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Downtown ribbon cutting includes good vibes for new bike projects including Pike protected lanes

Now on 8th Ave (Image: SDOT)

Mayor Jenny Durkan and SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe weren’t out for a ride but they did come out to celebrate Wednesday’s opening of a new 8th Ave protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The redesigned 8th Ave includes a “one-way northbound protected bike lane between Pike St and Bell St, one travel lane, paid parking and load zones, and new bike signals at busy intersection,” SDOT reports. “This project completes a two-way couplet for people biking with the existing one-way southbound 7th Ave protected bike lane.”

Cycling and safe street advocates hope the pomp adds up to a refreshed attitude at City Hall after a summer of criticism over Seattle’s increasingly modest plans for new bike projects. Whether the mayor’s presence at the ribbon cutting truly represents a shift in gears in her office remains to be seen. Seattle Bike Blog says there are some important decisions coming:

I guess the first big test will be whether she finds the funding this budget season to build the South Seattle and downtown bike lanes listed in the resolution the City Council is considering. She will also need to choose whether to fight the Council’s proposed “mandatory” bike lane ordinance.

Meanwhile, as part of the 8th Ave announcement, SDOT also touted its near-term plans for other new bike infrastructure including new solutions for biking up Pike/Pine.

“New protected bike lanes between 9th Ave and Broadway” are coming, SDOT promises. “A redesigned Pike St will include one general travel lane in each direction, paint-and-post bike lanes, parking removal, and reconfigured load zones.” CHS reported on the Pike/Pine planning and progress earlier this summer.

Not mentioned in the latest SDOT announcement are the plans for new protected bike lanes on E Union as part of the plans for shifting traffic away from the Madison Bus Rapid Transit core. SDOT says it is still processing public feedback gathered on the project and continues to show a late 2019 start of construction for the new lanes.

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