A cyclist rides along the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway during the projects grand opening on July 31, 2018. Courtesy Photo

A cyclist rides along the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway during the projects grand opening on July 31, 2018. Courtesy Photo

Safety improvements coming to downtown Bellevue bike lanes

Bellevue city council approved of continued improvements to bike lanes in downtown.

Improvements to safety and efficiency are coming to Bellevue’s Downtown Bikeway. At a May 13 study session, the Bellevue City Council supported further improvements to the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway and directed the transportation commission to examine possible extensions to bike lanes on Main Street.

The city of Bellevue has been collecting data for an assessment report on the activity of the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway, which opened in July 2018 running from Main Street to Northeast 12th Street along 108th Avenue.

The results of the assessment showed that 64 percent of people driving liked that bikes and cars were separated, 87 percent of bikers felt safer, and 108th Avenue saw an 18-percent decrease in bikes on sidewalks.

Vehicle throughput and travel times along the corridor had been maintained and traffic had not shifted to other city streets. Staff recorded a 35-percent increase in bike ridership on 108th Avenue, which has the highest bike-share users of any street in the city.

However, while people biking along the street felt safer, 56 percent of people biking the corridor agreed that more physical separation is needed between the bike and traffic lanes.

Additional improvements are planned for the corridor including new signage, elevating the bikeway at certain locations to improve safety, and adding bike signals at intersections to reduce confusion.

The council also was asked for direction on the possibility of another bike lane project along Main Street moving east to west. The transportation commission came to the city council asking if they should explore the option of more bike lanes.

The council gave the commission direction to look at extending the existing bike lanes on Main Street to improve the East-West connection. The transportation commission will consider extending the lanes — from 106th Avenue to 108th Avenue where it will meet up with the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway.

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