More bike lanes in Seattle

6

by Byron on Jul 28, 2006 at 7:31 AM

Writing for the Seattle Weekly, David Neiwert criticizes Seattle for not really being that bike friendly. It’s a good article and I think Seattle simply needs more bike lanes. That’s the difference with Portland, Eugene, and other cities, they’ve got lanes everywhere and even traffic lights for bikes! I’ve found that when I’m in a bike lane, motorist don’t care. Out of a lane and that’s when problems start. And it’s just the fact that Seattle’s inability to make tough decisions results in gridlock. Starting with allowing I5, to cut through the center of town and then ignoring a master plan in the 70s that warned of the traffic gridlock we have now.

For years, I’ve ridden Lake Washington Blvd mostly car free and and because of I5 traffic, the blvd is a freeway during the day with angry, rushed drivers. To recall what is used to be like, try the City’s Bicycle Saturdays and Sundays where they close the blvd to car traffic and it’s bikes only.

To it’s credit, the City is trying, we’ve just got way more to do; especially, as Neiwert notices, there are so many cyclists on the street.

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Comments: 6

You’ve gotta have it better than in Spokane where we have “bike lanes” that are only a few blocks long.

These bike lanes were put up more to control traffic (car drivers passing on the right) than to aid cyclists.

Admittedly, we also have the Centennial Trail, which goes from North Spokane to Couer d’Alene, about 50+ miles, most of which is no-cars, but I fear the civic leaders use that as an excuse to ignore cycling needs.

I’ve ridden in Spokane! You make a good point and I think that many city governments do just add lanes to get the federal road funds or lanes are done sporadically and as if they’ve never been ridden by a cyclist. That happened to us in Maui, where it is cycling friendly, but some of the bike lanes, spit you out right into heavily trafficked intersections.

I grew up racing in Spokane in the early 90’s.  The roads/drivers in town are so-so, but the great thing about Spokanistan is that there’s plenty of wide-open rodes just outside of town.  I miss the Mt. Spokane route and training around there in general.

I find Seattle generally not good for riding.  There’s only a few good routes that are bike-friendly in town.  The BG trail has become a nightmare.  Ick.

Yeah, there’s something to be said for not having 18 bajillion people all clamoring to get on some freakin’ highway in their cars.

Spokane is in general a pretty good place to ride, although I came here from Great Falls, MT, where running cyclists off the road is considered a sport, so anything would be an improvement. (Of course, that was 20 years ago, so things may have changed.)

I love riding and living here, but the bike lanes are a bit of a joke.

Interestingly, I spent much time riding in industrial areas and that’s where I’ve had the least amount of problems. Truckers usually give me plenty of room.

Wow.

We just had a blind guy’s guide dog get run over by a dumptruck in a semi-industrial area. Poor pup.

Overall though, I’d agree. It’s the cellphone talking, makeup-applying, latte-drinking, brat-berating, SUV-driving soccer moms from hell that I worry most about. Indeed there’s one route I won’t take on Saturday mornings just because it goes by the soccer fields.

Crazy!

(How’s that for a wide sweeping generalization ?)

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