• Council Roundup: Update on downtown bikeway projects

    Published May 16 2019

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    At Monday’s extended study session, the City Council was briefed on ongoing efforts and possible next steps to make downtown’s bicycle network safer and more effective. The presentation focused on two downtown areas:

    Keeping 108th Avenue Bikeway

    Councilmembers agreed with the Transportation Commission’s recommendation to retain the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway project and make improvements.

    Launched in July 2018, the demonstration project added bike lanes on 108th Avenue Northeast, from Main Street to Northeast 12th Street, creating the city’s first continuous route for people riding to the north and south of downtown.

    An assessment of the project showed that impacts of the bikeway were positive:

    • No change in police-reported collisions;
    • Eighty-seven percent of people using the bikeway reported feeling safer and more comfortable;
    • 64 percent of drivers on 108th Avenue Northeast liked that bikes and cars were more separated;
    • Driver travel times for both cars and buses were maintained during the morning and afternoon rush hours; and
    • Bicycle ridership increased by 35 percent.

    The council also heard about several proposed improvements to the bikeway. These included adding bicycle signals, enhanced signage and pavement markings, and reducing traffic conflicts caused by vehicle pick-ups and drop-offs along the corridor.

    The demonstration project was funded by the 2016 Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy, and the proposed improvements also would be levy funded.

    Potential new bike lanes on Main

    In related business, the council directed the Transportation Commission to evaluate extending the bike lanes on Main Street to create a better east-west bike route.

    Currently, a westbound bike lane runs from 103rd to 106th Avenue and an eastbound lane runs from 103rd to 105th Avenue. The proposal being considered would extend the bike lanes to 108th Avenue to connect with the Downtown Bikeway.

    More information is available in the council agenda materials.

    Cultural Compass Plan

    The council reviewed the 2004 Cultural Compass Plan, the city’s cultural development road map, and recommended the scope and approach for the plan update. Updating the Cultural Compass Plan will allow the city to adapt to and address the future cultural needs of Bellevue’s residents.

    The city will begin work on a cultural needs assessment this summer to identify arts and cultural opportunities and services the community values. At the end of the process, the council will provide direction on priorities to guide the strategic visioning process.

    More details are provided in the agenda packet materials.

    National Police Week

    Earlier, councilmembers recognized National Police Week (May 12-18), as a time to pay tribute to local, state and federal officers who have died or been injured in the line of duty. The proclamation also encourages Bellevue residents and businesses to show appreciation for the city’s 184 police officers.

    Assistant Police Chief Patrick Arpin, Assistant Chief Carl Kleinknecht, Major Andrew Popochock and Sergeant Casey Hiam were on hand to receive the proclamation.