Remember when an anonymous bike safety group calling themselves “Reasonably Polite Seattleites” installed a series of plastic pylons on Cherry Street to demonstrate how easy it would be for the city to turn a regular bike lane into a protected one?
Well, the city took their advice and not only reinstalled a more resilient style of reflective pylons, but also extended the bike lane to connect downtown to First Hill via 7th Ave and Marion:
To recap, the anonymous group installed the pylons under the cover of night this spring. They then sent an email to Seattle Bike Blog and SDOT explaining why they did it and pointing out the fact that they used a simple adhesive to make them easy to remove should SDOT choose to do so.
In many other cities, such acts are met with scorn and threats of legal action from city officials. But Seattle’s Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang did not. Instead, he wrote an equally polite email back apologizing for the fact that they needed to remove the pylons, but thanking the group for making a statement about road safety.
Well, now Chang and the city have gone a step further. They have installed permenent pylons with safe clearance space for bike handlebars and extra buffer space on the roadway. They also completed a safer connection to First Hill by installing a bike lane on 7th Ave between Cherry St and Marion, which is a signed bike route across First Hill that will soon connect to the Broadway Bikeway when it is completed.
Here’s Chang’s email to the group and Seattle Bike Blog:
Hello reasonably polite Seattleites,
I have good news to share. SDOT worked with WSDOT to reinstall your thoughtful protector treatment on Cherry Street. SDOT and WSDOT agreed to monitor the installation to determine if additional changes need to be made. We also took this unique opportunity to make additional improvements. We installed a two stage left turn box on 7th Avenue for left turning bicycle riders who may not feel comfortable riding with car traffic, new bicycle lanes on 7th Avenue between Cherry and Marion, and bicycle lane on Marion Street between 7th and 8th Avenue. Additional information on the two stage left turn box can be found at: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/CherryStFactsheet.pdf Thank you, again, for your suggestion.
Now THAT is how you respond to guerrilla road safety activists! Tacoma, are you taking notes?
Here’s the city’s full fact sheet: