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.
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!
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.
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.
Here’s a van with all three side doors open to demonstrate the door clearance:
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.
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.)
The paint separation is better than nothing, but cars are free to park too close to the bike lanes:
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.
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.
I like them…though they don’t prevent cars from parking too far to the right.
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?