Adding bike lanes, changing code for director appointments top Aug. 4 Edmonds City Council agenda

Proposed bike lane projects.

Whether the City of Edmonds should proceed with a $1.85 million Sound Transit Access grant to add more bike lanes citywide is on the Edmonds City Council agenda for this Tuesday, Aug. 4. The council will also continue its discussion from last week’s meeting regarding a proposed city code change regarding appointed city director-level jobs that would accommodate the mayor’s choice of Acting Police Chief Jim Lawless to become the city’s permanent police chief.

Under the proposed Citywide Bicycle Improvements project — which already has been the subject of numerous public comments both supporting and opposing the idea — bike lanes would be added on both sides of the street along 100th Avenue West from 244th Street Southwest to Walnut Street, Bowdoin Way from 9th Avenue to 84th Avenue West, and 228th Street Southwest from 78th Avenue West to 80th Avenue West. In addition, sharrows (basically bicycle arrow designations that indicate the roadway is shared with bicycles) will be added along 80th Avenue West from 228th Street to 220th Street Southwest.

Generally, those supporting the idea are bicyclists who want a safer way to ride in Edmonds, as well as those who note the environmental and health benefits of bicycling. Those opposed have cited the loss of on-street parking, especially in congested areas such as 100th Avenue West/9th Avenue South and Bowdoin Way near Yost Park.

The design phase for the bicycle lane project is scheduled to begin in September 2020, with construction anticipated to begin in spring 2022. During the Aug. 4 meeting, city staff is scheduled to make a presentation — updated from the one presented on July 21 –that includes additional parking demand data and bike count information. You can review that presentation at the agenda link here.

Also on the agenda for the Aug. 4 meeting:

– A proclamation recognizing long-time citizen activist John Reed, who died March 29 due to COVID-19.

– Presentation of the city’s second quarter finance report.

– An 18-month extension of the city’s wastewater treatment, disposal and transport with the City of Mountlake Terrace and the Olympic View Water and Sewer District and the Ronald Sewer District.

– An update on the city’s climate goals project.

– A review of a proposed council code of conduct.

Citizens who would like to participate in the audience comment portion of the meeting may connect via Zoom at any point before the conclusion of the audience comment period. Citizens will sit in a virtual waiting room until their turn to speak. When the citizen enters the live Council Meeting, their time will begin. The clerk will be the time keeper and provide a 30-second warning and a final warning when their time is up. The citizen will be removed and the next speaker will be allowed in.

Citizens may connect with a computer or smart phone at:  or join the meeting by phone at 888 475 4499 or 877 853 5257 (both toll free) Meeting ID 425 775 2525

Citizens not wishing to participate in audience comments may continue to monitor the livestream on the City Council Meeting webpage, cable TV, or telephone by calling (712) 775-7270, Access Code 583224.

  1. DO NOT PUT BIKE LANES ON BOWDOIN WAY!!!. Very dangerous road at best with speeding cars and no where for residents, postal trucks or delivery trucks to park safely now. Please think safety first!!!

    1. What?!? I ride my bike on Bowdoin all of the time, and see bikes there often as well. It certainly is the preferred route compared to Main St., especially for those coming to and from the ferry (I don’t use it for that, but see other people who do). Without Bowdoin, it is almost impossible for people to get to and from the Bowl without going on the much more dangerous heavy traffic streets. Adding more safety there for bikes would be good for both those riding bikes, and those driving cars.

      For anyone coming to and from downtown Edmonds, Bowdoin is the preferred and likely one of the most primary roads for bikes. I will definitely say though that in general it seems pretty safe to me already. There is plenty of room on the sides, so a bike lane there would be more of a nice thing to have to connect with existing ones further up than a major improvement. The area on 100th Ave W is where they are most seriously needed.

      Nobody wants to be responsible for hitting someone on a bike. Adding more safety to that road would be good for everyone. Even if we just put in the sharrows (notices of bikes on the road), that would be a good addition.

  2. I ask myself, how many people really ride bikes (from Edmonds) during the year and how many live in Edmonds. With those numbers which are low who ride here..what 2 months out of the year.? Is this really what our elected officials should be doing? How about sidewalks that all can use, not a few select riders. I live off Olympic View Drive. We have a lot of summer bicycles. Seldom do they honor our laws, never signal and that is a fast moving and in many spots narrow road. I am totally against it in our town.

  3. I completely agree with Joy.
    I live on third ave north and notice that very few bycilists actually live here. So we would not be doing this for our own citizens and families. I think we need just one way for those passing through to do that.
    Also for our own folks they only bike when the streets are dry with no chance of rain.
    We need improved sidewalks that we seniors can use without having to be watchful constantly of raised edges to trip us up. Many of us transport ourselves by walking, so do our visitors. I saw a young woman with a babe in her arms trip and catch herself. What could have been terrible was avoided. Can you imagine the expense of defending a lawsuit that was based on the city’s negligently avoiding fixing this problem for so many years?
    We cannot say that we did not know about it.
    Let’s just find the money for this matter of public safety and get it fixed.

