Council considers recommended alternatives for bike lanes project; OKs housing authority agreement

Consultant Ken Lauzen (top row-center) answers councilmembers’ questions about bike lane alternatives presented Tuesday night.

The Edmonds City Council got a closer look Tuesday night at the latest proposal to add over six miles of bicycle lanes in various Edmonds neighborhoods.

Representatives from consultant Blueline Inc. were on hand to talk about their work on the project, which began with collection and analysis of parking and traffic data in the affected areas followed by community outreach. A virtual open house to gather residents’ input was held Feb. 24.

Funded by a $1.85 million Sound Transit Access grant, the initiative would add bike lanes to various Edmonds streets, including:

  • 100th Avenue West/9th Avenue South from 244th Street Southwest to Walnut Street.
  • Walnut Street/Bowdoin Way from 9th Avenue South to 84th Avenue West.
  • 228th Street Southwest from 78th Avenue West to 80th Avenue West. 

In addition, sharrows (street designations that the roadway is shared by both bicyclists and vehicles) would be added along 80th Avenue West from 228th Street Southwest to 220th Street Southwest.

Project map of proposed bicycle lanes.

Ken Lauzen from Blueline began by sharing the map above, noting that “the majority of the work is going to be these green and purple sections, from Five Corners, west along Bowdoin, to Yost Park and then along Walnut to 9th, and then along 9th to down as it turns to 100th, through Westgate as it turns into Firdale to 244th/205th.”

Preliminary design ideas for the affected corridors were presented to the city in January, then refined based on resident input and the results of the data collected. Another public meeting is scheduled for this summer with final design in the fall and construction set to begin in March 0f 2022.

Grace Garwin of Blueline talked about the parking data collected and also pointed to key issues identified during public outreach on the project. In particular, she noted residents stressed the need for street parking on Bowdoin, especially during the summer months when Yost Park attracts additional visitors. There were also requests to improve pedestrian crossings in project areas — which the team is reviewing to include the possibility of adding flashing beacons — and to address concerns about speeding vehicles.

Lauzen then ran through a list of recommended alternatives for each area, noting that the green color shown in the drawings is for visual representation only and has not been a color decided on for those lanes.

1. Bowdoin Way/Walnut Street

The recommendation is to keep parking on the north side, where there is greater use, and add bike lanes in both direction.

2. 9th Avenue South/100th Avenue West

Consultants broke this area into four different sections, looking at a range of factors like driveways and parking. “All four segments of this corridor pointed to going with this alternative,” Lauzen said. It includes parking on the west side, with a 6-foot bike lane on the west side of the street and a 5-foot bike lane on the east side; and buffers between bike lanes and the travel lanes.

3. 9th Avenue South/100th Avenue West and 220th Street Intersection

This alternative keeps the southbound lane at 220th with a full bike lane. Going northbound, it changes, wiht a dedicated left-turn lane and a straight or right-turn lane going northbound.

4. SR 104 and 100th Avenue West intersection

“We looked at many alternatives here,” Lauzen said, “but this one…best balances the needs of the bicyclist and the motorist,” he said. The proposal calls for keeping the same number of lanes through the intersection — two northbound, two southbound and a left-turn lane in each case. While there would also be a northbound bicycle lane crossing the intersection, the southbound lane would be a sharrow (a marking to indicate a shared lane with vehicles), he said. “There’s just not the width or the right of way of the curbs through this intersection to get a southbound bike lane as well,” he said.

The project team did look at the idea of creating a separate bicycle lane in each direction by reducing vehicle lanes but rejected it because that  would “significantly increase” wait time for motorists at the intersection, Lauzen said.

Councilmember Luke Distelhorst, himself a bicyclist, asked specifically what the extra wait time would be at the SR 104 and 100th Avenue intersection and Lauzen replied that depending on the time of day and direction it could be either 10 seconds or 28 seconds. Distelhorst said that delay didn’t seem particularly significant for the increased safety it would provide to both bicyclists and motorists sharing the road. “Going through that intersection is not ideal without bike lanes now,” he said.

5. 100th Avenue West South of SR 104

Under this option, a bicycle lane would be provided in each direction with a center-turn lane.

6. Firdale Avenue (100th Avenue West) and 238th Street Southwest intersection

This intersection configuration keeps the bike lane along the sidewalk through the intersection headed northbound and following the right-turn lane going southbound.

7. Firdale Avenue (South of SR 104)

This is the same configuration as mentioned above for Firdale Avenue, with a bike lane in each direction and a center turn lane.

8. 228th Street Southwest from 80th Avenue West to 78th Avenue West

Unlike the other segments mentioned, this segment would require some roadway widening to add a bike lane in each direction, Lauzen said.

9. 80th Avenue West from 228th Street Southwest to 220th St. Southwest

This section would only include sharrows and signage, with no added bike lanes.

The council agreed to wait two weeks before approving the latest design configurations, to give both citizens and councilmembers a chance to offer additional comments to staff that may be incorporated.

