From routine to radical: Can paving projects help build Seattle’s bike network?

People heading south along Roosevelt Way NE will soon have the option to bike safely from 65th to across the University Bridge. But this nearly two-mile buffered and protected bicycle lane — which officially opens on Saturday, Nov. 5 — wouldn’t be a reality without the persistent and creative efforts of safe streets advocates from early in the project planning. 

Back in 2014, the city had plans for a straightforward repave-and-restripe project, paired with minor safety improvements along Roosevelt Way NE. Community members and advocates saw an opportunity to do more, calling attention to the crash data and suggesting creative ways that all modes could share this key connection.  

In addition to addressing safety concerns for people who bike, this project helped open a discussion about saving time and money by pairing routine paving projects with Bicycle Master Plan routes.

Neighbors, students and all who pass through Ravenna and the U-District are invited to celebrate the official opening of this multi-modal achievement at the official opening next month

As a result of the collaborative Roosevelt corridor, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has what Community Engagement Liaison Dawn Schellenberg calls a “new approach for paving projects.” SDOT plans to overlay modal plans with planned paving streets, to see where opportunities exist to accelerate multiple projects at once.

Attend one of the upcoming open houses and give your input: 

NE Seattle Paving & Banner Way Open House

Monday, Oct. 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Roosevelt High School
1410 NE 66th St., Seattle
Repaving includes: Segments of 35th Avenue, NE, 15th Avenue NE, Cowen Place NE, and University Way NE
*Note: Double dip at this event to support bike updates included in the Banner Way NE Corridor Project!

SE Seattle Paving Open House

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Southside Commons
3518 S Edmunds St., Seattle
Repaving includes: Segments of South Columbian Way, South Alaska Street, Swift Avenue South, South Myrtle Street, South Myrtle Place, South Othello Street, and Wilson Avenue South

Roosevelt Way NE sets a precedent that a little creativity can save money and promote safe travel for all people. Let’s continue to elevate routine paving projects to beautiful bicycle connections.