Seattle tax dollars at work: New protected bike lane in downtown

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How the City sold it: “This new facility will more safely connect Pike Place Market to Pioneer Square for people biking. Protected bike lanes are especially attractive to people who might be willing to bicycle but are concerned about safety. The City Council prioritized the design and implementation of a safe network in Center City for people of all ages and abilities. The bike signals will let cyclists know when to move and the left turn signals for eastbound streets will alert drivers when they can safely move through the intersection. This could be a game changing project to help Seattle better understand how to build and operate great protected bike lanes. Reduce conflicts of left turning vehicles and people biking and walking.
Watch this video and: 1) note how many cyclists are using the bike lane and 2) see if you can decipher the traffic lights on the left hand side.

The report on the day the bike lane opened: New, protected bicycle lanes opened through Downtown Seattle on Monday, realizing a long-awaited goal for cyclists who previously had to endure a dangerous route.  They opened Monday morning, providing a separation from traffic for cyclists going both directions between Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square.
The Seattle Department of Transportation said that for the next couple of days it will have ambassadors wearing vests out on the street helping people understand how the bike lanes work.
At Second and University, flowers and mementos still stand in honor of bicyclist Sher Kung.   The 31-year-old attorney and new mother was killed more than a week ago when she was struck when a truck turned into her, less than two weeks before the new bike lanes opened.
Cyclists say it’s about time the new, improved lanes are installed. “I think it’s long overdue. People have gotten killed. I bike this street all the time and it’s one of the most dangerous streets in the city and it’s because cars have to go around in front of you. It’s terrible.  So yes, it absolutely has to happen,” said bicyclist Jan Campbell.
On the first day, KIRO 7 found considerable confusion among drivers using the new left turn laneParking is allowed in parts of the turn lane during the day, resulting in drivers trying to turn unknowingly backing up behind empty, parked cars. “I think it’s ridiculous. I couldn’t even imagine that, so I’m sitting behind parked cars,” said driver Harvey Rosene, when KIRO 7 alerted him to the parked cars in front.
We also noticed drivers and cyclists running red lights on the first day. The new system includes separate lights for cyclists, drivers going straight and those turning.
An SDOT spokesman said a period of adjustment is always to be expected with a new traffic configuration. He said traffic engineers would watch how the revamped street is working and, if necessary, make changes.
Total cost? $1.2 to $1.5 million and is being paid for using Bicycle Master Plan Implementation funds. The estimate includes design, outreach, infrastructure, construction and contingency funds.
Good job Seattle!

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0 responses to “Seattle tax dollars at work: New protected bike lane in downtown

  1. here in texas and more especially in the Austin area and surround parts, we are to treat them as other automobiles. but I really like this idea better… people on bikes don’t mix well with cars…

  2. Have you ever noticed how many ‘professional solutions’ are created by people who never –or at best rarely– use the facility they are ‘improving’?
    I spent far too many of my 71 years correcting what these so-called ‘professionals’ put into place, nearly always as an extension of their current fantasy.
    I have a simple solution for such arrogant fools: when the first fatality occurs, the designer-promoter gets ten years in a Maximum joint. Easy-peasy inexpensive solution, and the stupid shit will soon come to an end.

  3. If the people had voted on this and wanted it, it is one thing, but this is part of the United Nations Agenda 21. We apparently are no longer a sovereign nation.

  4. Is it just me or does it seem that if it is a dangerous street to ride a bike then maybe, take an alternate street? I think if I were riding a bike and were to get hit by a car, me against the car…..hmmm, the car would win.


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