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Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

Past Minutes of the Board

SEATTLE PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY BOARD MINUTES

12 September, 2001 6:15 - 8:15 PM

Minutes taken by John Coney

Board members present: Michael Ingram (Chair), Suzanne Anderson, Ethan Bacon, Pam Clark, John Coney, Mark Schultz, Drew Robinson

Board members absent (excused): Mark Gardner, Lester Goldstein, Charles Smith

Others present: Megan Hoyt (SeaTran), Lois Laughlin (LWV Friend of SPAB), Tom Crews

1. AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA

(No action)

2. INTRODUCTIONS

Ethan Bacon is the new youth member of SPAB.

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS/REPORT

Tom Bertulis, Chair. of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board is pleased to invite SBAB members to a potluck at 2001 (not a misprint) 43rd Ave. East on Sunday 10/7.at 1:00 PM.

Chair. Michael Ingram announced that New Letterhead is being prepared. It will be an official City of Seattle letterhead made specific to SPAB.

4. TRANS LAKE WASHINGTON ALTERNATIVES FOR EIS

Ingram explained that the Trans Lake Washington SR520 project has identified 8 alternatives. Eight is too many alternatives for the EIS process. The Board examined the descriptions of the alternatives provided by the Trans Lake Washington staff.

The next step in the Trans Lake Washington planning process is to choose which of the eight alternatives should be carried forward for full evaluation in an environmental analysis (EIS).

Coney explained that a concomitant decision by the TLW planners will be to designate whether SR520 or I-90 will carry mass transit. TLW staff define mass transit as rail or guideway transit in their SR520 alternatives.

It was agreed that board action will be taken to make a recommendation as to whether any of the alternatives should or should not be included. in the EIS analysis. The recommendation will be transmitted to the Mayor and to the City Council via the Council Transportation Committee.

Board discussion took place. Coney and Ingram explained: An obvious factor for Seattle city government to consider is how mass transit will be carried across Lake Washington.

Alternatives 5 and 6 for SR520 provide for rail or guideway mass transit. The Trans-Lake Study has proposed a light rail tunnel across the University District and Wallingford, under Queen Anne Hill, with a portal on the hill's south slope and proceeding via Westlake to Downtown on Fairview. This rail ;corridor does not connect to the Sound Transit Light Rail proposed north/south routes in Capitol Hill or South Lake Union/Eastlake.

A rail crossing on I-90 is more viable for eastside connections and Seattle connections for mass transit utilizing the Metro Bus Tunnel.

Therefore SR520 alternatives for rail/guideway mass transit do not seem likely to be adopted.

Alternatives 7 and 3 could emphasize bus transit. Alternative 3 allows better bus transit. 3 adds one HOV lane in each direction.

Pam Clark: Alternative 3 is best because it adds the least amount of vehicles, and, like all the alternatives, adds pedestrian facilities. Ingram: Ten foot wide walkways would be the minimum acceptable width.

Coney reminded the Board of the proposal to create an eastside bus terminal at MOHAI site.

The Board discussed SR520 vehicle increase impact on pedestrian intersection crossing facilities at Fairview/Eastlake, Valley/Fairview, Valley/Westlake, and Fairview/Mercer.

Laughlin told the Board that Montlake Bridge is next in line for replacement. A tunnel under the Montlake Cut is a solution to the north/south traffic congestion across the Cut.

Clark called attention to the Fairview/Eastlake intersection pedestrian environment deterioration.

Coney explained city's reduction of funding for transportation improvements in South Lake Union according to that neighborhood's plan.

Clark stated that Eastlake would become a tunnel corridor with SR520 traffic that would deteriorate the neighborhood atmosphere.

Ingram recommends that the Board endorse SR520 alternative(s) that will improve pedestrian capacity, transit capacity, and minimize motor vehicle increase that will deteriorate pedestrian environments in Seattle's neighborhoods. Ingram proposed that the SPAB position could be to oppose added general purpose lanes on SR520 rather than endorse any particular alternative proposed to date.

Crews stated that added lanes are necessary. Ingram pointed out that HOV lanes do have the effect of adding capacity. Other alignments for 520 could jam up I-405 and I-5.

Bacon pointed out that HOV lanes on 520 work well and are still limited to three persons in a vehicle.

Alternative 3 is most in line with Seattle's best interests.

Clark proposed that SPAB recommend to the Mayor and Council that Seattle city government advocate for alternative 3, because it does not increase general purpose motor vehicle traffic capacity and adds HOV capacity while placing rail mass transit on I-90. Rail transit on I-90 is better for Seattle since rail transit on SR520 can't be integrated with phase one Link Light Rail or the bus tunnel. Clark noted in support of the motion that increased general purpose capacity is to be opposed because of its impact on Seattle arterials and neighborhoods. SPAB recommends attention to pedestrian connections from SR520 in the Montlake, U-District, Portage Bay, Roanoke, and other Seattle neighborhoods.

The above motion was made by Drew Robinson, seconded by Clark. Motion adopted. The motion will be sent to mayor and council. Megan Hoyt (SeaTran aide to SPAB, and Daryl Grigsby (Dir. of SeaTran.) Coney will draft the letter and e-mail to Ingram who will place it on SeaTran letterhead with SPAB heading.

5. SPAB's SIX STEPS TO A MORE WALKABLE SEATTLE

Ingram took notes on language revisions to this statement of mission and goals for SPAB. He will present the revised statement to the Board at the next meeting.

6. Future meetings were proposed:

- Seattle street use staff to discuss proper placement of items on sidewalks.
- SR 520 bike/ped connections with WSDOT speaker.
- Presentation of solutions recommended by Weinstein Copeland Architects for reductions in traffic/train conflicts in the North Elliot Bay Waterfront, Alaskan Way between Broad and Wall Streets.

Meeting adjourned.