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Checking in on Two of Seattle's Bike Infrastructure Plans
Ryan Packer analyzes two separate but proximate bike infrastructure projects proposed for Seattle—both intended to connect to the city's larger bike network.
The first project would add a protected bike lane on South Dearborn Street, a projected complicated by its passage underneath the I-5 Freeway, which necessitates the participation of the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Construction is slated to begin this spring on the area west of I-5, all the way to 6th Ave S. In the summer, crews will put down a pilot protected bike lane between the west side of I-5 and Rainier Avenue. This will allow SDOT to see how the protected bike lane works before summer 2018, when Dearborn is repaved between Rainier and the east side of I-5 and the bike lane has to be redone with the rest of the street.
The many spatial details of the projects, along with its many complications, is informative of the challenges of implementing bike infrastructure on existing streets.
The second project, the King Street Greenway, is expected for construction in 2018. The neighborhood greenway will pass through the International District at the south end of Downtown Seattle. "King Street greenway will bring the Seattle greenways program into a different sort of territory: a wholly urban one," explains Packer of the significance of the project.