Reader report: In time for Bike Everywhere Day, improvements on East Marginal Way

It’s Bike Everywhere Day – and a busy route between West Seattle and downtown has some improvements in place, Scott Morgan tells us:

I wanted to send a big thank-you to Lisa Herbold, who has helped to improve East Marginal Way for all the West Seattle Bikers who use it. I brought up the issue of trucks parking in the bike lane last November which happens multiple times a week as they wait for the Port to open their gates in the mornings. She has persistently worked with Chris Eaves at SDOT to add delineator posts to this stretch. The desire is that these posts will be a small reminder that the bike lane are for bikes and not parking trucks.

I’ve included pictures from my commute (Wednesday – above) and one from last week (below).

It’s a route where many have long advocated for improvements, and more are on the way.

11 Replies to "Reader report: In time for Bike Everywhere Day, improvements on East Marginal Way"

  • West Sea Neighbor May 19, 2017 (7:30 am)

    Thanks to councilmember Herbold for supporting this. The posts are a good start, though I noticed this morning that one had already been broken off. Are they designed to be easily/cheaply replaced when the break?

  • Meyer May 19, 2017 (8:07 am)

    Great news. Such a simple and inexpensive investment will improve the safety of the thousand + bikers that use that road everyday. 

  • ts May 19, 2017 (8:52 am)

    So a semi was sitting in the bike lane before the poles were put up? Kinda sad but not surprising. I hope the poles stay up and are replaced when broken. There are some poles on the westbound bridge between the 1st ave off ramp that have been broken since almost the first week of the new ramps existing.

  • WS Cyclist Family May 19, 2017 (8:55 am)

    Wow!  This really  shows amazing, visible support for bicycles in our fair city!  Many thanks to all who made it happen — and to WSB for terrific coverage!

  • Don Brubeck May 19, 2017 (10:11 am)

    Thank you, Councilmember Herbold, for promoting traffic safety on East Marginal and Fauntleroy, and throughout West Seattle. 

    Kudos to  Dongho Chang, Seattle Traffic Engineer, too, for these interim improvements while the big freight mobility project for East Marginal Way is still in early design and funding stages. 

    All the major users of this road, including Port of Seattle, shipping companies, truck drivers and bike riders, want the same things:  safety, predictability, efficiency and a smooth road surface.  Separating bike and truck traffic, eventually with concrete barriers, is an important part of reaching these goals.

  • I. Ponder May 19, 2017 (11:30 am)

    I frequently commute by bike along this stretch. Just a few years ago it was a crevassed death trap (an experienced cyclist was actually killed here in an incident with a truck). Although there are many needed infrastructure improvements, I want to acknowledge and applaud each safety and accessibility improvement.

  • West Seattle Hipster May 19, 2017 (12:50 pm)

    How often do the bike lanes that are separated by poles get cleaned or swept?  I noticed that the separation lane on Delridge in front of Home Depot has a lot of debris. 

  • Samuella Samaniego May 19, 2017 (1:54 pm)

    Yaaaay! Thank you Councilmember Lisa! Thank you very much and I hope you have time to enjoy the bike lanes too!

  • junctioneer May 19, 2017 (7:46 pm)

    Daily bike commuter here in the summer. I also was delighted to see the separation, but not because I saw trucks parking in the bike lane. I’ve actually never seen trucks parked in the bike lane–just trucks always parked on the gravel just off the bike lane and trucks parked in the two-way turn lane, so it’s hard to believe that was that big of an issue, unless it only happened outside of “commute hours.” 

    But I was delighted because huge trucks barreling through with crevasses criss-crossing the bike line (or worse, sometimes in line with the bike lane) make me nervous, and the delineator is definitely an improvement. Also thrilled to see your link to see more improvements are on the way. My first thought though on seeing the delineator was–why only part of the stretch and not the full stretch, especially since complete improvements won’t be for years?

  • Kathy May 19, 2017 (7:48 pm)

    I also add my thanks to the city for installing these visual cues along the edge of the bike lane. The fate of these  flexible posts will illustrate very well that vehicles often do not respect the bike lane even with a visual cue, and will provide ample evidence that we need a safer solution as soon as possible for this critical bike route connecting West Seattle and downtown.

  • KR May 20, 2017 (4:40 am)

    Glad to hear this stretch is getting more attention. The past improvements of removing and paving over old railroad tracks made a big difference, but the bike lane (and road where all the cyclists cut over in front of the trucks) still has plenty of rough patches that can send a someone over if not careful. Hopefully that part will be addressed, otherwise the posts could make maneuvering around within the lane trying to avoid those patches unsafe for passing cyclists. For that reason I always (look), and pass on the roadway portion, which makes the new posts another obstacle to get around and potential hazard.

    Also pointed out above, the posts will make it harder for sweep trucks to clear the lanes which get littered with truck debris. I’ve broken two wheels on the Southbound stretch, and countless flats. 

    As Kathy pointed out, the posts will get knocked down within a very short period of time.  Cars and trucks just don’t respect the bike lanes, even more so when the port is backed up. For evidence look at the posts on the NE side of E. Marginal and Spokane St, where the nubs in the ground made and even bigger hazard cycling through. Same for the posts leading onto the bike patch from E. Marginal and Atlantic. 

    The posts are just a temporary attempt to fix a problem that causes more issues and costs money. There really needs to be a dedicated and separate pathway for cyclists. Do it right once. 

    I missed the comment period for this project, but will be voicing comments to to find out what the next steps will be.  (Found that from the link in the article).

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