Posted on August 20, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Big changes could be coming to a busy Seattle street. The Department of Transportation says it wants to improve safety around Green Lake, but that could mean fewer traffic lanes.
They're talking about eliminating parking on part of 50th and getting rid of two traffic lanes along Green Lake Way and adding a center turn lane. The change would open up more room for bike lanes on both sides.
While most of the people seem to think traffic is pretty bad in that area and conditions for cyclists can be dangerous; there are different opinions about whether the city’s plan is the right solution.
Tuesday evening, SDOT held its first public meeting to allow people to see the plan and answer questions. The city says its number one priority is trying to make the area safer for everyone. SDOT says its research shows speeding is a problem in the area and one less traffic lane would help with that.
Neighbors like the Forst family say they’ve watched traffic in the area get worse over the last several years.
“I have sat through three light cycles to get out of my driveway,” Alan Forst explained.
While Alan Forst worries about the traffic backing up in front of their home, his wife Sarah likes the idea of a safer ride on her bike.
“When I ride my bike, I won’t go in this bike lane because cars are just zooming right past there,” she said.
Several cyclists expressed support for the plan.
“That's a really good idea, especially this time of the day there's a lot of traffic,” Nelson Bell said.
Neighbor Scott Fitzpatrick wonders if SDOT’s proposal is based on research or rather a city policy.
“The philosophy is to discourage people to drive cars, on the other hand there is no other way to get around here,” he said.
More public meetings will take place throughout the fall. To learn more click here