Bike activists block lane in Downtown Seattle

SEATTLE — Cyclists converged on Seattle City Hall Friday morning as a part of Bike Everywhere Day.

One resounding message was a call for the city to create a network of protected bike lanes throughout the city.  At one point, about two dozen protesters blocked off a lane to traffic next of the bike lane on 4th Ave between James and Cherry streets.

The protesters used cones they brought to block traffic, forcing vehicles to merge.  They cheered as cyclists rode past them.

KIRO 7 spoke to one driver who was frustrated and said the delay was making him late for work.

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Another driver said he applauded their effort and thinks a protected bike lane there is a good idea.

The protesters removed the cones after about 20 minutes and opened the lane to vehicles.

Seattle's new administration pumped the brakes on a planned protected 4th Avenue bike lane through downtown.  The delay on the project is slated until 2021.

Interim Transportation Director Goran Sparrman said a bike lane would make 4th Avenue slow to a crawl during rush hour.

To compensate for the delay, Sparrman promised to accelerate work on an extension of the 2nd Avenue cycling lane from Pioneer Square into Sodo.

On Friday, proponents for more bike lanes urged city leaders to take more steps now.

Gordon Padelford, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, told KIRO 7 the city could extend the current bike lane paint on 4th Avenue farther to give cyclists more room away from traffic.

Look for a full report on KIRO 7 News at Noon.