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City of Seattle

December 11, 1:44 PM click here to comment > 0

A “New” Bicycle Master Plan for Seattle

More and more Seattle residents are choosing to get around on their bicycles. The number of people bicycling to work in Seattle increased 105% from 2000 to 2010. We’re seeing people of all ages, from children to seniors, choose to ride. They should be able to do so safely. In order to improve safety for people using our roads, I sent a newly updated Bicycle Master Plan to City Council on November 27. This was the product of nearly two years of planning and public comment.

This plan represents a significant change in how the City will go about implementing its future bicycle facilities – from a city that prioritized sharrows and bike lanes, to a city that prioritizes protected bike lanes (also known as cycle tracks) and neighborhood greenways, which are accommodating to a much larger segment of people. This “all ages and abilities” network will increase the safety of riders, increase the number of riders, and provide for greater connectivity, equity, and livability in our neighborhoods.

This evening there is a special transportation committee meeting scheduled, where the public can attend and give final comments to City Council. The final plan will likely be adopted early in the new year. If you would like to comment, the meeting begins at 5:30 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.

As I sent the plan to City Council, I also proposed that they set an annual funding goal of $20 million. This is the amount that would be required to implement the plan over the next 20 years, according to the planning-level cost estimate. In recent years, the City has invested between $7 million and $12 million. With potential opportunities for bicycle funding increases in a renewed Bridging the Gap Levy, renewal of the Parks and Green Spaces Levy, a new local funding option approved by the legislature, continued availability of grant funding, as well as an improving economy, $20 million a year is certainly attainable.

Already, Seattle is #1 for West Coast cities for the number of people biking and walking to work. We are one of only five major cities in the nation that have fewer than fifty percent of its population driving alone to work. And, for bicycling, we tie with Washington DC for third in the nation for biking to work, with 4.1%. Seattle Bike Blog has called this plan “quite likely the best bike plan in the nation”. As our new Bicycle Master Plan is implemented, my hope is for Seattle to excel in building a city where it’s easy, safe, and convenient for people to travel by bike and that Seattleites will follow suit.

I’d like to thank all the staff at the Seattle Department of Transportation that worked on creating this plan, especially project manager Kevin O’Neill, the project team of Sara Zora, Chad Lynch, Dawn Schellenberg, Kyle Rowe, and Briana Lovell, as well as Peter Hahn. Thank you also to members of the public who have provided feedback, turned out for public meetings, and supported the plan process.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

November 1, 12:21 PM click here to comment > 2

Mayors of Seattle and Portland bet on outcome of Sounders-Timbers playoff matchup

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales have made a bet on the outcome of the upcoming Western Conference Semifinals series between Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers FC. The terms of the bet are that the mayor whose team loses the series will wear the scarf of the winning team, and send a case of local microbrew to the winning mayor.


“Sounders fans have been looking forward to this for a long time,” said McGinn. “We want an MLS Cup and this year the road to it goes through Portland. Seattle has the best fans in the country and we’re excited to cheer for the Sounders this weekend.”

The Western Conference Semifinals series begins on Saturday, November 2 with Seattle Sounders FC hosting Portland Timbers FC at CenturyLink Field. The teams will play the second leg on November 7 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. According to MLS playoff rules, the team that scores the most goals will advance to the Western Conference Championship.

Posted by: Robert Cruickshank

October 30, 3:47 PM click here to comment > 0

Welcoming the newest members of the Spruce Street School Safety Patrol

Last week I visited the Spruce Street School in the Denny Triangle neighborhood to swear in the newest members of the Safety Patrol –students who help others cross the street safely in and around the school.  The Safety Patrol Pledge:

Place your right hand on your heart and raise your left hand, repeat after me.  I, state your name, promise to do my best to:

  • Report for duty on time
  • Perform my duties faithfully
  • Strive to prevent crashes by always setting a good example myself
  • Obey my teachers and officers of the safety patrol
  • Report dangerous student practices
  • Strive to earn the respect of fellow students

Mayor Spruce Street 02

 

These students pledge to prevent crashes and to lead by example as they look out for each other on streets near their school. After the 22 new members of the Safety Patrol were sworn in, students asked me some great questions including: “Is your job hard?” “Do you get to talk to the President?” and “What do you do with your free time?”

