Wednesday, December 6, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Seattle rolls out Bicycle Master Plan

Seattle Times staff reporter

Bike plans

The Seattle City Council is expected to approve a sweeping plan for more bike lanes, trails, bridges and signs by the end of 2007.

On the Web:

Rainier Valley meeting: Thursday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Ave. South.

On the streets of Seattle, the balance of power is about to shift.

The city government has rolled out the latest draft of a 10-year Bicycle Master Plan, designed to radically change how travelers share the pavement.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has $32 million to spend on bike projects after voters recently passed Proposition 1, a nine-year, $360 million property-tax levy.

In addition, the city has committed to a "Complete Streets" principle that requires road-reconstruction projects to include new bike lanes and sidewalks when safe to do so.

About 250 people packed into a meeting room at Ballard Odd Fellows' Temple on Tuesday evening to hear the details as the city collaborates with the powerful Cascade Bicycle Club and takes suggestions from individual riders.

Proposed projects include 21 miles of new trail, including five bicycle overpasses:

• A Ballard bicycle bridge next to the four-lane street bridge.

• An overpass crossing Interstate 5 in the new Chief Sealth Trail corridor, linking Beacon Hill to the Duwamish area at South Oregon Street.

• An overpass crossing I-5 at Northeast 47th Street, from Wallingford to the University District.

• A short bridge over railroad tracks at Airport Way South and South Military Road, near south Beacon Hill.

• An overpass across I-5 from Northgate Transit Center to North Seattle Community College.

So-called "road diets" would convert certain four-lane streets to two lanes plus a two-way left-turn lane and bike lanes. Perhaps the most controversial is 35th Avenue Southwest in West Seattle, from the High Point area southward.

Near bike-hostile strips such as Aurora Avenue North, the city would try "bicycle boulevards" on parallel side streets. When crossing arterials, such as North 80th Street, bikes would use a special signal (similar to some pedestrian crosswalks) to stop east-west traffic so the cyclist could ride through.

Broadway could wind up with "sharrows," in which a relatively wide swath of pavement is labeled for both car and bike use. Western Avenue in downtown can immediately be restriped to add bike lanes.

David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle Club, said he hopes the city can increase cycling from his estimate of 2 percent of all trips now, to 12 percent of all trips within 20 years.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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