Seattle will officially receive a stack of Federal cash to build protected bike lanes downtown and on Broadway (we reported on the recommendation earlier this month). The city has also received nearly $400,000 to help low-income residents access Pronto bike share (I will write more about this in a future post, so stay tuned).
The total for protected bike lanes downtown comes to $5.8 million for protected bike lanes on 2nd and/or 4th Avenues and 7th Ave. Believe it, Seattle, we’re building protected bike lanes downtown.
As we reported previously, the city is moving ahead with a relatively low-budget pilot protected bike lane on 2nd Ave, which will be ready in time for the September launch of Pronto Cycle Share. These Federal funds will provide the resources to design and (help) build permanent protected bike lanes in the next couple years.
The Feds will also invest in extending the Broadway Streetcar to at least Roy, a project that will also extend the Broadway Bikeway to cover the entire commercial length of Broadway.
These investments are a great example of how the Federal government can help cities accelerate the bike-friendly transition that nearly every big US city has at least said they want to make. Relying only on municipal transportation funds for major biking and walking safety is not enough. Our nation needs top-down leadership on biking and walking safety.
Imagine if every US city this year received millions for protected bike lanes in their city centers like Seattle will. This is the kind of national leadership that led to the safe streets revolution decades ago in countries like the Netherlands. Dutch cities wouldn’t be the symbols of safety and bikeability that they are today had their national government failed to help make the investments. In 1975, streets in the Netherlands were 20 percent more dangerous than streets in the US. Today they are 40 percent safer.
More details on the investments, from the City Council:
Summary of City of Seattle Projects Recommended for Funding:
- $200,000 for Route 48 Electrification (23rd Avenue) (design only)
- $2,627,528 for Center City Gateway ITS (Next Generation ITS)
- $8,500,000 for Broadway Streetcar Extension
Countywide, Large Jurisdiction
- $1,383,000 for Michigan St ITS (Next Generation ITS)
- $4,300,000 for Center City Protected Bike Lanes, Phase I (2nd Ave and/or 4th Ave)
- $700,000 for Center City Protected Bike Lanes, Phase I (2nd Ave and/or 4th Ave)
- $800,000 for 7th Ave Protected Bike Lanes
- $397,900 for Low-Income Access to Bike Share Network
- $1,500,000 for Renton Ave
- $1,500,000 for Roosevelt Ave
- $1,500,000 for Broadway Streetcar Extension
- $4,383,799 “earned share” (aka “formula”) operations and maintenance funds (SLU streetcar, Monorail)