Connecting Magnolia Bike Commuters to the City Bike Network

Cross section of the new protected bike lanes.

Magnolia will soon be better connected to the citywide bike network with a new protected bike lane (PBL) along Gilman Avenue W, but not without a few bumps (pun intended) along the way. We’ve heard you Magnolia, and we recognize your concerns about the project.

 

Some residents feel the community input process wasn’t thorough.

We take community engagement very seriously. As we complete this important bike network infrastructure, we’ll continue to work with any neighbors who have questions or concerns. We worked hard to include community feedback into the design and apologize if neighbors feel their voices haven’t been heard. To receive email on construction updates and provide feedback, contact Dan Anderson, Dan.A.Anderson@Seattle.gov.

 

Traffic backups at the W Emerson Pl and  Gilman Ave W intersection.

Yes,  we reconfigured the 4-way stop intersection to improve safety for all travelers at the intersection, adding space to separate cars from cyclists traveling to and from the popular Ship Canal Trail. We’re continuing to monitor the impact on drivers during peak times and potential for back ups. In the meantime, try these alternative routes into Magnolia:

  • W Dravus St and the Magnolia Bridge farther south.
  • Or if you live or work in north Magnolia, you can take a right at 21st Ave W to W Commodore Way, leading to the Fort St Bridge over the railroad tracks on 27th Ave W.

Got that? ?

 

Bike commuters are frustrated with the setup during the construction phase.

We share your frustration. Sometimes the best organized plans have a SNAFU. In this case, delayed delivery of critical materials like posts and hardware have contributed to the delay. But good news! Crews installed posts along the PBL this week, separating cyclists from traffic, and next week new pavement markings will be installed to increase visibility and safety. And coming soon, a new bike signal at W Dravus St will help mitigate confusion by making it more obvious where the lanes are, helping travelers adjust to the new layout. 

We thank the community for your feedback and patience while the work is completed. We’re committed to monitoring the new street design and intersections both during and after construction to see what’s happening.  

Check out Seattle Bike Blog’s opinion of the project.

 

The new Gilman Ave W protected bike lane: 

When it comes to bike commuting, the old street layout wasn’t hospitable to all abilities or ages. The upgrade will directly connect Magnolia neighborhood cyclists with three of the city’s key bikeways:

  • Elliot Bay Trail to downtown
  • Ship Canal Trail to Fremont Bridge, Westlake, and South Lake Union
  • Ballard Locks footpath to the popular Burke-Gilman Trail

 

Adding a two-way PBL:

Without taking away a car lane, the 1.5-mile route will add a two-way protected bike lane on the west side of the arterial; currently there’s a striped bike/parking lane on both sides of the street that sandwiches cyclists precariously between traffic that’s hurtling along at up to 40 miles-per-hour and occasional parked cars (aka, the “door zone”).   

 

 Changes to  existing car lanes:

Changes won’t only protect cyclists, but by narrowing the existing car lanes, car speeds are expected to drop. Data shows that car speeds on Gilman Ave W often exceed the posted limit and there have been several serious crashes over the years. We looked at available crash data and found that there were 186 reported collisions in the project area over the past 14 years. Six of those crashes injured people. At least four cyclist and pedestrian crashes occurred at both the intersections of 20th Ave W & W Dravus St, and Gilman Ave W & W Emerson St during that time period. Exactly why we’ve focused resources on making safety improvements at both intersections by separating pedestrians and cyclists from car travel lanes.

 

For more project information visit the Interbay Trail Connections Project.