You've probably noticed this just from looking around. But Seattle's a much bike-friendly place than just a few years ago. There's a lot more bike lanes and bike racks. For the most part, the city seems on track to meet the goals it set for itself five years ago in creating a ten-year bike plan. Those are some of the observations in an evaluation of how things are going posted on the city transportation department's website this week.
Here's some of the highlights.
· The city's has installed 47.3 miles of bike lanes, pretty much tripling the amount it had in 2007. It's more than halfway done in terms of the amount it wants to build over the ten years.
· There's a lot more shared lanes – those areas where cars can drive but the road is shaded to remind drivers there might be someone on a bike next to them. The city has built 81.5 miles of them. There were only .3 miles before.
· The city wanted to double the number of bike racks on the street from 3,000 to 6,000. They've added 806, so with 3,806 places to chain your bike, the city is more than halfway to its objective halfway through the plan The rate has gone down by about a third.
· Strangely, with all that, the number of bicyclists counted on the road hasn't gone up by as much as the city wants.
Bike crashes are down. The goal was to reduce by a third the collision rate – which is a measurement of the number of crashes, versus bicyclists counted, and the city's overall traffic volume. The goal was to triple the number between 2007 and 2017. In 2007, the city counted 2273. In 2011, it was 3,330. Still, it's gone up by about a half.