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This bike lane detour is so simple, so why isn’t it the standard in Seattle?

Photo of some cones guiding riders into a temporary bike lane around a work crew.While taking the kid to preschool this morning, we passed this crew working on a utility of some kind underneath the 2nd Ave bike lane at Pine St. The crew had lined up cones directing riders into a temporary bike lane they created in the adjacent lane. It’s a simple and effective solution, especially for situations where the bike lane is only closed while workers are present who can adjust any cones that get displaced. For closures left overnight, a sturdier barrier would be needed.

Why is this not the standard for every bike lane and sidewalk closure in Seattle?

Seattle supposedly changed the rules seven years ago to all but require temporary walking paths when closing sidewalks, but the rule is rarely followed. Seattle’s leaders have to do something to force all construction projects to follow this rule. Does it need a big fine attached to it? Are they waiting for somebody to get injured or killed and then sue the city for failing to enforce their rule?

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4 responses to “This bike lane detour is so simple, so why isn’t it the standard in Seattle?”

  1. Brian Benson

    I recently encountered a similar, nice bypass by City road crews for work on the east side of Magnolia. The cones and signage I encountered biking northbound showed that the City cares about this sort of thing. Now, if they could get that bike lane sweeper going on the Ravenna Blvd lanes… :)

  2. Peri Hartman

    Perhaps some people care. It’s good to hear about these examples. On the other hand, I think we have a long way to go.

    Saturday, I went to PCC Fremont and there was a boom-lift parked in the bike lanes on N 34th, fully blocking them in both directions. I spoke to a person working there, who was preparing to put up holiday lights. He said he didn’t have a choice. I suggested there are procedures to follow but he couldn’t have cared less.

    This is a pretty popular area, so I called non-emergency, spent 10-15 minutes on hold and then explained the situation. They told me they would send an officer. However, yesterday (monday) I was back there and the lift was still parked in the bike lanes. Does anyone really care ?

  3. Contigo McCoffee

    Have you happened to see the detour by the waterfront? Pure deadly chaos. Bikers have the option of riding on the glass tiled sidewalk, weaving through winding construction with cars on the road, or along a thin detour covered in metal sheets and undulated blacktop.

  4. Breadbaker

    I remember fondly seeing a detour for a bike lane in downtown Victoria about five years ago. They simply closed off a lane of traffic with jersey barriers and the bikes had a full lane, nicely striped for traffic in both directions.

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