Putting unthinkable cost of Seattle bike lanes into perspective

Apr 30, 2018, 2:12 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm

bike lanes, seattle, bike commuting...

(File, Associated Press)

(File, Associated Press)

Cost estimates for bike lanes in Seattle were wildly off.

The $930 million transportation levy approved by voters will fall short of funding several key projects, including constructing miles of bike lanes and greenways.

At least part of the reason for that shortfall has to do with the enormous amount of money the city is spending on bike lanes. Interim Director Goran Sparrman of the Seattle Department of Transportation told the Seattle Times bikelanes expected to cost around $860,000 per mile are costing up to $12 million.

For the amount the city is spending on a single mile of protected bike lanes, many urban areas in the country could be building a six-lane highway, according to a recent report. And that money would go even further in rural areas.

According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the cost of a five-foot, one-mile bike lane costs between $5,000 and $535,000. The average cost is about $130,000. Which means the estimated $860,000 for a mile of bike lane isn’t too extraordinary, especially considering the cost of doing business in the Seattle area.

The news that the city would fall short on several transportation-related promises follows Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s decision to halt the streetcar expansion project because cost estimates increasing yet again.

Local News

Echo Glen juvenile...

Kate Stone

Echo Glen juvenile escapees to remain in custody in Seattle

All seven juvenile escapees from Echo Glen Children's Center will remain in custody in Seattle, following a judge's ruling.

1 day ago

seattle housing levy...

Frank Sumrall

$970M Seattle Housing Levy moves forward, awaits vote

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda -- alongside a series of affordable housing developers -- announced the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy.

1 day ago


Frank Sumrall

Capitol Hill sandwich spot HoneyHole embroiled in controversy

HoneyHole has become the subject of controversy among its employees who have been distraught and unhappy with new leadership.

1 day ago

Federal Way light rail...

Micki Gamez

Federal Way Link light rail extension delayed until 2026

Federal Way can't catch a break from Sound Transit. Link light rail service will be delayed another year, until 2026.

1 day ago


Bill Kaczaraba

SB I-405 in Renton reopen after rollover collision causes delays

All lanes of southbound I-405 at SR 900 in Renton were blocked Wednesday afternoon after a serious two-car rollover collision.

1 day ago

auburn apartment shot...

L.B. Gilbert

Man shot at Auburn apartment, police say multiple people involved

A man was left in critical condition after being shot at an Auburn apartment building Tuesday night, according to police.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Putting unthinkable cost of Seattle bike lanes into perspective