Bike lane just added to south stretch of California SW

Much of the main south stretch of California SW, from south of Morgan Junction up toward the Gatewood/Fauntleroy border at SW Thistle (map), not only has received bicycle-awareness “sharrows” in the past week-plus, but now also of this weekend has a bicycle lane, mostly in the southbound/uphill direction. (The bike lane ends at SW Ida [map], which is also where the Route 22 bus turns.) Striping crews have been working night and weekend hours in the past several days — they first moved the center line a few feet east, where it’s now marked by reflective yellow “turtles” (so many of which had come off during last winter’s snow/ice/sanding), and then the bike lane appeared. The West Seattle section of the citywide Bicycle Master Plan (see it here) does not call for a bike lane in this area – bike lanes are marked by broken dark-blue lines, sharrows by light turquoise, and this stretch is marked only with the latter (here’s a screen grab; link to the full plan is here):

We’ll be checking with SDOT tomorrow about the appearance of the bike lane and if bike lanes are on the drawing board anywhere else in West Seattle that’s not included in the Master Plan. (In the plan, the stretch of Fauntleroy that’s getting a bike lane as part of the “rechannelization” following the current road-rebuilding/repaving work is coded in the plan as “more study needed.”)

12 Replies to "Bike lane just added to south stretch of California SW"

  • alison July 19, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    I ride up and down this hill all the time and it’s nice to see they added a bike lane!

  • Chris July 19, 2009 (10:44 pm)

    I had the chance to try out the new striping this evening. The only downsides to this work are:

    – the left wheels of cars heading south, north of Ida, are forced into driving in the gap that used to be between the lanes — that should really be filled in to reduce the likelihood that the left tires will be grabbed by the break in the road surface.
    – at the intersection with Ida (I believe) where the centerline shifts back to the original placement, this shift takes place in the middle of the intersection and can lead to some near misses. Heading north on California as you crest the hill, it’s very easy to drive onto the yellow center line and into oncoming, southbound traffic. The centerline shift should have happened north or south of the intersection.

    This should help a lot with safely passing bicyclists struggling up California.

  • Jackie July 20, 2009 (8:22 am)

    So this is a good start. My question is, when is the rest of California Avenue getting bike lanes? Sharrows are useless!

  • Brian July 20, 2009 (8:31 am)

    Now if only they could do this on 35th Ave….

  • Donuts for all July 20, 2009 (8:49 am)

    Agree with the above comment about the lane shift not corresponding with break in the existing paving. The break between the old lanes does cause a tiregrab that isn’t safe.

    Wish the entire street lane painting had occured with the bicycle painting. There are stretchs of very old, hard to see lane markers with the new painting on California that can be a bit confusing.

  • yay! July 20, 2009 (10:25 am)

    keep in mind that the BMP states recommendations – many facilities that have been installed and have been adjusted once a more thorough analysis has been completed. in the case of sw california, it looks like a climbing lane was possible, and they went with it.

    good job, sdot!

  • J.Q.T. July 20, 2009 (1:15 pm)

    I’m just glad for the opportunity to pay for others’ hobbies.

  • RS July 20, 2009 (2:48 pm)

    Yes, commuting to work is one the best “hobbies”.

  • grr July 20, 2009 (3:12 pm)

    I’ve written this post in my head at least a dozen times and there’s just no way to NOT sound like an ass (not that THAT’s ever stopped me before).

    Suffice it to say that if/when bikes SHARE the road (stop for stop signs, use turn signals, pay $20 a year for a bike license), and NOT ride in the center of that damn lane with an air of entitlement), maybe I’ll change my mind.’s a gross generaliztion..there are GOOD, law abiding bicyclists out there..duh. I just don’t see them very often.

  • JumboJim July 20, 2009 (3:53 pm)

    grr – As I’m sure you would, admit most of the car drivers don’t share the road very well either. Pulling out in front of other cars and bikes, not stopping for pedestrians, tailgating and a number of other widespread “antisocial” driving behaviors. They’re all very common but no reason to say kick all the cars off the road as you seem to want to do to bikes because of your perceived lack of sharing by bike riders.

  • grr July 20, 2009 (6:52 pm)

    yup..I agree..plenty of jerks behind the wheels of cars…no doubt about it. Same with motorcycles. But I honestly feel it’s more about the attitude of entitlement of many on bikes that bugs me. That, and frankly, they’re a bit of a hazard when they’re cruising side by side at 15 mph on California. And if one cuts in front of my car because they want to blow thru a stop sign, and i hit them, it’s automatically MY fault. That’s just wrong.

    yes..the risks of getting creamed by a door opening is there. And, a specific bike lane (like the ones going in on Fauntleroy) will most likely have the result of making motor-vehicle operator (as well as people parked) a bit more aware of the potential for a bike to be there.

    maybe some other time I’ll get on a rant about my opinion that bicycles should have to be mandated to wear more protective clothing. Pretty sure the little salad bowl of styrofoam on their heads ain’t gonna do a hell of a lot if they hit a pothole crusing down the hill.

  • J.Q.P. July 21, 2009 (1:07 am)

    Does it somehow ruin the enjoyment of it all to just once say “Hey, thanks everyone for using your money so I can ride my bike to work”? At least a little gratitude would be something.

Sorry, comment time is over.