- Rideshare rules: The City Council’s Taxi, For-Hire, and Limousine Regulations Committee meets Friday morning to decide on a new set of regulations proposed to shape the car and ride sharing industry in the city. The most controversial new rules will be related to a series of $1,000 fines for ride share drivers who haven’t taken a class to receive their permit or those who drive more than 16 hours a week. A summary of the legislation (PDF) is here. The industry — including services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — is voicing its opposition.
Bike plan ‘sails’ through hearing: The Seattle Bike Blog reports that the update to the Seattle Bike Master Plan — the Capitol Hill-related elements we examined here — was well supported at a City Council hearing Wednesday night:
The Bike Master Plan sailed through a public hearing Wednesday with overwhelming support. Supporters of safe neighborhood streets packed the Council Chambers at City Hall to support the city’s plan for safe streets and bike routes in every Seattle neighborhood.
If you did not have a chance to speak, Cascade has created a handy online tool to email Councilmembers with your thoughts.
Of course there were detractors, but nearly all of them expressed concerned about a total of 5 miles or so in the 474-mile plan: Westlake Ave N and NE 65th Street. The core principles and goals of the plan received a warm welcome, with many speakers and families urging the Council to approve the plan quickly and get to work funding it.
- Fat pipe plan has kinks: A plan announced one year ago this week to create a partnership to utilize City of Seattle fiber for residential fat pipe Internet service is going nowhere fast:
This week, preparing to leave office after coming up short in his re-election bid, McGinn said in an interview with GeekWire that the Gigabit Seattle project has been delayed due to financing problems, and acknowledged that he’s concerned it ultimately might not come to fruition.
So what happened? Interviews this week with people familiar with the project make it clear that the financing was left largely up in the air, even as Gigabit Squared’s Mark Ansboury touted Seattle as one of the first cities to take part in the company’s $200 million broadband program.
Mayor-elect Ed Murray announced several key staff hires earlier this week. The roster and complete bios are below. “My administration, as with any administration, will be judged on how we serve Seattle residents, and my standard will be one of excellence,” Murray said in a statement released by his office. “To me, excellence means an administration that functions with a high level of inclusiveness, transparency, responsiveness and collaboration – and that brings innovation to solving problems for the people of Seattle.” One big change: Crosscut is reporting that Murray has bumped up salaries for some roles from 14 to 40% above what McGinn paid his team in 2009.Showing his wonky Olympia roots, Murray has also created an Office of Policy & Innovation described as an “in-house consultancy to the Mayor” in his statement on the hires. Mike Fong, currently an analyst with the Seattle City Council staff, will direct the new entity.The full roster of new Murray hires is below. As far as we can tell, Murray is the only one of the bunch currently living on Capitol Hill.