Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
SUBJECT: Mayor Unveils Plan to Dramatically Expand Bike Network
4/4/2007 10:00:00 AM
Mayor Unveils Plan to Dramatically Expand Bike Network
Plan promotes climate protection and triples bike lanes within two years
SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels today released Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan, which will significantly expand Seattle’s network of bike lanes, make it easier and safer to ride throughout the city and reduce greenhouse gases.
“The goal of this effort is simple: we want to make Seattle the best and the safest city in the nation for bicycling,” Nickels said. “Every day, thousands of people across this city use bikes to commute to work, exercise or run errands - and the numbers are growing. Encouraging more people to ride is one important way we can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.”
Under the plan, over the next two years, the city will add about 136 miles of bike lanes and signed bike routes. Much of the work will be done as part of street projects funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy approved by voters last year.
In addition, work will start on the section of the popular Burke-Gilman Trail between Northwest 60th Street and Golden Gardens Park. And the city plans to open the Chief Sealth Trail on Beacon Hill this spring.
Expanding the city’s bicycle network is one of the key recommendations for helping Seattle meet the Kyoto Protocol target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.
Overall, the plan calls for developing 452 miles of marked or separated bicycle routes over the next 10 years. Seattle currently has approximately 67 miles of marked or separated routes.
Riders will soon see new features in Seattle’s growing bike network, including “sharrows,” which are uniquely marked roadways alerting motorists that cyclists may be in the area. The markings also let cyclists know where they should ride within the lane.
A new street sign system along bike routes will make it easier for riders to get around the city using the most efficient and safest routes.
The city reviewed more than 2,450 public comments and survey responses in developing the plan during the past 18 months.
The city will phase in most proposed plan improvements with routine paving and capital projects. Other proposed improvements will be considered as funding and opportunities arise.
“We are in it for the long haul,” Nickels said. “Seattle is a great place to ride a bike, and it’s going to get better.”
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