to improve the Spokane Street viaduct connection to West Seattle (where the mayor lives), I got to wondering how all the millions of dollars we approved in the Bridging the Gap levy were used.
Here’s a link to the report. Apparently, the CD got a new stop light in front of Garfield High School. No new bike lanes, sidewalk repairs, turn signals, transit shelters, or pedestrian improvements were needed in the CD. If you disagree, you may want to contact the Bridging the Gap folks and let them know we’d like to see a little money spent in our neighborhood. They are currently finalizing the 2009/10 workplan and will post it online at the end of January.
The report lists the Point of Contact as:
Bridging the Gap Community Outreach Advisor
Update (1/21/09): The Neighborhood Street Fund Application went live on the City’s website yesterday. Anyone can suggest improvements. See the web site for more details.
Update (1/27/09): Ted Devina, City of Seattle Neighborhood Outreach, provideda more detailed map of BTG projects in the CD.
The Mayor is not the only person to use the Spokane Street viaduct, but your parenthetical comment (i.e. ‘where the mayor lives’) comes across as snide. The SS Viaduct is a narrow bridge used by industrial and semi-trucks to access the port, not to mention the THOUSANDS of people that use it to get to SODO for games, business, ferries, etc., and the thousands more that live in West Seattle besides Nickels. So – yeah, it is a priority.
by Clark that people voted for the Bridging the Gap with the expectation that it would fix the Mercer Mess. Hunh? First of all, that expectation was to improve traffic flows, not to beautify it and slow traffic down so people would stop at all the new shoppes and restaurants that will be built.
Secondly, there is a safety fix proposed years ago for the left onto Eastlake, but that would take some privately owned land away from someone.
Thirdly, I go through there quite a bit and it’s really just dandy compared to many other congestion areas. Actually, flows pretty nicely most of the time.
Finally, who cares about auto traffic on Mercer if you are trying to ride your bicycle down MLK in the CD? Who cares about Mercer when you are trying to cross the street and there is no crosswalk painted?
P.S. If you actually look at what Obama is saying about where he thinks money should be spent to create jobs, besides infrastructure, it’s targetted at SCHOOLS and GREEN job creation. So far Seattle has Mercer and two state planned projects that happen to be located here. How about our government get with the program and get some things in the queue like rehabbing the schools and programs that support small green business development like help for homeowners to green up, get solar panels and capture/redirect storm water?
I expect you will see quite a bit of “greening up” in the city in the next few years. Even prior to the Obama win, City Light was given a rather large sum from the feds to push conservation – which we already do – so things should get really interesting in that area soon. That should created plenty of work for the smaller businesses that interact with the utility on issues of energy efficiency and customer generation.
On a related note, I read in the Business Journal that a private company is doing a survey of every rooftop in town, with an eye to its solar potential. The article didn’t say what they were going to do with it, but I hope it will be shared with the solar installers for marketing purposes, or the individual homeowners.
While residential solar is not *yet* a break-even proposal, it is getting there. The trick is to remember that energy efficiency and energy conservation must be part of the equation. If you put in a solar array, and then load you house down with energy sucking TV’s and inefficient refrigeration, you’re not going to see your meter spin backward anytime soon.
Great ideas! Why don’t you and others who want a green CD join us. By us I mean the Sustainable CD group. We meet next on Jan. 21st. We will be posting a meeting notice soon.
I coordinate the Green Infrastructure group and we are looking for interested people and project ideas.
Well, snide can also be pointed. Let’s try to think of five things the Mayor has done for the CD. Hmmm…I can’t think of any. Could just be me not noticing things. Anyone else…?
What’s ‘snide’ about drawing attention to the fact that our neighborhood gets next to nothing, while other parts of Seattle get most of the funds? I bet if the Mayor lived in the CD our share of the funds would be much larger.
Just to add, I am slightly resentful of being taxed to make improvements that augment Paul Allen and other downtown developers. I would prefer a more even spreading of the wealth. If I am going to be taxed, I would like to see that money go into my neighborhood to improve the quality of life, and value of my local area. I am not too worried that South Lake Union will get what it needs, but what about the more underserved areas? I do agree that if Mayor McCheese lived in the CD it would be a different story.
Just to add, it seems that a lot of voter approved initiatives get quietly re-allocated to other projects. It is no surprise that funds for a Mercer Street improvement would be miraculously re-allocated to some other project, like a Spokane Street viaduct. “I am shocked, shocked, shocked” to see the mayor changing tact and doing what he wants in the end. Just look at the Alaskan Way viaduct as an example.