Seattle Public Utilities’ planned work zone bike path on Stone Way did not work out as they intended, the agency announced this week. While sidewalks remain open through the construction area between N 34th and 35th Streets, equipment has blocked the space that was supposed to house the bike path.
The work is part of SPU’s massive Ship Canal Water Quality Project, which has disrupted bike routes in Fremont and Ballard over the years. But as we noted in our previous story, SPU’s bike detours have been done well. Riding on the sidewalk is not a great solution, especially for a project that will last as long as this one in an area with lots of walking and biking. And because Stone is closed to cars and trucks, the potential side street detour routes are likely to have a lot more traffic than usual.
More details from SPU:
You may have noticed that there isn’t a bike lane on Stone Way N next to the closure yet. Unfortunately, our contractor will not be able to create a two-way bike lane on the east side of Stone Way N as we envisioned.
I’ve worked for the city for many years and sometimes what’s seems possible during project planning doesn’t match up with what’s actually feasible in practice. Our contractor’s shoring system (the temporary support that keep the earth in place so that construction crews can safely work below the surface) needs to take up more space in Stone Way N than we planned for. Our contractor is currently working on a revised detour plan with SDOT and we’ll let you know the longer-term plan for bicyclists to get around our work site as soon as the plan is approved.
SPU is still committed to prioritizing cycling safety on our projects. In the meantime, please use alternate side roads or dismount and use the sidewalks that remain open on both sides of Stone Way N. We apologize for this inconvenience, and as a cyclist myself, I’m grateful for the continuing dialogue around bicycle safety.