State of bicycle mobility in Montlake

Image: State of Seattle Bicycling Environment Report

Seattle Bike Blog has a rundown on the City’s State of Seattle Bicycling Environment Report, which is… getting better. Bicycle collisions are down with respect to growing numbers of bikes on city streets. Many of the “low-hanging” projects identified in the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan have been implement, but in short, there is a lot of work left to do to meet the its goal of tripling bicycle use by 2017.

Time for an update on bicycle improvements happening around the neighborhood…

Boyer: SDOT is putting down a parking lane stripe and bicycle sharrows on Montlake’s “other” speedway, Boyer Ave E. Crews have spray painted markings in preparation for the final paint job… soon… before winter rains wash ‘em away.

Arboretum: In September the Arboretum completed traffic calming work along Lake Washington Blvd including raised crosswalks, speed cushions and bicycle sharrows painted on the road.

Image: transportation-nag.blogspot.com

The Arobretum has also begun funding negotiations with WSDOT for the planned multi-use trail parallel to Lake Washington Blvd. The funds will be part of the federal TIFIA loan WSDOT received to build half of the west approach to the new 520 floating bridge. This new trail will be a major route through, or rather bypassing, Montlake and eventually will connect with facilities over/under/around the new 520 lid.

Arboretum multi-use trail. Image: Washington Park Arboretum

Planning work is ongoing. The State of Seattle Bicycling Report lists the Montlake Bridge (p.41) among the City’s highest use facilities. September’s annual Washington State bicycle survey counted over 800 bikes crossing the Montlake Bridge between 4-6pm.

The million dollar question for bicycle mobility through Montlake rests with planning efforts for the new 520 corridor. The recent Nelson/Nygaard study rated existing pedestrian and bicycle conditions along Montlake Blvd as approaching failure. WSDOT’s design proposals during the Community Design Process played it safe by only maintaining existing cycle routes on the sidewalks of Montlake Blvd — and Seattle’s bike and pedestrian advocates came out in force to ask for real improvements. Going forward, WSDOT will follow the City’s lead on local planning priorities for 520 and the Council is expected to pass a resolution of design preferences by the end of the year. The future fate of walking and cycling across 520 is, for the moment, in their hands.

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