Ravenna Blvd repaving moving faster than originally planned

From SDOT

We may get some good summer riding on the newly repaved Ravenna Boulevard after all. The desperately needed repaving project has already completed its first phase, and work is about to get under way on the second half. If the weather keeps cooperating, work could be completed in early summer.

Ravenna is a very popular and useful bike route for much of north Seattle. It runs on a convenient diagonal through the street grid, is relatively flat and has wide bike lanes. However, the pavement had gotten so bad that many people have said it actually improved when workers scraped off the top layer of asphalt.

When work is finished, a redesigned buffered bike lane will give people biking a huge space along the median curb separated from motor vehicle traffic by a three-foot painted buffer space. For more on the plans, see our original post.

From SDOT:

As previously announced, crews working on the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT’s) project to repave NE Ravenna Boulevard between Green Lake and 15th Avenue NE will begin paving across the 65th Avenue I-5 on- and off-ramps Monday night, June 4, at 10 p.m.   At that time, crews will close:

·         the on-ramp to southbound I-5 from NE Ravenna Boulevard,
·         the NE 65th off-ramp from I-5, and
·         the NE 50th Street on-ramp to northbound I-5

The ramps will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 5.

The repaving of the westbound lanes of NE Ravenna Boulevard (on the north/northeast side of the street) from University Way NE to NE 65th Street has been accelerated and will begin on Monday morning, June 4, at 7:00 a.m.    Paving is expected to continue through Friday, June 8.  Crews will work from 7:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.  The I-5 ramps will remain open for this work (other than overnight on Monday, June 4), but motorists and bicyclists should expect street closures and parking restrictions on NE Ravenna Boulevard between 8th Avenue NE and University Way NE during work hours.

Paving is weather dependent.  Should rain delay the repaving, the work may be delayed to the week of June 11.

To minimize construction impacts, the project was divided into two phases.  The first phase, between Green Lake and I-5 (from E Green Lake Drive N to 8th Avenue NE) began in late March and has been completed.  The second phase, running from NE 65th Street to 15th Avenue NE will be completed by the end of summer.

For more information on the NE Ravenna Boulevard Paving Project, visit the project website at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pave_ravenna_paving.htm.

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7 Responses to Ravenna Blvd repaving moving faster than originally planned

  1. Clint says:

    It’s great to see the repaving nearly completed, and the buffered bike lane will be great. Riding the part that’s done is already a huge upgrade. That said, the project would be so much better if it would include improved bike access from Ravenna Blvd. to Green Lake Park at the west end. Even with the repaving, the wide buffered bike lane essentially dead ends across Green Lake Way from the park, and you’re on your own to find a way across that hellish 5-way intersection. This is especially a problem for families, kids, inexperienced riders — precisely the kinds of folks we should be encouraging to bike to their Green Lake soccer games and picnics! Still hoping we can persuade SDOT to upgrade that crossing, at least with a painted bike crossing and a re-engineered trail connection in the park to tie the existing trail into the crossing.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Yeah, that intersection is pretty awful. It looks like they’re planning to have left- and right-turn lanes within the bike lane facing Green Lake… telling cyclists they should make right turns from the left of left-turning traffic. What a joke.

      The fundamental problem with this intersection is that it’s too big — its total surface area is too large to be controlled by a stop sign, there are too many streets to keep track of, too many crossing configurations, etc. I actually think the ideal fix would be a traffic signal with a pretty short overall cycle including a nice long scramble for pedestrians and cyclists. I’m not usually a big fan of scrambles, but here it makes sense. Pedestrians almost always have to make multi-stage crossings today, and they’d become single-stage crossings; cyclists could remain mode-separated through turns (I also think mode separation is usually a bad idea near intersections, but the weird configurations of the roads around here and the high concentration of kids and novice cyclists makes it more attractive — anyway, cyclists comfortable taking the lane always have that option).

      • RTK says:

        The round-about concept was shot down, but I really like this idea. It is an unusual intersection with a high concentration of pedestrians and bikes. Like you point out, the scramble doesn’t work in some place but it could be a good fit here.

      • Al Dimond says:

        Roundabouts are usually really awful for pedestrians, and a roundabout would do nothing for cyclists coming from Ravenna stuck in the left lane and needing to get right regardless of where they’re going.

        But the roundabout would be really nice for the car traffic, since it’s such a big and weird-shaped intersection (where roundabouts excel). So maybe it would be cool to have a two-phase cycle. Phase one allows cars to go through the roundabout. Phase two clears the roundabout and allows pedestrians and cyclists coming from the left-side bike lane to scramble in any direction. That might allow a larger portion of the light cycle to be used for pedestrian/bike crossings than a non-roundabout solution. And that’s my real priority — if it were up to me, the default solution to unwieldy intersections would be to close roads.

      • wave says:

        I’ve always thought there should be a roundabout at that intersection. It would be great for traffic flow, and I think it would generally be better for peds/bikes as well, because you won’t have to worry about cars coming from as many different directions (just from the left). Re: the idea of different phases for cars and bikes, that would be odd, as roundabouts are not signalized — that’s kind of the whole point of them.

  2. Westlake says:

    Ravenna Blvd is everything Westlake Ave could be if it weren’t for the damn streetcar. Diagonal, relatively flat, and leads directly to a park on a lake. Duh! SDOT needs to make it Transit + Bicycle only. Be bold fuckers!

    • Al Dimond says:

      This. The last sentence is right on.

      That said, closing a street to general traffic is hard. There are always issues around driveway and delivery access. Maybe a good state until those issues are resolved would be like 3rd Ave downtown: open to general traffic only for a block at a time.

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