Just a few days after the 15th Avenue W. Transportation Coalition was formed, another group was created to challenge one of the coalition’s stances. Support the Nickerson Street Road Diet is now on Facebook and Google. The man who formed it, Charles Redell, first read about the coalition in this Magnolia Voice article.
The 15th Ave W. Coalition, made up of Magnolia Community Club, the Queen Anne Community Council, and the North Seattle Industrial Association, is worried that the 15th Ave. corridor is being squeezed by big projects. But they’ve also come out against the so called Nickerson Street Diet, saying a plan to eliminate a car lane in each direction of Nickerson while adding a bike lane and bike sharrow is “unacceptable.” Their stance against the road diet got Redell’s attention.
“The fact that Magnolia Community Council wrote a letter against the project in which it claimed to represent 24,000 Magnolia residents got under my skin because I fully support the road diet for Nickerson,” Redell said in an e-mail.
Redell pointed to a recent study the city did on the impact of the Stone Way traffic diet which showed motorists drove at speeds closer to the posted limit, collisions dropped 14%, bike trips increased 35% while collisions per bicycle trip have dropped, and the road still easily accomodates car traffic.
Diana Dearmin, president of the Magnolia Community Club, tells us the Nickerson Street diet is just one of many projects she’s worried about. She says the city is openly promoting Nickerson as the main alternative to West Mercer Way to access the tunnel that will replace the viaduct, and worries about the added traffic being funneled onto a road that’s been put on a diet.
“Our goal is to find a balance. We support people who can take alternative forms of transportation. But for those who don’t ride bikes or the bus there has to be a balance,” said Dearmin.
Dearmin says the 15th Ave. Coalition’s main goal is to find a coordinated, comprehensive approach to protect the corridor from the many competing projects instead of piecemealing it together. The coalition says it may reach out to community clubs and councils in other nearby neighborhoods including Ballard and Fremont.