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Seattle permanently closing 20+ miles of streets

Old 05-08-20, 11:12 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Seattle permanently closing 20+ miles of streets

They're closed to automobile use, except to people who live on those streets and to deliveries. They purpose originally was too allow more room for cyclists and pedestrians to spread out because of the virus, but city hall very quickly decided (or at least announced) that these closures will be forever.

The streets included in the plan include those in Lake City, Aurora Licton Springs, Ballard and Delridge/Highland Park neighborhoods, Lake City, the Central District, West Seattle and High Point, Green Lake, Greenwood, Othello and Rainier Beach.

https://komonews.com/amp/news/local/seattle-to-permanently-close-streets-to-vehicles-for-stay-healthy-initiative

I can dig up maps if anybody wants them, but not great ones.

I've heard these are currently closed by sandwich board signs and drivers are going around then in some places. There will probably be bollards (or something else installed) to slow traffic and name the streets less convenient to drive on.

Beacon Hill is a great place to ride, as are its surroundings.
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Old 05-08-20, 01:35 PM
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These maps cover 11 of the 20 miles currently closed. It sounds like more may follow.









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Old 05-10-20, 03:59 AM
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This action is going to make the motor vehicle people hate us cyclists even more.
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Old 05-14-20, 04:31 AM
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Interesting concept.

How are they enforcing it? Bollards placed in inconvenient places? Bollards across half the street (one way only), and alternating sides?

There must be a reason for all the jogs back and forth, but the city should also consider whether it is possible/practical to punch bike paths through short interruptions in the route.

I can think of a few streets, such as Ankeny in Portland where they've put in a bunch of traffic control measures, speed bumps and sharrows to encourage bikes. But, an alternative would be just to mostly shut it down to local traffic.

In the case of Ankeny, there is Burnside one block over that is a major thoroughfare.
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Old 05-14-20, 04:45 AM
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While the idea might be somewhat popular now , it will be interesting to see how the idea goes over through winter.
Are winters somewhat mild in Seattle?
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Old 05-14-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
This action is going to make the motor vehicle people hate us cyclists even more.
I don't think so. We have thousands of miles of roads to drive on. Every road that's been closed has two more going the same way, a block away in each direction. The roads that closed were never highly trafficked to begin with. The only reason to be on them in a motor vehicle was if you lived there, and they're still open to residents.
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Old 05-14-20, 02:45 PM
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I live by one street that closed. It already had traffic restrictions that drivers flaunt regularly. Never saw enforcement of the previous restrictions, doubt there will be any going forward. The only way cars will learn to stay off is if pedestrians take over the street. For now there's so little traffic everywhere, it's hard to predict what will happen.
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Old 05-14-20, 04:01 PM
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Thinking about Eugene. One has a few streets like Alder Street.

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0401...7i16384!8i8192

Cut down to a one-way, one-lane road with a 2-way, 2-lane bike path. It has special bicycle street lights on 18th street.

Then at 19th street, they put in a do-not-enter, bicycles only.

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0389...7i13312!8i6656

I don't think the street is particularly closed to cars beyond 19th street, but rather just made to be inconvenient to drive there.

I think for a large section, it is technically open to traffic (2-way?), but there may be additional points where it is blocked off.

Blocked northbound from 24th.
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0333...7i13312!8i6656

And, southbound at 32nd.
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.0218...7i16384!8i8192
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Old 05-15-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I live by one street that closed. It already had traffic restrictions that drivers flaunt regularly. Never saw enforcement of the previous restrictions, doubt there will be any going forward. The only way cars will learn to stay off is if pedestrians take over the street. For now there's so little traffic everywhere, it's hard to predict what will happen.
I rode one of the West Seattle ones yesterday. It was set up like bicycle Sunday on Lake Washington Blvd near Seward Park. There weren't many people out and about yet. It was pleasant to ride, but then so are the surrounding roads.
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Old 05-15-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
This action is going to make the motor vehicle people hate us cyclists even more.
Hopefully you, at least mean well....

However, from the 4 wheeled foolishness I have seen since returning to cycling in 2014, it's time to stop wringing our hands and acting like the weak sisters of vehicles. It is well past time for gasaholics and gasholes to drive RESPONSIBLY. They are "driving" multi-ton crushing machines, not 30lb (or less) of steel/carbon. Their responsibility should literally WEIGH more.

Had I not been so responsible in defensive driving of my bike, you would be crowd-funding my obituary/funeral repeatedly over the last 6.5 years... latest, twice today! Because an Amazon Prime deliverer couldn't arse himself to stop or scan his surroundings at a red light, and "Voiceup" was so engrossed in who the frell knows what, that backing blindly into traffic is acceptable....

