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Ballard paving updates: 20th Ave bike lanes in + slightly improved Missing Link

SDOT’s been busy out there as we hit the peak of the 2011 paving season (the greatest season of all). Here are a few updates from Ballard. I also noticed spray paint markings on N 65th St near Green Lake getting ready for changes there, as well as markings on Latona and Thackary in Wallingford.

There are also a couple planned projects in Georgetown (Ellis Ave and Albro), Columbian Way between Columbia City and Beacon Hill., and Dexter. Oh, and, of course, NE 125th has been completed (more on that soon).

New bike lanes on 20th Ave NW in Ballard

Photo from the SDOT Blog

We have not swung by yet to check them out, but SDOT reports that the bike lanes on 20th Ave NW between Market and NW 65th are complete (see our previous half-story).

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No more bike-in-a-house sharrows on the Missing Link

Remember those sort of confusing bike-in-a-house sharrows on NW 45th St at the southern start of the Missing Link? Gone. SDOT has removed the outdated pavement markings and installed new, more familiar sharrows.

Perhaps even more importantly, the new markings are placed in the center of the lane, encouraging people now to ride too close to the extremely dangerous train tracks just next to the road.

It is common to see people, especially people who have probably not traveled this stretch of road before, try to ride between the tracks. This is extremely dangerous, especially for those without fat tires on their bikes. Hopefully the new markings will encourage safer riding while the city continues the legal battle to complete this vital link in the trail.

I have noticed a significant lack in southeast and southwest Seattle projects so far this year. Budget cuts have hit the number of bike lane miles that will be installed this year (25.5 instead of the planned 30, according to SDOT’s Doug Cox at last month’s Bicycle Advisory Board meeting). The budget for a Southeast Seattle neighborhood greenway was also cut in half (from $300k to $150k).

I hope that the trend changes and we get more projects south of the Ship Canal. And it’s time to start talking seriously about installing at least one separated bike lane of some kind downtown. Everybody’s doing it, and with great results. A safe downtown is way past due.

Notice any projects we have yet to cover on this site? Note them in the comments.

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6 responses to “Ballard paving updates: 20th Ave bike lanes in + slightly improved Missing Link”

  1. LWC

    There’s a rechannelization project about to get under way on SW Alaska in West Seattle. It focuses mostly on BAT lanes for future rapid-ride service, but there will be a bike lane addition as well:

  2. Industrialbiker

    The new bike lanes on Ellis Ave S and S Albro Place are in. Come to Georgetown this weekend and check them out.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      I plan on it! Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Nick N

    They’re now working simultaneously on Airport Way in Georgetown and East Marginal by the 16th S. Bridge. Butter smooth asphalt and bike lanes are coming. Too bad the bridge isn’t there yet. Just another 2 years for that project.

  4. nice photo of the start of the missing link. last summer, my then 8 year old daughter had her first wreck right there (from the looks of it, almost exactly where you were standing to take that pic.) we were crossing the intersection from the BG (on the corner adjoining fred meyer.) i had just cleared the intersection and she was right behind me, when i heard a scream. i looked back and saw my little girl laying in the middle of the street with cars at all for corners of the intersection. she got her front wheel diverted in those RR track grooves, and over she toppled. needless to say, my heart was pounding a mile a minute as i hopped off my bike and ran back to get her and her bike up off the pavement and out of the street. her injuries were minor (just some scrapes and bruises,) but i haven’t taken her back to fremont since.

    while it was probably the single scariest moment i’ve yet experienced as a cyclist, in the long run it turned out to be good for her in the sense that she learned a valuable lesson about being too casual around RR tracks. we’ve crossed the tracks on the terminal 91 trail many times since then, and she’s always very cautious.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Wow, that does sound scary. I’m glad she was okay! Tough way to learn that lesson.

      I see people riding between the tracks or right next to them all the time (probably every time I’m on that street). It’s scary, but I understand. People see this space that’s not in the street and they would rather be there. Tracks don’t strike a lot of people as dangerous until they or someone near them falls. I just can’t wait until the trail is completed.

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