Council pushing for more bike lanes in downtown Seattle

Feb 13, 2017, 5:54 AM | Updated: 6:00 am
bike lanes, bike lane...
Seattle officials are considering adding more protected bike lanes into downtown. (AP)

Seattle’s growth and future transportation needs have been a hot topic among local officials recently.

On Friday, Seattle Councilmember Mike O’Brien added to that conversation and advanced efforts to construct more bike lanes in downtown.

Related: Seattle commuting trends change over six years

O’Brien kicked off a meeting of the council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee by reading a list of people who were injured or killed in collisions in Seattle. He said that it was just the names he got from news reports, not a city report. According to him, there are likely more.

“In the first five weeks of the year, to have six injuries or fatalities, it’s horrific,” O’Brien said. “If these were gunshot violences (sic) we would be convening task forces and committees and figuring out how we would change. But somehow when it’s folks walking across the street or biking between jobs, it gets buried in the news and we go on about life.”

His remedy is to instruct the Seattle Department of Transportation to report back in March with actions the city can take to solve the issue. A big part of this is a plan promoted by the city’s Bike Advisory Board.

The plan is a series of downtown routes that could be slated for protected bike lanes. It’s something that O’Brien wants to push forward and get approved by the council.

The plan for more downtown bike lanes include stretches of:

• Roy and Mercers Streets
• Queen Anne Avenue or 1st Avenue
• Bell or Blanchard Street
• 2nd Avenue
• 9th Avenue
• 7th and 8th Avenue
• Pike or Pine Street
• 4th Avenue
• Main Street and 5th Avenue
• King Street
• 12th Avenue

There are already protected bike lanes on Broadway, 2nd Avenue, and part of Mercer Street. Unlike regular bike lanes painted on the side of the road, protected bike lanes are separated from cars with physical barriers.

Bike lanes and Seattle growth

To make the case for more bike lanes — and transit, etc. — the recently-released Seattle commuting study was often referenced in the meeting, noting that single-occupancy car ridership has decreased in the past six years. Meanwhile, transit, walking, and biking have increased all while downtown Seattle added 45,000 new jobs.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly said that if Seattle is to avoid total gridlock, the city will have to support alternative methods of transportation to keep up with even more jobs. He said that Seattle will add about 60,000 new jobs in the next 20 years. That will likely bring 25,000 new households into town, which could pose a problem if they also include cars.

“Our transportation system is essentially at saturation for cars,” Kubly said. “For all those peak period trips we will need to find some way, other than driving alone, to get folks into and out of downtown.”

Without investing in other forms of transportation, Kubly said that drive time in cars will increase by 66 percent in the coming years.


Local News

Echo Glen...
Dalton Day

Echo Glen youth detention center, site of recent escape, understaffed, underfunded, report says

A 2018 report indicates that employees of Echo Glen insist that the detention facility is short staffed, and that its counselors are not sufficiently trained.
1 day ago
Washington voting...
Nick Bowman

Washington weighs significant changes to how (and when) it votes in 2022

A trio of proposals related to how Washington conducts its elections could bring dramatic voting changes to the state by the end of the legislative session.
1 day ago
Paine Field 5G...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

5G concerns, fog lead to more cancellations at Paine Field

More Alaska Airlines flights out of Paine Field were cancelled Thursday, citing issues created by the combination of 5G signals and fog.
1 day ago
catalytic converter...
MyNorthwest Staff

Competing proposals for catalytic converter theft crackdown up for Thursday vote

Competing proposals from Democrats and Republicans to crack down on catalytic converter thefts are set for committee votes on Jan. 27.
2 days ago
Gov. Jay Inslee, long-term care tax...
MyNorthwest Staff

Gov. Inslee approves 18-month delay on long-term care tax

The Washington State Senate voted to delay implementation of the new long-term care payroll tax on Wednesday. 
2 days ago
Rideshare companies...
Nick Bowman

Rideshare companies pour millions into PAC ahead of push for Washington ballot initiative

Rideshare companies have poured over $2 million into a new PAC, in what appears to be the precursor for a Washington ballot initiative. 
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Council pushing for more bike lanes in downtown Seattle