No, it is the 4+ wheelers that need to be apologetic, and be held to the highest standards BEFORE focusing on cyclists and their minimal impact against (primarily for) society.
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Old 05-15-20, 06:28 PM
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wow! extensive!
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Old 05-15-20, 07:57 PM
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I just rode some more of the W Sea closures. More runners and cyclists out today. 🙂

There was a couple running, one of them pushing a baby stroller. You know that's going to be an active kid. If they live nearby, that kid will have a place to ride. Most of us in here will ride in the street as necessary, this is especially good for the next generation of cyclists.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:15 PM
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Looking at the map of Greenwood ... why is Fremont the chosen road of the Interurban Trail from Greenwood Park to the cemetery? It's full of parked cars and speed humps. And it's the one chosen to close permanently? Who cares. Both streets west of it are far better for cycling.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
This action is going to make the motor vehicle people hate us cyclists even more.
Until they get used to the fact those streets are unsuitable for car travel.

Not all that different from cyclists eyeing wonderful stretches of pavement over yonder, but realizing highways aren't really for bikes. (It's not as though cyclists despise and hate because of that. No real reason why, in the long run, motorists would hate cyclists and cycling over a couple of roads here and there not being for autos.)
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Old 05-20-20, 11:19 PM
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Prior to the virus, we dined out upwards of 6 times/week. we'll not be dining in an indoor restaurant in the foreseeable future, but we would happily eat at establishments with spaced outdoor seating. We're not unique.

Push the tables out on the sidewalk and road, with umbrellas and awnings, with a walking space down the middle. That's a good use of select streets. If/when businesses realize people spend money, not cars, they will embrace the idea.
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Old 05-21-20, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Prior to the virus, we dined out upwards of 6 times/week. we'll not be dining in an indoor restaurant in the foreseeable future, but we would happily eat at establishments with spaced outdoor seating. We're not unique.

Push the tables out on the sidewalk and road, with umbrellas and awnings, with a walking space down the middle. That's a good use of select streets. If/when businesses realize people spend money, not cars, they will embrace the idea.
Yes. In a smaller area, such as a town's "Main Street" area, or a city's dense/mixed urban "shops" district.

Tougher, in cities where everything's laid out so poorly that it effectively requires vehicles or bikes to get there.

Would love to see shopping+dining zones be relatively denser in key areas across towns, with lots of bike lanes heading to such spots, with park-and-ride lots and bus service, etc. Imagine if most towns and cities had relatively large areas like that where people were forced to walk or bike in the area.

Always thought that a space like that could be designed better, in a city otherwise poorly laid out for such use. With serious public transport in the area (perhaps rings of monorails, or self-driving multi-passenger vehicles traveling along fixed courses). Biggest hurdle: believing it's worthwhile to disallow personal motor vehicles in the zone, that there aren't alternatives.

Someday, perhaps.
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Old 05-21-20, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Yes. In a smaller area, such as a town's "Main Street" area, or a city's dense/mixed urban "shops" district.

Tougher, in cities where everything's laid out so poorly that it effectively requires vehicles or bikes to get there.

Would love to see shopping+dining zones be relatively denser in key areas across towns, with lots of bike lanes heading to such spots, with park-and-ride lots and bus service, etc. Imagine if most towns and cities had relatively large areas like that where people were forced to walk or bike in the area.

Always thought that a space like that could be designed better, in a city otherwise poorly laid out for such use. With serious public transport in the area (perhaps rings of monorails, or self-driving multi-passenger vehicles traveling along fixed courses). Biggest hurdle: believing it's worthwhile to disallow personal motor vehicles in the zone, that there aren't alternatives.

Someday, perhaps.
There are city blocks in virtually every city that could be transformed as I described. Yes most people will arrive there by car, but parking itself is a demand that the private sector will fill if there's need. An obstacle city governments could remove is parking minimus for businesses. A parking lot a few blocks away, and level headed design changes to ensure pedestrian safety, is workable with mostly policy changes.
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Old 05-21-20, 10:24 AM
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In many towns and cities, absolutely.

Some are simply designed around car traffic patterns and won't be nearly as conducive.


I'm fairly familiar with Portland (Oregon) downtown. Lots of shops and small businesses crammed within a dozen or so blocks near the urban center. If one can get TO that area, getting around to a great number of stores and shops is fairly simple.

By comparison, I've a hard time believing that Los Angeles (California) could achieve anywhere near the same thing, outside of a few dense areas like "the Wilshire district" and "Rodeo Drive," the area near UCLA in Inglewood. But to go any distance really requires a motor vehicle, or bus. It simply wasn't designed for pedestrian or cycling traffic in most spots. Distances between these "centers" are so darned far away from each other, as well.

I recall Boulder (Colorado) from decades ago, where the main shopping area along the north side of the University of Colorado consisted of 10-12 blocks of small shops and side streets. (Much larger, now, of course, and naturally more spread out than what I experienced back then.) Still, THAT main area is so easily accessed. Get to within "spitting" distance and then either walk bike or bus to the zone. Works very nicely. Though, Boulder's still only several miles across, so it's one of those places that still has a shot at doing it "right" in this regard, no matter which direction its bedroom communities go from the city center. So long as they don't chop it up with highways, fail to install decent MUPs and lanes, disregard public transit etc.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:39 PM
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I sometimes pick the daughter up in her bike trailer and riding up 17th Ave NW in Ballard when she wants to, it's a fun way to spend time with her as she enjoys commenting on the sights, and the extra space and consideration that it's "exercise space" is appreciated.
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