After our frustrated post about the lack of new bold plans on the city’s part to improve biking and walking safety, below is a look at some exciting projects already underway today.
Will 2013 be the year protected cycle tracks finally become a significant part of the Seattle streetscape? If so, what are we doing to keep the cycle track momentum moving?
Linden Ave Complete Streets project begins year of work
When Linden Ave work is complete, there will be a two-way cycle track filling a missing link in the Interurban North bike route between the end of Seattle’s Interurban Trail and the start of Shoreline’s trail.
Construction on the 17-block project has been going for a while, but it kicked into high gear early this month, with road closures and detours. If you are on a bike, be prepared for delays. However, you should be able to get through on the sidewalk in stead of biking on Aurora or Greenwood Ave, as suggested.
Biking needs were not the main impetus for the project (neighbors, may of them elderly, struggled with the lack of adequate sidewalks), but the city is taking advantage of the project to fill a gap in the Interurban Trail, which will now stretch from Lake Ballinger in Mountlake Terrace to Greenwood almost entirely separated from motor vehicle traffic.
See our post from 2010 for more background on the project, which was one of Mayor McGinn’s first big transportation projects.
First Hill Streetcar construction will keep Broadway closed to bikes for a while
The First Hill Streetcar construction has closed Broadway people biking as crews install wheel-grabbing streetcar tracks. Unfortunately, the lack of a safe bike passageway during construction likely means more sidewalk riding on Broadway’s already-congested walking spaces.
When complete (scheduled for early 2014), there will be a two-way protected cycle track on Broadway from at least Denny Way to Yesler (an extension to Aloha is being seriously considered, and I would assume the cycle track would be extended, as well).
However, the streetcar tracks are already in the ground, and the cycle track is one of the final steps in the construction process (scheduled for late 2013). So we are now entering the dangerous year of construction for people on bikes. Here’s the construction schedule:
Lake Washington Blvd improvements nearly complete
Work on Lake Washington Boulevard through the Arboretum is almost complete. The project includes new lighting, better crosswalks (including a cool raised crosswalk), speed “cushions” (speed bumps that don’t impede emergency vehicles) and sharrows.
Also completing the project means closing the street Saturday and Sunday this weekend. That could mean less traffic on the way to the final Bicycle Sunday of the year. Yay!
- Seattle City Light is replacing the existing street lights and poles with new poles and LED boulevard-style lights that will provide better and more efficient lighting. After this weekend, all of the new lights will have been installed, but wiring will still be in progress for 20 new streetlights. The old poles will remain in place where needed to provide lighting until each new light is connected and operational.
- The Seattle Department of Transportation, with funding from WSDOT, has installed a marked crosswalk with curb ramps, a raised crosswalk, and speed cushions. These devices calm traffic, help pedestrians cross the busy boulevard and facilitate pedestrian access to a number of trails through the Arboretum. The department has also completed extensive asphalt repairs and installed new pavement markings including “sharrows” to remind drivers to share the road with bicyclists. In October, the department will complete installation of curb ramps at the raised crosswalk.
W Thomas Street biking/walking overpass
Should be open any day now. See our update from earlier this week for more info.
Are there other projects you would like an update on? Let us know in the comments!