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The Linden Cycle Track is Seattle’s first world-class protected bike lane + VIDEO

IMG_1422Seattle recently completed most work on the Linden Ave Complete Streets Project, which includes a world-class cycle track connecting the Seattle and Shoreline sections of the Interurban Trail and dramatically improving walking and ADA access along the street.

Essentially, the design of the cycle makes it safe, intuitive and easy to use and interact with, no matter what mode of transportation you use. People on bikes are separated from moving cars by either a curb or parked cars. Bike-specific traffic signals help avoid conflicts and confusion at intersections, and new sidewalks help neighborhood residents, especially those with mobility issues, get around much more safely.

This project is a slam dunk for the neighborhood, city and region.

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To guide you through some of the features of the cycle track, here’s a video I made (apologies for shakiness):

Parked cars are set back from driveway crossings to make sure people in cars can easily see people biking and walking:


In some sections, the bike lanes are separated from moving cars by a curb and parked cars. In other sections, a drainage dip, painted barrier and parked cars separate the modes. While I was there, this worked quite well and everyone parked in the right spot. I have heard of people getting confused and parking in the bike lanes, but time will tell whether that is just a learning curve issue.IMG_1435

Bike-specific traffic signals control bike traffic, even at this high-use crosswalk:IMG_1433The official launch of the Linden Complete Streets Project is scheduled for 10 a.m. – noon July 13 in front of the Bitter Lake Community Center.


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26 responses to “The Linden Cycle Track is Seattle’s first world-class protected bike lane + VIDEO”

  1. Ernest Henderson

    This is fantastic! Now if everyone else can get on board.

  2. Chuck

    This is along my daily commute. I have been pleasantly surprised by how well it is working. The bike specific lights are a nice touch. I hope the unfinished construction on the north intersection can improve the issue of right turning vehicles into the bike lane. Also, people have been really good about parking lately.

  3. graywolf

    It is very nice! The whole route of the bike track has been amazingly cleaned up and landscaped. I experienced a driver who was not aware of how the bike specific lights work and made a right turn through the bike light. Watch for that, I would say. At the south terminus of the N. Seattle Interurban is Fremont Ave. N., a designated bike route, which is slated for improvements soon, which if I recall, include a 20 mph speed limit, added speed bumps and stop signs installed at many now-unmarked intersections.
    We need miles and miles of bike tracks in Seattle, esp. in more central traffic areas!

  4. joseph

    This is awesome – here’s to many more!

    And I *love* the bike-specific lights. Finally!

  5. Kirk from Ballard

    The cycle track is really well done and works. The only improvement needed is the southbound Interurban trail at 145th that forks directing southbound riders away from the entrance, and is too narrow to be safe on the fork that goes to the cycletrack. But I guess this area is outside of Seattle, right over the border, so Shoreline would need to fix it. It’s a minor and easy fix, I hope they do it…

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Yeah, luckily, the trail is already wide enough, so they just need to change the signage and paint to make it clear the left leg (traveling south) is bi-directional. While observing, it seemed like most people figured this out, though.

  6. jdg

    we road on it yesterday and that green pain is so amazingly bright when there is direct sunshine on it. almost blinding as you ride over it. thankfully its not sunny alot :D

  7. Gary

    “Lemonade!”..I see that the trail has improved the local economy as well!

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Yup! $1 at a time…

  8. I love this SDOT poster as well!

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      I know! There are actually two of them. Fine print says the image is by Jen Dixon.

      Here’s the second one:


    2. A

      It reminds me of the cool upcycled sign art at the new south transfer station.

  9. Seattle Jitterbalm

    OMG it’s a miracle! MORE CYCLETRACKS please!!! Thank you to all the people involved in this project. It’s close to my Dad’s house, it’s part of my journey as a non-car owning transportation cyclist. I’m very very grateful.

  10. Gary

    I’d be interested to see how much better/worse the auto traffic is now that the construction is complete. We saw a lot of complaints in a previous posting by one person who drives this route. Yet your video doesn’t show much auto traffic on the road at all. One suspects that the construction of the cycle track was worse for autos than the finished cycle track is.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Indeed. That video was also taken at the start of rush hour on a weekday…

  11. Oh this is so great to see !
    Thanks for the video — it really shows the route.
    Also businesses spring up along bike routes …
    Love the Young Entrepreneur…!

  12. Skylar Thompson

    I’m not convinced this is really an improvement. I just rode on it southbound for the first time, and almost got doored once and hit by left-turning drivers twice. I think that the left-turn signal for drivers is green at the same time that the through signal for the cycle track is green, which is confusing and dangerous for everyone involved. I would much rather be where people expect me to be (on the right) than where I’m unexpected.

    Never had these problems here before the cycle track, and I’ve ridden that route pretty often.

  13. Thanks for the tour, Tom. Your footage is going to be very helpful over in my neck of the woods when it comes to explaining what a NE 65th St cycle track might look like. SDOT should write you a check.

  14. […] One key part of the project is a protected two-way bikeway filling a key gap in the Interurban North bike route. For more on that, see our previous post. […]

  15. […] training and education programs, the solution to that is building protected bicycle lanes and separated cycle tracks where appropriate, which Seattle proposes with its Bicycle Master Plan. Further, the city has been […]

  16. Terence

    I’ve ridden this revised area a lot. I rode it only a few times before the work was completed, but it does make the area look cleaner. I have to say I will now avoid this area. Today I was heading northbound and was clipped by a car turning left in the apartments. She said “she didn’t see me”. It was day time with a little rain. I am wearing a clear rain jacket with a red jersey. I think maybe a van was blocking her view.

    This is not my first incident. I have almost ran in to walkers crossing the street from the west side onto the trail they watched for cars but not bikes. A driver with his hazard lights on almost veered into me. There is a senior citizen’s home on the trail I have almost hit one as they try to cross to Bitter Lake community, they were not looking for me. Once there was a lady walking her dog, she was on the sidewalk dog on the trail. There is that slightly hidden stop sign when the new part ends on the south end, a prime place for cars and bikes to meet.

    Take my advice AVOID.

  17. Lora

    I really enjoyed reading your article. It is so inspiring to see such innovative bike lanes being developed here in the US.

    Currently, I am writing a white paper for my employer on surface treatments for bike lanes. If it is okay with you, I would like to use a quote from you and two of your photos for the paper.

    Please let me know.

    Thank you so much,

    1. Terence


      You probably want to get in touch with the writer of this great blog, Tom.

      [email protected]

      1. Lora

        Okay- I will. Thank you so much for providing his email address.

  18. […] Seattle’s philosophy on protected bike lanes is influenced by its northern neighbor, Vancouver BC: do them up nice the first time, with an artful combination of posts, low concrete curbs, drainage ditches, dedicated traffic signals and plentiful painted markings. There’s no better example of that than Linden Avenue, a useful connector in a far-north neighborhood that Seattle Bike Blog (maker of the video above) rightly called “world class.” […]

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