News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood

 

Wallingford getting a bike boulevard in 2011

December 31st, 2010 · No Comments

Want to ride your bike through Wallingford but fear the hazards on arterials? In 2011 you’ll have a safer way to get east-west through Wallingford — N. 44th Street from I-5 to Stone Way will become a bike boulevard that encourages cycling through the neighborhood and easy access to the N. 45th St. business district.

The local cycling group Spokespeople, headed by Cathy Tuttle, just got word that the project will be funded through the Neighborhood Projects Funds (formerly Neighborhood Street Fund/Cumulative Reserve Fund).

In a Feb. 2009 post on the Sustainable Wallingford site, Cathy Tuttle described the goals of the bike boulevard:

What is a Bicycle Boulevard?: Bicycle boulevards prioritize bicycles using the existing roadway. On bicycle boulevards, bicyclists are free to use the middle of the street, sharing road space with cars. Bicycle boulevards employ traffic calming techniques that significantly slow cars down, and drivers are discouraged from using a bicycle boulevard route for cut-throughs. Motorists on bicycle boulevards respond to signs, signals, and traffic calming devices, expect to see bicyclists, and therefore travel with caution.

For new bicyclists and younger riders, bicycle boulevards provide a positive option to high-traffic shared roads. Bicycle boulevards are welcoming to children, families, and less able cyclists, and provide a more livable, healthy street environment for all neighbors and visiting pedestrians.

Why this location?: There are several reasons this location was selected for the Wallingford Bicycle Boulevard Project. North 44th Street is one street off of Wallingford’s main arterial and business district, it connects the Wallingford middle school and elementary school, it is an area with a high density of families with children, it is corridor with less elevation change than other east-west neighborhood streets, and it is a road segment with many existing traffic circles.

Tuttle told us that turning a street into a bike boulevard is relatively inexpensive, and may just require putting stop signs at every north-south corner along N. 44th St. She doesn’t yet know when work will begin on the new signage.

Here’s a video of a bike boulevard in Portland:

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