City adding sidewalks, bus islands to Greenwood Ave between 90th and 105th

Concept from a 2012 report on the Greenwood Ave transit and sidewalk upgrades

Concept from a 2012 report on the Greenwood Ave transit and sidewalk upgrades

The city is in the final stages of designing a big upgrade to Greenwood Ave N between N 90th and 105th Streets, a busy street with few sidewalks and inadequate bus stops.

Billed as a transit improvements project, most the sidewalk improvements will be on the east side of the street to provide a connected walkway through the area. Bike lanes will continue on the street, but the city plans to build a handful of new Dexter-style bus islands to reduce conflicts between buses and bikes and give buses a place to stop in-lane for fast loading and unloading. The five new bus stop locations are marked in this diagram:

greenwood_graphicProtected bike lanes were considered early in the process, but appear to have been dropped. To learn more about the project and give your input, here are the open house details from SDOT:

Greenwood Transit & Sidewalk Project Open House

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Greenwood Library
8016 Greenwood Ave N

SDOT is developing plans to add sidewalks and upgrade bus stops on Greenwood Avenue North between North 90th St and North 105th St.

The bus stop element of the project involves upgrading bus stops and sidewalks adjacent to the bus stops, closing some stops, and relocating others to improve bus stop spacing (the distance between stops) along Greenwood.  Each of the new bus stops will include a “bus island” which keeps the bus in the travel lane while stopped to load and unload passengers, which improves efficiency and reduces conflicts between buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

The sidewalk installation will focus on the east side of the street to provide a continuous, accessible path.  As funds become available, SDOT will pursue design and construction of sidewalks on the west side of the street.

For more project history, see this Seattle Transit Blog post and check out this 2012 report:

Greenwood Corridor Concept Plan FINAL12!18!12 by tfooq

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5 Responses to City adding sidewalks, bus islands to Greenwood Ave between 90th and 105th

  1. Charles B says:

    I use this route a lot, so I will be there to give them some first hand user input. I hope to see some of you folks there this evening too.

  2. JAT says:

    I’m curious what inputs go into SDOT’s seemingly authoritative and objective statement that ““bus island[s] ”…keep[s] the bus in the travel lane while stopped to load and unload passengers, which improves efficiency and reduces conflicts between buses, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

    I don’t know of any transportation user (with the possible exception of bus drivers – but I don’t know any) that feels this way.

    While cycling I personally prefer to play leapfrog with buses than the bizarre chicanes (with oblivious crossing pedestrians) that the bus island approach creates.

    Your mileage may vary.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Really? I love the bus islands on Dexter and find them easy, safe and intuitive. Playing leap frog with buses is an awful experience. Passing buses while they are stopped is dangerous, and following a bus uphill on a bike can be rather uncomfortable (especially if it’s a diesel bus, like the ones on Dexter and Greenwood Ave).

      And passing a bus is especially difficult for people who cannot bike as quickly as others. The city is definitely on the right track by trying to remove this conflict and provide a more comfortable environment for everyone. Plus, the bus islands will be vital when/if the street gets the full protected bike lane treatment some day in the future.

      I also find the bus islands to free up sidewalk space for walking, since crowds waiting for the bus don’t stand on the sidewalk itself.

      While the bus islands do require people on foot and bike to pay attention and perhaps slow down, it’s worth it to get rid of the bus conflict.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Seriously.

        I *have* played leapfrog w/ a bus on Dexter, on the part that’s just a painted bike lane. Going up the hill on a cargo bike w/ a kid while doing this sucks so much. Can the bus driver see you? Are you going to get clipped from behind by passing traffic, or hit by the bus as it pulls out because you’re in a blind spot? Should you just wait for the bus to finish loading/unloading, even though there are 10 people waiting at the stop, and you have no idea how many more people the bus is going to unload? Once you get to the part w/ bus islands, it’s so much more comfortable.

        We’re talking about 5mph speeds, here. If you can go 20mph up that hill, then your time spent doing the actual leapfrogging is minimal. Of course, oblivious people crossing then becomes a major concern.

        This is what All Ages & Abilities is all about. If you build sad little painted bike lanes, you’re optimizing for the 20mph biker. If you build the bus islands, you’ve optimized for the 5mph biker. If you build the bus islands AND lower the speed limit to 25-30mph, then you’ve accommodated both.

    • another mother on a bike says:

      Bus leapfrog, ugh! Bus islands, yay!

      Yes, our mileage varies quite a lot.

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