Plan for bike lanes on Roosevelt Way angers some residents

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by LORI MATSUKAWA / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 28 at 8:00 PM

SEATTLE -- The City of Seattle's plan to connect Northgate with the University Bridge with bike lanes along Roosevelt Way is causing some residents to worry about vanishing street parking.

Don Williams' family has lived in the Maple Leaf neighborhood for 87 years, before he says, Roosevelt Way was called Roosevelt Way.

"It was known as 10th Avenue back then,"  he said.

He's watched as the City doubled the size of Maple Leaf Park by building a lidded reservoir at 85th and Roosevelt.  He says he's not anti-park.

"I'm not even anti-bicycle," the retired resident said. "It's just that taking the parking away from a greatly expanded park is lunacy!  I think they should give us a compromise, not just by fiat take away all our parking and say 'What are you going to do about it?'"

Under the city's plan, two bike lanes will be installed along Roosevelt Way NE between 75th and 85th, connecting to bike lanes in Northgate and on the University Bridge. There's already no parking on the west side of Roosevelt. The extra lanes will eliminate 13 spaces on the east side.  Williams says that will force motorists to park on residential side streets.

Some park users are sympathetic to William's cause.

"I don't want Maple Leaf to become Capitol Hill," said Lisa Behrens. "People should be able to come home from work  and park their car instead of circling the block to park your own vehicle."

Others are less concerned.

"I don't think parking's going to be a gigantic impact," said Richard Grassy. "A lot of people walk and bike to the park as it is."

Even Williams feels he may be fighting a losing battle. But he won't give up without first giving the City a piece of his mind.

"At least slow the City down and not rule by fiat. City Council, Mayor, take a second look."

The City of Seattle held an Open House Tuesday August 28 at the Northgate Community Center. City planners say they might consider putting parking if necessary within the expanded park when it's completed next summer.

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