— Advertisement —

SDOT will upgrade 4th Ave bike lane barrier to concrete

Images comparing the paint and post barrier on 4th Ave to the concrete barrier on 2nd Ave.
Images from SDOT.

The 4th Ave bike lane is getting concrete barriers to replace the paint and post style barrier it has had since opening in 2020-21. The upgrade should bring the 4th Ave bike lane up to the level of quality of the 2nd Ave lane. It will be constructed within the existing buffer area of the lane from Vine Street in Belltown to Jefferson Street on the edge of Pioneer Square.

Work will begin as soon as March 18 and be completed by July. The southbound lane against the curb will remain open, but sections of the northbound lane one or two blocks long will be closed as work progresses.

Map of the project on 4th Ave from Vine to Jefferson Streets.

SDOT initially said that they would extend the bike lane from Jefferson to Main Street in 2023 or 2024, but that work is not part of this plan. The excuse at the time was that too many buses use those blocks of 4th Ave currently, but that they would finish the connection once Link light rail extensions to Northgate and the Eastside open. The 2 Line to the Eastside has been delayed due to issues building the tracks across the I-90 Bridge.


— Advertisement —

“We still envision a bike network with a direct connection down 4th to S Main St, but the impact to bus travel times at this point is too significant,” according to the SDOT project page. “As an interim solution, we’re routing the south end of the protected bike lane through Dilling Way to Yesler for a connection to 2nd Ave. When buses are routed off 4th Ave in the future, we intend to make this direct connection as funding allows.”

Ridership on the 4th Ave bike lane won’t reach its full potential until this connection to Main Street is complete. As it is, there’s not a big reason to take 4th to and from the south instead of 2nd if riders need to detour to 2nd anyway. I have found that it is a lot faster heading northbound than 2nd Ave just because you get stopped at fewer red lights when traveling in the same direction as car traffic, and it is a great connection for destinations on 4th or 5th Avenues. Though 2nd and 4th look close together on a map, the two blocks between them are extremely steep through much of downtown, including near the Central Branch Library, City Hall and Municipal Court.


About the author:


Related posts:

Comments

6 responses to “SDOT will upgrade 4th Ave bike lane barrier to concrete”

  1. dave

    Excellent!

  2. A R

    Do we know if these are low parking curbs, poured concrete forms, or Toronto barriers?

  3. Anne

    I use 4th Ave bike lanes regularly. So happy to see this improvement happening. Especially going to the library and the Y.

    If only so safe parking spots (bike boxes or the like) could be added !

    So sad that there seems to be no priority at all to at least include a northbound bike lane between main and Washington. Southbound 2nd Ave is most of the time faster but northbound 4th is.

  4. Al Dimond

    Saying this won’t change anything, but it must be said anyway: the idea that extending the 4th Ave ‘track down to Main is just a bike vs. bus tradeoff ignores the elephant in the room: car stuff. So much street space is devoted to pathways for massive numbers of cars moving between the huge multi-lane one-way arterials downtown and the huge multi-lane two-way arterials of SODO, and the whole bus and bike network is working around that, especially all the large intersections with long signal cycles that it creates. Good bike and bus paths could coexist much more easily if some of that wasn’t there (though it would be a lot of work to actually rebuild streets in a better way).

  5. Beezy

    I’m very curious about the design details of this – specifically the width. The 4th Ave bike lane (which I probably use more than 2nd, since I guess it’s just closer to where I go and come more often) feels pretty narrow in many spots. The only place that felt really comfy before was an oddly wide portion across from the library. That’s now narrowed by temporary construction. I’m just concerned concrete (which I support!) will make it feel narrower, which is not comfortable when lots of people are biking and scooting through. (Wouldn’t it be nice to take some inches from a car lane, or something.)

  6. Daigoro Toyama

    I agree that the 4th Ave PBL is not very useful for the masses until it connects all the way down to Main St, especially if you go southbound. When I ride from SLU to Chinatown/ID, I take 5th because it’s the most direct route. Having a fully conneted PBL on 4th would get me to use it instead. I won’t take a long detour to take 2nd Ave for that purpose.

— Advertisement —

Join the Seattle Bike Blog Supporters

As a supporter, you help power independent bike news in the Seattle area. Please consider supporting the site financially starting at $5 per month:


Latest stories

Bike Events Calendar

Jul
20
Sat
9:30 pm World Naked Bike Ride: Full Moon… @ Seattle Rep Parking Lot
World Naked Bike Ride: Full Moon… @ Seattle Rep Parking Lot
Jul 20 @ 9:30 pm
World Naked Bike Ride: Full Moon Ride @ Seattle Rep Parking Lot | Seattle | Washington | United States
Celebrate the Buck Moon by adorning your bicycle with blinky & twinkly lights. It’s the height of summer – warm nights and easy riding with friends. Saturday July 20 Parking Lot at Mercer St &[…]
Jul
25
Thu
7:15 pm Point83 @ Westlake Park
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Jul 25 @ 7:15 pm
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Meet up in the center of the park at 7ish. Leave at 730. Every Thursday from now until forever rain or shine. Bikes, beers, illegal firepits, nachos, bottlerockets, timetraveling, lollygagging, mechanicals, good times.ShareMastodonTwitterFacebookRedditEmail
Jul
27
Sat
all-day Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washing…
Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washing…
Jul 27 – Jul 28 all-day
Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washington Blvd
Details from Seattle Parks: On scheduled weekends from May to September, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday. “Seattle Parks and Recreation[…]
Jul
28
Sun
all-day Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washing…
Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washing…
Jul 28 – Jul 29 all-day
Bicycle Weekends on Lake Washington Blvd
Details from Seattle Parks: On scheduled weekends from May to September, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday. “Seattle Parks and Recreation[…]
Aug
1
Thu
7:15 pm Point83 @ Westlake Park
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Aug 1 @ 7:15 pm
Point83 @ Westlake Park
Meet up in the center of the park at 7ish. Leave at 730. Every Thursday from now until forever rain or shine. Bikes, beers, illegal firepits, nachos, bottlerockets, timetraveling, lollygagging, mechanicals, good times.ShareMastodonTwitterFacebookRedditEmail
— Advertisements —

Latest on Mastodon

Loading Mastodon feed…