Basic Bike Network

What is “the Basic Bike Network”?

We know that safety is a major barrier — sixty percent of the population in Seattle wants to bike more, and dangerous streets is the number one reason they choose not to. But the Basic Bike Network, which would build safe and comfortable bike connections to get people where they need to go in and around the center city, has been delayed again and again — see this story for background information.


PikePineBikeLanesLabelsWe also know that when you build connected bike routes, people will come in droves. Around the world, cities like Vancouver, Calgary, New York and London have all implemented connected bike networks, and have seen ridership explode. Even here in Seattle, bike ridership jumped 30% on 2nd Ave when the protected bike lanes there were connected to an incomplete route on Pike and Pine. Every connection matters and makes the network more useful.

In fact, the City of Seattle expects that ridership will double with the completion of the Basic Bike network. That’s why we’re asking the City of Seattle to #BuildItNow!

UPDATE (December, 2019):

UPDATE (August, 2019): Construction Begins for 
Basic Bike Network Plan!

Construction begins this month on three key connections of the Basic Bike Network!

Thanks to years of community advocacy that led to the resolution passed through City Council last year, SDOT is building safe bike routes this month on 9th Ave, 8th Ave, and Pike St! And an improved bike route on and King St will begin construction by the end of the year.

Unless the designs are improve there will be several notable gaps (see the map below) that will need to be fix at some point. Nevertheless, we are excited that by the end of 2019 Seattle will have vastly improved bike connections all the way from the Westlake Trail to Chinatown / International District and beyond, as well as a significant improvement for people biking to and from Capitol Hill. Stay tuned for future advocacy alerts and celebratory rides. Thank you for making these wins possible!

A map of the downtown bike network

UPDATE (July 30, 2018): City Council Passes Basic Bike Network Plan

Seattle City Council unanimously voted today in favor of building major pieces of the basic bike network. Thanks to this vote you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year.

Other pieces of the network will move forward through the design and outreach phases. The map below outlines what will be built by the end of 2019, what will be designed, and what remains to be done. Safe places to bike on Roy St and 1st Ave N streets are not included in this plan, but we are working to get them built through the Key Arena redevelopment process.


Current Map of the Planned Basic Bike Network

It takes people-power to move a bold vision like the #BasicBikeNetwork forward. High fives and deep appreciation to all who’ve advocated, rallied, donated, and shared their stories so far! While this is an exciting milestone worth celebrating, but aren’t done yet. We’re not going to stop fighting for the Basic Bike Network until all the pieces are built.

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 30

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 30


How Can I Make a Difference?

Here are five ways to keep the momentum going:

  1. Take a moment to email a thank you to the Mayor for committing to build safe, convenient protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine connecting downtown and Capitol Hill by 2019.
  2. Volunteer with us.
  3. Become a monthly donor. Your gift allows us to fight for safe places to bike for people of all ages and abilities.
  4. Share a photo of yourself along with a quote about why a basic bike network is important to you. Check out our inspiring album on Facebook and share your own story with tags #basicbikenetwork, #wecantwait, and #seattlegreenways. Or email [email protected] for other ways to volunteer to make a difference.
  5. Ride your bike & bring a friend! There is safety in numbers – research has shown the more people who ride their bikes, the safer everyone is. Summer is a great time to encourage a friend, colleague, or family member to try biking in Seattle.

You are making a difference and together we will build a city that reflects our common needs and shared values by making every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live.

What was the “people protected bike lane”?

Everyone who wants to bike should be able to because biking can make us happier, keep us healthier, save us money, and reduce climate pollution. That’s why we’re advocating to build a connected network of safe and comfortable streets for people biking.

At 8:00am on the morning of Bike Everywhere Day, we took this message to the street by forming Seattle’s first people-protected bike lane in front of City Hall on 4th Avenue. The hugely successful free speech action and the rally that followed demonstrated the joy and safety that protected bike lanes can bring to our streets.

Standing side by side, we created a colorful human barrier between people riding bicycles and car traffic. Five group rides from around the city (Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Fremont, Ravenna, and West Seattle) joined people on their regular commuting route and converged at the people-protected bike lane amidst a positive fanfare of cheering, high fives, and waving streamers.

ride and rally wavingAcross the street afterwards, the Rally for the Basic Bike Network featured a slate of powerful female speakers including Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who spoke to the crowd about the need to build the basic bike network:
sally bagshaw speaking (image from her office)
Clara Cantor, Community Organizer for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, rallied the crowd chanting “Build it Now!”

Clara at 2018 ride and rally

The mood turned more somber when Clara asked the crowd to “raise your hand if you have been involved in a crash or close call in the last month” and every hand in the audience went up, including Councilmember Rob Johnson’s.

ride and rally 2018 people who have been invovled in crash or near miss in past monthAnd as a people-powered movement we can’t win these improvements without you.

ppbl shot (ben hughey) thank youA big high five to everyone who showed up and took part in the people protected bike lane or the ride and rally, and to all the volunteers who helped us make signs, carry supplies in their cargo bikes, spread the word, or otherwise supported us to make this event a success.

people high fiving through bike lane copy