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State of the Seattle Bicycling Environment Report now online

Since its adoption in 2007, the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) has served as the blueprint for making improvements to Seattle’s bicycle network. When it was developed, the BMP focused largely on expanding on-street bicycle facilities and completing the urban bicycle trail system. The plan has been effective at guiding improvements to the City’s bicycle system and significant progress has been made since 2007.

The 2007 Bicycle Master Plan included a 5-year update, which presents us now with the opportunity to include fast-evolving best practices and new thinking in bicycle facilities, safety, and design. The 2012 BMP update will also focus on developing a bicycle network and strategies that make bicycling comfortable and accessible for a wider variety of users and trip types. Ultimately, the BMP update will develop a more connected bicycle network for all Seattle residents.

The State of the Seattle Bicycling Environment Report presents current data and information based on what has been implemented since the BMP was adopted in 2007 and the work taking place now. This report provides a snapshot of Seattle’s existing bicycling environment and will help set the stage for developing recommendations in the Bicycle Master Plan Update.

The assessment of the current state of cycling in Seattle will inform efforts to:

  • Update the current bicycle network map and incorporate facility types that are not in the existing plan, such as neighborhood greenways and cycle tracks, to help encourage people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike
  • Develop a more robust process to identify areas of greatest need and priority for bicycle facilities
  • Incorporate updates to bicycle design standards that have been developed since 2007
  • Identify education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation needs to support investments in bicycle infrastructure and network improvements.  There are three clear needs for bicycle programs, although others may be identified throughout the project timeline. These needs are:
    • Program evaluation – The 2007 BMP did not focus on program evaluation. Therefore, it is difficult to  determine what programs have most helped increase the number of people riding bicycles or bicycle safety. The BMP update should consider how to better incorporate evaluation and monitoring into programming efforts to ensure that effective programs are continued and programs that are not effective are either improved or discontinued.
    • Programs to reach new or hesitant cyclists, especially among groups that are underrepresented among current cyclists.  Bicycle programs should be targeted to reach specific audiences. As elsewhere in the 2012 update, SDOT is particularly interested in meeting the needs of new cyclists and programmatic efforts that will encourage cycling for those people that may be interested in riding a bike, but are not yet comfortable enough to consider biking as a convenient and viable form of transportation. These people may include women, low income, families, seniors, and youth
    • Another area which needs to be targeted is programs and campaigns to reduce conflicts and improve safety

The 34-page report covers a wide range of topics and the information in this report not only summarizes progress on the 2007 plan, but also provides context for new opportunities to take bicycle riding to the next level in Seattle.

To view the whole report please see the following: State of the Seattle Bicycling Environment Report