175th tests Shoreline’s commitment to bike lanes and tree preservation

Saturday, April 20, 2024

By Oliver Moffat

This is the second article of four covering comments from the city council about Shoreline’s proposed Transportation Improvement Plan that was reviewed on April 15.

A map from the WSDOT crash data portal shows ten years
of fatal and serious injury collisions along 175th 

According to data from WSDOT, in the past ten years, there have been eleven serious injury crashes and one fatal crash along 175th street, making it one of Shoreline’s most dangerous roads.

The transportation improvement plan lists two very different projects for 175th street - one on the east side of I-5 and one on the west.

The proposed safety changes on the east side would put 175th between 5th and 15th on a road diet - narrowing the four-lane road to three while adding bike lanes without widening the road (or removing trees). The east side project is unfunded and could cost an estimated $2.3 million.

The west side projects would widen the road to add more capacity for vehicles, mitigate earthquake risks and make room for shared use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists. The west side portion is partially funded, has a projected cost of over $88 million and will require the removal of 274 trees.

A screen shot shows Council member Annette Ademasu saying, “I would like to see options where we can see reduced width sidewalks”

Councilmember Annette Ademasu told city engineers to provide options with narrower sidewalks. “I would like to see options where we can see reduced width sidewalks and have less impervious surfaces and be able to save more trees and go around trees,“ she said.

Ademasu also indicated she prefers continuing to keep 175th bike-free. “I really like how you’re doing the bike corridors on the slower paced roads because that will help with bike safety,” she said.

Bike lanes on 175th have been part of Shoreline’s Bike Plan since at least 2011 and the new Transportation Element of Shoreline’s Comprehensive Plan envisions protected biked lanes that would be safe enough for children to ride on.

A screen shot shows Council member Keith Scully saying, “what compromises can we make in order to save trees? And the test for me is 175th.”

Councilmember Keith Scully told city staff, “so instead of saying: ‘how wide do we need it to move pedestrians most efficiently? How protected does the bike lane need to be for maximum safety?’… Let’s start by saying what sacrifices can we make, what compromises can we make in order to save trees. And the test for me is 175th.“
An aerial view shows the 175th and Meridian intersection, the location of phase-one of the 175th corridor project and the site where a collapse could be caused by an earthquake 

The 175th project will be completed in phases starting with phase one which includes seismic mitigations and improvements to the intersection of 175th and Meridian Ave.

The city says an earthquake could cause portions of 175th street adjacent to Ronald Bog to collapse and has applied for grants to pay for the mitigations.

Scully and Ademasu worked together to bring the 175th street project back for discussion again at the June 3rd city council meeting.


Anonymous,  April 20, 2024 at 5:54 AM  

Scully's comment rubs me the wrong way. Let me guess, all of those "compromises" will be made by people walking and biking. Drivers will get to keep their 4 lane highway, and everyone else will be stuck walking on a narrow strip on the side of the road or shunted to indirect, hillier routes.

A trip to Trader Joe's shouldn't need to be a death wish. A trip to Trader Joe's shouldn't need to be a marathon. I should be able to bike 10 minutes down the street to get groceries.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2024 at 5:56 AM  

175th is a major arterial. It’s a major route to I-5. Traffic’s always heavy. Why would you reduce it to 3 lanes, unless your goal is to eliminate vehicle traffic? Please update on how our council members travel to meetings.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2024 at 11:43 AM  

Hopefully the road diet portion of the project remains unfunded. Throwing money away on dumb policy is a habit that this City Council needs to kick.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2024 at 12:23 PM  

I'm glad to see that someone is questioning adding bikers and bike lanes to the crowded space of 175th between Aurora and I-5. Seems it should be possible, and safer for everyone, to make a bike path that winds through smaller and less traveled streets. Going uphill bikers will share the sidewalk with pedestrians, baby strollers, wheel chairs etc, and going downhill they will have a bike lane. Doesn't seem like an improvement to me.

Too bad the city planners just gave the Aborist the plans and said "tell us which trees to cut down" instead of considering some of the existing trees as part of the overall design. The plans requires the destruction of 213 significant (larger) trees, and 61 trees with less than a 6" diameter trunk at 4 ft.... some still good sized trees, depending on the species. A total of 274 trees to be cut down, and that's not counting the 95 trees that will be "impacted" by the construction so that they may or may not survive.

Seems that large trees with deep root systems are known to stabilize soil during earthquakes, so there's some irony there.

Anonymous,  April 21, 2024 at 7:57 PM  

“Seems that large trees with deep root systems are known to stabilize soil during earthquakes, so there's some irony there.”

Only if you have no idea what irony means.

Anonymous,  April 21, 2024 at 10:48 PM  

Roads are for cars not bicycles. Place the bike lines on less used roads and avenues. So it takes 10 more minutes to go to Trader Joe’s. Think of it as saving the planet.

Anonymous,  April 22, 2024 at 10:09 AM  

oh please NO MORE 3 lane roads! 175th is a busy street and reducing would cause traffic to go extra slow. Look what happened to 15th Ave NE, more bike lanes that barely gets used.

Just My Opinion April 24, 2024 at 9:01 AM  

City floated reducing the lanes on NE 175th from 5th to 15th several years ago and the community soundly rejected it. I often walk to Safeway along NE 175th and here's a simple idea - enforce the speed limit! Cars pick up speed heading eastbound (downhill from 5th) to 10th, and westbound (downhill) from 15th to 10th. In the summer heading westbound in the afternoon sunshine is blinding. If you can't or won't stop people from driving 40+ miles an hour and running the red light at 10th, make it a roundabout or traffic circle. Ticketing speeders would raise enough revenue to fund multiple road projects.

Anonymous,  April 25, 2024 at 3:15 AM  

The rechannelization of 175th between 5th and 15th isn't planned until after 2030, and the TIP project is only for the preliminary design. With major changes in public transit, transportation in that part of Shoreline will be different in the 2030s than it was in 2019 when this was last considered.

The community should focus on their goals and let the city's engineers implement those goals. One of my goals, which is shared by many other Shoreline residents, is a safe, reliable, and reasonably fast transportation system. The city's engineers have determined that rechannelizing 175th may be a way to work toward that goal and wish to study it further. That is fine.

Anonymous,  May 19, 2024 at 1:18 AM  

I saw 130th aurora to lindon go 2. To lanes up the hill to greenwood and there is quiet a bottle neck there now. Another spot where not working in my opinion.

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