Bellevue's 108th Bikeway Key to Unlocking Silver Bike Friendly Community Accreditation
With refinement on the way for the 108th Ave downtown bikeway, Bellevue is well-situated to rapidly implement an east-west connection this year. As the city’s progress is recognized nationally, let’s thank them locally.
Today the League of American Bicyclists recognized City of Bellevue as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community, an improvement from the Bronze award it received in 2015, and a testament to the city's growth of safe bicycling facilities and developing pro-bicycling policies.
The national award comes the day after Bellevue City Council's decision to refine downtown's first partially-protected route and taking steps to add an east-west route on Main Street this year.
The 108th Ave NE bikeway forges a key north-south connection through the city and has rapidly become a staple for people on bikes looking to travel to and through downtown safely. Already, the city is applying lessons learned from the 108th "demonstration" bikeway. The next step for Bellevue is to build an east-west connection in 2019.
Tell Council: Let’s add an east-west route this year
Protected bike lanes improve safety, efficiency, and livability
Bellevue residents and businesses found the first downtown bikeway a success for safety, efficiency and livability, according to a survey from the city as part of the pilot.
108th is already showing results: Average daily bicycle ridership increased by 35%. Separation improved both safety and the perception of safety; now, 87% of people who bike find the street safer and more comfortable to ride.
Refining 108th Ave
According to the city, the majority of people who have biked along 108th Ave agree that additional physical separation is warranted to improve safety and the quality of the experience. Refinements will be made, following the national best practices to learn from "demo projects".
In particular, consistent physical protection and separation follows national best practices for bikeway design and will be essential to improving safety and comfort on 108th for people of all ages and abilities.
Making connections to build a network
The data bears out the idea that connected bike networks get more people, and more types of people, on bikes. That's why Cascade is advocating that Bellevue build a connected network of bike lanes, starting with downtown. Main Street has long been slated for improvement and offers a vital east-west connection to downtown. With funding available from a 2016 levy and the city's goal of at least two north-south and two east-west bicycle routes by the end of 2019, now is the time to grow the network.