Road safety near schools is one of our top priorities; earlier this year we launched the School Road Safety Initiative, which aims to increase safety through a combination of education, street improvements, encouragement, enforcement, and more.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

October 30, 3:29 PM click here to comment > 0

City launches ‘Neighbors for Road Safety’ program

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced a new “Neighbors for Road Safety” program, which mobilizes Seattle residents to help raise awareness of road safety issues in their communities.Mayor Neighbor Safety 02

Participants who sign up to be a Neighbor for Road Safety will have several resources available to them: educational materials; hard data on neighborhood-specific road safety issues; a neighborhood-specific presentation; a Be Super Safe comic addressing the most common causes for collisions; monthly communications about road safety issues; information on projects happening in peoples’ neighborhoods – including projects that are new facilities people might not be familiar with; and direct access to SDOT’s Community Traffic Liaison to develop strategies to address local needs.

Neighbors for Road Safety was launched as a pilot project earlier this year in South Lake Union. Neighbors there have learned about collisions in their neighborhood, the circumstances that contribute to crashes, and have worked to identify safety improvements for people walking and biking along Denny Way. SDOT is in progress on installing those crossing improvements.

“We hear from neighbors all the time that they want their streets to be safer,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “By working with neighbors throughout Seattle and equipping them with expert knowledge of road safety issues, rules of the road, and projects in their neighborhood, we hope to increase road safety throughout the city.”

“Whether you are a driver like I am, take, the bus, or streetcar, ride a bike, or walk, it’s important that people understand how to look out for each other,” said Mike McQuaid, president of the South Lake Union Community Council. “This program will help us all be more safe.”

Sign-up for the Neighbors for Road Safety program is available at http://www.seattle.gov/beSuperSafe/nfrs/. This program builds on the Road Safety Action Plan and Be Super Safe outreach campaign launched in 2012. Seattle’s long-term vision is to reach zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

October 30, 3:16 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – Connecting neighborhoods with rail

THE READER
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
Click here to receive The Reader via email.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2013

Connecting neighborhoods with rail
Seattle’s Transit Master Plan has been guiding the work at the City level to invest in high capacity transit – transit that is frequent, reliable, and serves a high number of passengers.

Mayor McGinn has worked to accelerate planning for each high capacity route identified in the plan. Additionally, he advocated for partnering with Sound Transit to accelerate study of the Downtown to Ballard rail corridor, which got underway at the end of 2012.

Sound Transit is now in the process of updating their Long Range Plan, and asking the community, “Where should regional high-capacity transit services go next”? A transit package based on options in the updated Long Range Plan could go to voters as early as 2016.

Long range plan corridor studies that are underway include Downtown to Ballard, as mentioned above, Ballard to the University District and beyond, and Downtown to West Seattle and beyond. To support these corridors, or other corridors in Seattle, you can participate through November 25 in any of the following ways:

  • Attend a public meeting Tuesday, Nov. 12, 5:30-8 p.m. Seattle University Campion Ballroom, 914 E. Jefferson St. or Thursday, Nov. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St.
  • Complete a survey at soundtransit.org/LongRangePlan
  • Email: LongRangePlan@soundtransit.org
  • Mail: Sound Transit, Attn: James Irish, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104

Read more about each rail or high capacity route in the city, including corridors that are existing, under construction, or in design and planning.


