City No Bike Paths for South End
posted by November 28 at 15:10 PMon
OK, that’s not exactly true. The leaked bicycle master plan does call for one new bike lane in Beacon Hill (the red line in the map below), and new striping along Beacon Avenue (the yellow line), but the worst street for bikers in the city, Rainier Avenue South, is labeled “Improvement Needed, But Unknown.” So is Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. South, where light rail builders Sound Transit capitulated to drivers and agreed not to add a bike lane, which could slow down traffic. (Both streets are marked with dashed black lines on the map.)Nor is there any improvement scheduled for Airport Way into Georgetown, which used to be on the short list for improvements but was de-listed after industrial businesses complained.
This sucks for several reasons. First, light rail is supposed to make MLK a more pedestrian-friendly, bike-friendly corridor. Sounds like it’ll just be another expressway for cars. Second, it is fucking scary to bike down Rainier. Thanks to recent road “improvements,” drivers can careen down the road at speeds of 50 mph and higher with impunity. And Georgetown is already hard to get to without a car; a bike lane or trail along Airport would have finally given cyclists easy access to the neighborhood. Many improvements in the North End, like the much-delayed “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail, are badly needed and long overdue. But I wish Seattle’s bike planners hadn’t left South Seattle in the cold.