With eye to safety, Edmonds City Council committee considers bike lane alternatives


Balancing the needs of bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians during a planned bicycle lane project was a focal point for discussion during the Edmonds City Council’s Parks and Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday night.

For the past year, the city has been developing a plan to add over six miles of bicycle lanes in various Edmonds neighborhoods, funded by a $1.85 million Sound Transit Access grant. The city hired Blueline Inc. to provide collection and analysis of parking and traffic data in the affected areas, followed by community outreach that included virtual open houses to gather residents’ input. Following that, a set of alternatives was presented to the city council in May.

The project would install bike lanes in the following areas:

  • 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.

During Tuesday night’s presentation, City Capital Projects Manager Ryan Hague explained the various bike lane configurations, which the full council had reviewed during its May meeting.

Councilmembers Luke Distelhorst and Laura Johnson of the Parks and Public Works Committee were particularly interested in the proposed configuring of lanes along the busy SR 104 and 100th Avenue intersection, as well as traffic concerns further south on 100th, at the intersection leading to the driveway of the Woodway Campus — home to Edmonds Heights K-12 and Scriber Lake High School.

Regarding the SR 104 and 100th Avenue intersection, Hague noted that Alternative 2, which would maintain the same number of vehicle lanes in the intersection, would have less impact on motorist travel time than Alternative 1, which eliminates one through lane. Alternative 2 would include a northbound bicycle lane crossing the intersection, the southbound lane would be a sharrow (a marking to indicate a shared lane with vehicles). This alternative also provides ramps so that southbound cyclists can exit on to the sidewalk, walk through the intersection and re-enter the roadway south of the intersection.

Councilmember Distelhorst, an avid bicycle rider, reiterated his belief expressed during the May council meeting that the delay for motorists — estimated at 28 seconds during peak PM traffic — under Alternative 1 was insignificant when compared with the enhanced safety the alternative provides bicycle riders.

By offering bike lanes in both directions, “Alternative 1 provides the safest operation,” he said. In addition, Distelhorst said that Edmonds should be “living up to” the city’s Complete Streets ordinance, passed in 2011, which requires that new transportation projects balance the needs of all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.


Both Hague and Public Works and Utilities Director Phil Williams noted that there was also a desire expressed by residents to include pedestrian improvements at various locations as part of the project, from flashing beacons to new crosswalks to curb ramp upgrades.

“We do have already enough (grant) funding to do the basic project,” Williams said, adding that pedestrian improvements would require additional city funding. Noting that not everyone rides a bicycle, he said that including some pedestrian and safety benefits may increase the overall popularity of the project.

The cost of all five recommended pedestrian safety improvements would be $312,123.

Committee members agreed that the options for bicycle lanes and safety improvements should be presented to the full council for further consideration, along with their associated costs. One more community meeting is planned prior to the completion of project design, and construction is projected to start in spring 2022.

In addition, staff will be asking the full council to consider a supplemental agreement to cover $29,000 in additional work that consultant Blue Line has performed outside of its original scope.

In other committee business, councilmembers heard more details about the property that Edmonds resident Shirley Johnson — who died in January — bequeathed to the city “specifically for the purposes of being used as a park and/or community garden site and/or to cultivate and grow plants, fruits, vegetables and other related things all for the City of Edmonds and for the citizens of Edmonds and the local community as the City of Edmonds deems best in their discretion.”

That presentation will also be made to the full city council, and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Angie Feser noted that the city will launch a public planning process after the council approves an ordinance to formally accept the property, located on Bowdoin Way.

— By Teresa Wippel



  1. For bicycling , please, always vote for the enhanced safety option.
    Have lanes on both sides of the street.
    I support alternative 1.

    I do not see any attention or update for improving or maintaining the edges of the road where walkers and cyclists are often forced to go, in areas without sidewalks. Olympic View Drive out to Perrinville needs some attention. Shoulders matter.

    I often ride from Seaview using 80th to 228 to connect to the InterUrban trail.
    Pay attention to gaps and the edges please.

  2. I wonder how they estimated the 28-second delay for motorists with the lane diets, if they are wrong or miscalculated they will really have created a big mess down there. In any case, I can’t see how any responsible parents would let their children ride through that intersection even with bike lanes which is quite congested most of the time. I guess it does give a handful millennial and X- generations a place to play on their bikes, since since they are helping jack up the prices of homes locally.

    Including estimates of another $300,000 in additional costs a special shout-out to all those people who talked about how this project was like getting “free money”.

  3. I find it hard to believe that traffic is delayed only 28 seconds. You are looking at the3 busiest parking lots how much delay getting in and out. How many projected bicycles will use this in a week and will they be contributing to the cost and maintenence. Nothing is free.

  4. I have observed bicyclists ‘riding’ on the sidewalk and crosswalk on these routes the past several years. To say they will be ‘walking’ is not accurate nor does it reflect the actions of many who choose to ride the sidewalk or blow through stops signs as they see fit. If you ride on the road you should be expected to comply with car and pedestrian requirements. I agree safety is paramount…for all.

  5. I really like the idea of adding pedestrian improvements to go along with this project. The recent crosswalk improvements that the city made this year created considerable safety improvements, and are much easier to use. Even as a driver, it is much nicer to be able to see pedestrians.

    These bike lane improvements will also be much nicer for drivers as well. There are a number of large hills on this route where drivers can be delayed behind cyclists, and these well designed bike lanes will make it much nicer for everyone involved. Win-win situations are the best, and it is nice to see one here.

  6. I Wish this was true. On 76th, by our schools, our children are hardly safe! Since school started last week, I have seen at least 3 incidents, where people are going through the patrol guards flag or stopping within inches of it. The crossguard told me on Tuesday that there had been seven cars that ran the flag or stopped really close. Are you waiting until someone is injured or worse, killed? Please push to have cameras installed along the schools on 76th. Glad the few bicyclist are protected, but what about our children and the people helping out the families

  7. The other day, I was having coffee at Cafe Louvre on their nice patio out front. In the course of an hour, 4 electric-assist bicycles passed by. A year ago the count would’ve been zero. I hope this signals an increase in bicycling here in Edmonds. The electric units are great, what with all our hills. Let’s take advantage of the new bike lanes!

  8. More bike lanes are a net positive as we work to accommodate our changing demographics. Adding them on 9th makes sense. However, we should be very cautious about adding them northbound and southbound across SR 104 at Westgate. Not long ago, Council approved budget for installation of upgraded stoplights to improve the “Level of Service” at that intersection. The Level of Service there was unsatisfactory to Council at that time and was driven by left turning traffic delays. The signal improvement allowed drivers to make a free left turn if oncoming traffic was clear. That change was positively received by our citizens and improved traffic flow. Now, Council will be considering adding bike lanes through the intersection that will increase the traffic delay. That will negatively affect Level of Service. It is my hope Council closely questions our Public Works director about this before approving the bike lanes at this intersection.
    An alternative—at lower cost—would be to require bike riders to dismount and walk their bikes across that very busy intersection, utilizing the existing crosswalks. That alternative would seem to be safer than having bike riders ride through the intersection and would create no additional traffic delays. As our city’s population continues to grow, it seems we should be focusing on ways to improve traffic flow, not hinder it.

    1. You’re right this should be a most interesting conversation with our Public Works director asking if adding bike lanes would not significantly reduce traffic flow, and if there is not a significant issue why was there money spent for the installation of upgraded stop lights for a left turning lane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.