Neighbors for Road Safety
Mayor McGinn announced a new “Neighbors for Road Safety” program, which mobilizes Seattle residents to help raise awareness of road safety issues in their communities. Participants who sign up to be a Neighbor for Road Safety will have several resources available to them: educational materials; hard data on neighborhood-specific road safety issues; a neighborhood-specific presentation; a Be Super Safe comic addressing the most common causes for collisions; monthly communications about road safety issues; information on projects happening in peoples’ neighborhoods – including projects that are new facilities people might not be familiar with; and direct access to SDOT’s Community Traffic Liaison to develop strategies to address local needs.

Neighbors for Road Safety was launched as a pilot project earlier this year in South Lake Union. Neighbors there have learned about collisions in their neighborhood, the circumstances that contribute to crashes, and have worked to identify safety improvements for people walking and biking along Denny Way. SDOT is in progress on installing those crossing improvements.

“We hear from neighbors all the time that they want their streets to be safer,” said Mayor McGinn. “By working with neighbors throughout Seattle and equipping them with expert knowledge of road safety issues, rules of the road, and projects in their neighborhood, we hope to increase road safety throughout the city.”

“Whether you are a driver like I am, take, the bus, or streetcar, ride a bike, or walk, it’s important that people understand how to look out for each other,” said Mike McQuaid, president of the South Lake Union Community Council. “This program will help us all be more safe.”


Safety Patrol sworn in
Last week Mayor McGinn visited the Spruce Street School in the Denny Triangle neighborhood to swear in the newest members of the Safety Patrol – the students who help others cross safely in and around the school. These students pledge to prevent crashes and to lead by example as they look out for each other on streets near their school. After the 22 new members of the Safety Patrol were sworn in, students had the chance to ask the mayor questions. “Is your job hard?” “Do you get to work with the President?” “What do you do with your free time?” were some of the great questions asked.

Road safety near schools is one of our top priorities; earlier this year we launched the School Road Safety Initiative, which aims to increase safety through a combination of education, street improvements, encouragement, enforcement, and more.


Seattle Parks Legacy Plan public hearing
The Parks Legacy Citizens Advisory Committee (PLPCAC), appointed to consider Seattle Parks and Recreation’s future funding options, invites the community to a public hearing on Thursday, November 7, 2013 starting at 6 p.m. at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Avenue East.

There are 37 Investment Initiatives (funding recommendations) that are proposed for inclusion in a future park funding ballot measure. An initial prioritization of the 37 proposed initiatives has occurred within three subcommittees: Existing Programs and Services, New Programs and Services and Partnerships. The newly prioritized list will be available on the Legacy website on Friday, November 1st.


Upcoming events (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/Engage/access.htm):
Oct 30, 5:30 p.m. – University of Washington Divestment Forum, Miller Hall, room 301

Nov 5, 11:00 a.m. – Arts & Social Change Visioning Summit, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (104 17th Ave S)

Nov 6, 5:30 p.m. – 23rd Ave Corridor Neighborhood Greenway Open House, Nova High School Auditorium (300 20th Ave E)

Nov 7, 6:00 p.m. – Parks Legacy Plan Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting, Miller Community Center (330 19th Ave E)


What we’re reading:
Former Irish President, Climate Justice Advocate Mary Robinson Urges Divestment of Fossil Fuel Firms

My Main Street signs: a barometer of the local economy

How Seattle Transformed Parking Without Spending a Fortune

Study: Seattle is top Twitter trendsetter in the U.S.


To subscribe to The Reader via email, click here.

Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill

October 24, 4:43 PM click here to comment > 3

Gun Free Zone reaches goal of 100 businesses recruited

Today Mayor Mike McGinn and Washington CeaseFire President Ralph Fascitelli gathered at the Big Picture Theatre to announce that over 100 local businesses have signed up to be part of the recently launched Gun Free Zone program.Mayor Ceasefire 02 copy copy

“This program has become a national model for how to change the conversation on gun violence,” said Fascitelli. “We’ve gotten calls from cities, counties and even other states asking for advice on how to implement their own Gun Free Zone programs. With Mayor McGinn’s support, this creative initiative is gaining national momentum and attention.”

