As you may have seen in the media, the One Center City process is well underway. One Center City aims to “bring together many communities, perspectives and partners, to create a 20-year plan for how we move through, connect to, and experience Seattle’s Center City neighborhoods.” As part of the One Center City process, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club are proposing a Basic Bike Network as an early implementation strategy. This interim strategy will allow the city to improve mobility and safety quickly, and collect data about how a connected network of safe places to bike downtown would work best.
Proposed Basic Bike Network
WHY A BASIC BIKE NETWORK?
Our downtown streets are crowded and offer limited bike connections. A connected network of safe bicycle lanes is essential to efficiently move people.
A “pilot” network that is attractive to both new and experienced bicycle riders can be constructed with inexpensive paint and posts. This proposed pilot Basic Bike Network will help Center City planners to test corridors and congestion relief in the final Center City plan.
One Center City (OCC)
Though the OCC process will eventually produce a comprehensive multi-modal plan for downtown, people need safe places to bike as soon as possible. A pilot basic bike network would make a sensible early deliverable for OCC to make bicycling safer and inform the final plans based on data from the pilot network
A pilot network would allow the city to “test” bike facilities, collect data, and make evidence-based decisions about the final OCC plan.
Reliable mobility options are needed
Bicycling is a reliable way to travel to, from and within downtown — even when transit is delayed. Implementing a basic bike network will provide more people with a failsafe mobility option.
Calgary offers the best example of quickly implementing a basic bike network, setting realistic target metrics and collecting pre- and post data during an 18-month pilot. After the pilot, Calgary voted to make the network permanent.
Major takeaways include:
- Bike mode share doubled in three months
- Improved safety along the most dangerous routes
- Increased diversity of ridership, including women and children
- Declines in illegal bicycle behavior
- Little to no delays for SOV traffic
Edmonton is now following its approach, with other cities following closely behind. Other cities have demonstrated that a pilot network is a successful model: Seattle’s plan coupled with the comprehensive multimodal OCC process would truly make it a transportation leader amongst our peer cities.
For more information contact: Padelford at email@example.com, www.seattlegreenways.org
or Kelsey Mesher firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 769-1069 www.cascade.org
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