NE 55th project in Ravenna includes bike lanes, curb bulbs

Work to repave and reconfigure NE 55th St near Ravenna Park is scheduled to begin April 4. The project will add curb bulbs and bike lanes to the large, strange intersection of NE 55th, NE 54th, Ravenna Pl NE, Ravenna Ave NE and NE 22nd. The project will also add bio-retention areas to help with water drainage.

The intersection today (via Google Maps). Note that SDOT's map above is aligned about 12 degrees off north (in case you get a headache comparing the two)

Aside from the pedestrian improvements (look at the super long crosswalk-flux-capacitor in the satellite image), the project should also make the intersection safer for cyclists traveling between Ravenna Blvd and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

And thus begins the 2011 paving season. Get your brackets in. Will there be bike lanes on NE 125th? Will we finally get a quick, safe route through Rainier Valley? What new names will Seattle Times columnists invent for the mayor? Stay tuned to SBB for front row access to all the action …

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8 Responses to NE 55th project in Ravenna includes bike lanes, curb bulbs

  1. biliruben says:

    I love the smell of fresh asphalt in the morning; smells like – victory.

  2. Andres says:

    Sweet. I don’t know how much of an improvement it’ll be for cyclists, but as a pedestrian regularly walking that route to get up to The Ave, I’m excited. The existing crosswalk configuration is absolutely horrible, especially when crossing at night.

  3. Andrew Squirrel says:

    this is all nice and good but you know what really really needs to happen in that area? A full repave of Ravenna between Greenlake and this intersection. I live right near Cowen park and the road has done equal damage to my shoes, my bikes and my car. It’s absurdly overdue for a repave.

    • Shane Phillips says:

      No kidding. I don’t pass through there all that frequently, but when I do it’s always a rough ride. It has to be one of the most poorly maintained roads in the city, especially considering the traffic on it isn’t all THAT heavy. It has to have been a loooooooong time since the last repave.

      • Jeremy says:

        Some blog post somewhere indicated that the SDOT claimed they have 2,000 non-arterial lane miles to deal with, and can repair one of these lane miles per year. It also claimed that concrete lane miles have a 75 year life span, and asphalt 25 years. Using these figures, a simple model shows SDOT will repair each concrete lane mile roughly every 150 years, or twice the (already high?) expected lifespan (and something worse for asphalt).

        Reducing the average concrete road age to 75 years would require something like ten times the present rate of repair (let me know how that tax bill goes) or other options that would likely be somewhat unpalatable to most Americans at this time.

        My prediction: bad roads remain the norm (until magical flying cars solve all our transportation problems and humanity leaves peacefully ever after).

  4. Melinda says:

    Whoa. This looks downright Portland-y.

  5. Jean Maier says:

    Have you been through there now that the construction has started? Checked out the angles?

    The pushout on the south for the pedestrians is good, but the stuff on the Ravenna Park side? Looks like a recipe for a real uptick in accidents at that corner. With the way they have it set up, next thing will be a light. Because it will be Accident Corner otherwise.

    The only rational explanation, is that the plan is to knock car traffic off Ravenna Blvd entirely. Which might be fine, I just don’t like sneaky.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I haven’t seen it yet, but now I’m intereted. I’ll try to get over there. Are you talking about the temporary changes for construction or the permanent design?

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