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Support bike lanes along the Roosevelt RapidRide line (including Eastlake Ave)

An effort to build a faster and more reliable bus route along the Roosevelt Way/Eastlake Ave corridor is also an incredible opportunity to improve biking and walking conditions along the way.

The project — now called Roosevelt RapidRide — is going through a Federal Environmental Assessment, and public comment is open now until January 12 on the scope of that assessment. You know what that means. Let them know that biking and walking connectivity and safety should be top priorities, and that the protected bike lanes included in the plan will be huge improvements. There is a drop-in style open house TODAY (Monday) from 5 – 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Cloud on Fairview Ave N (apologies for the very late notice).

You can also submit your comments in writing to [email protected].

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The project’s preferred alternative includes many of the most important bike connections for this project, such as upgraded bike lanes on 11th/12th Ave from Roosevelt to the U Bridge and protected bike lanes on Eastlake Ave E and Fairview Ave N. Unfortunately, very exciting bike lane concepts on Fairview Ave N in the heart of South Lake Union and on Stewart St have been cut. The bus improvements north of Roosevelt Station, including improvements going as far as Northgate, have also been scaled back since earlier versions.

For biking, Stewart St is a particularly important and promising route for protected bike lanes, so it’s sad to see that left off the preferred alternative.

Eastlake Ave E is one of the most important bike route improvements in the whole city, since it connects our state’s largest employment center to one of the only bikeable bridges across the Ship Canal. It’s hard to overstate how exciting it is to see those bike lanes in the preferred alternative.

Here’s the planned project route and improvements under the preferred alternative:

Here’s what scoping document (PDF) says about the bike connection needs:

With significant transit service and dense, walkable n eighborhoods, there is a high level of pedestrian and bicy cle activity along the corridor, yet s everal intersections have above – average rates of bicycle and pedestrian collisions with vehicles . From 2010 to 2014, six intersections along the corridor were r eported to have three or more pedestrian injury collisions and five intersections with four or more bicycle collisions with injuries . 11 T he City of Seattle Bicycle Master Plan recommends protected bicycle lanes as one of the highest priority bicycle network investments, given the geographic constraints and limited bicycle route alternatives to the corridor . Additionally, numerous sidewalks and intersections do not meet current City of Seattle standards and do no t compl y with the ADA .

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24 responses to “Support bike lanes along the Roosevelt RapidRide line (including Eastlake Ave)”

  1. Brock

    What do you think of the west-side alignment of the protected bike lane along 11th Avenue through the U District?

    1. Andres Salomon


      1. Andres Salomon

        (Sorry, for the one word questions; kids were trying their hardest to distract me.)

        I mean, do you know why there’s a left-side bike lane being proposed? I suspect most people here would prefer a right-side lane, unless there’s some huge safety gains for a left-side lane.

      2. David

        Maybe the logic is that going north on 11/12th most cars are going to be turning right/east, so a left-side lane would have fewer car interactions? Still I think this is a mistake. The merge from the bridge is going to be terrible – uphill cutting to the left.

  2. Aviva

    I most defiantly support the initiative, is there some specific I should say if I choose to email my support for this?

  3. JB

    How many more things are going to get scaled back and watered down with this project before the complacent and visionless transportation agencies are through with it? The pretty maps are just smoke and mirrors to keep us placated through another round of projects while another decade goes by with Seattle marking time and reinforcing the car-dominated status quo.

    1. Jules James

      Maybe you should recognize that “car-dominated” is your perception but not close to roadway reality? Delivery trucks, service vans, private shuttles, VanPools, emergency vehicles, taxis, Uber, Lyft, customers/clients/employees parking and pedestrians in the crosswalks are all roadway users. To frame the Eastlake Avenue situation as “bike verses car” isn’t an accurate use of facts. Facts would boil down to: 34% of the roadway is proposed for less than 4% of the users to the detriment — at different degrees — to the other 96%.

      1. JB

        If I use the words “motor vehicle dominated” instead of “car dominated,” would it make you feel better Semantics Boy? Not to deny you the fun of misinterpretating and getting haughty. As for your 4% statistic, that’s the kind of argument that is cited by people with no vision beyond the present moment.
        The point is that there are thousands of people in Seattle who would like to get around on a bike and won’t do it until they can ride and feel reasonably safe that they won’t get hit by a car. With the right infrastructure the mode share of cycling will get much higher, and that’s a good thing for everyone, not just people who ride bikes.

    2. Jules James

      “Semantics Boy” recognizes the economic and environmental differences between an SOV commuter expecting a workday of uninterrupted arterial on-street parking, beer keg delivery trucks, Uber-Eats contractors, paratransit, parents transporting school kids, private shuttles, tradespeople needing their ladders, METRO busses and First Responder vehicles who actually SHARE the roadway contrasted with a bicycle community demanding 34% exclusive use of the Eastlake Avenue roadway for 4% of the Peak Hour vehicle usage. I cite the 4% US Census number because it is real and not the “If we build it, they will come” mantra that we’ve been hearing — but not seeing the “they will come” part — for 10 years now.

      1. JB

        In that case, it sounds like you would support more congestion fees and road tolling and environmental impact fees for single-occupancy vehicles?

        The idea that there is a bicycle community that is “demanding” anything is just nothing but bike haters melodrama.

        And what, pray tell, bike infrastructure has been built around here in the last ten years that you think is so amazing?

