Photo by Rob Ketcherside

Bellevue has a creative way of getting bicyclist input: bike rides with planners through areas of focus to gather their input. The next round starts tomorrow:

Saturday’s ride, geared toward Bellevue residents, will be 9 to 11 a.m. Traveling at a leisurely pace, participants will follow a three-mile route, starting at Top Pot Doughnuts, 10600 NE Ninth Pl., and visiting Bellevue Downtown Park, the Regional King County Library, Old Bellevue and City Hall.

The second ride, intended for bicycle commuters to downtown Bellevue, will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Riders will meet at Compass Plaza at Bellevue Galleria (106th Avenue Northeast, between Northeast Fourth and Eighth streets) and break up into three groups. One group will head northwest toward the SR 520 bridge, one will ride northeast toward the SR 520 Trail, while the other heads south toward the I-90 trail. Each will loop back and finish at Compass Plaza.

All rides are free, and all abilities are welcome. Helmets and lights are required and the ride will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain. Please RSVP to hayley@bellevuedowntown.org.

19 Replies to “Bellevue Planning Bike Rides”

  1. I have often felt this was a huge failing of DOT type organizations in cities that claim they support transportation as moving people, and not just supporting cars.

    The city of Seattle should ban SDOT from using cars, ie motorpool. Force the deciders to use transit or walk/bike whatever.

    1. I agree with Chetan that eliminating cars from the motorpool would be silly, but depending on what percentage of fleet trips are less than, say, 5 miles and don’t involve carrying much more than a person & his/her briefcase, it might make sense for the city’s fleet to include bicycles (maybe even electric-assist, since City Hall is in the hilly part of Downtown) that city employees could use for shorter trips near Downtown. Essentially a city employees bikeshare. Might even speed up the adoption of a city-funded public bikeshare.

      1. And they already do. There are e-bikes for check out from the city Motorpool.

        If I’m going anywhere within downtown, I walk. By the time I get from my office to the car and by the time the car gets out to the street, I’d be there already had I walked. No time wasted looking for parking.

      2. @Oran: Good to hear! I tried to google up a breakdown of the city’s fleet, but didn’t have any success. Plus I figured if there were bikes in the motorpool I would’ve heard something about it in all the bikeshare talk.

        Do you know what sort of usage the e-bikes see? And/or what the average trip mileage is for city motorpool vehicles? (Or, better yet, what % are under, say, 5 miles?)

  2. Great idea! I’d love if there were similar opportunities in various Seattle neighborhoods. I really want to see the look on the face of an SDOT planner as they try to safely navigate from the West Seattle bike path onto Delridge Way southbound…

      1. But are they going to/from Delridge?

        Having been there, I’d just ride on the sidewalk up to the light, cross Delridge, then get onto the bike lane at the next green for Delridge.

      2. That’s what I do as well… but it goes against every fiber in my being to ride my bike the wrong direction on the sidewalk, crossing blind driveways. I suppose I could unclip and walk my bike those few blocks, but honestly, who’s going to do that?

  3. This is a great idea! So much better than the horrible mass slow bike rides held in Seattle. This Bellevue idea has my much sought after stamp of approval.

  4. I commute to Seattle from Bellevue, and I can tell you that getting from the West side of Belleuve to the East side has very limited options. Northup, NE 8th, Bell-Red or the Lake Hills Connector. All suck for bicycles except the Lake Hills connector going downhill where you can easily keep up with traffic, but you have to be willing to ride at 40mph down that hill.

    Bellevue’s wide boulevards are a joy to drive on, and suck rocks for bicycles. No shoulders. Sidewalks are wide but drivers don’t look and will hook you turning into them. It’s little wonder that the number of bicycle commuters into Bellevue is way lower than that of Seattle.

    And the trouble is, getting an E/W corridor that works for bicycles in the center of the city (not downtown, just parallel to NE 8th) is going to take some very tricky land use planning.

    1. I used to ride down Lake Hills Connector into downtown when I took classes at BCC, more often than going up. Going up is OK because I’m out of traffic, which never seemed to be busy. Nowadays, I’ll just take the 271 or 245.

    2. NE 15/16th is being designed to have an excellent bike path. Of course at that point you’re almost to the 520 bike trail which gets you to Overlake. Main Street is good but has a “missing link” from Wilburton to 140th.

      1. Learned on today’s ride: This bike facility will go from NE 12th & 112th all the way up to the existing 520 bike trail. That’s a long range plan but at least they have it all planned out. It’ll probably take 10-20 years to rebuild all of that.

    3. The opening of the 10th St. has helped considerably and it is now my preferred route to cross 405 heading east out of downtown Bellevue. Yes, you still have to be willing to share a lane with cars on 116th St./Bel-Red road after you cross the bridge, but it’s still a huge improvement over NE 8th St. Crossing the 8th St. bridge either on a bike, or, as a pedestrian on the sidewalk, is really scary with the two-lane turn to 520.

      Northup Way between 108th Ave and 116th Ave is another trouble spot – this is a street that desperately needs both a bike lane/shoulder or a sidewalk and currently has neither. There is a bypass for that stretch, but it’s a mile longer and considerably hillier.

      Given that there really isn’t room for a bike lane/shoulder as far as I can see, the next best alternative should be to get serious on the proposal to turn the abandoned eastside railroad tracks into a paved bike trail. The railroad tracks run northwest through this stretch, parallel to Northup Way and the opportunity to bike along the railroad ROW would provide a completely segregated path with only minimal additional distance.

    4. These comments all outline my main point which is that if you are on the South of Bellevue you can come up the Factoria hill to Lake Hills and connect to the bike path heading to Issaquah. And on the North edge you’ve got the 520 bike path. But in the center you’re stuck. A very long time ago I used to ride Bell-Red from the center of Bellevue the city to out by the Coke bottling plant and it’s ok, but not great, but heading further East it gets busy until you reach 156th.

      I need to look at an overhead view via Google maps or something but I suspect that with a little bit of jiggering we could connect the middle down past Kelsey Creek Park. There is a golf course in there and some pretty expensive houses but if we got a bike access between cul-de sac’s we might have the E/W corridor that we need.

  5. We had a great and informative Downtown bike ride last Saturday, and I would like to encourage bike commuters to join us on the rides this evening. We have three rides planned that will occur concurrently, focusing of Downtown commutes to: I-90 Trail, SR 520 West and SR 520 East. Each ride is mapped and there will be periodic stops where ride leaders will want to talk with riders about the route conditions and what could make bike commuting a better experience. We will also be curious to know what type of accommodations commuters have for their bikes/gear at theie Downtown Bellevue workplace.

    We’ll leave from Compass Plaza at about 5:30 – rides are planned to end here as well, but some commuters may choose to just head home instead of looping back to Downtown. This is fine as there will be no closing ceremony upon return to Compass Plaza.

    If you can’t join us on one of the rides, yet have comments/observations on your bike commute to downtown Bellevue, please let me know.
    Kevin McDonald, kmcdonald@bellevuewa.gov

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