  4. I believe the question before the council is just whether or not to accept the 1.85 million from transit funds for this project only and to allow it on city maintained streets. There is no other option, such as sidewalks, for using this particular chunk of money, which is not free money as some would have us believe. It’s just been taken out of one of our other tax pockets.

    Think of this like the Connector which, “wasn’t going to cost us much because someone else was paying for most of it (federal grant funds) so we had better get busy and do it.” The Council needs to think of this decision in the context of what will do the most potential good, or the least potential amount of harm, for the largest number of actual Edmond’s citizens now and in the future. They have no civic obligation to look out for the good of non-Edmond’s resident bicycle enthusiasts or transit proponents especially over the welfare of actual Edmond’s citizens. As our actual population increases, I can’t see where anything that takes away parking anywhere in town could possibly be seen as a “good” for Edmonds.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with this assessment that there is no such thing as “free money” and asking “what will do the most potential good, or the least potential amount of harm, for the largest number of actual Edmond’s citizens now and in the future.”

  5. Very nice to have the pictures, and I am definitely am supportive of this moving forward.

    The added bike lanes are an excellent addition, and they would be a good way to increase accessibility and safety for the community. the areas noted are the places where they are most seriously needed and would make the most positive impact. As noted before, some of the areas where these would be added are mostly empty of cars anyways. There are better ways to consolidate parking and use this in a more efficient manner.

    Plus the more people that bike downtown, the better it will be for the parking situation there. Since we do not likely have the money for a parking garage downtown, taking actions like this is a much better move.

    I agree that sidewalks are needed, but we are not receiving a grant for sidewalks. not moving forward, and missing out on the grant money that has already been allocated for this would be a mistake. This is not like the connector where only a small amount was allocated for the project. $1.85 million to alleviate some of the parking issues downtown, and make our community safer is something that we should absolutely give good consideration on moving forward with.

  6. I’m a year round cyclist and live near downtown. Frankly, I think most who don’t cycle regularly would be surprised to see the number of folks who actually bike throughout Edmonds.

    That said, while I appreciate bike lanes on many busy roads, I think the ‘Sharrows’ would be more appropriate on Walnut and Bowdoin, unless there is enough room to accommodate parking, bike lane and traffic. Putting dedicated bike lanes on well traveled arterials and eliminating neighborhood parking actually can create a danger when residents/guests park in the bike lane (which is rarely enforced) and bikes must merge into traffic.

    As a rider who obeys laws, and does my best to ride to the right whenever possible, I find motorists tend to be more sensitive to bikers riding outside of bike lanes (even when necessary for cars/construction signs/people/etc. in the lanes) than a biker taking necessary space to avoid cars and other obstructions in a road with ‘Sharrows’ encouraging effective sharing of the roads. In my experience, riding Walnut and Bowdoin as cyclist is actually quite pleasant and safe currently.

    I’d be a much bigger fan of widening a few of the other arterials (84th/228th, etc) and adding sidewalks to make things safer for pedestrians and cyclists, along with the sharrows to help remind us all to ‘get along’ whenever possible.

    1. Thank you Jamie, good post. I agree that Sharrows would be a good option on Bowdoin and Walnut. In fact, I think that sharrows should be the preferred option there. It’s mainly the route along 100th Ave W and 9th Ave S. that would make the most difference for a bike lane.

      I am worried that reasonable reforms will be drowned out by broad generalizations against cyclists.

      I just drove down the stretch of Bowdoin and onto 100th/9th to go downtown, and I had the chance to look at the parked cars and cyclists on the roads. Bowdoin had heavy patches of parking usage near 5 Corners and Yost park. I also saw three cyclists there who seemed to be comfortable with the space already there. I believe bike lanes on that road are not necessary, and sharrows would work much better there.

      On 100th/9th, parking along the road was 90-95% unused when I drove along the route at 6PM. There was also a cyclist near the stop sign at 9th and Walnut who kept looking around to make sure it was safe to turn. There is absolutely plenty of room to consolidate parking there to allow room for bike lanes without loosing any parking.

      If Bowdoin was switched to sharrows from a bike lane for this plan, than this grant issue would become more about a better street layout along 100th and 9th and other safety measures without loosing any parking availability.

      I think that there is plenty of room for compromise, and hope that people will make an attempt to give it another reasonable review.

  7. The existing dedicated bike lanes on 220th St. SW (between 76th Ave. W and 9th Ave. S/100 Ave. W) are integrated with curbside parking (i.e. there are curbside parking spots, adjacent bike lanes as well as the vehicle traffic lanes in a mix for much of that stretch of 220th). 220th is a fairly busy arterial roadway, and yet it seems to work well. Could that be an example of a solution for both Bowdoin and 9th Ave. S/100Ave. W?

    Why does it have to be an “either/or” situation for those proposed bike lanes on Bowdoin and 9th Ave. S/100 Ave. W, when 220th is an example of being able to accommodate both bike lanes and curbside parking?

