Bitter Lake Community gets enhanced street that better serves all users
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has just put the finishing touches on the city’s first buffered bike lane. The completion of the buffered bike lane, on N 130th Street from Greenwood Avenue N to Linden Avenue N, has been long-awaited by the Bitter Lake Community and is one of a number of roadway improvements recently made there by SDOT. The complete street makes travel safer for everyone whether on foot, bike or in a car.
In addition to two vehicle travel lanes (one eastbound and one westbound) and the buffered bike lane, SDOT also installed a new curb bulb at the marked crosswalk at N 130th Street and North Park Avenue N in front of the Bitter Lake Community Center. Now that the rechannelization has been completed the final stage of the project will be to build a pedestrian refuge island at this crosswalk.
The first such enhanced bike lane in Seattle, the buffered bike lane is a five-foot-wide bike lane that is buffered by a 2 ½ – foot striped “shy zone” between the bike lane and the moving vehicle lane. This design makes movement safer for both bicyclists and vehicles. With the shy zone, the buffered lane offers a more comfortable riding environment for bicycle riders who prefer not to ride adjacent to traffic. This system allows motorists to drive at a normal speed; they only need watch for cyclists when turning right at cross-streets or driveways and when crossing the buffered lane to park.
The changes to improve safety, pedestrian access and bicycle usage along the N 130th Street corridor are part of SDOT’s Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan implementation and were funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation initiative.