No Bikes Allowed

When drivers get mad about a little bike box or a couple bike lanes, show them this map. Your taxes pay for these roads, but you are not allowed to ride your bike on any of them. In fact, it’s a $124 fine if you do, according to the P.I. (I made the map using the P.I.’s data). That’s 140 miles of the most expensive roads in the area, all off-limits to the cyclists who helped pay for them.

View Where bikes can’t go in a larger map

When a bike lane goes in, it is typically a mere five feet wide. I would prefer larger or with buffer space, but five feet is what we usually get (Note to angry drivers: That is already a compromise on our part). Cars are still allowed on the road, and in almost every case, car capacity is preserved.

Seattle’s bike projects are going in on roads that are paid almost entirely by general taxes we all pay, according to Josh at Publicola. Gas taxes only make up 4 percent of SDOT’s funds (and only 0.44 percent of SDOT’s paving expenditures are paid by gas taxes). The rest are from property taxes, sales tax, grants, etc.

Gas taxes do pay for about 28 percent of WSDOT’s budget, but that’s not enough to pay for all these highways. Where does the rest come from? Everyone, of course.

My point is not that bikes need to be allowed on I-5, and true, cars are not allowed on bike trails. But the money and space dedicated to cars is so clearly unequal. You see how ridiculous people are when they suggest bikes don’t pay for roads and, therefore, should not get even tiny little five-foot slivers of it so they can get around a little more safely. We’re really not asking for that much, especially in comparison.

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5 Responses to No Bikes Allowed

  1. Robby says:

    It’s also worth pointing out that those car only roads are usable at night. I only point this out because I forgot to take into account how much earlier it gets dark this time of year when I decided to ride to Woodinville a couple of weeks ago. There was almost no light on the trail except for the light on my bike. The interstate is set up with lights, why not dedicated trails?

  2. Brad Hawkins says:

    The one place where I would love to see access and perhaps a bike path on the area freeways is across the ship canal bridge between 45th St N and Roanoke E. That would allow cyclists to get from downtown, along Melrose, Lakeview (or whatever the road is by the colonnade MTB park, and then to UW area without any big hills. The real benefit would be southbound getting onto Capitol Hill.


    • mike archambault says:

      I’m imagining some pretty amazing views of downtown and Lake Union from a trail along the west side…

  3. VeganBiker says:

    Talking about I5, do any of you remember the Bicycle Sundays in the 80’s when the express lanes from Northgate to downtown were open to bikes, skates and walkers?
    They only did it a couple of years but it was wonderful. The views were fantastic.

  4. really loved the article added to my favourites

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