State may fund Delridge Trail, U-District bike share, Bainbridge ferry access improvements + more

In its latest round of grant funding for its bicycle and pedestrian safety program, Washington State has prioritized a Delridge trail and road safety project, improvements to Olympic Drive near the Ferry Terminal on Bainbridge Island, bike share station install in the University District, and Interurban Trail access improvements in Shoreline.

Here are some details, from a recent report to the legislature (see full report below):

Bainbridge

The state will $764,200 toward non-motorized improvements to Olympic Drive, which connects the commercial center of Bainbridge Island to the Ferry Terminal. It is often difficult and dangerous for someone biking uphill after exiting the ferry to make a left turn on Winslow Way toward this key commercial area. This grant is a great opportunity to create an entrance into Bainbridge that is safe for people of all ages and abilities who choose to arrive by bike.

The project completes a missing link between the ferry terminal and the city center through curb, gutter, sidewalks, ADA improvements, and bicycle facility improvements that may include bike lanes or shared lane markings.

Bike Share

The state is recommending $750,000 for King County Metro to help launch a bike share system in the University District. As we reported previously, the University District is part of the initial system roll-out planned by Puget Sound Bike Share (of which King County Metro is a partner.

We’ll have an update on PSBS soon.

Delridge-to-Bridge Improvements

The state is looking to put $337,000 toward a trail link and roadway improvements on Delridge Way just south of the West Seattle Bridge. Combined with a Seattle Large Projects Fund grant, and the funding exists to make some significant walking and biking improvements in this key neighborhood link. Details from the North Delridge Neighborhood Council:

For a long time, the northernmost portion of Delridge between Andover and the West Seattle Bridge trail has been a particularly egregious missing link in the West Seattle bike & pedestrian infrastructure. Coming south onto Delridge, the trail ends at a one-way intersection where drivers often block the curb ramp while awaiting a break in traffic.  Once across this, users must continue on a dilapidated sidewalk for two blocks to reach the light at Andover. For cyclists in particular, this is very unsafe: the choice is between riding the wrong way on the sidewalk past several blind driveways, or making a death-defying dash across four lanes of traffic, avoiding drivers traveling well over the posted 35MPH speed limit.

That is all going to change soon. Because of the advocacy of members of the NDNC, the West Seattle Greenways, DubSea Bikes, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and others, this section of Delridge will soon see a redesign containing a multi-use path from Andover to Delridge. The design of the project is being funded by the recently-awarded neighborhood project fund grant, proposed by members of the NDNC (this award is listed on p. 18 of this huge pdf document, which outlines the 2013-2018 proposed capital improvement program).

Though this NPF award was to cover only the design, we had heard from SDOT on several occations that they were seeking a state transportation grant to cover the implementation of the project. Yesterday we received good news on this front: WSDOT has recommended the project for full funding in 2013! (See the funding details on page 8 of this pdf).

Shoreline

The state is also looking to fund improved Interurban Trail connections in Shoreline. $540,000 would go to connect commercial areas and neighborhoods to the key walking and biking route. Details:

The project includes filling curb, gutter, and sidewalk gaps, ADA improvements, bike lanes, sharrows, wayfinding, and shared-use path connections citywide in residential and commercial areas.

There are also plans for a new trail in Redmond and improvements to the Centennial Trail. Here’s the full list (including some interesting contingency projects in case priority projects fall through):

Final201315HLPGrantProgramsReporttoLegislature2012December3

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6 Responses to State may fund Delridge Trail, U-District bike share, Bainbridge ferry access improvements + more

  1. Jeff says:

    I agree with the improvements to Delridge. I’ve taken that route from Delridge to the bridge and it’s dicey, requiring a bicyclist to get on the sidewalk, cross driveways (a great way to experience a T-bone), and then try to dodge pedestrians and dogs. There’s no good way to transition from Delridge to the trail to the bridge so I’m glad to see this fixed, even though I don’t live in W. Seattle and the ex-girlfriend who lured me over there on my bike so many times dumped me a few years ago.

  2. Matthew says:

    I want to be supportive of bike share, but I’d be reluctant to hand $750,000 to Alta. Has Puget Sound Bike Share officially selected Alta as its operator? Based on what’s going on in other cities that have already contracted with Alta, it just seems like throwing good money after bad. I’d definitely like to see some alternatives considered (actually, are there alternatives?)

    I think bike share can succeed in the U District. I think it could be even more successful if the city were open to taking a few bold steps, like making The Ave a bike-and-transit-only street. I haven’t seen much discussion of where the bike share “stations”/racks are going to be located. Presumably you’re going to need to put at least a few on The Ave — one on the south end near the Burke or Campus Pkwy, one in the vicinity of 45th, and one on the north end. But any way you slice it, I think you’re going to have to take over a few parking spots. I hope the local businesses see the benefits and get on board early on.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      No provider has been selected yet. I assume there will be an open bidding process that Alta will have to compete for, but we’re not there yet (we’ll have an update on PSBS soon…)

  3. chrismealy says:

    I hope I’m wrong, but I’d bet the high crime rate in the U District will doom the bike share.

    • Gary says:

      I know! That was my first thought too. Although if a U-Pass included the bikeshare it might cut down on the number of student bicycles stolen.

  4. Law Abider says:

    What cyclists could use is a connection from the Burke-Gilman trail to the East side of the Fremont Bridge. For both northbound Dexter bikers and both directions of the Westlake parking lot (soon to be a legitimate trail hopefully?), it would eliminate both the very dangerous merge into the right turn lane north of the bridge, plus the dangerous intersection of 34th and Fremont.

    It was on the books for the original planning documents for the Cheslahud Lake Union Loop, but expunged due to costs. After seeing things like the West Thomas Street Overpass get built, it’d be nice to see something that would be used by a large amount of bike commuters.

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