Green Lake Community Council Concerns Shared by CM Dan Strauss in Meeting with Mayor Durkin
Dear Green Lake Community Council members,
Thank you for the opportunity to come before you on Wednesday to hear your feedback on the West Green Lake Way North closure, and defining your asks of me. I am following up today because there was a specific ask that I speak to Mayor Durkan about West Green Lake Way North. I followed through and spoke to her yesterday about my perspective. I was clear that we need to have a two-way protected bike lane on the lake side of the road, and to re-open two way traffic between 63rd and East Green Lake Way North.
What I found is that the Mayor and I have very different views on the future of this street and that she is still receiving information before making a final decision. The Mayor expressed to me her personal desire to connect Woodland Park with Green Lake and I reiterated my position to her, that we need a two-way protected bike lane on the lake side of the road with West Green Lake Way being open to traffic. SDOT has not yet provided a formal briefing to her of the different channelization options for the street. It is important that if you advocate for your position regarding West Green Lake Way North, you do so in a positive manner that contributes to the conversation.
The Mayor offered to do a driving/walking tour with me to better understand the impact. I am unsure of her awareness of the impacts to the West Green Lake and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods between the Zoo and 73rd have absorbed: increased commute times, higher traffic volumes, lack of access to the boat launch, and limited access to the park due to loss of parking and restrictions.
Information I presented Wednesday from my conversations with the SDOT Director and others in the city remains the same and I do not feel like department staff tried to mislead me. This situation demonstrates the chain of command where all departments report to the Mayor. If the Mayor wants an outcome, her Department Directors are required to carry out that outcome – even if your district Councilmember or the entire City Council disagrees with that direction.
It is important for the Mayor to hear from you on the difference between weekday use and weekend use of West Green Lake Way North. During the week this is a critical commuting connection between the North and South of the lake, with an 11,100 average weekday traffic count as of 2018. If you are open to closing the street on the weekends, I believe it will assist your message being received by the Mayor.
My position has not changed since I met with you and I believe the solution that needs to be implemented today is:
• Two-way protected bike lane on the lake side of West Green Lake Way North
• Two-Way traffic between 63rd and East Green Lake Way North
• Temporary full closures of the street on weekends or during special events
• Long term planning to add sidewalks to this street
My team and I will keep you updated on the conversations and meetings we have regarding West Green Lake Way North. Each week I add my video from Council Briefing to my website and every week for the past three months I have provided updates on West Green Lake Way North during these videos – if you want to stay up to date on what is happening, take a look at the videos at your convenience.
Thank you again for allowing me to join you at your meeting this week.