      1. Are you trying to suggest that no cyclists ever use 220th?

        I drive that stretch of road every single day (I live just off of it), and I frequently see bicyclists. More to the point that I am making, the existing bike lanes don’t impinge on the existing parking spots on 220th, as both are prominently demarcated and separated from one another. So, even if not a single bicyclist were to use 220th ever again, it would still not make a particle of difference to those motor vehicle operators who wished to park at the curbside of 220th, as the parking spots are there, and they are entirely separated from the bike lanes.

        The bike lanes, the parking spots, and the vehicle traffic lanes all coexist on 220th. Again, why can’t that be a practical/effective solution to the other proposed routes?

        1. I’m not trying to suggest anything; I simply stated what I observed – usually mid mornings.

    1. Thank you for your comment Paul. That definitely should be looked at as a great solution. I think that Bowdoin should be switched to sharrow markings, but that could be just the solution that we are looking for along 100th and 9th.

      That is an excellent addition to this conversation.

    1. Thanks for Web links Jamie Holter. Regarding Yost Pool’s Q&A is that the official response by the city? Your telling me and the neighbors of Bowdoin that Yost Pool & Park is only busy 5 days a year so removal of 50% of its close proximity surface street parking capacity is justified?

      Link: “We have several big events at Yost Pool. If you take away parking, people will park other places. Yost can be a busy place a few days during the summer. We are looking at summer, winter, fall, and spring and feel that the benefit the other 330 days a year carries more weight as a lasting benefit. “

  8. This isn’t a question of being for or against bicyclists or bicycles being a valid or efficient form of transportation. That is pretty well established to be true.

    For the council it is a simple question of – is acceptance of this funding and implementing this plan more of “a good” or more of “a bad” for the majority of the people of Edmonds now and in the future? It isn’t their job to worry about whether bicycles are a good thing in general or if doing this is good for promoting transit.

    This is an example of why we need to have a system of government based on districts and a person on council that actually represents a specific group of people and not necessarily the city as a whole. The property owners possibly affected here don’t have anyone they can hold personally accountable for getting their interests considered by the council as a whole. For example, a district Rep. could say something like, “I have 26 people in my district who will lose parking if we pass this measure.” Right now, it’s all guess work and emotion pretty much.

    1. If we switched Bowdoin way to sharrows instead of a bike lane, and consolidate the parking along 100th/9th that was around 90-95% empty when I drove along the route yesterday, than no one loses parking, and everyone wins.

      As the current plan that Jamie Holter was so nice to link to showed, there would be parking lost along Bowdoin way and a lot of parking lost along 100th/9th. There are some good areas for improvement to that plan, and I think it would be best if the residents worked together on that instead of talking past each other.

      Two main changes to the current plan would make an enormous difference:
      – The center turn lane in the 100th/9th current plan could be eliminated since I think it is unnecessary and wasteful, and that would make room for more than enough parking than would ever be used on that street.
      – Bowdoin could be switched to sharrows markings, and there would be no loss in parking along that street, while still adding appropriate safety improvements there.

      I have a lot of faith in the people of Edmonds that we can move past broad generalizations, and into meaningful compromise.

    2. If you click through on the links provided by the City you will see that the total daily number of bicycles riding on the lanes we now have is quite low, especially in winter. I have no doubt that this is because of the generally unsafe feeling a “casual biker” or a family with kids gets while riding 3 feet away from 35mph traffic. The hard core bike commuters will enjoy the new bike lanes but not many other residents, especially during the 5PM dark rush hour for 3 months every year.

      Putting bike lanes down 100th in front of the QFC and PCC parking lot entries is a terrible idea…it’s already a zoo turning across traffic to get in or out of those lots, now the planners want bikers crossing in front of the hectic shoppers too? Do the planners look at safety or is the increased accident risk a price we drivers are all expected to pay for the greater good?

      This grant should be redirected to the Interurban Trail, which already has a high daily usage by both walkers and bikers (my observation), despite being basically a “dead end” at the south end where it does not cross SR104. Is there a valid reason Edmonds is not directing this grant to completing the bike trail we already have…the Interurban Trail missing link across SR104?

  9. Of course the hard core bike commuters are the majority of riders because of weather, terrain, season, age, and even under the best traffic situation. I live just off 220th and 100th and I see more skateboard daredevils go by than cyclists regularly. Each has it’s place as a transportation mode I guess. Good luck with putting bike lanes down 100th in front of the QFC and PCC safely, one of the busiest intersections in Edmonds. I would not want my children riding bikes on the road through that mess no matter how “free” the money. Clearly a plan is going to need a lot more review if safety and homeowners concerns are to be addressed.

    1. Fair enough Allen, and I agree.

      Hopefully we can all work together to find solutions that work for everyone.

  10. This issue is looking more and more to me like another solution looking for a problem; or a maybe a so called solution that makes whatever problem there is worse. I suggest just painting Sharrows on all the roads as a warning to watch for out for bicycles and each other and toss out the rest of it. Spend the money saved on completing the Interurban as suggested above.

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