Bike News Roundup: How to build a bike lane on a bridge

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Set your browser to time theft mode.

First up, I did not include this video in the last Bike News Roundup, and there was almost a popular uprising against me. So here it is. Please end the sit-in at my house.

Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! Here’s one way to add bike lanes to a bridge: JUST GO AHEAD AND DO IT. It’s really not that hard once you actually prioritize safety and non-motorized access in the city.

Streetfilms Shortie – Temporary Bike Lane on Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Bridge from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

National & Global News

This is an open thread.

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14 Responses to Bike News Roundup: How to build a bike lane on a bridge

  1. GlenBikes says:

    Tom, I still haven’t seen anyone report on the status (or even the name) of the woman who was hit by the two vehicles in Bellevue. Did she live? If so, what is her condition?

  2. I found Cliff Mass’s rant about the BGT pretty frustrating. He’s right about the trail itself, but there’s simply no justification for being that dismissive of other bike improvements that happen not to serve his needs, and he seems completely ignorant of the other constraints the city operates under, like the endless Missing Link litigation, and the interaction of ongoing construction with the UW section of the trail.

    (bracketing in case I’ve confused two issues, but wasn’t the Shoreline section he holds up as a good example also delayed for years by litigation and NIMBY opposition?)

    • Fish says:

      I was also pretty annoyed reading Cliff’s rant. I would love for the entire BG trail to be smooth and bump-less but not at the expense of safe bike lanes throughout the rest of the city. Never have I heard someone say they would bike to work if only the BG trail wasn’t so bumpy. The best way to secure more bike funding is to increase the number of cyclists and the bikeshare program is one of the best catalysts for this growth. There are so many more problematic and dangerous streets in this city that deserve to be prioritized over anything on the BG trail. This is coming from someone that uses the trail everyday for my commute.

      • Skylar says:

        I didn’t really take his complaints that way. I think BGT should be considered a high priority since it’s such a highly-used part of Seattle’s bike infrastructure, and also is a great place for beginning cyclists to build up their confidence to bike more. Its poor condition, though, I think could begin to be a deterrant.

  3. Mike Lindblom says:

    Bike infrastructure is a lot easier to create if you’re Pittsburgh and practically no cars use your four-lane bridge….

  4. Cliff Mass says:

    Eldan and Fish,
    I am sorry I annoyed and frustrated you. I think you agree that the BG trail, the most heavily cycled path/street in the city is in bad shape. Worst shape I have seen in 3 decades. There are very, very few cyclists on 125th, so I don’t think the upgrade there has contributed much to the safety of the cycling community. Regarding Pronto, I would be happy to be proven wrong about it. I hope it is a great success. But the millions spent on it could have gone far in fixing the BG and making other important cycling improvements.
    …cliff mass

    • LWC says:

      The 125th rechannelization was not about bikes.

    • Fish says:

      Thanks for responding Cliff. I have nothing but respect for you and I’m sorry that I came off as being so annoyed with your post yesterday. I have zero opinion nor have I ever even set foot on 125th street to have any commentary about that one. I just got back from a trip to NYC, which in my opinion is the scariest and most horrific place to ride a bike (this comes from someone that grew up in that area and is used to the aggressive drivers and pedestrians) but I was beyond impressed with the bikeshare. The number of people I saw riding a bike was simply astounding. If NYC’s bikeshare can get people on bikes when they have so many more public transit options than we do, then Seattle should definitely succeed. Best of luck with your commute and I do hope the BG trail is improved in the near future.

  5. Ben P says:

    The worst time for the Burke is at night after a long day of work. Your just cruising, trying not to fall asleep, and suddenly the handle bars jump to the sound of a thunk, giving you just enough warning to fully appreciate your saddle jumping through the thin flesh covering your pelvis. Smarting from the blow, you get out of your seat and loosen your elbows. Riding a bit more, no bumps, you start to relax, gingerly resit, mind starts to wander, and BANG! What the @#$% you @#$%^&* @#$%^ trail! Stop ramming me in the @#$%^&* @#$! In a house nearby a mother covers her child’s ears. Don’t listen to those mean words sweety poochkums she says.

    More seriously, I hope when they finally redo the bafflingly bumpy Burke bits, they don’t take a year like it did for that little strip up north. That section being out was the reason my brother didn’t become a cycle commuter while going to UW Bothell. Even though they finished late in his first year, his car commuting pattern was already established. Now, over two years later, he’s started bike commuting in Manhattan.

    • jay says:

      “You[‘re] just cruising, trying not to fall asleep” “mind starts to wander”

      I think your problem is you’re channeling your inner automobile driver ;-) , you need to remember you are on a fragile two wheeled vehicle. For perspective you might try any of a number of city streets, say Western Avenue south of the market, or just take a ride on the Ballard bridge sidewalk. (I guarantee you won’t fall asleep there!)

  6. Ben P says:

    Love the deathandtaxes article, though I’m not sure what it has to do with cycling. It’s one of those rare instances where graffiti is beautiful specifically due to its artistic lack. While we’re on the topic of moneyed dicks, somebody aught to spray one of those on an f22. $420 mil is outrageous for even our bravado forces. That $80 billion dollar program has about the same as the cost of buying every American a bike.

  7. Che says:

    I ride the burke every day.. Even at night! (gasp).. Never had an issue. Sure it could stand improvement where the tree roots make bumps but compared to most of the pavement in this town it’s in above average condition. I wonder what skinny tire race bikes some people are on, maybe your bike isn’t versatile enough for city riding? Or that your little planet bike blinky light isn’t good enough to see by?

    • Al Dimond says:

      How about not making every topic a platform for judgmental equipment rants?

      The BGT’s bumps feel pretty significant on steel bikes with 35mm tires. It’s not the worst pavement in town but there are stretches that are well below what’s typical, and the worst stretches are certainly worth fixing.

      A light “good enough to see by” varies a lot by conditions. When there’s lots of distracting light overhead and the trail surface is wet you could strap a car headlight to your handlebars and have trouble seeing the surface (this follows obviously from the fact that in such conditions it’s hard to see road surface variations when driving). Everyone using the road relies on a reasonably consistent surface.

  8. Al Dimond says:

    One thing that needs clarification regarding BGT conditions: the BGT, though it’s a single trail, is owned and maintained by a number of different bodies. The part in LFP and northern Seattle is King County’s responsibility, and it’s no credit to LFP that the trail there is in good condition; it’s just where the county most recently made improvements. In fact, LFP’s leaders stood in the way of better construction detours for trail users. The part near UW is owned and maintained by the UW, which is currently planning repairs and upgrades, but doing it in such an expensive, overwrought way that they need to apply for federal grants.

    There are lots of things worthy of criticism around the BGT. UW and King County have done a poor job of maintenance; UW spends too much time and money screwing around with expensive and complicated plans instead of fixing what everyone knows is broken; King County doesn’t seem to care at all about lighting. Seattle working on on-street facilities in other parts of the city is not really a BGT story.

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