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Bike Master Plan Draft 2: NW Seattle, Fremont, Phinney, Greenwood, Crown Hill, Bitter Lake

The last day to comment on the second draft of the Bicycle Master Plan is Friday (today!). Email your comments to [email protected].

This post is a continuation of a series investigating some of changes in the newest draft of the Bike Master Plan.

In general, the updated Bike Master Plan includes a lot of bold and smart projects. We noted many in our analysis of the first draft. This post focuses mainly on the changes between drafts.

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Seattle BMP Master Map-nw2
Blue=Protected bike lane. Green=Neighborhood Greenway. Red=Trail. Download full plan and map here

The biggest disappointment in the newest draft is deletion of a quality bike facility on Market Street. While a NW 58th Street neighborhood greenway will be useful for people in the neighborhood north of Market, there are no plans to help the vast numbers of people biking to the many Market St destinations from the Burke-Gilman Trail and Ballard Ave.

Speaking of Ballard Ave, there must be some creative options to help make that street even more biking and walking friendly.

In Fremont, one of the city’s bikiest neighborhoods, the plan leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s great to see an upgraded bike facility planned for Fremont Ave as well as improvements across the Fremont Bridge.

N 36th Street is a great candidate for a safe bikeway. It is packed with destinations, is very wide and the long blocks make it difficult to access business from side streets.

The lack of a facility on 38th/Bridge Way is a huge oversight. There is plenty of room to work with, and it is one of the only Aurora crossings along the seemingly never-ending climb up Fremont’s hill. There are also opportunities to make it safer to access the Aurora Bridge sidewalks.

36th Ave between Fremont Ave and Stone Way (passing by the Troll) is also a great candidate for a bike route, mainly because the Troll is a great location for a street closure of some kind. People already pour out into the traffic circle when visiting, and it seems silly we still allow traffic to move through there when the demand for people space is so overwhelming.

41st doesn’t cut it as a bike route across Aurora because it requires a stair climb and a very steep hill on the east side. Also, the runnel is essentially unusable on the staircase (though this could perhaps be improved). It’s fine for including in a neighborhood greenway plan, since it is a good walking route, but it should be removed from any bike plan calculations that count it as an Aurora crossing.

There are immense opportunities for a crossing at N 46th Street. There’s a lot of room, and huge demand for the 358 bus stop (soon to be RapidRide). This should be added back to the plan.

The plan for a protected bike way all the way from the Fremont Bridge through the heart of Greenwood is awesome. Too bad we did not have those plans in place a few years ago before we did all this recent work to Greenwood Ave.

I still think, as I suggested in my review of the first draft, that a quality bike facility on Holman Rd would be a game-changer in Crown Hill. Bike commute rates drop significantly north of Holman, probably because the street is so awful and dangerous to cross on foot and bike. And because it is a diagonal street, there are no parallel bike route options.

Improving the road into Carkeek Park would be awesome. I love that street, but biking it can be stressful during busy park hours.

This concludes our analysis of the Bike Master Plan Draft 2. Any other thoughts on NW Seattle? Let us know in the comments below. And, of course, take a few minutes to send your thoughts (praise the good as much as you point out the needed changes!) to [email protected].

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6 responses to “Bike Master Plan Draft 2: NW Seattle, Fremont, Phinney, Greenwood, Crown Hill, Bitter Lake”

  1. I didn’t notice this when I looked at this in the past, but it’s odd that 40th through Wallingford and 39th through Fremont are mentioned as candidates for facilities but not their at-grade continuation via Bridge Way, 38th, and Fremont Way. 39th/40th is basically 75th: a road that bypasses commercial districts and has mostly become a fast through route. 39th and 40th need as much work (both in the infrastructure sense and the cultural/behavioral sense) as Bridge Way/38th/Fremont Way. Traffic calming projects on 39th/40th might be desirable for reasons aside from cycling itself, but they’ll be more effective if any bike facilities installed there are actually used, and they’ll be used a lot more if they’re connected.

  2. Charles B

    As a commuter who often travels in the corridor that Holman occupies, I avoid it at all costs. Currently I use either use Greenwood to 85th/70th or a zig-zag root involving 90th, 8th and 70th to get to west Ballard.

    My primary observation: Most of these routes would work a lot better with more/better signals on 3rd, 8th, 15th and 24th.

    8th is especially bad as it has limited visibility with all of the trees/parking and rarely has signaled crossings.

    The intersection at 24th and 70th is also particularly dangerous for cars or bicycles going East/West.

  3. Biliruben

    Just wanted to say great job on the series, Tom.

    The only way I get close to Holman coming from lake city, particularly with my boy in tow, is to meander south and sneak up on it all unawares, usually via 6thish. Gotta pop on 8th for a bit, but it ain’t a safe facility, so I stay off of it as much as possible.

    More than halfway to your goal, even with PayPal. Good luck!

  4. No traffic lights

    Oh my God! N 46th from Fremont extending west to Market and Leary. Duh.

  5. RobHinGreenwood

    Motor vehicle speeds on Holman Rd can get pretty insane, especially downhill from Crown Hill and the grade uphill is pretty steep. Seems to me that Holman Rd must have really changed the nature of the area when it was built, and not for the better, as so many streets and neighborhoods were cut off to provide a convenient and relatively high-speed arterial for traffic to pass through the area (must have taken an enormous amount of fill). I don’t know how safe I would feel even on a separated track actually on Holman, with cars and trucks (including big rigs) of all sizes rushing by. Perhaps better to look at nearby quieter streets. This is a tough one. Have lived near Holman for 17 years now and I shake my head over it more and more.

  6. Celia

    Hello — I’m writing to the biking community for help.

    I lost my cat in Bitter Lake in late June. After much searching with no success, I called a local animal communicator. She has a great record. She told me that Tuxie is along a bike path that has a curve and guard rail where people do “silly stunts.” There are lots of blackberry or bramble bushes along the path. There are no cars, but several aggressive dogs. There is also a tan apartment building on the other side of the bushes with lap or vinyl siding.

    I located a curve on the Interurban Trail at about 117th that seems to fit the description, except there is no guard rail per se, only a kind of car gate. There is no sign asking cyclists to not go over the guard rail, though there are other signs there.

    My question to the cyclists would be: do you know of any other bike trail that might fit this description? Curvy, lined with thorny bushes, where bicyclists like to do “silly stunts” near a guard rail? I’m wondering if such a trail might be north of Bitter Lake where he was lost, since I am assuming he went south to Greenwood (toward home — long story).

    Thanks for any insight you might have . . . maybe people are doing silly stunts along the Interurban and I just haven’t seen them. :)

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