A coalition of community groups on Capitol Hill is hosting a design workshop October 25 to help craft a vision for the protected bike lanes on Pike and/or Pine Streets that were funded through the convention center expansion community benefits package. The City Council passed a resolution in July calling on SDOT to design and build these bike lanes by the end of 2019.
You should RSVP online for the evening workshop, which even includes dinner. Space is limited.
The workshop concept is a wonderful example of what can happen when community groups get together and invite folks to be part of a positive change in the neighborhood and to shape public investment. Neighborhood groups like Central Seattle Greenways have already been going around to area businesses for years talking about the need and potential for bike lanes. And, of course, neighborhood groups organized to boost the convention center public benefits package to include this funding. Few bike lane projects in the city’s history have been so community-led.
There are few bike routes in the city with as important and promising as Pike/Pine, which connect downtown to large swaths of dense housing and business districts. These streets are already heavily used today by people biking despite lacking quality bike lanes.
More details from the workshop organizers:
Capitol Hill Housing (CHH), Central Seattle Greenways, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will host a community design workshop on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Summit Event Space, 420 E. Pike Street to plan the new protected bike lanes coming to the Pike/Pine Corridor. Doors will open, and a community meal will be served at 5:30pm. The official program will begin at 6pm. The workshop is free and open to the public, though space is limited. Attendees should reserve their seat at the table at http://bit.ly/pikepineworkshop. All are welcome.
Protected bike lanes are a simple concept: a street, or portion of a street, specifically for bikes. The form of a bike lane can vary, but they all provide space that keeps bicycle traffic separate from cars, pedestrians, parking lanes and sidewalks. Bike lanes improve health, reduce carbon emissions, and take pressure off other transportation systems. Most importantly, protected bike lanes improve safety for people who bike, which encourages more ridership by a broader and more diverse user base.
Funding for the Pike/Pine protected bike lanes comes from a public benefits package connected to the Washington State Convention Center Addition, an effort championed by a coalition of community groups of which all three host organizations were a part. This summer, the Seattle City Council directed SDOT to design and build protected bike lanes in the Pike/Pine corridor by the end of 2019.
The contributions of all users are critical to creating a successful, fully inclusive plan. The street design needs to work for all stakeholders, including people who would choose to bike if it were safer, and those who live, study and work in the streetscapes around the bike lanes. The partners are committed to ensuring that the business community and all users of the Pike/Pine corridor have a say in how these lanes are designed so that their implementation is successful, and the lanes are well- and safely used.
The event will bring community members together to develop a design that prioritizes pedestrian safety and comfort, is safe and intuitive for cyclists, and strengthens the vibrant retail environment on Pike/Pine. This unique engagement event positions the community to collectively develop a vision for a healthy and vibrant corridor and to speak with a unified voice to the City on its priorities. It will begin with a performance by Tessa Hulls, an avid biker, renowned artist, and worldwide adventurer who explores the history of gender and biking through a variety of media, followed by a brief presentation and overview of the City’s bike lane proposals. The bulk of the evening will involve interactive breakout groups where community members will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas for the design of safe, healthy streetscapes that include protected bike lanes. Dinner and drink will be provided.
To ensure that this workshop is accessible to the broadest possible audience, we  have consulted experts on mobility challenges and vision impairment issues in the design of the program.
A full list of co-host organizations supporting this event:
Capitol Hill Community Council
Capitol Hill EcoDistrict
Capitol Hill Housing
Cascade Bicycle Club
Central Seattle Greenways
Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Here’s the schedule for the evening:
5:30 PM – Doors Open
Registration & dinner
6:00 PM – Introduction
Welcome, goals & steps, and an art moment
6:30 PM – Group Discussions
Small group breakouts with facilitators
8:20 PM – Report Out
Share out from small groups
8:50 PM – Closing Remarks
Key themes and next steps
9:00 PM – Event Concludes
Even just one more block on the existing pike street protected bike lanes would help. That is, the block between 8th and 9th. Going east, the protected part ends at 8th, but there’s plenty of room to continue to the next block – one bike lane already exists and next to it is a hashed off area, about 8′ wide. Once you’re past 9th, where there is a freeway entrance, at least you’re out of the worst traffic.
Where it ends now, you’re left in a confusing mess.
Sure, we still need the whole plan, but this is so easy.
Just one block. What are you waiting for, SDOT?