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Bicyclists need to be heard in Bellevue (WA)

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City planners for Bellevue, home to the BikingBis blog, are beginning to consider a vision for the future in an updated Comprehensive Plan.

Bicyclists come and go over I-90 ped bridge in Bellevue

Bicyclists come and go over I-90 ped bridge in Bellevue

That future should include the goal of making Bellevue a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

Transportation always ranks as a big problem in Bellevue. Part of that stems from belonging to the Seattle metro area, but a lot of the traffic congestion is home grown. A major solution to that is the bicycle.

The Cascade Bicycle Club is urging Bellevue bicyclists to speak up at a meeting about Bellevue’s Comprehensive Plan Update from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th St., Bellevue. That’s in the vicinity of the Crossroads Shopping Center.

If you can’t make a meeting that’s held during the evening rush hour, you can send your comments and ideas to Paul Inghram at pinghram@bellevuewa.gov.

In an “action alert,” Cascade’s Tessa Greegor wrote :

As a major urban growth center with future access to light rail and a growing regional trail network, the City of Bellevue is strategically positioned to be a leader in creating a strong transportation network – one where people of all ages and abilities can safely and conveniently travel by bike or foot, making seamless connections between transit stations, schools, parks, trails, business districts and neighborhood centers. In order to realize this vision, the city needs to hear from you.”

A press release from the City of Bellevue regarding the Comprehensive Plan jokes about “driverless cars” in our future. Perhaps a complete bicycle network used by people actively pedaling from Point A to Point B is a more healthy future for our city.

Improving Bellevue bike transportation

While I could go into nit-picky ways that Bellevue could upgrade this intersection or that road, I think the overall goal of becoming a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community in the next 10 years is the best solution. The League of American Bicyclists provides a road map on comprehensive changes to bicycle transportation to achieve that goal.

A good start for Bellevue was completion of the Bicycle-Pedestrian Plan in 2009. Implementing it now should be a top priority.

Currently, the city is working on plans for a multi-use trail in the Mountains-to-Sound Greenway Corridor between Eastgate and Factoria, and bike lanes on Northrup Way. Looking further ahead, the city is in the early planning stages of widening Northeast 124th Avenue.

One concrete improvement underway for bicyclists is on the West Lake Sammamish Parkway. By March 2013, construction crews will begin installing the 8- to 10-foot multi-purpose trail on the west side of the road and a 4-foot wide shoulder on the east side. The first mile of the project, at the Interstate 90 end, should be complete by the end of 2013. More at the West Lake Sammamish Parkway project page.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2013/01/27/bicyclists-need-to-be-heard-in-bellevue-wa/

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