The Edmonds City Council is meeting on Tuesday, July 28 to consider whether to approve the addition of dedicated bike lanes on Bowdoin Way from 5 Corners to Yost Pool; further down Walnut to 9th Avenue South and from Walnut on 9th Avenue South and 100th Avenue West the entire way to Firdale Village. Knowledgeable sources in the city’s management indicate that the project will remove at least 50% of current on-street parking spaces on 9th/100th Avenue.
My wife and I have recently purchased a home on 9th Avenue South in Edmonds. One of the reasons we selected this property was that it has adequate on-street parking in front of our home. The lot sizes are limited and when we have family and guests at the home, or USPS/Fed Ex/UPS deliveries, there is nowhere else to safely park except on-street. Our driveway is shared with three other homes and there is no unused parking on the properties.
We had to get a City of Edmonds Street Use Permit to park a POD on 9th Avenue when we moved into our home since our driveway is on a slope and provided no flat space for a POD. The side streets surrounding our home are a half a block away and these side streets are on steep slopes with no sidewalks, making street parking on those streets impractical and questionable from a health and safety standpoint. Additionally, restricting on-street parking to one side of 9th/100th Avenue is impractical and unsafe due to the hazard to pedestrians of crossing this busy avenue with limited marked crosswalks. Furthermore, eliminating many areas of the on-street parking on 9th Avenue would diminish property values for the aforementioned reasons, which would in turn negatively impact the city’s property tax revenues.
Ninth/100th Avenue is broad, and the laws of the State of Washington currently provide adequate, safe, legal access for all bikers. It is imprudent and unnecessary to eliminate on-street parking that is convenient for thousands of individual homeowners who live in the City of Edmonds to make it more convenient for the small number of bikers who currently transit 9th/100th Avenue anyway. For the record, we are not opposed to dedicated bike lanes if they do not eliminate on-street parking. Could there be safer options?
We recognize that Sound Transit has given the City of Edmonds a grant to create dedicated bike lanes. We understand the reluctance to forego any grant monies; however, it would not serve the interests of the citizens of Edmonds to eliminate or restrict on-street parking on 9th/100th Avenue and potentially for those residents and visitors in the other areas affected. We understand and appreciate the virtues of “top down” international policies such as U.N. Agenda 2030 and regional planning exercises conducted by entities such as Sound Transit. However, what sounds like great idea from a “top down” theoretical perspective is often untenable in the context of practical, local interests. Well-intentioned “top down” or “regional” policies should be carefully considered in the light of the local landscape before being implemented at the local level. Eliminating portions or restricting on-street parking on 9thAvenue is not a good idea.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, the public is not allowed to legally assemble inside City Hall to show either support or opposition to this proposal. The city council should delay a vote on this project until such time as the people can legally assemble for a full and frank discussion. To do otherwise, could inadvertently lead to an environment of suspicion that this project was “zoomed” through, so to speak, instead of going through a full and frank in-person discussion with all affected citizens.
Thank you for considering our perspective on the matter.
If anyone else would like to have a chance to be heard by Tuesday, July 28, please use one or all these email links:
PublicComment@edmondswa.gov (450-word limit and will be on public record for this topic)
Council@edmondswa.gov (no word limit and goes to all seven councilmembers)
Michael.Nelson@edmondswa.gov (no word limit and goes to our Mayor Mike Nelson)
Andrew and Susan Morgan