News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Take a poll on bike lanes, “road diets”

Posted by Mike on August 18th, 2010

Few things have so engaged some of our readers as changes proposed for existing roads to, according to the city, make them safer and friendlier to bikes and pedestrians.

The changes suggested to Roosevelt Way Northeast have caused an uproar in Maple Leaf proper, and the ones to Northeast 125th Street to our north have been covered citywide.

Now the Puget Sound Business Journal has posted an online survey to gather an (unscientific) overview of what the public thinks.

Editor George Erb wrote us this morning to say: “The survey went up Monday morning on our home page and asks the question: ‘Are Seattleā€™s bike lanes making local reaffic more dangerous?’ As of this morning, we had 872 responses, with 60 percent of the respondents saying bike lanes are increasing risk. The survey will be up until Sunday.”

What do you think?

Erb has written a blog post on the issue as well. And PubliCola continues to raise the issue.

Tags: Uncategorized

6 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 tashana kolanowski // Aug 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    How silly, designated lanes for bikes makes driving and biking much safer than bikers trying to squish themselves in between cars.

    Having driven in urban areas with designated bike paths and lanes it is a much more controlled and safe feeling than driving in urban areas with bikes and no lanes.

  • 2 Nickbob // Aug 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Well if the readship reflects their news/editorial slant, it’s no wonder that the numbers skew towards the ‘More Dangerous’. A story headline asks if fines for texting while driving are too high, citing poll results of 11% saying yes. At the end of the post the number for Not High Enough-30%- is cited without comment. In my Kingdom, anyone killing a bicyclist while talking or texting on the cell would be up for murder. Cars are dangerous enough when driven by people paying attention, those being careless should also be carless.

  • 3 Jeff // Aug 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I have been shocked at the uproar over making biking more safe and easier to do in this city. As a long time Maple Leaf resident I have risked my life riding up Roosevelt Way…most times I avoid that route, too dangerous. In the case of Roosevelt losing some parking versus safer biking, is it really an issue? Why so many haters of bike use. Park in your driveways!!

  • 4 Reader // Aug 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Have you actually looked into these “uproar(s) over making biking more safe and easier to do in this city”?
    Many people have legitimate concerns about the bike lane plan that have to do with fitting buses into the lanes (and leaving room for the buses to make a right turn on to Roosevelt from eastbound NE 80th) , buses completely blocking traffic while at their stops, left turns blocking the flow of traffic in a single lane at, the demand for street parking when the new park space is finished, and other issues -
    Have you read any of these comments? :

    You know, the Dept. of Transportation rep who was at the recent Maple Leaf Ice Cream Social admitted that the DOT overlooked many of these issues and that they “made a mistake” by okaying the plan without taking them into consideration.
    Sometimes a retrofit like this isn’t just a matter of “losing some parking versus safer biking” and these concerns are not necessarily made by “so many haters of bike use”.

  • 5 Brent // Aug 20, 2010 at 11:51 am

    As someone who has spent considerable time commuting (both by car and bike) this conversation misses the mark on so many levels. As already stated, a business journal appeals to a particular population who have unique bias so the results of their “non-scientific” survey are only as legitimate as the source. Respondents would be equally biased if the survey had been hosted by a bike advocacy group…just in the other direction.

    Also, the question itself is ridiculous: do respondents have real evidence that bike lanes decrease safety? Of course not. And the reasons cited as evidence that the lanes decrease safety are decidedly wrong-minded. Some of unsafe reasons posted above are: “buses completely blocking traffic while at their stops, left turns blocking the flow of traffic in a single lane.” For one…buses rarely fit neatly into the space allotted for them and this almost always results in cars avoiding the stopped buses by veering into the oncoming lane to get around them; it would be better if the bus completely blocked cars to avoid this dodge-and-gun-it tactic so often seen on Roosevelt. Secondly, it is assumed then that cars dodging vehicles which dare to make a left turn by using the parking spaces to their right (often IN intersections where other cars or pedestrians are trying to legally use that space) as another lane makes us safer. Driving a car or bike requires that we be flexible and slowing or stopping for a bus is part of the deal. Illegal actions of drivers or cyclists should be cited. Until the police actually begin enforcing current laws more vigorously, we’ll continue to blame the other. Come on. If we’re going to talk about safety, let’s put some thought into this.

  • 6 Jeff // Aug 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Brent, Very well said!. Now off to ride!