Take Bellevue’s survey about the 108th Ave NE bike lanes

Project map from Bellevue.

Bellevue wants to know what you think of their demonstration bike lanes on 108th Ave NE, so take their online survey and let them know.

The city opened the new bike lanes this summer as a practical test of the concept through the heart of the downtown core. The lanes connect to the transit center and were accompanied by the launch of Lime e-bikes, which allow more people to use the new lanes.

They aren’t perfect, but the relatively low-budget lanes are a test of the concept that the city’s transportation planners say they will continue to improve depending on how things are working. So let them know!

From the City of Bellevue:

The City of Bellevue wants to hear from you!

The 108th Avenue Demonstration Bikeway opened on July 31, 2018, providing the first continuous bicycle facility throughdowntown Bellevue. Now the City of Bellevue wants to hear what you think. If you bike, walk, bus, or drive along 108th Avenue NE in downtown, please take a few minutes to respond to an online questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/108thBikeDemo. The survey is available until Nov. 1, 2018.

Your response will help the city transportation staff know what you think works, what doesn’t, and how the design can be improved to better serve all users. More information is available on the project webpage. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the demonstration bikeway.

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3 Responses to Take Bellevue’s survey about the 108th Ave NE bike lanes

  1. asdf2 says:

    What they did downtown was great, but it’s only one block. The rest of the city needs a lot of work, and the fixes aren’t going to come cheap. On many arterial streets, there is simply no room to build bike facilities with even paint-only separation without either removing a lane of traffic or widening the entire street. Many such streets (148th Ave., 156th Ave., Bel-Red road) are essential for anything resembling a connected network, but getting anything beyond sharrows in the foreseeable future looks like a pipe dream at best.

    That leaves neighborhood greenways as the solution, except the neighborhood streets, as the city is currently designed, don’t go through, forcing all travelers, motorized and non-motorized, alike, onto the arterial streets.

    In most cases, there is no way to implement a meaningful neighborhood greenway network without acquiring some sort of land and/or easements on what’s currently private property. In some corridors, the neighborhood streets *almost* go through, allowing a relatively small amount of property acquisition to connect a relatively large corridor.

    For instance, if you look carefully at Google Earth imagery, you can imagine a route from downtown Bellevue (112th Ave./NE 10th St.) all the way to Crossroads Mall, using a mixture of parking lots and residential streets, without having to step foot on an arterial street with missing bike lanes at all. The entire distance between DT Bellevue and Crossroads Mall is just 3 miles, yet with the existing street network, it may as well be the moon if you’re on a bike. While a parking lot to parking lot route is not ideal, it’s at least possible, with most of the pavement already in place. Plus, it also connects communities for people walking, so maybe, they don’t feel they *have* to get in the cars to drive somewhere that’s less than 1/4 mile away, as the crow flies, just to get around a stupid fence. Of course, the biggest challenge of building such a thing, which would probably sink the idea, in practice, is cooperation from the landowners. All it takes is one landowner along the route opposed to the idea of people not affiliated with the property walking or biking across their parking lot, and the entire route becomes useless, unless the city is willing to spend a ton of money on lawyers and real estate to buy the entire recalcitrant parcel via eminent domain.

    But, without some sort of utilization of what’s currently private property, as a non-motorized travel corridor, that leaves no alternative except for the car-clogged arterials. Much of this problem could have been eliminated if the city had the foresight to allocate space for pedestrian mobility between the property parcels, when the land was sub-divided in the first place.

    • AP says:

      >> In some corridors, the neighborhood streets *almost* go through, allowing a relatively small amount of property acquisition to connect a relatively large corridor.

      I don’t know of any cities that had the foresight to set aside pedestrian/bicycle facilities when gridding their roads. But the point above I think is actionable.

      There’s a pedestrian cut-through from Surrey Downs to Bellevue High School that’s just a row of paving stones. You can see it in the Google imagery here: https://goo.gl/maps/CpxagY7w8Gz. The post isn’t clear, but it states that this path that goes between two houses is public access. It’s really not fit for cycling, but it’s a lovely facility for pedestrians.

      There are many streets in Seattle, especially west of the UW, that have been cut off to car traffic, leaving only a bike/ped path. For years I’d be driving around the UW on a weekend and end up getting stuck on a dead end because the street I took all the time during the week on my bike suddenly stopped.

      Bellevue has a bunch of places where the cut-throughs you mention would be useful. Take the 108th Ave bike lanes as an example. The bike lane goes all the way from I-90 (it’s not protected south of Main St., but the traffic is reasonable) to NE 24th St. It doesn’t make it all the way through Bellevue. But a very small cut-through at 109th Ave (https://goo.gl/maps/an9oVY5ezt22) would let bike traffic bypass 112th Ave completely to make it to SR-520.

      It’s hard to convince people to let pedestrians walk between their house and the neighbor’s. I’m sure property owners would protest any such plans to connect streets with pedestrian/bike paths.

    • Andrew Squirrel says:

      I completely agree with the unconnected side-roads ruining so many possible low-traffic paths. I think in general this will be a huge hurdle for many places in the pacific northwest since suburban designer seems to favor twisty unconnected cul-de-sacs to create quiet dead ends while pushing more and more vehicles and bicycles to the busy arterials. It sucks that we’ve essentially constructed ourselves into a crappy future for bicycles and the only way out is the near impossible eminent domain.

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