Morning Fizz: Separate Signals
Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring Jolts!, Likes!, and resignations.
1. It hasn't been a good week for the American Federation of Teachers and Service Employees International Union 925's joint preschool measure, which is on this November's city ballot as an alternative to the mayor and council's pre-school measure. (The city's measure, paid for by property taxes, buys pre-kindergarten slots for lower-income kids. The SEIU/AFT measure, which isn't funded, sets up training for pre-school instructors and mandates pay increases for pre-school workers.)
Last Friday, the King County Superior Court ruled against the unions' appeal to have voters consider the preschool measures separately. The way the ballot is worded now, the preschool measures are pitted against each other with only one winner.
And the latest bad news: Last night—and file this as an Evening Jolt!—the King County Labor Council voted against endorsing the labor measure.
2. File this as a LIKE: The Seattle Department of Transportation, SDOT, is moving full speed ahead with the two-way protected bike lane on the east side of 2nd Ave.
Yesterday morning SDOT installed separate boxes for bike signals—just like Broadway's protected bike lanes on Capitol Hill.
(Fizz hears the separate signals—which make things clearer for bikers and drivers—were not initially part of the plan, but the new SDOT director, Scott Kubly, demanded them.)
Moreover, the lanes, which will be protected by barriers and a new car parking lane/turn lane to the west, are reportedly coming about a month ahead of schedule. Originally, planned to open in late September in advance of the new bike share program, the 2nd Ave. protected two-way bike lane, is supposedly coming on September 8.
3. Mayor Ed Murray announced yesterday that acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams is stepping down after four years.
The announcement is curious because it says Williams is stepping down to deal with "personal health issues," but simultaneously says Williams is taking back his old job as Deputy Director, which implies that either A) the city doesn't take the deputy gig very seriously or B) it's not the real reason he's leaving the top job.
In the meantime, Murray announced that a national search is afoot and the director gig will be filled by January.
Seattle voters recently passed a permanent Metropolitan Parks District that would raise about $47.9 million a year (with a 2014 assessed median home paying about $130 a year).