Dangerous ride? New bike lanes on Second Avenue confuse some
SEATTLE — Cyclists are getting their first look at the new bike lanes on 2nd Avenue that are meant to make cycling safer in downtown.
But many Monday morning said the bike lanes are more confusing than, saying they will cause confusion and potentially more accidents.
New bike lanes for north and south bound cyclists are on 2nd Avenue between Pike Street and Yesler. Cyclists have their own traffic signals and a buffer between them and the motorists.
Protected bike lanes physically separate people riding bikes from people driving and are distinct from the sidewalk, adding predictability for all roadway users. The lanes are a brand new design for downtown Seattle and meant to be safer..
City leaders officially announced the opening of the new bike lanes at a press conference this morning.
“This project will help Seattle better understand how to build protected and grade-separated bike lanes,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Second Avenue’s improved design will work better for pedestrians, bikes, automobiles and transit.”
The 20-year Seattle Bike Master Plan was recently updated and adopted by the City Council in April 2014.
But during this first morning commute many people said the lanes are confusing. Motorists are not yielding to bicyclists at intersections when traffic signals are red.
Blake Lindsey, a cyclist who commutes daily, said he hates the new design and believes it will cause more accidents. Over the past four and a half years, 61 bike related collisions have been reported between Pine and Jackson on Second Avenue.
"Cars don’t expect bikes to be going in two different directions on a one way road," Lindsey said. "So when they’re coming out of garages and stuff they’re not going to look left if they only expect cars coming from the right or bikes.”
He fears there will be many bad accidents because of this new configuration.
But the city disagrees. The Seattle Department of Transportation will be monitoring the project regularly and making adjustments as necessary, city officials said.