A new bike lane was installed on Cherry Street last year from 1st Avenue to just east of 4th Avenue and SDOT had planned on extending the route to Broadway in 2011. As staff began the design process for these proposed facilities, some potentially challenging conditions for cyclists on Cherry were recognized. First, Cherry is steep! Seattle is known for its steep hills, but Cherry may be too challenging for the average biker. Second, crossing busy Boren Avenue at Cherry would be no walk in the park for cyclists either. While the existing median island at this intersection provides space for pedestrian and bicycle crossings, there are no signals or stop signs on Boren Avenue.
SDOT staff began searching for an alternate route that provides similar connections with a less severe grade. The perfect candidate was found just two blocks northwest of Cherry on Marion Street. Marion handles far fewer vehicles than Cherry making this an attractive alternate route and the grade of the street, while still on an incline, is much less steep than Cherry. In addition, the intersection of Marion and Boren is signalized so bicyclists will have a much easier time crossing this busy street.
The new route will will start where we left off in 2010 at 4th and provide bicycle facilities on Cherry to 7th Avenue. The route will turn northwest at 7th Avenue for two blocks where it will meet Marion Street and begin heading east. Sharrows will be installed on Marion from 7th to Boylston and along Boylston eventually connecting to the existing bicycle facilities on East Union Street. SDOT Paving Crews recently made pavement repairs to Marion so cyclists are in for a smooth ride once installation is complete.
This alternate route was presented to and approved by the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB). Installation of the new facilities will be complete soon. Stay tuned to the SDOT Blog for updates!