Since the Gun Free Zone program launched in late August, businesses have been signing up at a rate of nearly one per day. A full list of businesses can be found at http://www.washingtonceasefire.org/.

“This really shows the strength of our local business community here in Seattle,” said McGinn. “They are standing up together for what they believe in. Thank you to these businesses for partnering with Washington CeaseFire to change the culture of gun violence in our city.”

“We at the Big Picture are proud to partner with the mayor’s office and Washington Ceasefire in reducing gun violence. We believe the Gun Free Zone is an innovative and important front line program for businesses of all types to help stop the violence in our community” said Mark Stern, Co-Founder of the Big Picture Theatre.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

October 24, 1:59 PM click here to comment > 0

Celebrating Food Day

October 24th is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Last year we celebrated Food Day by releasing Seattle’s Food Action Plan, a roadmap that lays out steps for our City to get more healthy food to more Seattle residents, expand opportunities to grow food in the City, and strengthen our local food economy. A year later we’re sharing some of the progress we’ve made in implementing the Food Action Plan.

We added 20 new P-Patch community gardens and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the P-Patch Community Gardening program, a model municipal community gardening program that provides residents with a place to grow their own vegetables and build community with their neighbors.

We’ve expanded the Farm to Table program, a program that brings farm-fresh food from our local farmers to low-income seniors and kids to 13 additional child care and senior meal sites.

We’ve expanded the Fresh Bucks program to all Seattle farmers markets to enable more low- income people to access local healthy food. To date, over 2500 shoppers have participated in this program and I’m pleased to announce that we will be extending the program through December at four year-round farmers markets.

Through our Parks and Recreation Good Food Program, we’re supporting food education at our Community Centers, with eight learning gardens that provide hands-on education to kids, adults, teens, and seniors.  We’re increasing composting at Parks and Community Centers, and we work closely with volunteer orchard stewards to restore and maintain historic orchards on Seattle Parks property.

Through our Trees for Neighborhoods program, we gave away 75 fruit trees to Seattle residents to plant in their yards – helping to meet our urban forestry goals of increasing Seattle’s tree canopy while providing fresh produce to families and providing them opportunities to engage with where their food is grown.

And of course, we can’t have local food without local farms.  That’s why we developed the Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program (LCLIP) for South Lake Union and Downtown which is expected to result in the conservation of approximately 25,000 acres of regional farms and forests through purchase of development rights by developers.

I am committed to continuing to advance Seattle’s goal of getting healthy, affordable, and sustainable food to everyone. Thank you to all our community partners for their hard work to help us move forward.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

October 24, 12:35 PM click here to comment > 2

The Reader – Gun Free Zone reaches goal of 100 businesses recruited

THE READER
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
Click here to receive The Reader via email.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013

Gun Free Zone reaches goal of 100 businesses recruited
Today Mayor McGinn and Washington CeaseFire President Ralph Fascitelli gathered at the Big Picture Theatre to announce that over 100 local businesses have signed up to be part of the recently launched Gun Free Zone program.

“This program has become a national model for how to change the conversation on gun violence,” said Fascitelli. “We’ve gotten calls from cities, counties and even other states asking for advice on how to implement their own Gun Free Zone programs. With Mayor McGinn’s support, this creative initiative is gaining national momentum and attention.”

Since the Gun Free Zone program launched in late August, businesses have been signing up at a rate of nearly one per day. A full list of businesses can be found at gunfreeseattle.org/.

“This really shows the strength of our local business community here in Seattle,” said McGinn. “They are standing up together for what they believe in. Thank you to these businesses for partnering with Washington CeaseFire to change the culture of gun violence in our city.”

