Public safety still not addressed on Aurora

In the article on Aurora [Avenue North] published on Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 (Groups Push for Public Safety on Aurora), there is some misinformation that needs to be addressed.

This association has filed an appeal of the Declaration of Non-Signifcance (DNS) published by the Seattle Department of Transporttion (SDOT) simply because, after working with SDOT for more than two years, it has become apparent that SDOT has not listened to our concerns.

The DNS, as filed by SDOT, shows 12-foot sidewalks, 13-foot bus lanes, two general-purpose lanes and an 11-foot median down the entire roadway between [North] 110th and 145th [streets], with four possible turning areas besides the existing signalized intersections.

The 8.5-foot sidewalks/amenity zones, the 11-foot-wide general-purpose lanes and the 10-foot median is not in the plan as filed and which received a DNS!

What this means to the 145 businesss along Aurora Avenue between [North] 100th and 145th [streets] - 117 of which have no "back entrances" for their product deliveries - is that both commuter and truck traffic are being moved out onto the surrounding neighborhood streets with no provisions to provide sidewalks or even walking paths. This is simply not acceptable!

This association is not and has not been against improvements to Aurora Avenue. However, those same improvements need to consider the needs of businesses and the needs of residents whose neighborhood streets are not designed to handle huge increases in traffic.

SDOT has made no effort to include any sidewalk improvements along or to adjoining neighborhood streets. One example is that, along Linden Avenue [North], the increased permitting and construction of multifamily units has resulted in difficulties for pedestrians to walk on their neighborhood street.

Add our truck traffic and some of our commuter traffic to that mix, and you are creating an unsafe condition for pedestrians.

Additionally, the plan does not include a traffic light at [North] 143rd [Street] as we have repeatedly requested, thereby not allowing any way for pedestrians to cross Aurora between [North] 135th and 145th [streets].

While a median down the entire roadway may look "nice," it does not promote pedestrian safety when there is no way to cross the street. Nor does it promote public safety when commuter traffic, customer traffic and our truck traffic is re-routed out to neighborhood streets.

The plan as presented and which received a DNS is not good for this city or the residents and businesses along Aurora Avenue.

Faye M. Garneau
Executive Director
Aurora Avenue Merchants Association

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