Sunday, February 15, 2009

Report Card on Bike Lanes

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) just released an extensive progress report on their Bicycle Master Plan program. SDOT's goal is to make Seattle the most bike-friendly city in the USA. You can read the original Bicycle Master Plan and the two-sided brochure that is the current Bicycle Master Plan Progress Report.

Seattle has embarked on a very impressive increase in the bicycle facilities infrastructure to increase their capacity from 67.6 miles in 2006/2007 to a projected 454.7 miles from 2007-2016 - WOW!

Information on Shared Lane Pavement Marking a.k.a Sharrows
Shared lane pavement markings (or “sharrows”) are bicycle symbols that are placed in the roadway lane indicating that motorists should expect to see and share the lane with bicycles. Unlike bicycle lanes, they do not designate a particular part of the roadway for the use of bicyclists.

What do sharrows mean for motorists and bicyclists?

• Expect to see bicyclists on the street
• Remember to give bicyclists three feet of space when passing
• Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows

• Use the sharrow to guide where you ride within the lane
• Remember not to ride too close to parked cars
• Follow the rules of the road as if there were no sharrows

So what's happening in Langley With Bicycle Transportation?

Well, after years of dealing with bicycle lanes that abruptly end (what I call bike lanes to nowhere), our very own Nathan Pachal who serves on the City of Langley's Parks and Recreation Commission, recently put forth a motion for City Council to consider investing in the bicycle transportation infrastructure. Incidently, newly minted City Councillor Rudy Storteboom who is also an SFOT Board Member serves as Vice-Chair of that same commission. The City also opened the Penzer Bike Park recently and they even have their own blog

In the Township of Langley, Transportation Engineer Paul Cordeiro has been busy for many years with the expansion and upgrading of what the ToL calls the Recreational Bicycle Network (RBN). You can also find a bunch of great maps from the ToL here.

The Township also has an opportunity to complete the trail connection between Walnut Grove and Fort Langley. I live in Walnut Grove and I purchased a quality bike late last year. I'm hoping to make great use of it as the warmer weather arrives, as I am a diabetic and have been working to reduce the amount of insulin I need to take each day. I find cycling to be a great way to unwind and get much-needed physical activity. Like many Walnut Grove residents, I purchased my home there for the bike and walking trails, the mature, tree-lined roadways and the green canopy or forested environment that is The Grove. I sure hope this trail connection is completed soon and I know that many of my neighbours are hoping for the trail completion as well. 

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