SEATTLE – A new bike lane in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood is stirring both outrage and applause.
Some neighbors have tried to stop the Seattle Department of Transportation from putting in the new lane on Roosevelt Way NE between 75th Street and 85th Street for the past the years, but the city is moving ahead. SDOT has started to spray paint and mark where the new bike lane and sharrows (shared lanes) are going in.
Residents are concerned about congestion and parking on the narrow, busy arterial.
“Disappointment. None of the people who live on Roosevelt here between 75th and 85th are going to be able to park in front of their houses and side streets are going to be crammed. There’s little parking available already,” neighbor Mike Severance said.
Under the new configuration, there will be no more parking on the west side where the lanes will be installed and there will be few parking spaces on the east side of Roosevelt.
"They may have to park on the other side of the streets or side streets, but the parking inventory on Roosevelt and side streets is more than adequate to absorb the capacity," said SDOT's Brian Dougherty.
SDOT says Roosevelt Way NE is too narrow to install a new bike and travel lanes while still having parking on both sides of the street.
SDOT believes the new design will improve safety and that the new bike lane completes a missing link about a half-mile on the bike route between Northgate to the University Bridge
"They make me feel safer. I don’t know how a line on the street is going to solve or stop a car from running into to me, but having that lane there makes me feel more confident to be on the road,” cyclist Jeffrey Li said.
The new bike and travel lanes should be completed by end of September.