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Remarking Seattle’s bike lanes

Most everyone agrees that Seattle is a beautiful city, but it does rain here a bit and that can make for all kinds of challenges.  It is especially challenging for  the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews as they work hard every summer restriping the many miles of bike facilities that have been installed thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation initiative.

Since BTG was passed by Seattle voters in 2006, SDOT crews have installed more than 143 miles of bike lanes and sharrows and have completed maintenance work and restriping to more than 149 miles of bike facilities.  The wet and damp climate of the Northwest makes it hard to find that perfect paint that will both stand up to the elements and be environmentally friendly. 

Newly painted bike lane on Genesee.

Newly-painted bike lane on S Genesee Street near Genesee Park.

In 2013, SDOT is planning on restriping more than 70 miles of bike facilities with a double-coat of paint.  Crews have already begun restriping all of the six inch bike lane lines (the line separating the vehicle travel lane from the bike lane) and work will continue throughout the spring and summer.  The goal is to get a good base coat down on the roadway surface that will last longer. 

SDOT is always looking for new and better striping materials.  One type of material that we are experimenting with on a few of our larger capital projects is Methyl Methacrylate Acryline (MMA) or Durable Pavement Striping.  It has a life expectancy of seven to  ten years and is currently being tested on the NE 125th and the Delridge Way SW repaving projects and the Mercer West Project.  We will be following the durability closely and if all goes well we are hopeful that its use can be utilized in other projects.  

For additional information on BTG and the work it does please visit the web page.