More details on N 34th St bike box (with images!)

We reported earlier this week on changes coming to N 34th St in Fremont. This vital connector is finally getting repaved, and SDOT is using the opportunity to make some much-needed changes to the street design.

The most visible of those changes: A new bike box on 34th at Fremont Ave just north of the Fremont Bridge. SDOT’s George Frost provided us with the striping plans to help paint a better picture of how this bike box will work.

As you can see in the image above, the bike lane that formerly disappeared into the back of a row of parked cars is now preserved and leads into the bike box. Both of the lanes to the left of the bike lane will become left-turn-only, and the curb lane to the right of the bike lane will be for right-turning or through traffic. Here’s a more zoomed-out look:

It appears that right turns on red will still be allowed, which takes away one of the pedestrian safety benefits associated with bike boxes (also the primary complaint I hear from people who drive).

The city has already installed bike boxes at 12th and Pine, 7th and Dearborn and sort of at 12th and Union/Madison. I am excited to see them getting utilized more commonly for road projects around the city because they can help solve a variety of tricky traffic maneuvers simply by staggering where people wait at signals, which increases visibility.

The SDOT Blog has more on the 34th Ave project:

The project to repave N 34th Street from Fremont Avenue N to Stone Way N also enhances the roadway considerably for bicyclists.  As part of the work, which began this month and is expected to wrap up by Mid-August, crews will install:

  • New green bike lanes highlighting areas where bicycles and cars cross paths
  • New bike box at intersection of N 34th St and Fremont Ave N to provide a place for cyclists to wait for the signal in front of vehicles (where they can be seen)
  • New bike loop detectors to tell the signal when a bicycle is waiting for the light to turn green

It all means biking will be better on N 34th Street!   And it won’t be too shabby for cars, buses and pedestrians either…offering improvements such as sidewalk replacement near the Fremont Avenue N intersection; upgraded curb ramps to meet current standards for accessibility; and removal of unused railroad tracks in the roadway.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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5 Responses to More details on N 34th St bike box (with images!)

  1. Jake says:

    Great to hear! Along with the Dexter improvements, this will do a lot for bicycle mobility in the Fremont area.

  2. Chris says:

    The project to repave N 34th Street from Fremont Avenue N to Stone Way N also enhances the roadway considerably for bicyclists. As part of the work, which began this month and is expected to wrap up by Mid-August

    It will be an improvement, but right now 34th is a bitch to bike on right now. I’m generally only on it from around the transfer station until Woodland Park, but it’s rough, really rough during the work. I broke a spoke on it two days ago.

  3. Al Dimond says:

    I’ve seen lots of pictures of bike boxes that were painted, indicating that cars are excluded from the bike lane, but didn’t appear to have a lane to the right of it for right-turning cars. That’s always seemed dangerous to me — almost all of the bike-car accidents I’ve personally witnessed were caused by a conflict between a right-turning car and a cyclist trying to go straight but positioned to its right. This one has a clear right-turn lane and a clear place where the right-turning traffic is supposed to get across the straight-going bikes. It looks about right to me. This intersection, where lots of cyclists need to turn left, seems like as good a place for a bike box as any. I’ve made the mistake of getting in the leftmost lane to make this turn a few times (fortunately Fremont bridge traffic is slow and I’m used to riding on wet metal-grated bridges from living in Chicago), and I’m pretty hopeful this box will clarify the situation and help others avoid this mistake.

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