Downtown Seattle: Basic Bike Network voices needed at the One Center City table
One Center City planning is underway
Seattle is changing — and fast. With all the projects, plans and processes, it can be hard to keep track of it all. The One Center City (OCC) plan, however, is one you should have your eye on. It s a cornerstone for how transportation to, from and within the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods will take shape — both in the long-term, and even the next couple years.
One Center City is a partnership between the city of Seattle, Sound Transit, King County and the Downtown Seattle Association. In addition to bringing these agencies together, OCC has formed an Advisory Group with dozens of individuals from varying stakeholder groups, including Cascade.
The Advisory Group and agency teams spent the last several months developing guiding principles for their work. Since developing those principles, the OCC project team released a set of more tangible strategies for improving how people move within downtown — and they’re on a tight timeline. Agencies want to implement the near-term strategies by fall of 2018, when buses are scheduled to come out of the transit tunnel and onto downtown streets.
There is a lot packed into these strategies, but we know one thing for sure: Bicycles (and the people who ride them!) are an integral part of the solution.
OCC near-term strategies must help build the Basic Bike Network
A key part of the OCC process is looking at all modes holistically; and we agree that elevating biking, walking and transit with the goal of moving people is essential. However, advocates know that in order to maximize the potential of bikes as a transportation option, we must build a Basic Bike Network so people of all ages and abilities can feel safe and comfortable getting to where they need to go.
As such, we’re pretty excited by nearly all of the near-term strategies put forth by OCC. They propose building out a needed north/south connection on Fourth and/or Fifth Avenue, plus the long-awaited east/west connection on the Pike/Pine corridor. (There is only one completely unacceptable option, “Option C,” which eliminates the Fourth Avenue bike lane and does not offer an alternative.)
As you can see, there is a lot to digest. However, it’s paramount that people who bike learn more and weigh in!
Here are three simple ways you can weigh in on One Center City:
- Attend a special OCC + bikes happy hour with SDOT Director Scott Kubly and OCC staff.
- Read through and comment on OCC’s online open house — Be sure to take notes and fill out a comment at the end.
- Send a comment letter to the OCC team.
Another way to engage: Help secure funding for Pike/Pine and other community benefits
The push to break ground on OCC strategies is closely tied with the Washington State Convention Center Addition project. This $1.6-billion project will be the largest real estate development in Seattle’s history. Cascade is working with partner groups to request a Community Package of public benefits related to the Addition project. To learn more and to help with this effort, please check out “The Convention Center should offer major community investments” over at The Urbanist.