An alternative to a local barrier for many

Westlake Cycle Track Map

I already mentioned this in our latest newsletter, but it’s important enough that I thought I’d blog about it, too. We have lots of conversations in the shop with folks who really want to ride their bikes to get around, but who cite certain barriers that keep them from going for it. One of the most common reasons we hear? Dexter Avenue and it’s tough-for-beginners hill. It’s on the way to/from downtown for several North Seattle neighborhoods, and for some people, it’s just enough of a hassle to push them away from commuting by bike. 

The flatter route through parking lots along Westlake Avenue North has been an alternative for bike commuters for years, but it’s considered unsafe for a number of reasons, including car drivers backing out of parking spots who can’t hear or see bicyclists riding by. There’s also the practical dead end of the route into the construction, trolley tracks, and general confusion that is South Lake Union.

Now the good news! SDOT is hosting an open house to discuss plans for a cycle track on Westlake Avenue North. What a boon this route would be for current and aspiring bike commuters. Such a route and its key distinction of comfortable separation from car traffic would allow commuters to avoid sweating their way up Dexter hill and instead ride safely to and from their downtown destinations.

If this would affect your bike commute or make you or someone you know more likely to commute by bike, please join the conversation, learn more about the plan, and let your thoughts be heard at the upcoming open house. It’s this coming Monday, October 28th, from 5 to 7 p.m. at B.F. Day Elementary.

See you there!

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