Here on Mercer Island, the November election has two City Council Seats and two School Board seats in play. The City Council race is effectively a vote about Island Crest Way. Let’s take a look at that one.
Ira’s extremely targeted campaign platform and the object of said platform.
Why does Election 2009 = Island Crest Way Vote? 2 Reasons.
- Of the three seats at stake, only one (Council Position #2) is contested.
- Of the two candidates for Council Position #2, one (Ira Appleman) has staked his campaign on fighting the decision to take ICW to 3 lanes.
Ira’s positioning is strong because it’s simple and memorable, but it’s a bit of a shame as well because Ira has done a lot in service to the Island that gets lost in his focus on this issue. A lot of his record I support, including preserving open space and cutting wasteful spending.
Road Diet: Pro & Con
But as I’ve written before, I can’t support Ira on this. I support taking ICW to 3 lanes. It’s too hard to turn now, too busy, and too hard to cross. Some citizens have put together a website outlining the reasons for 3 lanes instead of 4. They’ve included a handy map showing neighboring communities that have successfully implemented road diets.
Ira’s main arguments, as I read his letter, seem to me beside the point:
- Overwhelming opposition from Islanders to a 3-lane solution: I haven’t seen this in my friends but also don’t know if a survey has been done.
- A bad process with the result baked in from the beginning: Can’t comment on whether this is true, but having known nothing of the process or the people involved it still seems like a better solution to me.
- Plan favors bikes over cars: Doesn’t seem so. In fact, the case for 3 lanes doesn’t even mention bikes as one of the main rationales:
I both bike and drive to work, but mostly drive. And it’s hard to turn on ICW. I also walk and run around the neighborhood and it’s hard to cross ICW. Look, it’s Seattle– almost no one bikes in the winter rain and cold. So it’s hard to believe that bunch of rabid bike-freaks have taken over the process.
Funny thing is, I would vote for Ira Appleman based on his record. But I can’t vote for the guy who wants to keep Island Crest Way at 4 lanes.