City leaders step up to make safety a priority on Roosevelt, here’s how to thank them

Click to read and sign the University Greenways thank you letter

Click to read and sign the University Greenways thank you letter

Neighbors of Roosevelt Way and safe streets advocates were trying to figure out the best strategy to convince city leaders to include bike lane upgrades as part of an upcoming repaving project when something awesome happened: The city announced that they now plan to build protected bike lanes for the entire length of the project, stretching from NE 65th Street to the University Bridge.

This is a smart call, taking advantage of the paving project to build out a key piece of the Bicycle Master Plan at a much lower-than-anticipated cost. It also demonstrates that the city is taking the Bike Plan and the 2007 Complete Streets Ordinance seriously. You can read more about the project in our previous story.

So University Greenways has put together a thank you letter for city leaders, and is asking folks to sign it, noting that “critical safety upgrades to the existing bicycle facility will transform Roosevelt Way NE from one of the most dangerous streets for people biking to one of Seattle’s safest.”

And, of course, you should go to at least one of the city’s upcoming open houses to support the project and give feedback on the plans (they are drop-in sessions, so no need to be there the entire time):

Tuesday, January 20|2 – 3:30 PM: University Heights, 5031 University Way NE

Wednesday, January 21|8 – 9:30 AM: Wayward Coffeehouse, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE

Thursday, January 22 | 5:30 – 7 PM: University Heights, 5031 University Way NE

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7 Responses to City leaders step up to make safety a priority on Roosevelt, here’s how to thank them

  1. The amazing neighbors flying the University Greenways banner have been leading the charge, but we can’t neglect to mention Cascade and Feet First who have been great allies.

    Please do sign the thank you letter and show up in person! We need to show our elected leaders that supporting safe streets is a politically smart thing to do, not a liability.

    Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

  2. Cheif says:

    Why are two out of the three open houses scheduled when the majority of voters are at work? It’s almost as if they don’t want people showing up.

  3. Joseph says:

    Hate to spoil the party, but I wonder how safe this will be? I drove past the not-yet-open section between 45th and the bridge. The separation from moving lanes was impressive, but there’s a worrisome number of crossings for intersections and parking. Since that section is downhill I assume people may tend to ride it fast, which seems to make these crossings a safety issue. And then there’s the insane section at the end that dumps you into the moving traffic lane just as those lanes narrow, go around a slight bend over Campus Pkwy, then cross merging traffic.

    Perhaps this lane will be safer and more comfortable for those who don’t go downhill as fast as I do (20+ mph)? Given the excitement about it, I sure hope so.

    Will having the lane will make it illegal to use the regular traffic lane for riding fast?

    • LWC says:

      Regarding your last question: no, as far as I am aware, in Seattle there is no law preventing cyclists from using general purpose lanes when a separated bicycle-specific lane is present.

      Though in my experience, many drivers seem to believe such a law exists, and often get aggressive and indignant when they see riders using the general travel lane when a bike lane or recreational trail is nearby. I’d guess that about 80% of my distasteful interactions with drivers within the city have come from situations like this (I do this primarily when I’m riding at or near the speed limit and feel that using bike facilities would be less safe than using the general purpose lane).

      • Cheif says:

        +1.. It’s totally legit to ride in the main travel lanes or bike lane depending on your preference and level of comfort. And while people in automobiles might try and “educate” you otherwise, automobile operators are not allowed to invent traffic rules on the fly just because they would rather be the only person on the road.

  4. Kirk says:

    I look forward to the day when SDOT designs safe streets for all mode users without having to be cajoled by local special interest groups.

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