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Bicycles at Westlake
"How can you give priority to bicycles if you don't give priority to attendant facilities for bicycles and bicyclists?" March 30, 1977
Councilmember Tim Hill questions Department of Community Development staff member Bill Stalzer during a March 30, 1977, Parks and Public Grounds Committee meeting. City Council was discussing a proposed underground parking garage at Westlake. City Council passed a comprehensive parking plan relating to the Westlake Project in 1977 with Resolution 24957. Randy Revelle and Tim Hill were strong supporters of bicycles as transportation. Air quality and standards being set by the EPA were also important items of consideration at the time. Many of these issues, such as parking and air quality, were reflected in the report of Seattle 2000, a commission created to establish goals for the City for the year 2000. Councilmember Hill's questions to Bill Stalzer reflect his commitment to all of these issues: the goals of Seattle 2000, the parking plan and parking policies developed by Council, and improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Listen to this audio clip from the committee meeting:
Councilmember Hill: Now that Mr. Revelle has come in, I have a question I just cannot resist asking... In the parking resolution that we adopted, I'd like to read a portion if I might.
Councilmember Miller: Yes.
Councilmember Hill: "The planning, management and operation of public parking facilities shall comply with adopted City policies, including these downtown parking policies: These facilities shall be managed and operated so as to give preference in accordance with the following priorities: a) bicycles (and then there are several listed...)
Councilmember Revelle: Registered or unregistered.
Councilmember Hill: Mr. Stalzer, how are bicycles accommodated in this parking facility?
Bill Stalzer: While we don't have detailed design drawings for the parking garage, or for any other elements of the project for that matter, in terms of the detail, because of the resolution passed by the Council and because of the State law providing particularly for space for the disabled persons vehicles, obviously there will be a space for bicycles vehicles for the disabled.
Councilmember Hill: Do anticipate that there might be lockers and perhaps even facilities for people who might want to come downtown to shop, changing facilities, do you think those might be considered in planning this garage?
Bill Stalzer: Councilman Hill, I doubt that there will be changing facilities for people who come downtown in the garage itself, although again none of the specific design elements have been…
Chair, Councilmember Miller: Did that answer your question?
Councilmember Hill: How can you give priority to bicycles if you don't provide the attendant facilities to bicycles and bicyclists?
Bill Stalzer: for bicycles? I think we'll just provide spaces for bicycles to park. I think there will be public restroom facilities in the project area.
Councilmember Hill: Normally those are provided motorists. Would you be willing to consider and investigate the possibility of providing facilities for bicyclists?
Bill Stalzer: Certainly.
Councilmember Revelle: I thought he was committing to providing.
Councilmember Hill: Well ok, would you be willing to commit to providing?
Bill Stalzer: Facilities for bicyclists?
[Exchange with Sam Smith and Randy Revelle]
Mr. Stalzer we have a parking policy this full council has adopted by resolution and it does include that we are going to provide space for vehicles carrying disabled persons, we are going to seek to encourage short-time parking, we want carpools to come to downtown, and long term parking. And I am not suggesting each and every one of these priorities has to provide parking to the exclusion of other kinds of parking but they should at least be considered. But I want to know what are you going to do for bicyclists? Since it is a priority category in our downtown plan.
Bill Stalzer: As I said, I am sure there will be spaces for bicycles. We can certainly consider other facilities.
Councilmember Hill: Will that include lockers? Many people are afraid to bring their bikes downtown because if they put them on a rack they get stolen or equipment is taken off of them. Many places are now putting in lockers.
Bill Stallzer: Again, we will consider other facilities for bicycles when we get down to design. I will refer to Councilmember Revelle in the attempt of putting facilities for bicyclists there.
Councilmember Miller, Chair: Did that finish your question?
Citation: Parks and Public Grounds Committee meeting, March 30, 1977. Event ID 3966, Seattle City Council Legislative Department Audio Recordings, 4601-03.