Following the city’s recent announcement of 11 new Neighborhood Street Fund projects, I will be taking a closer look at the ones that most affect cyclists. Most of the projects are focused on sidewalks and crossing improvements for pedestrians, but there are several good things coming for cyclists, too.
The Othello St project is a $725,000 project that will widen the roadway to make room for bike lanes in both directions from Seward Ave, past the Link light rail stop to the Chief Sealth Trail. There will be some on-street parking loss from Rainier to 42nd, but SDOT notes that those homes have driveways and alley parking.
The project also includes a reconfiguration of Othello from MLK to Chief Sealth Trail, changing the road from four general lanes to two travel lanes, one center turn lane and two bike lanes. This should not be an issue, as 2008 traffic numbers were only around 8,000 vehicles per day on Othello east of MLK. SDOT does not have traffic data online for the section proposed for the changes. The proposed three-lane configuration can hold 20,000-25,000 vehicles per day without causing traffic delays, SDOT research has shown.
Here’s more info from SDOT’s project page:
- There is no formal drainage system for Segment 1. Segments 2-5 have catch basins and closed pipe systems.
- There are utility poles with transmission lines on the south side of Othello, generally located in the planting strip.
- Outreach to residents on Segments 2-4 will need to address loss of on-street parking. Note: These homes have existing parking in back via the alley.
- Outreach with local residents will need to address the loss of on-street parking and the traffic operation changes for the “road diet” section (Segment 5).
- Improves bicycle safety and connectivity from Seward Park Ave to Chief Sealth Trail consistent with Bicycle Master Plan.
- Improves pedestrian safety in Segment 1 with the new curb that provides buffer between pedestrians and vehicles.
- Improves bicycle and pedestrian access to/from transit stops (METRO route #39).
- Improves pedestrian safety in Segment 5 by traffic calming, reducing vehicular speeds and the number of travel lanes that pedestrians have to cross.