By David Grant, Transportation Public Information Officer (Reprinted from City of Bellevue publication It’s Your City, June 2018”)
With a boost from the 2016 voter-approved Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy, 2018 is shaping up as Bellevue’s year of the bike.
Crews will add about 19 miles of new bike lanes citywide, compared with 8.5 miles last year and 2.6 miles in 2016. In addition, several regional projects are providing new links to neighboring cities. Here are some highlights:
Regional trail network
In May, the state Department of Transportation hosted a celebration for the State Route 520 Trail, which opened last December. Through May 13 this year, more than 70,000 bicyclists and pedestrians crossed the floating bridge on the new east-west regional connection.
Plans call for King County in late June to officially open 2.7 miles of pedestrian-bicycle trail in Bellevue, part of the Eastside Rail Corridor that stretches from Renton north to Woodinville. On the city’s south end, the interim gravel trail runs between the Renton border and Newcastle Beach Park; on the north end, the segment runs between the Kirkland border and the BelRed area.
Later this year, work is expected to start on $17.5 million worth of improvements to fill a gap in the Mountains to Sound Greenway along Interstate 90 in Bellevue, another east-west regional trail.
Downtown bike projects
A demonstration bikeway will be installed on 108th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 12th Street to Main Street. It will be the first pair of bike lanes that run the length of downtown. The levy funded project is expected to be completed in early July.
Other downtown-area improvements to the bicycle network include another levy project to improve bicycling on 108th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 12th to 24th street, as well as projects on: 108th Avenue Southeast, Main Street to Bellevue Way; 112th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 12th Street to the Kirkland border; and 112th Avenue Northeast, from Northeast Eighth to 10th Street.
Citywide bike share system
People already are pedaling green, orange and yellow bicycles to Bellevue but this summer, the city will unveil a pilot permit system for regulating private bike share companies that want to operate in Bellevue.
The new right of way permits will require bike share companies to provide electric bikes only, limit the number of bikes to a total of 400 to start and place restrictions on where the bikes can be left.
A slew of improvements this year will focus on the Eastgate area. Several bike lanes will be created through simple, inexpensive restriping to be completed as part of the city’s annual overlay program. Here’s the rundown: Southeast 38th Street, from the I-90 Overpass to 154th Avenue Southeast; and Southeast 38th Street, from the 14700 block to Allen Road (Levy project).
In addition: Eastgate Way, Richards Road to 160th Avenue Southeast; Newport Way Southeast near 150th Avenue Southeast; 139th Avenue Southeast, from Eastgate Way to Kamber Road (Levy project); and 142nd Avenue Southeast, from Southeast 36th to 32nd street (also a Levy project).
In the Lake Hills neighborhood, crews will improve 156th Avenue Southeast, from Southeast 22nd Street to Lake Hills Boulevard.
Editor’s Note: Join the City of Bellevue and Choose Your Way Bellevue to celebrate the opening of the 108th Demonstration Bikeway project on Tuesday, July 31 from 11:30am – 1:30pm. See the Event Flyer for more details.