Council Takes Up Bellevue Downtown Demonstration Bikeway

With approval secured from the Bellevue Transportation Commission, the City Council will now decide whether the separated bikeway on 108th Ave NE in downtown Bellevue will become a reality. Join us Feb. 5 or send your personal message to council now. They need to know the community can’t wait for safe places to bike in downtown Bellevue.

With five Bellevue Transportation Commissioners voting in support of the demonstration bikeway (just two Commissioners opposed) it’s clear that a strong majority of commissioners grasp the reality that Bellevue is long overdue for safe places to bike in order for the downtown to be vibrant, safe, and inviting. The next step is making sure Council stands with them to ensure Bellevue on track to to be install the demonstration bikeway by May 2018.

At their February 5 meeting, City Council will take up approving the demonstration bikeway. While community outreach about the demonstration bikeway proposal has been occuring over the last several months, this will be the first council discussion. That’s why it’s essential that caring neighbors and businesses like you show up, and voice your support for the demonstration bikeway concept. You can show council that the community – people who work, visit, and live in Bellevue – can’t wait for safe places to ride downtown. Say you’ll join us now or send a note to council (or both).

Demonstration Concept Will Pave the Way to a Connected Network

A “demonstration” is akin to a “pilot” bikeway, which uses temporary materials, can be installed and modified quickly, and where data collection on impacts (good and bad) inform changes. City officials have money to create a demonstration bikeway on just one of the four corridors in 2018.

The results of the demonstration will be used to determine whether the 108th Ave NE bikeway becomes permanent (as planned, it will be in place through December 2018), what future Bellevue bikeways will look like, and where they will be located.

If approved, Bellevue will test the theory, which has been proven elsewhere, that switching general purpose vehicle lanes* to dedicated bikeways improves safety outcomes, boosts economic development (including retail performance), and increasing the perceptions of a more livable, walkable downtown. (* On 108th in Bellevue only a single, southbound, general purpose lane would be converted).

Zeroing in on 108th Ave NE

Last fall, over 1,000 people took the city’s online survey about the demonstration bikeway, and the results are clear: 108th Ave NE is the most favored of four candidate corridors presented to the public.

The proposed design for 108th Ave NE includes segments of buffered, protected and striped bike lanes. The visual above shows how 108th Ave NE at 6th Street (by the transit center) could be reconfigured to work for bikes, transit and cars.

108th Ave NE is a major north/south corridor through downtown that’s home to many large office towers, adjacent to the transit center, and connected by bike lanes to the I-90 and SR-520 trails. For connectivity and functionality, the bikeway on 108th Ave NE makes sense.

For most people who bike – or want to – it’s a first chance to ride to downtown Bellevue shops, offices and homes without fear. But for all the benefits, the fate of the demonstration bikeway is not a done deal. City Council approval is needed before temporary paint and posts can be installed, and it’s the biggest hurdle yet. That’s why we need your help!

How you can help:

  • Take a minute now to send a personal note to council in support of the demonstration bikeway and bikeshare. Be sure to personalize your message for most impact.
  • Attend the Feb. 5 Council meeting. Wear your Bellevue Bike Network t-shirt to send a visible sign to council that you support the proposal. Want a t-shirt? Email us: vickyc@cascade.org
  • Just ahead of the Council meeting, meet up with Cascade and fellow advocates (5:30 pm at the fireplace in City Hall) to learn more about the proposal, and other ways to help move it forward. 
  • Share this information with friends and neighbors so that they also show up and show support.
  • Join the Bellevue Bike Network campaign, to make sure that whether you live, work or visit Bellevue, you get the latest on improvements in Bellevue biking and future ways to engage.

Please join us for this final push on Feb 5! 

Victoria Clarke's picture
Victoria Clarke