City planners focus on cyclists and pedestrians

A volunteer interviews a cyclist in downtown Bellevue as part of the city
A volunteer interviews a cyclist in downtown Bellevue as part of the city's study of pedestrians and cyclists.
— image credit: Courtesy City of Bellevue

The city of Bellevue has released the results from a study it completed to gauge the number of pedestrians and bicyclists traversing Bellevue on an average day.

City staff used traffic cameras and volunteer interviewers in September and October to gather information.

The pedestrian/cyclist tally will be taken annually, and is intended to help city planners recommend transportation improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.

The first count took place Sept. 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., using video cameras at four intersections leading in and out of downtown Bellevue. The pedestrian tally came to 29,758. In addition, 367 cyclists were counted at 13 locations throughout the city during that same period.

Interviews took place Oct. 1 with 53 pedestrians and nine bicyclists at the intersection of 108th Ave. NE and NE Fourth St.

The surveys showed that the majority of walkers and cyclists – 66 percent and 77 percent respectively – were commuting to work.

The median length of a pedestrian trip was a mile, while the median length for cyclists was nine miles, including parts of their trip made by transit.

Fifteen percent of walkers said they would like to see shorter waits at crosswalks. This was more than any other suggestion for improvements.

The city has plans for constructing three new mid-block crossings at downtown intersections in 2010. The goal is to make walking more convenient.

Fifty-five percent of cyclists participating in the survey said they wanted bike lanes on city streets.

The city's new ped-bike plan calls for 144 miles of new bikeways, including new downtown bike lanes on 108th and 112th avenues, Main Street, and NE 12th St. However, there is no timeline yet for those projects, and the city is planning for budget cuts due to declining revenues.

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