Seattle Design Commission strongly supports 520 Portage Bay bike lane

520 project vision: “reconnecting neighborhoods.” Image: WSDOT

The Portage Bay bike lane along the future 520 replacement got a strong endorsement from the Seattle Design Commission, getting unanimous support as “an inherent part of the 520 project vision” of reconnecting neighborhoods.

WSDOT”s design team referred to the multi-use trail as a “community requested” feature but has yet to make it an official part of the project, claiming feedback from Roanoke/Portage Bay homeowners who object to widening the bridge and thus blocking views. The design team has already taken unusual steps toward limiting the width of the Portage Bay bridge. Lanes have been reduced to 10′ wide (from 11′ standard) with 8′ shoulders (from 10′ standard), resulting in a 45mph speed limit through the corridor. Feedback received during the Community Design Process favored the added width of the bike lane over a median planting strip of greenery.

The Design Commission responded with a request to not let the loud voices of a few overrule broader, if not quieter, support for a bicycle/pedestrian facility with city and regional benefits. This is the one aspect of the 520 replacement that clearly reconnects neighborhoods. As for other “reconnecting” aspects of the Seattle-side design, the commission was less-than-satisfied and requested further work be done.

6 thoughts on “Seattle Design Commission strongly supports 520 Portage Bay bike lane

  1. Oh, that’s hysterical. First of all, that two feet of width will make a difference in the “views” people see. Complete lunacy. Conversely, expecting people to slow down from 60mph to 45mph just to cross Portage Bay? Good luck with that. It’s not going to happen. The net result of reducing lane width will be a corresponding reduction in highway safety, because of two feet of alleged “view” obstruction.That’s just plain stupid.

    “WSDOT”s design team referred to the multi-use trail as a “community requested” feature…” Really? What “community?”
    Please define.

    On the other hand, let’s not kid ourselves who the “loud voices” are around here, consistently overruling the broader, if quieter, driving public. It’s a handful of vocal bike lobbyists, claiming to represent a few thousand cyclists, complicit with a myopic mayor, who have made careers out of manipulating road policy for 300,000 drivers. They’ve turned Burke-Gilman into their personal freeway. Fine. Stay there. I’ll try to avoid getting run over as I walk it. But in return, you butt out of dumbing down our streets.

    • Ok Alby, so cyclists should stay on the Burke Gilman only? That is not the least bit rational. Secondly characterizing cyclists as a group (i.e. running you down on the Burke Gilman) is a bit dramatic and a huge overgeneralization. Yes there are those but there are plenty of pedestrians who walk with headphones on, leashed dogs wandering across the trail creating a hazard, people walking 2 to 4 wide….it is a multiple use trail after all. Do rational people go and make generalizations about all pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers? Fact is we all, i.e. cars, bikes, pedestrians can all do a better job. People who only blame one group are NOT part of the solution but the problem.

      As for playing the victimization card for cars are you joking? Only a tiny smidgen of transportation funds go towards non motor vehicle uses, cyclists are at worst annoying or a danger to themselves, don’t pollute, or cause thousands of deaths and bodily harm. Transportation policy in the city and county is still driven by vehicles users. Adding a pedestrian cycling lane to 520 will enhance the exercise and commuting options for many and make the area even more livable and attractive for existing and future generations.

  2. And now Design Commission, please get rid of blue lighted sentnels sticking up in middle of Lake Washington on the Westside!

  3. That is a total joke that drivers will slow down to 45 mph. Any 520 speed limit enforcement now? No.

  4. Pingback: Montlaker: Seattle Design Commission endorses a complete biking/walking path on 520 bridge | Seattle Bike Blog

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