Morning Fizz

County Council Will Pick New Eastside Seattle State Senator (and Likely House Member as Well) Today

Eyman was wrong and driving alone is down.

By Josh Feit January 5, 2017

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 1. A quick follow-up to yesterday’s item on Tim Eyman’s charade. Far from there being any Democratic plot to delay appointing state senator Pam Roach’s (R-31, Auburn) replacement, King County Council chair Joe McDermott has managed to coordinate a joint session with the Pierce County Council for this Saturday 10 AM at the Fife city hall. (Eyman's theory also seemed to ignore that the Pierce County Council played a role; "the King County Council chooses among those three," he wrote in an email blast to supporters. What a North suburbs elitist he is.)

Moreover, it was actually the Republicans on the Pierce County Council (which now includes Roach) who balked at the King County Council’s idea for a joint meeting on Thursday (just two days after the Republican PCOs in the 31st would choose their top picks.)

Speaking of appointments, the King County Council is still meeting today to appoint a state senator from the 48th Legislative District (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Medina); the state senator in the 48th, Cyrus Habib (D-48, Kirkland), won his race in November for Lieutenant Governor.

Look for the council to appoint the PCO’s top pick, current state representative Patty Kuderer (D-48, Bellevue.) Kuderer’s main competitor, her district cohort state representative Joan McBride (D-48, Bellevue) actually dropped out of the running; the PCO’s chose two other possibilities, FUSE board member Becky Lewis and another Democratic activist Sarah Chandler. Evidently, the PCOs aren’t fans of McBride.

If the council does, as expected, go with Kuderer, the council will immediately shift gears and appoint her replacement today. The PCO’s top pick for that spot is Vandana Slatter, a current Bellevue City Council member and Indian American.

For a report on the Eastside's transition from red to blue, check out my most recent article for the magazine on the 41st Legislative District.

2. And here’s another follow-up: Yesterday, I noted that Commute Seattle, the non-profit that works with the city and county and local businesses to help reduce the rates of single-occupant vehicle commutes, will be coming out with more comprehensive data than the Seattle Transportation Department’s commute trip reduction numbers early next month.

So, in the meantime, here are their most recently available numbers, which charted “mode split” in 2014.

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 As for that decline in bikers between 2012 and 2014—don't get too gleeful you haters. Brendan Lemkin, the senior project manager at Commute Seattle, explains: "Because of the growth in commuter population, changes in percentage don’t tell the whole story." He goes on to point out: "The percentage of bike commuters into the center city went down from 2012 to 2014,  but the number of cyclists actually went up. [It's] just a proportional decrease of cyclists based on population growth."

Indeed, Seattle added more than 68,000 new workers between 2010 and 2015 and in raw numbers bikers grew by 32 percent—the third fastest growing category behind pedestrians and transit—from about 12,000 to about 16,000. 

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