While the department says its designs for the project are only at the “10%” conceptual stage and big decisions about things like whether part of the route will require riders to cross sidewalks and how many if any parking spots will have to be removed, SDOT is collecting feedback on what has become a current flashpoint in Seattle’s struggles to create useful bicycle infrastructure in the city — the planned E Union protected bike lanes.
Through May 31st, the Seattle Department of Transportation is running an E Union St Protected Bike Lane Survey. The short survey asks about your current transportation habits around E Union and how you think protected bike lanes might impacts your behavior.
It also gets to the heart of the matter for many who are criticizing the plan — choose 3!
Ian Eisenberg, neighborhood property owner and the owner of the Uncle Ike’s retail marijuana chain and its flagship shop at 23rd and Union, has been critical of the plan and called for help pushing back on the possible loss of street parking.
CHS wrote about the planned new bike infrastructure back in April as SDOT officials said they were still working out issues like possible gaps in the protected lanes due to space constrictions at the route’s busiest intersections.
The project planned for opening in 2020 and paid for by the Move Seattle levy to create an alternate for bicyclists away from the coming Madison Bus Rapid Transit corridor would “upgrade the existing bike lane into a bi-directional parking protected bike lane (PBL) from 14th Ave to 22nd Ave and 24th Ave to 26th Ave” and “add an uphill PBL and a downhill sharrow lane from 26th Ave to Martin Luther King Jr. Way.”
Specifics on issues like possible sidewalk crossings at 23rd and Union and the loss of possible parking spots are still to be determined. The plan is parking friendly, however, with street-parked vehicles central to the design concept, separating bike riders from the flow of vehicle traffic.
The E Union protected bike lane project comes as Mayor Jenny Durkan’s administration has shifted how it prioritizes transportation spending and taken a more modest approach to implementing the city’s bike plan. Durkan’s pick to lead SDOT Sam Zimbabwe has been touted as a “project delivery expert” known for his planning and technical leadership.
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