New protected bike lane through downtown Seattle opens on Fourth Avenue
The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that the new Fourth Avenue protected bike lane through downtown Seattle is now complete and open to bikers.
The final sections of the two-way bike lane connect to the broader Center City Bike Network in and around downtown Seattle, with connections to Uptown, Capitol Hill, and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. The protected bike lane runs on the west side of the street along Fourth Avenue, uninterrupted from Vine Street in Belltown down Yesler Way to Pioneer Square. View all bike lanes on SDOT’s map here.
The project, SDOT says, was made possible thanks to tax dollars from the Levy to Move Seattle.
A protected bike lane makes it safer for bikers to ride next to traffic. It separates bikers from moving vehicles, and separates the signal phases for all users, meaning drivers do not have to yield to people walking and biking in order to make a left turn.
“This change will help reduce collisions and make the walking, biking, and driving experience more comfortable and predictable,” SDOT states on its blog.
There is a bicycle-specific green light with a green bike icon to let bikers know when to go, but SDOT says they should still look both ways before rolling through the intersection. Drivers will have a red “no turn” arrow when it’s green for bikers.
The new route also creates a north/south option through downtown alongside the existing Second Avenue bike lane to help reach important destinations without hills. Along Fourth Avenue is Westlake Park, the Central Library, City Hall, and other major sites and residential buildings that are now easier to access via bike. Learn more about this new route on the project page from SDOT here.