Bellevue installs new bike-safe bus platform on 108th Avenue NE

Bellevue’s newest bus platform is the latest project to improve the safety of bike lanes in the city.

Bellevue’s newest bus platform is the latest in a series of projects to create safer and efficient improvements to bike lanes in the city.

The bus platform has been installed on 108th Avenue Northeast, south of Northeast Second Street. The platform creates an elevated path for buses to pull up to without having to cross into the bike lane. The platform has a ramp on both sides that allow cyclists to cross without having to dodge a bus.

The platform also will reduce the amount of time buses need to stop at the location because it will be easier to pull up to the stop and leave once all the riders have boarded.

Franz Loewenherz, principle planner at the city of Bellevue, said the project was funded with a $55,000 grant from King County. The platform is a pilot project in downtown at that one location.

Construction took place over three nights to minimize impact to daily traffic. Loewenherz explained the platform is built from 300 plastic interlocking panels that snap together, allowing for its rapid installation.

The platform itself sits along the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway, a path that goes through the length of downtown Bellevue along 108th Avenue Northeast. The path links bike facilities to the 520 trail to the north, and the Interstate 90 trail to the south, Loewenherz said.

The bus platform is another safety and efficiency investment made to city bike infrastructure along the 108th Bikeway. Funded through the voter approved Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy in 2016, the bikeway officially opened in July. Loewenherz said the staff plans to report back to the city council on the overall bikeway project including infrastructure improvements like the new bus platform.

Investments in the city’s infrastructure, like the Downtown Demonstration Bikeway, allow staff the opportunity to evaluate how those facilities work in the city and collect data on travel time and volume.

The goal, Loewenherz said, is to present the information gathered to the city council by the Spring of 2019.

“The big takeaways are the city of Bellevue is committed to providing our public with travel options,” he said.

The city has heard from the downtown businesses and the broader community that as Bellevue grows, more emphasis on mobility options such as additional bus services and bike lanes will be needed. These projects are a way to implement and improve the options available to the community, and the feedback received will be important to inform future bicycle-focused investments.

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