A compromise for the ‘Red Brick Road’

  • By Evan Smith Enterprise forum editor
  • Tuesday, April 14, 2009 7:04pm

Aurora Rents owner Larry Steele has presented a good compromise for preservation of the historic “red brick road” behind his business on the southeast corner of Aurora Avenue North and North 175th Street.

Steele, who will need to rebuild his building after the middle mile of the Aurora Avenue project takes away the front part of his property, wants to buy the portion of the road behind his building from the city so he can make up for the lost space.

To preserve Shoreline’s oldest paved road, Steele has offered to convert the part of it behind his building to a parking lot. This would leave the portion of the historic road behind his building preserved while allowing Steele to rebuild without losing space.

Under the plan, the portion of the road on the south side of the building would remain a city street providing access to the Top Foods store from Aurora Avenue.

The issue was the subject of a hearing Thursday, April 9. After the hearing examiner issues a report, the City Council will make a final decision, probably at its April 27 meeting.

The compromise is a good one — keeping the portion of the road intact while also allowing Steele to rebuild with about the same amount of space that he has now.

The city has proposed a covenant prohibiting alteration or destruction of or construction on the vacated portion of the road. This would keep some future property owner, who may not be as responsible as Steele, from destroying the brick road.

Steele counters that the road may deteriorate and that the preserved portion of the road behind the Walgreens store north of 175th is in much better shape.

I say that no covenant should be allowed without a clause allowing the property owner to end it if the road deteriorates or after a set period of time.

If LFP cuts bike speed, it should also cut car speed

If Lake Forest Park cuts the bicycle speed on the Burke-Gilman Trail to 10 mph, it should make a comparable cut in the automobile speed limit on the city’s major automobile thoroughfares.

If a rider on the trail has to cut his speed from 15 mph to 10 when he crosses from Seattle to Lake Forest Park, shouldn’t a motorist on Bothell Way also have to cut his speed by one-third?

An administrative law judge has given Lake Forest Park the right to impose a lower bicycle speed limit on the portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail through the city than the 15 mph limit on the rest of the trail.

The city has that right, but the proposed 10 mph limit is an example of the kind of restriction that an automobile dominated culture places on cyclists.

The 10 mph bicycle speed limit is unrealistic. Most commuters’ bikes weren’t made to go that slow.

Evan Smith can be reached at entopinion@heraldnet.com.

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