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A Couplet For Bikes

Roosevelt Way (formerly 10th Ave NE) circa 1921

A couplet is a pair of lines working together – sometimes in poetry, sometimes in transportation.  Take SDOT’s recently completed bicycle couplet in northeast Seattle for example.  The two lines are Roosevelt Way NE and 11th/12th Ave NE and together they’re working to move cyclists northbound and southbound through the U District. 

Before this pair of one-way streets could be retrofitted with bike facilities, SDOT worked with the community to implement the 2008 University Area Transportation Plan recommendation to remove peak hour parking restrictions.  By removing these restrictions, which opened a third travel lane during peak hour traffic, vehicular travel lanes would remain static throughout the day.  This ultimately made the installation of this bicycle couplet possible while providing more consistent on-street parking for residents.

After our crews performed pavement repair work, more than 3.5 miles of bike facilities were installed from Eastlake Avenue to NE 75th Street.  Five foot bike lanes have been installed along the majority of the routes with green bike lanes at locations where cyclists and motorists may cross paths.  Bicyclists can now utilize the couplet to reach destinations like Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington with easy links to existing bike routes on Eastlake Avenue, the Burke Gilman Trail, NE 45th Street, Ravenna Boulevard, and NE 75th Street. 

Roosevelt Way, July 2010