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SDOT getting closer to more accessible waterfront with new bike lane design

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Department of Transportation is getting closer to making the Seattle waterfront more accessible with a new bike lane design.

“We’ve reached the 30% design milestone of a protected bike lane on Alaskan Way from Virginia Street to Broad Street! The connection creates an intuitive, safer route for people biking and scooting between the future Waterfront Bike Path and the Elliott Bay Trail,” said SDOT.

The Waterfront Bike Path will be a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of Alaskan Way from South King Street to Virginia Street, according to SDOT. The bike lane is part of SDOT’s Alaskan Way Safety Project.

The safety project will create an “intuitive, safer connection for people biking between the Waterfront Bike Path and the Elliott Bay Trail by building a new protected bike lane on the west side — also creating a buffer between people walking and driving,” said SDOT. “In response to community feedback, the design includes intersection improvements, lane reductions, and sidewalk and curb ramp repair.”

Here are the bike lane designs and explanations from SDOT:

SDOT expects to finalize the design this year and start construction in 2024.

The department said they are working with the Waterfront Seattle Program, the Port of Seattle, and local bike advocates to reimagine a more walkable and pedestrian-friendly waterfront.

It is proposing the following improvements:

  • A protected bike lane on the west side of Alaskan Way. Along with an east-side, two-way path from Blanchard Street to Wall Street for use on sailing days, when the west side bike lane in front of Pier 66 is closed.
  • Lane reductions on Alaskan Way between Virginia Steet and Broad Street, going from two northbound and two southbound lanes to one lane in each direction to make the area safer for pedestrians.
  • Intersection safety improvements like adding Leading Pedestrian Intervals to make people more visible to those driving. Also, more bike traffic signals, No Turn on Red signs, shorter pedestrian crossing distances, and car left turn lanes at select intersections.
  • Sidewalk repair and updating ADA-compliant curb ramps along the project corridor to improve access for people walking and rolling.

SDOT is asking for your input, reach out to AlaskanWaySafety@seattle.gov with comments or questions.

“I’m pleased to see the robust design we’ve arrived at having worked rigorously within SDOT — including input from our Chief Safety Officer — and collaborated closely with the Port of Seattle and Cascade Bicycle Club in the last year,” said SDOT Deputy Director of Capital Projects, Francisca Stefan. “The new facility closes a crucial gap in the bike network to make it safer, and works with the complex needs at this cruise ship gateway.”