I finished studying the 9th Ave/Walnut St bike lane project options presented by the city. None of them seem to acknowledge the outcry of residents along the proposed route. Frankly, I have not met anyone who really understands why bike lanes are needed. Instead, the proposal seems to fit some other agenda. Several neighbors said they left Seattle to escape these very things. And here we are, Seattlizing our beautiful Edmonds.
I’d prefer that we not spend $1.85M for bike lanes along the residential areas of 9th Ave S and Walnut. Unfortunately, the decision to accept the grant money (taxes you and I paid) has been made. Can it be undone? I don’t know. It would take courage.
Here is a simple solution that should satisfy biking enthusiasts, residents, visitors, businesses, delivery drivers, our mayor, city council and city engineering department:
Simply create “sharrows” in both directions on both streets. A “sharrow” is simply a shared lane for vehicles and bicycles and indicated by a symbol including a bicycle with two chevrons. The ideal use of a “sharrow” is for residential areas with speed limits less than 35mph. Both Walnut and 9th Ave S fit this use case.
So, you might be asking yourself, what would change if we used the “sharrow” option? Essentially, we would see the symbol (mentioned above) painted on our streets.
By using “sharrows,” we can maintain existing parking and existing traffic flow along both 9th Ave S and Walnut including turn lanes along 9th. Bicyclists also have unfettered access to the road. All other presented designs create tremendous safety issues for residents and bikers alike.
If you support this option, I encourage you to contact the Mayor, the Edmonds City Council members and the City Engineering Department.