RERUNS: Volunteers needed for annual WA State bicycle and pedestrian count

Image: Flickr: papahazama

Cascade Bicycle Club and WSDOT will conduct annual bicycle and pedestrian counts across the State of Washington during the last week of September. This is a volunteer-driven project that collects data for the sake of informing safe walking and cycling policies in local communities… like ours. Given the planning happening right now for expanding 520 and the soon-to-increase pedestrian travel toward UW Station — contributing to an “actionable” data project will benefit the neighborhood for residents and passersby alike.

The two local spots in the counting project are the University and Montlake Bridges (among many other locations across the city). Volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts, from 7-9am or 4-6pm and the work can occur on the volunteer’s choice of days between September 25-27. More info and sign-up through Cascade.

Here is review of the pedestrian and bicycle travel issues with the 520/Montlake Blvd replacement project, posted on blog last month:

Montlake Blvd Pedestrian Access: Since the Arboretum access ramps are not being replaced in the new era of 520, even more vehicles will be funneled through Montlake Blvd. To account for the increase in traffic, Montlake Blvd will grow to be 9 lanes wide. This creates additional challenges for bikes and pedestrians commuting to and from UW/Station, fans going to Husky Stadium, cyclists riding to the Burke-Gilman Trail and school kids walking from Shelby-Hamlin to Montlake Elementary. WSDOT’s attempts so far to address these issues have been… well, judge for yourself:

Montlake Blvd and west lid area. Image: WSDOT

The bike-ped tunnel under Montlake Blvd (northern edge of 520) connecting to the Bill Dawson Trail is a positive step forward, although the connections to it seem awkward and potentially dangerous with stairs next to bike traffic — at each ends of the tunnel. For north-south access, there isn’t much. Bikes and pedestrians are forced to do battle with increased surface traffic. Expect longer wait times at crosswalks, more concrete expanses to traverse and more bicyle-pedestrian conflicts on the restricted sidewalk space leading to the Montlake Bridge. Also note: the existing Lake Washington Bike Route using the 24th Ave overpass (near ex-MOHAI) — that is now a freeway access ramp.

Originally published August 22, 2012

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