A new study from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) recommends bike and pedestrian improvements for two new light rail stations being built on the city’s north side, which currently have few connections to the existing bike network. A map showing “level of traffic stress” for people on bikes indicates mostly high-stress routes in the area surrounding the two stations. “Pretty much every east-west route someone would use to access either station” is a high-stress corridor, writes Ryan Packer, which makes it difficult for bike commuters to access the train.
The projects proposed in the study build on top of improvements that SDOT already plans to implement at the new stations and would improve safety and connectivity between the train stations and other parts of town. The highest-ranked priority projects—which include improving the I-5 crossing at 130th Street, adding a shared-use path to 145th Street, widening and improving the Jackson Park trail, and extending bike lanes on Roosevelt Way—involve improvements that provide direct access to the future stations. “The rest of the network builds on these projects,” making them part of a crucial foundation for improving Seattle’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
The study lays out proposed improvements, but funding for the projects remains an open question. “Identifying funding sources is pretty important to getting these actually built, but it’s likely there will be a lot of competition for those pots of money when they become available,” writes Packer.