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SDOT will make some safety improvements to 15th Ave S as they work on bike lane design

Map of the spring improvements on 15th Ave S, showing locations of speed cushions, curb bulbs and a new flashing beacon at 14th Ave S.After community feedback, SDOT will move to slow traffic speeds on 15th Ave S on Beacon Hill in the spring while the project moves through the design process. The department will install a series of speed cushions as well as curb bulbs and visibility improvements, they noted in a blog post.

The team also released the results of a public survey about the project, which found considerable support for one-way bike lanes on each side of 15th Ave S. It also found that the 604 respondents (80% of whom live in SE Seattle) want to bike more and drive less than they do currently:

Chart showing 71% currently drive regularly in the area while 68% bike. Chart showing only 36% of people want to be driving in the area while 80% want to be biking.It’s both hopeful and depressing to look at these two charts. Look at all those people who feel stuck inside their cars even though they really just want to bike. Safe bike lanes will be an instant success on 15th Ave S and Beacon Ave S once they are open.

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The most popular design option for the bike lanes was one-way lanes on each side of the street with about half of respondents saying they preferred that option. About a quarter preferred a two-way bikeway and another 20% did not have a preference. We noted in a post focused on the one-way vs two-way decision and in our deep dive into the early design concepts that there are potential compromises either way, but that one-way lanes are generally preferred unless there is a compelling reason to build a two-way lane (like if one side has far fewer driveways, for example).

Pie chart showing 54% support for alternative 1, 25% for Alternative 2 and 20% with no preference.It is not clear what people were trying to say with “no preference,” but there are certainly people who are against the idea of a bike lane, especially since the project will remove about 100 on-street parking spaces. The project team is trying to figure out how to mitigate that parking loss, especially near apartment buildings. But the survey did not include a “no build” option since the city has committed to the bike lane, which is great to see.

For now, the project is “nearing 30% design,” which is a milestone that usually leads to more public outreach. The team will host a virtual open house “in the next month,” so stay tuned.

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