In other business Tuesday night, the council:

– Approved by a 6-1 vote an interlocal agreement with the Housing Authority of Snohomish County (HASCO) that would allow the housing authority to provide additional housing in Edmonds for low-income households. Many areas of the city are not currently covered by the current agreement that Edmonds has with HASCO, and this could lead to delays for HASCO in acquiring properties if an opportunity became available. Councilmember Kristiana Johnson voted against the measure, stating that while it was one of 15 recommendations by the Edmonds Housing Commission, the council hasn’t had a chance to discuss those yet.

– Voted 5-1-1 (Councilmember Diane Buckshnis opposed and Kristiana Johnson abstaining) to allow the mayor to certify matching grants for the planned Marina Beach Park renovation.

– Reviewed proposed changes to the unit lot subdivision process so that it would apply to the city’s downtown BD Zone where multifamily residential is allowed on the ground floor. Citizens will have a chance to comment during a future public hearing on the proposal.

— By Teresa Wippel



  1. As a consistant bicycle rider in Edmonds no way would I choose to ride Bowdoin Way as an “efficient bycycle route”. Too far from anything I would want to ride. 220th has too much car congestion and too much in way of car fumes for me to even consider riding bike lane or not. This is seriously the “best” routing idea?

    1. Bowdoin is the primary route that I take when I ride to and from downtown Edmonds. Both of those routes would make a big improvement with bike lanes, and it is great to see that there would be still be plenty of parking. Really more than enough parking than would ever be used in those areas.

      This would actually be a net benefit for parking by making it easier to bike downtown.

      It’s nice to have something like this 100% construction paid for bike lane improvement project that’s really is a win-win in all senses.

    2. In 2019 meeting with planners and the bike group I suggested the route from top of main street hill emergency access route thru Shell Park to 9th Ave; 90% of it paved, very little traffic, incline minimal with natural setting. Why would this not be the perfect ride vs. all the issues with Bowdoin or Main street hill?

  2. I believe the comments of Kathleen Cavanaugh affirm that the entire effort to ‘make bicycles safer’ is of limited practical use and not wanted, desired or would be used. The routes are of nominal or no practical use to access Edmonds or even transit.
    Let’s have the City Council RETURN THE MONEY to Sound Transit. We did not vote to make bicycle lanes a part of the construction so let’s send the money back and stop creating limits on our streets for a very few and maintain property owners options to live in THEIR/our community. Don’t change a neighborhood use to benefit only a few. Those changes appear to be welcomed by very few in the affected communities.

    1. Bowdoin Way is a very dangerous idea. Too curvy vision poor around these curves. People are and as pop. In the area grows, parking on street. So who is endager. Children jetting out..bicyclists…and then when the first on one gets hurt or worse whose fault is it? The child, the bicyclist or the car. Or the city of Edmonds for doing something they already know is dangerous. The Lawyers and Insurance companies will not care anything about anyone…just where the settlement $$ comes from…
      And one other thing. These bicyclists DON’T stop at stop signs…they must be fined like anyone for running them. Also keep them off the sidewalks…many walkers and children and strollers there. Technically they should be required to have a license and Insurance.
      I know, you don’t like this…but it’s all true and all very possible.

      1. Deborah, Bowdoin is a perfectly fine street to cycle on and will only be improved with these updates. All road users still need to be aware of their surroundings to keep all road users and pedestrians safe.

        I agree that all road users need to follow the rules of the road and be ticketed for infractions but please note that bikes don’t have to always stop at stop signs now.

  3. A park & ride from 99 to Downtown Edmonds, and to the ferries using a small bus/van with bike racks, and space for people to carry on items would be a thought. Then the bike riders would have access to the ferries to ride in the Kingston area. Have special weekend end hours for shoppers, and bikers to Downtown Edmonds.

    Edmonds could provide a bus/van to biking areas from Edmonds or 99 to transport bikers to areas that are set up for biking.

    There are not many exciting places to ride bikes in Edmonds, some things are not meant to be, but there are a lot of walking parks to enjoy. Edmonds spends a lot of money to up keep these parks, these parks should be used for walking, and downtown for shopping, eating, and the beach., possibly Edmonds could provide the bus/van to the beach as well.

    I also worry about small children getting into these bike lanes not knowing the roads, or being alert enough to road hazards. The kids would need to watch for parked car doors opening, exiting parking spots, or making turns. Would there be an age limit to use these bike lanes or would underage bikers need to be with an adult?

    Would we have even thought about this if the money was not provided for Edmonds, it was nice of Sound Transit to offer the money hopefully we are not rushing into something just because we think we need to use the money just because it was offered, it is okay to say, “thank you but not now.”

    1. As I understand it, bike lanes lead to increased density along those streets.

      Those neighborhoods with bike lanes will be able to be upzoned for higher density because bikes are classified as transportation. I don’t think it matters if they are used at a particular rate or not.

      Look around the transit station being built in Shoreline. Have you noticed all the new construction where a single family house has been replaced with multiple 2-3 story townhomes. Seems like transportation is driving the upzone push. (Pun not intended)

      If I’m wrong, please let me know.

