New Bike Lane on 9th: Safety (or is it mail?) First

New Bike Lane on 9th Seattle -- supposedly _much_ safer than Westlake.

You know that new bike lane on 9th? The one the mayor scrambled to say they had been planning all along but didn’t mention until cyclists started protesting the SLUT? The one that is supposed to be way safer than riding near the trolley tracks? Yeah, that one.

Um, apparently not everyone got the safety memo. This was just one of three vehicles I saw blocking the less-than-Nichol’s-sized lane in a mere three blocks. Lots wackiness along this stretch of bike lane—cars parked over the line, doors flying without a care in the world and people swerving in and out of parking places. Finally, Lance’s old team colors put me over the top. I grabbed a photo and bailed.

As one might imagine, I’m not a bit impressed with the engineering or enforcement for this project. Judging from the still impressive volume of bike traffic on Westlake, I think most in-city riders have voted. 9th isn’t going to be worth the trip until such time the city can bother to enforce parking regulations more seriously around bike paths. From what I’ve seen lately, I’m not hopeful.

I met some Cascade Bike Club advocacy guys at trolley talk at REI in March. They say when 9th is done it will be really cool. But they admit it could take a while. For now I think I’m going to take my chances with Westlake. At least I know where the tracks are and I’m unlikey to get doored.


2 responses to “New Bike Lane on 9th: Safety (or is it mail?) First

  1. I’ve done 9th once – southbound – since the lane was striped on the pavement. I’m sticking with Westlake. There is no reasonable continuation northbound on 9th – it turns into nothing (!?) around Mercer. Fatter tires will help me tame the trolley tracks.

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