How much do you know about getting around Seattle on your bike?
With the City of Seattle committed to becoming the most bicycle-friendly city in the country, the Seattle Department of Transportation has launched BikeSmart. BikeSmart has two primary goals: to encourage more people to ride their bicycle and to improve bicycle safety. These goals were written into the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan:
Follow the links below or on the sidebar to learn more about the types of bicycle facilities SDOT has installed on our streets, to request a bike map, or read the rules of the road.
Motor vehicles should yield to bicyclists in green bike lanes. Green bike lanes highlight areas where bicycle and cars cross paths. Bicyclists should be alert and look for motor vehicles crossing green lanes.
BIKE BOXES provide a place for cyclists to wait for lights to change in front of vehicles. Seattle is considering bike boxes in the future.
BIKE LANES provide 4-5 feet wide dedicated lanes for bicyclists to operate on the road.
SHARROWS, also known as shared lane markings, are on-street legends that reinforce the existing rules of the road. They are not separate bike lanes: a motorist can still drive over the sharrows. Motorists should expect to see and share the lane with bicyclists. Sharrows indicate to bicyclists the best place to ride in the lane. Sharrows are typically used in locations where the roadway width is not adequate to provide dedicated bike facilities or on downhill lanes where bicyclists might travel similar speed as motor vehicles.
SDOT places hundreds of on-street bike racks each year. SDOT has also started an on-street bicycle parking program that replaces motor vehicle parking spots with bicycle parking.
Each car-sized space will accommodate up to eight bikes.
CONTRAFLOW LANES provide bicycle lanes headed in the opposite direction of motor vehicles on a one-way street where there is no parking. Usually separated by delineators and marked with signage
LOOP DETECTORS tell the signal when a motor vehicle or bicycle is waiting for the light to turn green. Bike-specific pavement markings indicate where to position the front wheel in order to change the signal.
BIKE DOTS are pavement markings for signed bicycle routes. Unlike sharrows, bicycle dots are not intended to provide guidance on bicycle positioning but are a tool to provide wayfinding.
A BUFFERED BIKE LANE provides a striped cross-hatched area between bicyclists and motor vehicles. SDOT installed a buffered bike lane on a section of E Marginal Way S in 2009. A buffered bike lane is also being designed for 7th Avenue, with installation likely in 2010.