Engage the Magnolia Community Regarding Emerson Street Bridge Traffic Revision
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Magnolia has 3 entrance/ exit points for this neighborhood, and until recently, had a total of 6 functional lanes entering and 5 lanes exiting the Magnolia peninsula. With very little public announcement, SDOT implemented a traffic revision on the Emerson Bridge extending east to the intersection of Commodore Way, eliminating a full lane of entrance into the neighborhood!
The goal of this project was to connect bike pathways into Magnolia, but failed to consider that this is one of 3 entrance/ exit points for the entirely of Magnolia and is an essential daily pathway for tens of thousands of Magnolia Residents. The city did outreach to the residences on the arterial feeding this route, but they also failed to extend their outreach beyond their standard adjacent roads, again lacking consideration how this is not a standard intersection in the city of Seattle. SDOT states that they are moving forward with this project, despite requests of local residents to meet and to re-consider the project.
In light of the exceptional traffic back-ups caused by this revision, and the fact that Magnolia's other entrance points - the Magnolia Bridge which has been deemed limited for long-term use, especially if there is an earthquake, and Dravus street which is experiencing exceptional up-zoning, densification and congestion at the intersection at 15th Ave. W- residents of Magnolia and all visitors to this neighborhood need our city to duly consider how to allow appropriate traffic flow into and out of this neighborhood.
There is no other community in Seattle with such limited road access. Magnolia also has many residents under the age of 18 and over the age of 60, which precludes a large majority of our community from being bike commuters. We do have a substantial biclycle-commenting population and we wish for this project to work for all residents of our community. We wish for the City of Seattle and SDOT to engage our community and to develop adequate and proactive plans for traffic routes as the financial security of the 20,000 residents of Magnolia depend on relaible and efficient roads in and out of our community.
Many Magnolia residents have excellent and creative solutions for bridging the needs of the biking and driving residents of this community. If proper community engagement had occurred, we could have had this project roll-out with much greater success. We are hoping to re-evaluate this project with our city leaders and SDOT to find a more tenable solution.
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