The new Linden cycle track

Yesterday I headed six miles north to check out the new cycle track on Linden Avenue. I’ve only been up this way once before and frankly I don’t remember the stretch between 128th and 145th, but it was on a weekend so I didn’t experience weekday commute traffic. The Interurban Trail before the cycle track was just as nice as I remembered.

Interurban Trail

Entering the cycle track was very exciting! We could see it from a half block away–paint for bikes in the intersection! Curb between the cars and bike lanes!

Cycle track start

Two blocks later we hit the first traffic signal. The right-most light is for bikes, with bike-shaped light. We saw several of these and the bike lights all change with the car lights, but I’d imagine it could easily be changed to stagger start times…because that would be cool. I was also very taken with the signs: instructions for using the loop detector and directions to a bike box for making two-stage left turns.

Cycle track signs and light

The cycle track had lots of signage on the right (maybe I wouldn’t find it excessive if I rode it every day and I’m sure it’s just temporary) and a stripe of paint demarking the door zone on the left.

Linden cycle track

Here’s a van with all three side doors open to demonstrate the door clearance:

Open car doors along the cycle track

There are a lot of driveways cutting through the cycle track, but they’re marked with sparkly green paint, as are some of the intersections.

Green paint on the cycle track

At one point, the separating curb disappears, but at least the parked cars create a barrier between the road and the bike lanes so it’s better than the Dexter Avenue paint-separated bike lane…although it’s bidirectional for bikes all through, so Dexter’s got it beat there. It’d be lovely to see a cycle track on either side of a street one of these days. (The woman in the car in the photo below was just contemplating parking illegally on the hatch marks and too far over to the right. She soon pulled out to look for a legal spot.)

Cycle track without curb

The paint separation is better than nothing, but cars are free to park too close to the bike lanes:

Cars on the paint

And construction could more easily take over. But it was nice that rather than have bicyclists merge with car traffic, parking was temporarily removed and the cycle track moved to the parking lane.

Construction on the cycle track

The last bit of the cycle track has reflective pylons in the middle of the painted gutter between the parking lane and the bike lanes. I laughed when I first saw them because they made me think of the illegally-but-politely-installed bike lane protectors on Cherry Street.

Pylons on the cycle track

I like them…though they don’t prevent cars from parking too far to the right.

Pylons + car on the cycle track

Watch Seattle Bike Blog’s video of the cycle track for a better feel for the thing:

And next weekend there’s an official party: The Street is Complete! celebration on Saturday, July 13th 10am-noon at Bitter Lake Community Center.

Heading home I was happy to see markings for a new neighborhood greenway on Fremont Avenue. I am all for cycle tracks all over the city, but when I think about my kids riding safely in the city, I think about greenways first. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every destination had a cycle track route and a greenway route?

Soon-to-be Fremont Ave greenway

6 thoughts on “The new Linden cycle track

  1. I rode down from Lynnwood to check it out this afternoon. I went south on Meridian to Northgate and then turned west. When I got to Linden I rode the trail all the way back up to the Aldergate Mall. It’s a nice trail, but the King County part of it is much better marked and signed than the Snohomish part. Because of a lack of clear directions, it’s easy to lose your way along the Interurban trail in Snohomish County! I’ve spent several days checking it out though and I think I’ll get the hang of it pretty soon.

    After I reached the Aldergate Mall I slogged up and over the hills to get back home. A few more weeks of climbing and I should be a little better at it!

    • Ooh, I wonder if I could make it all the way to the mall. Seems like a silly destination, but I see it has a kiddie play area and it’d be an excitingly long trip. I think I’m going to have to put this on my summer list! …but with a couple alternate stops if I want to give up early :)

      • Oh, you could get to the mall easily enough! It’s riding back that would be the issue. Right at the county line there is a VERY STEEP hill going south. From 205th to 200th is granny gear territory. On my touring bike I use a 24-27 gear to get up that hill, but then I’m not in climbing shape yet.

  2. Sorry, I feel like I’ve asked this before, but your Greenways are like our Bike Boulevards, right? I’ve lately had people complaining to me about all the bikes on SE Clinton (A BIKE BOULEVARD). They’re doing construction on the main drag one block over, so the cars are coming over to zip past it and having to slow down for the traffic circles and speed bumps and “damn bikes.” Sigh.

    I agree that greenways/bike boulevards are going to be the first places I let one of my spawn ride solo, but I’m starting to wonder if a cycle track with a curb (LOVE the paint to mark the door zone!) isn’t a smarter place. Luckily I don’t have to worry about it just yet. :-/

    • Yes, Neighborhood Greenways are the same (or pretty much the same–there might be some minor differences) as Bike Boulevards. I can’t believe people are choosing you to complain to about the damn bikes! Are these strangers at the food truck pod who didn’t see you arrive by bike??

  3. Hey Madi,

    Great post! When I rode the cycle track a bunch of times to test it out, I got advance green lights on the bike signal, which was awesome. I wonder if it’s because I put my bike directly on the pavement symbol, but your photo shows Sara to the right of it. It would be interesting to test that theory.

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