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Bike Plan Stop 3: Seattle

12:28 PM PST on February 13, 2008

As a precursor to full plan implementation, Seattle DOT Tags Future Bike Routes

Last year, Seattle revamped its Bicycle Master Plan after the city had agreed to rethink all future road projects as "complete streets" projects, i.e., all modes of transportation would be supported, not just cars. A lot of the plan is typical master plan boilerplate, but Seattle earns major kudos by planning to increase its bike lanes by 900%.
Seattle's plan aims to change the percent of trips taken on a bike from 2% to a whopping 12%. To meet this goal, the city decided to add 200 miles of bike lanes to the 25 that already exist. The Seattle P-I reports that by adding more bikes, the city hopes to increase safety:
At least four times a week, John Duggan, a Seattle attorney specializing in bicycle accidents, gets calls from people who have been hit by cars. "In almost all of these cases, the cars are not aware of the cyclist or they misjudge the bicyclist's speed," he said.
For Duggan and city officials, it's a matter of numbers. There often aren't enough bikes on the road -- and designated bike lanes and signage -- to make motorists aware.
From Copenhagen, Denmark, to Portland, cities have found that as the number of bicyclists increase, so does the safety for those riders. Toward that end, Wentz said his planners are hoping to encourage a threefold increase in urban bicycling over the next decade.
Another sign that the plan was being taken seriously was a city hall press conference where the Mayor announced that Seattle was going to be the NW's new bike capital...while I think Portland may have something to say about that, this ten-year plan is certainly something that the Emerald City can be proud of.
image via IHeartBikes

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