Obama walks down that center-lane cycle track that would be great on Westlake

You know how Westlake Ave in South Lake Union is still super dangerous for cycling due to the streetcar tracks in the curb lane? Well we have argued that the city should design protected bike lanes in the center lanes of the road, like on Pennsylvania Ave in DC.

If you want a better look at them, President Obama put them on display for the whole world Monday, walking down the center of the lanes during his inauguration:

If only he would have also demonstrated the proper use of a bike box while he was at it.

UPDATE: Caption Contest! Post your suggestions in the comments below:



About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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6 Responses to Obama walks down that center-lane cycle track that would be great on Westlake

  1. merlin says:

    Oh man, if only they’d done it on bikes! Maybe our NEXT president and first lady will understand what those lanes are for??

  2. Michael Hintze says:

    That facility was designed by my firm, Toole Design Group. It sees very heavy use with very few crashes. If i can dig up some stats i will share them.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      That would be awesome! I saw a report a while back that nearly all the collisions involved cars making u-turns across the cycle track. So the city went out and installed a bunch of No U-Turn signs and are hopeful that will fix the issue. I’m interested in seeing how that plays out.

      • Michael Hintze says:

        Turns out that there was a slight increase in bicycle crashes within the corridor, but there was also a 250% increase in ridership for year following installation (May 2010). Currently only one year of crash data is available (at least to me) so can’t decipher any trends. But likely, as users become more familiar with facility, small design tweaks are made, and enforcement and education increase, crash rate will decrease. In fact, the city has stepped up enforcement and education of drivers regarding illegal u-turns. Here is a flyer that is currently being distributed: http://ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT/Publication%20Files/On%20Your%20Street/Bicycles%20and%20Pedestrians/Bicycles/Bicycle%20Safety/No-U-Turns.pdf

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Yeah, when almost all the collisions are for the same thing: U-Turns, then it’s easy to address the issue the way DC is with those materials and the new signage. Gives me even more faith that this could work in Seattle. Thanks for the link!

  3. another mother on a bike says:

    I’ve ridden those lanes, and they were pretty good. I liked the intersection treatments with turn lanes and some protection. Still, I would prefer a physical buffer over paint the whole way. Thinking about the Ravenna bike lane, which is still driven on daily and would be safer if it had some sort of physical separation IMO.

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