A safer Seattle for cyclists

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by Byron on Aug 30, 2006 at 7:28 AM

I was finishing up the racing season at Pacific Raceways (a crash fest, when it started raining) and missed the Bicycle Master Plan Public Meeting. The Seattle PI reports that 400 cyclists showed up to hear transportation officials discuss a “$300,000 project that will guide improvements to streets, bridges and trails to boost rider safety and encourage more Seattleites to pedal instead of drive.”

I checked the blogosphere this morning and haven’t seen reports from the meeting. There are two more meetings planned.

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Comments: 5

400 sounds low to me. I would have said closer to 600. The place was packed.

Great to hear. I missed it, but will hit the next ones. I heard that was some arguing. Did you see any of that?

Not so much during the presentation and brief q&a session afterwards, no. But in the breakout sessions later there were some spirited discussions. Notably absent from the presentation was any discussion of what happens once the plan is all worked out. Does it get presented to the city council? What if they vote against it? What if they vote for it but don’t provide any funding?

It was cool to see so many people turn out, and having a lot of maps and aerial photos for people to leave notes on was an excellent idea. I just worry that the plan doesn’t seem to have any teeth, or if it does, that fact hasn’t been communicated well.

Bike thoroughfares are key — north/south east/west streets with big lanes, like P-town. We’re got great bike paths in Seattle, but really lacking the surface roads. And wayfinding.

That was a pretty common comment left on the feedback maps I saw: “why are there no east/west routes in north seattle?” I’ve got some questions about the current signage, too—on my route to work, there’s a sign indicating that 20th NE is a bicycle route. But there’s no painted bike lane, nor is the street wide enough to have one (unless they remove a lane of parking and re-center things). What’s the point of putting a small sign up indicating that a street is bike-friendly if that’s the only concession to bikes that’s made on that street?

Seattle has plenty of streets wide enough to accomodate a bicycle lane. How difficult would it be to just paint a stripe on those streets?

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