Cyclists who use Alaskan Way to head south from downtown will be routed around a block of construction from now until April 8, according to WSDOT. In addition to the one-block detour, WSDOT is trying to route cyclists onto side paths and sidewalks throughout the construction zone, which is part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct removal project.
Seattle Likes Bikes has some issues with WSDOT’s bicycle detours. Signs say that cyclists “must use” the signed path. However, WSDOT told SLB that bicyclists can choose to ride the vehicle detour route. There is no clear reason why cyclists would not be allowed to ride with traffic, says SLB:
1) If heading southbound, a cyclist can “choose” to either stay on the roadway or use the signed path, why is there a large sign posted stating that “Bicycles must used Signed Path.” This is a contradiction. If cyclists can choose, then the “must use” sign should be removed.
2) If the above is the case, why is it not the case for cyclists heading northbound? Both directions cross the Terminal 46 entrance. And in fact, staying on the street in both directions allows for a more predicable route for cyclists (and for drivers who can see the cyclists better on the street).
3) If cyclists are not being allowed to use the street, why not? There must be a reason since the street is open to vehicle traffic at this time. The issue that cyclists will have to use the bike detour in the near future isn’t really a reason why we cannot use the street route now.
I have questions out to WSDOT. I will update when/if I learn something.