“We at the Big Picture are proud to partner with the mayor’s office and Washington Ceasefire in reducing gun violence. We believe the Gun Free Zone is an innovative and important front line program for businesses of all types to help stop the violence in our community” said Mark Stern, Co-Founder of the Big Picture Theatre.


City to invest in upgrades to cultural facilities
Mayor McGinn announced new investments in cultural facilities for Seattle organizations. A total of $250,000 will be distributed to 13 cultural and arts organizations to support projects such as elevator upgrades, seating risers, new stages and electrical systems. An additional $155,000 will be used for upgrades to the historic Moore and Egyptian Theaters.

“These investments will help our cultural institutions remain a vital part of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor McGinn. “Upgrading aging facilities can help these institutions focus on maintaining their programs and bringing arts and culture to the people.”

Councilmember Nick Licata added, “I’m pleased to see the Office of Arts and Culture join the County and the State in addressing these capital needs. By investing in arts-related bricks and mortar, we create sustainable jobs and increase economic activity in Seattle that benefits our entire region.”

The cultural facilities program, piloted in 2012, supports Seattle-based arts, heritage, cultural and arts service organizations with one-time funding for facility renovations or the completion of the final phase of new facilities. After a successful pilot year in 2012 in which $150,000 was distributed, Mayor McGinn and the City Council increased the allocation to $250,000.


Seattle Public Utilities to go carbon neutral by 2015
This week, Mayor McGinn issued an executive order directing Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to work to become carbon neutral by 2015. Seattle City Light has been carbon neutral since 2005, leading the way for our other utilities and agencies.

Our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are critical given the dramatic impacts we can expect from unchecked climate change. It is also important because this type of commitment spurs creativity and innovation as we devise ways to transition towards low-carbon energy sources.


Seattle’s Cedar River Masonry Pool Dam

SPU emits greenhouse gases as part of its delivery of essential utility services. The vast majority of the Utility’s emissions are from the fleet of heavy trucks it operates to service the infrastructure it maintains and from the treatment of water that is delivered to 1.4 million people in the region. To achieve climate neutrality, SPU plans follow the model established by Seattle City Light which achieves neutrality through conservation, renewable energy use and carbon offsets.


Supporting our innovative life sciences sector
Over the past year the mayor’s office, Seattle Fire Department, Department of Planning and Development and the Office of Economic Development have been working with leaders in the life sciences sector to determine how the City can better support the needs of this rapidly growing industry. In our conversations with them, we heard that changes to the City’s Fire and Building Code, as they relate to hazardous materials, would help the industry to grow and further develop in Seattle.

We have worked through the complexities of the code, and thanks to our work together we’ve been successful in adopting changes that will become effective in 2013.


Upcoming events (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/Engage/access.htm):
Oct 24, 6:00 p.m. (5:00 sign up) – City Council Budget Public Hearing, Garfield High School Commons (400 23rd Ave)

Oct 25, 6:15 p.m. – Department of Neighborhoods 25th Anniversary Celebration, Museum of History and Industry (860 Terry Ave N)

Oct 26, 9:00 a.m. – Plant for the Planet Academy Seattle, Jane Addams K-8 School and MLK Elementary

Oct 27, 2:30 p.m. – Maple Leaf Reservoir Celebration, Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (1020 NE 82nd St)


What we’re reading:
Editorial: Center City Initiative has potential to improve downtown safety

Sustainable Seattle: City wants to recycle excess data center energy to heat up buildings

City looks at making up for federal cuts

Mayors Argue To Cut Fossil Fuel Stock, But Skeptic Urges Softer Approach


To subscribe to The Reader via email, click here.

Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill

October 22, 11:15 AM click here to comment > 0

Seattle Public Utilities to go carbon neutral by 2015

Today I issued an executive order directing Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to work to become carbon neutral by 2015.  Seattle City Light has been carbon neutral since 2005, leading the way for our other utilities and agencies.

Our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are critical given the dramatic impacts we can expect from unchecked climate change. It is also important because this type of commitment spurs creativity and innovation as we devise ways to transition towards low-carbon energy sources.

