Studio KPG continues to work with the Montlake Community Club on the business development project (if you’ve missed what this is about, click here). Studio KPG has completed their analysis of the comments from the community meeting held at the Community Center on July 26. There was overwhelming approval for moving forward with the changes proposed for the business district which included adopting a road diet (fewer traffic lanes), adding street parking and more signage and lighting to make the area safer for pedestrians, and making our business district a destination for visitors to the neighborhood as well as Montlakers.
The watercolor below from Studio KPG shows how the business district would look once the changes are made.
Montlakers can look forward to another meeting in November for the community’s input on the updated plans.
The MCC will also be forming a public arts committee to organize the addition of public art in our business district. The committee will establish guidelines and location sites and manage the acquisition process. Keep reading the Montlake Flyer for updates on these exciting changes for our neighborhood.
These traffic issues that many of you are mentioning (long back ups and reckless side street cutting) aren’t potential side effects of a road diet, they already exist! I agree its a big problem and a safety concern and its needs to be addressed but it shouldn’t keep us from supporting and improving our business district. We can’t change that 24th is a main arterial used by many Seattlites, but we can still choose to prioritize our local community. Adding trees and more gracious sidewalks to our business district supports walking, biking, public transportation, and, hopefully, will make Montlakers and Montlake visitors want to linger and support our neighborhood businesses.
Dolores Mirabella says
I agree with the objections to the so-called “road diet.” This is not some sleepy little village Main St. we’re talking about. It’s a major, congested arterial with ridiculous back-ups always at rush hour, whenever the bridge goes up, and at other random times during the day. Does anyone really think that this plan is appropriate for this area? The idea of strolling through this “charming little business district” while breathing in exhaust fumes and watching traffic streaming by or, more likely, stopped dead is simply absurd. Furthermore, traffic will be pushed to the side streets to a greater degree than it is now. What’s needed is a way to mitigate the back-ups, not exacerbate them. Get real, everybody. And while I’m at it, bring back the #43 bus full time so I don’t have to drive to 19th to get a direct bus to and from downtown. #totallyfrustrated
Marianne Pettijohn says
I share the concerns voiced by other neighbors about driving more traffic to the side streets, due to increased backups on 24th. At rush hour, the number of cars using 22nd as a bypass is already high. Many of these cars are driving too fast on 22nd. I don’t think the road diet will benefit Montlake residents.
Alan Weiner says
A pretty little watercolor of our current business district is not an argument for a pretty little business district at any cost. Constricting a major arterial like Montlake Boulevard from 4 lanes to 2 will not reduce traffic; it will simply drive the excess traffic into nearby Montlake streets, further endangering residents, school children, and the quiet neighborhood feeling. We already have terrible traffic jams backing up from the 520 intersection, and cars are already zipping both ways on 22nd Avenue although it is nominally now a greenway with “sleeping policemen”. In the plan favored by Studio KPG and the Montlake Community Club, arterial traffic will shape the future of Montlake, and preservation or expansion of our “business district” will become even more unlikely… defeating the very goal the plan was designed to achieve.
Scott H says
I’m afraid I agree with most of the above comments. We live off of 22nd, and I’m seeing more and more cut-throughs even with the new (shallow) speed bumps.
23rd/24th has always been an arterial — a major urban throughway. There seem to have been a number of efforts over the last couple of years (at least) to make it something else. But honestly, I don’t see why it should not function as a throughway. I live here, but I also drive 23rd/24th. I count on it to be drivable, not pretty. Our sidestreets, those can and should be pretty, quiet, and safe. Arterial throughways? Not so much!
Melissa K. White says
How do we find out when/where the November meeting is?
Julie Branson says
Although very pretty, terrible idea to change down to 2 lanes. What about the side streets, where is the plan to fix the east side of 24th? We have tried for years to get 2 stop signs on E. Miller Street between 24th and Lake Washington Blvd. This portion of E. Miller is very dangerous to the residents, pedestrians and cyclists. E. Miller Street is used by motorists who are impatient, want to get around the main arterial stop lights, traffic backups and to the back gate of Broadmoor. The residents on E. Miller have tried for many years to receive help in slowing down our cut-through street. I have been here for 17 years and nothing has been done.
It’s hard to get on board with the “pretty rendition” of the business district, when we have a serious issue on our side streets.
Tera Schreiber says
I am also not sure that lane reduction makes sense. Pushing volume onto side streets seems to be asking for more trouble and backing up traffic further will also not help our neighborhood or commuters moving through. Is there any data to demonstrate that this kind of “diet” would actually be positive in any way?
Great question. While limited, page 8 of presentation shares some benefits. Page 1 presents goals, such as creating safe passages to schools, park & other areas within Montlake.
Tera Schreiber says
Thank you! I see that this does not address the other concerns raised, including traffic volume/backup and use of side-streets by frustrated drivers. With such very narrow streets in Montlake, I cannot imagine that the overall safety of the neighborhood would be improved without some way to protect those side streets from increased volume and too-high speeds. I have been nearly plowed down by drivers shortcutting through my street and ignoring the need to slow down and yield at unmarked intersections many times. Visibility is too poor for the speeds that most who commute through our neighborhood use. Speed enforcement on 23rd could also help with some of the safety issues raised for that area as well.
Paul Freiburger says
Reducing the number of lanes is the dumbest idea. Totally idiotic. The traffic already backs up 5 – 15 blocks at rush hour, and will get exponentially worse. Reducing from 4 lanes to 2 lanes will more than double the back-up (basic fluid dynamics). Frustrated drivers will leave Montlake and go barrelling down side streets like 25th, which has many more pedestrians and no controlled intersections. Not to mention many children playing in their yards. This is already happening any day at rush hour. Just hang out on 25th to see what I mean. This lane reduction will put more people at risk and is far more dangerous than the current situation. Just stupid. Who thinks this is a good idea? The solution should be to force traffic onto the main arterial and then un-impede the flow on the main arterial. Put in pedestrian overpasses, etc. You are proposing the exact opposite. Unbelievably stupid. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Melissa K. White says
This is especially a dumb idea once the Arboretum on-ramp to 520 goes away. All those cars that now go through the Arboretum will be on 24th. It’s the only option.
Road diets redirect traffic to other streets, but there are no other streets to get to the Montlake Bridge or 520. This will just cause the traffic to back up and fill the side streets as well.
Has a final decision been made on a “Road Diet”? This “Diet” will not reduce the number of cars passing through our neighborhood. Only push them on to side streets. Tonight at six, I watched several cars pull out of traffic by the dry cleaners to bypass the 8 blocks of backed up traffic. Traffic was light tonight. It is often backed up for miles up 23rd. I would much rather have commutes on the made road than speeding down side streets.