Cascade lists their 5 top-priority Seattle bike projects

Cascade Bicycle Club recently posted their top 5 Seattle bike improvement priorities, though it’s really more like like 4 projects and a citywide plan.

They go into more detail about each in their blog post, so go check it out. Here’s the list:

  • Georgetown to Downtown Bike Connection
  • West Marginal Way Bike Connection
  • Seattle Waterfront Bike Connection
  • Burke-Gilman Missing Link
  • Seattle Transportation Plan

Two of the spots are in industrial districts, which have seen far more than their share of bicycle injuries and deaths. Until now, safe streets improvements in Seattle have largely ignored the industrial areas, but that was a terrible mistake. People like in and bike through SoDo and the Duwamish Valley, and they need to have a safe place to do so. We can’t change the past, but we can make safe industrial areas a priority now. (Note: I updated this section 8/25 to clarify location names as noted in the comments.)

It’s sad that the waterfront bike connection needs to be on this list, but it does. I cannot believe the city is going make advocates fight for a safe and direct bike lane to connect the existing Elliott Bay Trail with the under-construction waterfront bikeway. It is so obviously in everyone’s best interest for this bike route to be connected in a safe and direct manor that it really shouldn’t have to be said. Yet here we are.

No more words need to be said about the Missing Link, but they gotta stay on it until it is finally completed.

The Seattle Transportation Plan is not exactly a project, but it’s very important that the final plan reflects the people’s vision of a safer, more equitable and more sustainable Seattle.

What would your top 5 list look like?

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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19 Responses to Cascade lists their 5 top-priority Seattle bike projects

  1. Alex says:

    Rainier Ave! We might never get a truly bike-safe Rainier but I have to imagine we can do better.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Agreed. My number 1 until it is fixed.

    • NickS says:

      Absolutely agree. Frankly any safe and efficient connection between Rainier Beach and downtown would be my top #1. SDOT has dug their heels in and refused to consider Rainier Ave for bike lanes because “transit.” It’s apparently impossible to satisfy the need for both a safe and direct bike route and public transit.

      That seems to leave MLK. It remains to be seen if SDOT will consider bike lanes adjacent to the 50mph (unenforced and laughable 25mph) four lane freeway that is MLK Jr Way S. south of Rainier. If King County hadn’t screwed predominantly black, Hispanic, and Asian SE Seattle by running Link at grade like they’ve done for White Seattle neighborhoods, maybe we could have run a bike highway down the middle of MLK instead. Instead we get residents killed by trains while crossing the street.

      The best I can hope for as a resident is for the eventual completion of all three Beacon Hill segments sometime possibly in the 2030s. I can then risk life and limb to navigate west and up a serious hill to get to downtown.

  2. Peri Hartman says:

    Top 2 priorities:
    – Rainier
    – SODO – Georgetown
    Not saying the others aren’t important, but generally there are alternates people can use or the traffic isn’t so fast. These two are simply impossible to bike safely.

  3. Peri Hartman says:

    As for the waterfront, SDOT needs to understand that cyclists want to ride through with no more delays than vehicle traffic. Jogging back and forth from side to side of the street is going to make riders like me just use the traffic lanes. Too bad for drivers who get held up.

    • daihard says:

      We have it good if we _can_ take the traffic lane on Alaskan Way. I can, I often do now, but I’d imagine there are a lot of people who’d love to bike waterfront if there is proper bike infrastructure, and what is being planned now won’t cut it.

    • Braeden says:

      At their open house in the spring, I asked the engineer if any travel time analyses had been conducted for bikes moving through the corridor under the “jog” vs. direct configurations. His response was as if he’d been asked whether the route was accessible for martians, despite the fact that these sorts of analyses are presented by SDOT for drivers all the time. The idea that cyclists are traveling between different locations and value their time had seemingly never occurred to him.

      • daihard says:

        Sadly, I can totally see that. I’d venture to guess that hardly any of the SDOT “traffic” engineers actually bikes in Seattle.

      • Peri Hartman says:

        SDOT’s idea of a compromise follows this analogy: a route needs two bridges built to get from A to B. SDOT would say, we’ll compromise and build one bridge. They don’t really seem to understand the complete picture.

  4. Denise says:

    1) Rainier
    2) Rainier
    3) Rainier
    4) Rainier
    5) literally anything south of Pike/Pine

  5. Rick Sullivan says:

    I can’t believe that Eastlake isn’t on the top five.

    • daihard says:

      I agree. Aurora Ave N should make the list, too.

    • NoSpin says:

      We need to keep an eye on Eastlake. Local NIMBYs in Eastlake aren’t giving up on their desperate and hyperbolic pleas to stop planned bike lanes and Rapid Ride on this corridor. Every excuse you can imagine, from lost parking endangering the viability of local businesses to moved bus stops being an inconvenience for seniors to bicyclists who will blitz down the street at twice the speed limit.

  6. Gary says:

    35th Ave NE bike lanes

  7. Don Brubeck says:

    Good list for achievable 2022-23 advocacy. These are projects that are actually in play right now.
    One project is in SODO (and Georgetown), not two. West Marginal Way SW is in West Seattle. West Marginal refers to the west margin (west bank) of the Duwamish River. This is in an industrial area in West Seattle. It will close a gap in the regional Duwamish Trail. It also has high value for improving sightlines and safety at the new signalized pedestrian crossing for the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center, and for preventing dangerous high-speed right-side passing by impatient drivers in the short stretch that goes from one southbound traffic lane to two lanes and then back to one lane.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      That was a bit sloppy. My bad. In my head, I lump the whole industrial area from the base of Beacon Hill to the base of the Duwamish Greenbelt into “SoDo,” but that’s not really accurate. I’m not sure there’s a consistent definition of where SoDo begins and ends, but it probably doesn’t cross the Duwamish. It just feels similar because of the industrial land use. The city’s official “geographic indexing atlas” does include them together as “Industrial District,” though that map doesn’t even mention “SoDo.” I’ll update the story to clarify.

  8. Joe Leung says:

    I would have said Fremont Bridge and Stone Way Ave Southbound but residents in the southern part of the city have no safe alternatives and they should get higher priority.

    The more people we can draw to cycling, the more political power we can have to push better bike infrastructure and safer streets.

    • daihard says:

      I agree with you in the big picture. Locally, however, when you don’t have safe routes to bike, you don’t have safe routes to bike, whether you live in NE Seattle or South Seattle. We all know it’s not nearly as easy for people biking to use an “alternative” route as it is for prople driving. I use Stone Way N regularly to ride betwen Maple Leaf and downtown. Which is the “safe(r) alternative” to it?

      • Joe Leung says:

        Oh, we are in a same situation. My bus drop me off at Northgate and my office is in Fremont. I am not brave to ride on Stone Way so my plan is carrying my bike on light rail to Roosevelt Station and ride south on Roosevelt Ave until BGT. This is troublesome and also affect other passengers on the light rail. I don’t prefer this route so I usually ride the bus all the way to downtown and backtrack to Fremont.

        Now thinking of this, it seems like Roosevelt Ave and BGT are the only protected bike lane running N-S north of Ship Cannel that connect people to Downtown. (Though after University Bridge, it is a nightmare on East Lake Ave as what the author pointed out).

        Still, lived in Beacon Hill for 5 years, there is absolutely no way to cycle on Rainier or MLK as an average cyclists.

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