Less than two weeks ago, cyclist Sher Kung died after being hit by a truck that was turning left onto 2nd Avenue. The Department of Transportation hopes that their new protected bike lanes, which officially opened to cyclists on Monday, will help to avoid tragedies like that as well as make the road safer for cyclists and drivers alike. The 10-foot wide lane runs north and south, separated from car traffic by painted dividers. Car parking is limited to off-hours along the street. Left turns onto 2nd are now controlled by arrow signals specific to cars and bicycles.
Josh Cohen took the ride for Crosscut and he found that what was once "at best, a harrowing experience" is now "comfortable and stress free."
Not everyone's a fan, however. Dori Monson took a drive along Second Avenue and said "it is maybe the stupidest, worst design I've ever seen." His concern that the signals are confusing to drivers has been borne out as it appears from this video that it's going to take time for drivers to understand the new left-turn arrow.
Ride The Ducks drivers don't appear to be big fans of the new lane either as it will likely mean a change to their route.
2nd Avenue is already one of the worst roads in Seattle in terms of bike crashes. While the new lane & signal system may cause headaches at first for some, it certainly seems a worthwhile attempt to improve safety conditions for all parties.
· A rider's review of Seattle's new 2nd Avenue bike lane [Crosscut]
· Dori Monson: Second Avenue bike lane worst design I've ever seen [MyN]
· More on the Ride the Ducks and the 2nd Avenue bike lanes [Seattlish]
· Here's Every Reported Bike Crash in Seattle, Mapped [CS]