As covered previously, SDOT was planning to throttle Green Lake Way N and waste a lot of money by putting in a bike crossing at N 52nd and Green Lake Way N, eliminating parking on the East side of the street. Pretty much everyone said “no please” so SDOT thankfully backed off.
New plans are for the 2-way cycle track around the lake to transition to two 1-way protected bike lanes at a new light going in at the Pitch and Putt (where 3 roads all named Green Lake Way intersect). The West side curb of Green Lake Way N where it borders the Lower Woodland Park parking lot will be torn up to make room for the protected bike lanes without taking away parking.
As the protected bike lanes also go in on Stone Way N between N 45th and N 50th, parking will be taken away on one side of the road. SDOT is leaning toward eliminating parking on the East side, where new condos without parking are permitted to replace the Zaw parking lot.
Painfully, SDOT is planning no improvements to the intersection of N 50th and Green Lake Way N. Their own metrics rate the intersection as an “F” and it was a top concern in feedback. SDOT has a system called ITS which dynamically changes signal timing based on traffic loads, and it is perfect for a long signal like N 50th and Green Lake Way N. The signal does not need to be coordinated with other signals, and one approach to the light is often clear while another is backed up for several blocks.
SDOT is not planning to install ITS because they say Move Seattle requires that all their funds go to either bike infrastructure or maintenance. Did you know our city government has no money for simple fixes that would improve vehicle throughput? Are you surprised?
But putting mode wars aside, ITS would also be a huge win for cyclists. With ITS the protected bike lanes on Stone Way, Green Lake Way, and N 50th could all be extended up to the signal light. This eliminates dangerous crossover zones and shared lanes that cause conflicts between cyclists and drivers. Without ITS, SDOT fears a reconfiguration could impact vehicle throughput negatively.
So we’re at a crossroads literally and figuratively. Will we settle for “meh” or will we ask for something better? To provide feedback, contact Christa at the Green Lake Way Paving Project. Here’s the current design with turning movements, which SDOT is proposing will remain exactly as is after repaving:
When looking to improve things, we need to back off radical ideas or mode favoring ideas since those ideas are out of scope for this project. That means no traffic circles, no turning a 5 part signal into 6 parts, no cutting off legs of the intersection, no one-way streets. Put aside the perfect, but why not at least make things a little better like this?