MasPool2

Seattle’s Cedar River Masonry Pool Dam

SPU emits greenhouse gases as part of its delivery of essential utility services. The vast majority of the Utility’s emissions are from the fleet of heavy trucks it operates to service the infrastructure it maintains and from the treatment of water that is delivered to 1.4 million people in the region. To achieve climate neutrality, SPU plans follow the model established by Seattle City Light which achieves neutrality through conservation, renewable energy use and carbon offsets.

Over time, SPU will evaluate opportunities to reduce its energy and fuel use and become more energy efficient, as well as generate and/or purchase renewable energy. In the short term, as SPU evaluates energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities, it will purchase carbon offsets.

At current market prices and 2009 levels of emissions, achieving neutrality through the purchase of offsets would cost an estimated $160,000 per year, assuming roughly 20,000 metric tons of emissions and a market price of $8 a ton. That’s roughly equivalent to taking 4,200 passenger cars (averaging 21.5 miles per gallon and traveling 11,500 miles per year) off the road.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

October 20, 11:45 AM click here to comment > 1

Fair wages and good benefits for grocery workers

I have received notice that due to the failure of management to reach an agreement with grocery workers, there is the potential for a strike on Monday night affecting Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway supermarkets in Seattle.

Grocery workers include Seattleites young and old, from a variety of backgrounds. Many of them are supporting their families with the wages they earn. Grocery workers deserve a fair wage and good benefits that will allow them to share in our prosperity. I hope both sides can quickly reach an agreement that supports these goals.

Now is a good time for Seattle residents to familiarize yourselves with alternative options. I fully intend to honor the picket lines, and hope you will do so as well. If you do not wish to cross a picket line once a strike begins, you can shop at the following union alternatives:

A & J Meats (Queen Anne) 2401 Queen Anne Ave N
Ballard Market – 1400 NW 56th
Bert’s Red Apple (Madison) 1801 – 41st Ave. E
Central Co-Op (Capitol Hill) 1600 E Madison
Central Market (Shoreline) 15505 Westminster Way N
Don & Joe’s Market (Downtown) 85 Pike Place
Hilltop Red Apple (Beacon Hill) 2701 Beacon Ave S
Metropolitan Market (Admiral) 2320 – 42nd Ave. SW
Metropolitan Market (Magnolia) 3830 – 34th Ave. W
Metropolitan Market (Queen Anne) 100 Mercer St
Metropolitan Market (Sand Point) 5250 – 40th Ave. NE
PCC (Fremont) 716 N 34th St
PCC (Greenlake) 7504 Aurora Ave N
PCC (Seward Park) 5041 Wilson Ave S
PCC (View Ridge) 6514 – 40th Ave. NE
PCC (West Seattle) 2749 California Ave. SW
Promenade Red Apple (Central District) 2301 S Jackson St
Saar’s (Rainier) 9000 Rainier Ave. S
Saar’s (White Center) 10616 – 16th Ave. SW
Thriftway (West Seattle) 4201 SW Morgan St
Unified Grocers (South Seattle) 3301 S Norfolk St
Uwajimaya (Int’l District) 519 – 6th Ave. S

Seniors and others who will need prescriptions filled may also wish to transfer their prescriptions to one of the following union alternative pharmacies to ensure you will not have any interruption in your medication:

Ballard Plaza Pharmacy – 1801 NW Market St
Ballard Market – 1400 NW 56th
Bartell’s (all Seattle locations)
Lafferty’s Pharmacy (Ballard) 5312 – 17th Ave NW
Rite Aid (all Seattle locations)
Sand Point Pharmacy – 5400 Sand Point Way NE
White Center Pharmacy – 9601 – 16th Ave SW

Again, I hope both sides can quickly reach an agreement that avoids a strike and offers fair wages and benefits to our grocery workers.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn