Clearly, the Mercer West project is a pretty long way off (with construction scheduled to start in 2012), and there are several variables still undecided (like that tunnel thing) that could change this project. And, sure, almost all of this project is centered around motor vehicles. But, as anyone who has ever tried to bike from Dexter to Lower Queen Anne knows, it would be pretty great if there were a comfortable way to get across Aurora.
This crossing is basically a black hole of bike infrastructure. You have to either ride (or walk) your bike on Mercer’s five-foot sidewalk as it passes under Aurora and hope nobody is walking or riding the other way, or you have to go down to Denny, which is many blocks out of the way. If you happen to know your way around, you can also go down to 9th, then take Broad. But this busy street is also not very welcoming to bikes and takes you several blocks out of your way.
So, seeing a rendering of a bike path on Mercer going under Aurora is pretty exciting. The plans call for bike lanes on Roy west of 5th (which will become a two-way street), so bikes will presumably be urged to go up to Roy after crossing under Aurora on Mercer.
I haven’t written about the Mercer project yet, and I would like to know how bikers feel about it. As this project goes forward, what do bikers need? Clearly, something has to change, but what do we want from the Mercer West project?