  4. I totally agree withJudy on the bike lane issues. You are making all of us pay for the benefit of a few people. There should be taxes on bicyclists just like cars if we cut up and divide our existing streets to benefit bike riders. I clearly see what happened in Seattle with doing this and I hate to see Edmonds repeatedly making the same mistakes. Return the funds and figure out another plan. The first bike rider that gets hit I see a big lawsuit in the making. Walk your way to better health!

  5. It would seem the allocation of tax money is supposed to be the hurdle for bicycle lanes?!
    How is 5 Corners supposed to accommodate the mixed use?
    Right now the normal vehicle traffic has not contended with the addition of school buses, school children and cross walks and bicycles lanes. A lot of large trucks use Bowdoin because of the grade and the space. If there was a way to eliminate the use of Bowdoin for a race track during evening times from noisy speeding vehicles that would add something to the community.
    If the council proceeds then there should be money designated to guarantee that any excess expenses for the area of Bowdoin Way and 84th will be taken from other programs. The budget for this endeavor has been closely evaluated to cover all consequences?

    1. Shoreline has bike lanes that are used literally by a handful of people. Imagine riding UP Richmond Beach Road! The bike lanes condensed car lanes to one in most areas, created long back ups during rush hours and provide little safety to the few riders who utilise them. NOT $$ well spent.

  6. KC if one were at 5 Corners and wanted to get to downtown, I would think Main Street would be the fastest and easiest?

    1. Darrol, from 5 Corners Main Street is too hilly and the grades too steep. Bowdoin is a much easier ride.

      1. Thanks Roger. I was looking for input from other experienced riders in hope of gaining their insight as well. We will see if others have any 5 corner to DT suggestions. I see folks on Main all the time.

    2. Main street is fastest, but it is more dangerous. Mainly because you have cars that can pull out, and need to be able to come to a screeching halt if they pull out into the bike lane to look for oncoming traffic.

      Bowdoin is a lot more enjoyable and safe to bike on.

  7. These all look like good ideas. The biggest improvement will be 100th south of SR 104. I have taken to a detour to the west just to avoid that stretch, though I was regularly riding it until a couple of years ago when commuting.

    Per one of the other comments, it has been legal in Washington to treat most Stop signs as Yields:

  8. I must say, at major intersections such as 100th and SR 104 with multiple traffic turning movements, adding bike lanes there seems like a disaster waiting to happen. At major intersections such as those, what’s wrong with considering one of two things: either 1) requiring bicyclists to behave like motorcyclists and move through the intersection in standard travel lanes, or 2) require bicyclists to dismount and walk their bikes across like a pedestrian? Both of these options seem safer than asking drivers to watch for the occasional bicyclist who may be using a designated bike lane.

  9. One more comment why wasn’t 84th from 5 corners to at least 220th SW completed on both sides to accommodate sidewalks and bikes. Seems to me this construction was never completed and would be better to serve the safety of the school and bikers versus all the partial bike lanes on neighborhood streets. No logic to this current bike plan.

  10. General comment about this bike plan~ This project is funded by a $1.85 million “access grant” from Sound Transit, our regional transit authority whose only service in Edmonds is at the train station on Railroad Ave. between Main St. and Dayton.

    Presumably the grant was made to improve bicycle access to this station, but none of the planned bicycle improvements come anywhere close to the station. Why? The number of Sound Transit train riders who will use any of these bicycle lanes is vanishingly small, maybe even nonexistent. What’s going on here?

    1. Probably a good way when applied for. That got the money, then when it became clear that people won’t and may seldom use the Sound Transit Train…instead of saving it for something for all…it turned into another mess.
      What is going on is quite obvious to me. It’s almost as if we the citizens are being messed with behind closed doors…because we are.
      I would like to know how to begin a recall of Mayor Nelson. Tell me. I will find out but who to contact first would make it quicker.

  11. Roger, your observation is spot on. Who’s running our city anyway, Sound Transit?

    1. “Free” money. Gotta spend it. Why can’t we just say, “no thanks. Your project scope doesn’t match what our town needs. Give the money back to the tax payers.”

  12. I had several email discussions with Vivian Olsen regarding a safer, efficient, and proven way to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. It is using the methods and plans that are used in The Netherlands. I sent examples and videos, and suggested a representative from our city council go to The Netherlands to see for themselves how well their bicyle and pedestrian systems work. Never heard back from her. The plan they have in place is dangerous and visually unappealing. It doesn’t matter where the dollars are coming from. It’s a total waste of money.

  13. Comments here suggest the Sound Transit money for bike lanes was made available and that was the first our City gave thought to doing/ having them. Thought the readers may want to know this is not the case. This is from the Comprehensive Plan:

    In 2011, the City of Edmonds adopted a Complete Streets Ordinance, which pledges that the City will plan, design, and implement transportation projects, accommodating bicycles, pedestrians, and transit riders.
    The Transportation Element has six overarching goals that work together to achieve this vision of providing a transportation system that accommodates all users:
    1. Provide a safe and user-friendly travel experience for all users
    2. Build a transportation system that enhances the City’s land use vision
    3. Be sustainable- financially, environmentally, and socially
    4. Foster an active and healthy community
    5. Create a complete and connected system that offers efficient transportation options
    6. Partner with other entities to create a logical system that integrates within the regional transportation network

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