Over in Bellevue, the city just east, and across Lake Washington, from Seattle, they get to watch all the mistakes the Seattle City Council makes.
If you ever visit Seattle for a day, and then head over to Bellevue, you’ll see a tale of two very different cities. If Seattle represents the extremes of liberalism, Bellevue is its conservative half-brother.
Over the past ten years, Seattle bowed down to the pressure of fools and determined that while Seattle’s population is growing at a nearly 3% annual clip (Seattle added 134,000 residents to it’s small 610,000 resident frame in the past eight years), the best move would be to remove a car lane or two from major arterial roads and make them bike lanes.
This has naturally led to unpassable traffic in and around Seattle. But they’re doing it for our own good, you see. The Seattle City Council, against the face of unchecked growth, decided they need to reduce the use of cars to save the environment. So they’ve passed very strict limitations on parking lot capacity and removed essential car lanes.
Not ironically, this move has also resulted in a reduction in bike commuting – despite the population growth! A study from 2017 showed that Seattle bike commuting was at it’s lowest point in the past 10 years. Lost in the article is this point: 2.8% of Seattle commuters rely on a bike. 2.8%!
With 2.8% of the population riding bikes to work, obviously, as a city council, you would recognize the seismic shift and get on building as many bike lanes as possible, right?
Now Bellevue, having watched what Seattle has done to its traffic situation, is proposing to do the same. It’s all under the heading of saving the environment and encouraging bike riders.
But unlike Seattle, Bellevue residents are pushing back. They’ve seen how this movie ends, and they’re not having it. Drive around Bellevue, and you’ll see “Save Our Lanes” signs everywhere with a link to a petition website.
What this is really about is the erosion of the framer’s intent. Our government is supposed to represent us, not dictate to us.
We elect our representatives to go and do what we would do if we were so inclined to dedicate our time to working in government. We don’t vote for people to work against us.
Removing car lanes in a place with population growth is working squarely against the interests of the population. And it’s all done under the pretense that we can’t be trusted. Our elected officials think they need to determine what’s best for us. They’ve decided we’re not capable of governing ourselves.
Sadly, we’ve reinforced this idea by re-electing them year after year. We continue to let these people return to the scene of the crime.
But it looks like once again, Bellevue residents have seen what Seattle has wrought and decided “no way.”
Good work on rising up, Bellevue. And if your city government removes the lanes, get the bums out and put the lanes back.
Government works for us. Not the other way around.