Results from a city survey show there’s a small majority of people in favor of removing on-street parking for bike lanes on Madison Street in Everett.
Just under 2 miles of the road are set for a pavement project next summer. It’ll require grinding the road and replacing the asphalt, which also means restriping the roadway.
It’s an opportunity to redo how the space, almost 50 feet from curb to curb, is allocated. Currently there are dual parking lanes that are 7 feet wide east of Evergreen Way, and one such parking lane west of Evergreen.
The city could swap the parking from the entire 1.7-mile stretch for bike lanes in both directions that are 5 feet wide with 2.5 feet of painted buffer from vehicle lanes. It’s not enough room for two cyclists next to each other, but leaves with space for a solo pedaler to dodge debris on the pavement.
In early spring Everett staff ran an online questionnaire and sent out doorhangers and postcards to 1,400 businesses and residences along Madison Street. The survey asked how people felt about making biking safer on Madison, removing on-street parking and using buffered bike lanes.
It got 512 responses. Of that total, 455 said they lived in Everett.
Most supported making Madison more comfortable and safer for biking. Of those 246 responses, most lived and worked Everett.
But a majority of those who live on Madison or use it at least weekly said they didn’t agree with that goal.
Over 120 members of Fleet Reserve Association Branch 170, a veterans group at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Madison Street, signed a petition opposing the bike lanes. They worry about losing public parking, especially for some of the members with disabilities, Rich Deditius said.
“We feel we’re kind of at stake,” he said.
Katie Langner asked the Everett City Council during public comment at its June 1 meeting to keep the on-street parking. As foster parents, she and her wife rely on it for required visits to their home that has a “barely” two-car driveway.
“We don’t want to move,” Langner said. “We want to stay where we are.”
The split between support and opposition in the survey’s responses got tighter when asked about the segment west of Evergreen Way. The “yes” bloc only led by three responses, but of those who said they live on Madison, 43 opposed removing parking to the 16 in favor of it.
That gap grew for those who said they use Madison at least weekly, with 205 opposing and 142 supporting the removal of parking.
Use of buffered bike lanes was even closer, with only two responses giving “yes” and edge.
The Madison Street bike corridor would connect with the Interurban Trail near Commercial Avenue, leading riders and walkers toward downtown Everett and as far south as Seattle.
Eventually it could link with new bike lanes at Sievers Duecy Boulevard and 75th Street SW. Both lead to Boeing and the Paine Field area where tens of thousands of people work.
Getting people out of personal vehicles, especially those fueled by gasoline, is a goal in Everett’s Climate Action Plan adopted in 2019. The city’s highest priority in that section was implementing its “Complete Streets” policy that requires new land-use and transportation projects to incorporate bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure.
Everett staff are working on a traffic study for the corridor and project alternatives. The city council could have a staff recommendation by the end of this year or early next year.
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