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Seattle’s downtown bike lane is getting a whole lot bigger

This map shows where a new portion of bike lane will be built through Belltown, adding on to the existing stretch from Pike to Yesler. (City of Seattle)

Downtown Seattle’s 2nd Avenue bike lane was once considered a pilot project to test the potential of protected lanes in heavy city traffic.

Not anymore. The lane is now official. And it’s going to get a lot bigger.

Related: Seattle’s largest bike ride ever will take over city streets in April

The Seattle Bike Blog reports that after about a year and a half, the downtown stretch of bike lane between Pike Street and Yesler Way is slated to become a permanent feature.

The existing 2nd Avenue stretch will receive some upgrades, and the lane will also be extended through Belltown. The northern stretch currently ends at Pike Street &#8212 it will now extend north to Denny Way.

The bike lane is also slated for a facelift. For starters, the plastic posts separating the bike and car lanes will be removed. They will be replaced by planter boxes. New and improved bike traffic signals will also be installed.

In addition, portions of the bike lane will be raised by about two inches to make it stand out from the road. This will occur in areas where cars cross the bike lane in to garages or parking lots.

The Bike Blog promotes that the raised bike lane will offer an added safety feature and, hopefully, cut down on car vs. bike interactions.

The bike lane will be elevated a couple inches so cars turning in to garages will need to mount a curb before crossing the bike lane. This is a big deal because one of the biggest dangers for people biking in the lane today is someone in a car turning across the bike lane in front of them.

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