Proposed Seattle cycle track gets neighborhood pushback



Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 2:37 PM

A newly proposed cycle track for Seattle's Westlake neighborhood is getting a lot of pushback from long time business owners along Lake Union.

Two new proposals for a protected bike lane along Westlake Avenue include plans to reconfigure the parking area and service lane to make room for a growing number of cyclists who are forced to navigate among moving vehicles to get downtown.

A cycle track is a designated north-south bike lane that is protected by concrete barriers. They are designed to safely separate cyclists and drivers.

Concepts A and B, proposed by the Seattle Department of Transportation, do different things along Westlake, but both could reduce parking spaces. Westlake Avenue would not be affected.

"They are making it harder on guys like us who are in-and-out of these places trying to make a living," said Ethan Cedergreen, a boat mechanic who worries about losing parking spaces.

There is little doubt that the growing number of cyclists needs a new place to ride through the area, but business owners are questioning where to build it. Many feel that the protected bike lanes will limit access to the marinas, too.

Jo Hull, owner of Western Yacht Harbor is also concerned with the way SDOT studied the impacts of the cycle track by not doing an economic study.

"This is my income. I'm recently widowed and my son and I run this marina. It's been in the family for three generations,” said Hull. "They need an 'option C'."

A public hearing is scheduled on the new plans May 21.

Related: View the city's latest presentation on the proposal