  4. 🚇🚲🚠💵

    Left lane makes sense north of the bridge and south of 50th. West side bike lane will have fewer conflicts with car turns. Most car turns are to the left(east). Because the street grid to the west is f’d and car trips to Wallingford are taking i5. The key will be how to shift the lane on the bridge to the left ( north of the bridge).

  5. Dave

    Through the Eastlake neighborhood, I’d actually recommend a different alignment for the southbound bike lane: Minor Ave instead of Eastlake Ave. Minor is a wide, quiet street with parking only on one side and less elevation gain. I already ride this street instead of the busy, noisy, congested Eastlake Ave. It connects up nicely with Fairview and the Chesihund (sp?) Trail on the south side of the neighborhood.

    The Eastlake neighborhood is already organizing against the protected bike lane on Eastlake Ave since it will take away parking through the retail/commercial district. The Minor Ave route is a good compromise.

    1. asdf2

      Minor doesn’t go through. We need bike routes that go in a straight line, not zigzag back and forth.

      1. Tim F

        “Welcome to our neighborhood, we know you have options. Use them.” is not a good look for a retail/commercial district.

        It’s telling that the concierge was in the process of directing guests to Pike Place as I was looking for the meeting room.

  6. ronp

    This is my commute. It is an essential bit of infrastructure that is desperately needed. I hope the shop owners realize what a benefit a bike lane can be. https://twitter.com/modacitylife/status/939345319766007808

    If they had their way we would be narrowing sidewalks for more on street parking.

    1. Jules James

      Sorry. Bike commuters are passing through Eastlake. They are not stopping to shop. Eastlake neighbors on bikes tend to avoid Eastlake. We favor Franklin and Minor. And the “Rapid Ride” competing for bus riders with the Light Rail opening at the same time is a complete joke. So The RRR is really just about wiping out 100% of the Neighborhood-Commercial arterial parking (250 spaces) for you to pass through Eastlake slightly faster. No thank you.

      1. Kate

        It’s actually at least 327 spots (using the city’s own outdated info from 2015) .

        3 businesses (two local, one national chain) along Roosevelt have either had to relocate (to Lake City) or close, due to the impact of this project. In the last two months, I’ve even read multiple comments (20+) from actual cyclists on social media who avoid riding down Roosevelt, due to safety reasons.

        I can guarantee that Eastlake Ave businesses do not need nor will they be open to losing customer+delivery parking, in order to accommodate a bike lane.

        Put the bike lane elsewhere (I have my own idea of where it should go, and plan to push this with the city til my last breath)- make everyone (bikes AND businesses) happy and safe. Compromise.

        And lastly- if the city is so excited+proud of this project- then why didn’t they include the words “bike” or “bike path” in the materials (text and map) that were mailed out to (some) members of the Eastlake community (and therefore also sent inaccurately to the Feds for grant money) about this project? Bait and switch.

  7. RossB

    >> For biking, Stewart St is a particularly important and promising route for protected bike lanes, so it’s sad to see that left off the preferred alternative.

    My guess is nothing will be done on Stewart if they go ahead with the pointless streetcar. Right now the streetcar crosses Stewart (on Westlake). It is only a single track there (since the turnaround is just south of there — https://goo.gl/maps/MGK1yuhM2tp). With the pointless extension, the streetcar will go down Stewart and then turn on 1st. It will be double track along there. The curve will be a hazard (of course) and with the two pointless streetcar lanes, there will be very little room for a bike lane. Map of route: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattle-to-spend-177m-on-new-streetcar-line-amid-questions-about-unrealistic-revenue-rider-projections/

    1. RossB

      Another thought: In general, there is no reason to have major transit and bike routes share the same street. If anything, it makes it harder. In this case, there are very few improvements to transit along Eastlake or Roosevelt, which is a major change from the original plan. There just isn’t enough room to put in both protected bike lanes and transit lanes. But I think they made the right choice, as this is an essential bike corridor, and a lesser transit corridor (although not minor, by any means).

      South of Lake Union, however, bike lanes and transit lanes should be on different streets. That way there is room for both. I think what would make the most sense is to have bike lanes all around the lake, and a protected bike lane south on Westlake, to Stewart. What is preventing that, of course, is the pointless streetcar.

      1. Jules James

        Agree with “pointless streetcar.” Agree with separating bikes from arterials — commuters might not care, but recreational bike riders don’t need to contend with the quickened pace of Neighborhood-Commercial activity. But don’t agree that exclusive use bike lanes on Eastlake Avenue will be helpful to biking in Seattle. The usage numbers are indefensible and the proposed street layout will be causing delayed and unsafe traffic in the extreme. The cost to the bike community’s credibility will be significant and not temporary.

  8. […] some of the initial design choices, such as scaling back bus lanes and bike lanes (also covered by Seattle Bike Blog). It’s still worth pushing Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for a better design, […]

  9. eddiew

    The RossB comments are solid. It is odd that the alignment misses the NE 45th Street Link station. Should the bike lanes of both Roosevelt Way NE and 11th/12th avenues be on the left side? On the right, they conflict with bus stops. The parking on Roosevelt Way NE takes significant capacity. How would protected bike lanes on Eastlake Avenue East work with bus stops if there is no parking? Would bikes conflict with pedestrians on sidewalks? Perhaps an off-street garage with short term parking and housing atop should be added to Eastlake. Could left side bike lanes be added to Stewart Street?

  10. […] bike lanes along the Roosevelt […]

  11. […] some of the initial design choices, such as scaling back bus lanes and bike lanes (also covered by Seattle Bike Blog). It’s still worth pushing Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for a better design, […]

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