New plans readied for bikes, pedestrians
Those who get around astride a bike or on their own two feet could benefit as the state updates its bicycle and pedestrian plan, a component...
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
Those who get around astride a bike or on their own two feet could benefit as the state updates its bicycle and pedestrian plan, a component of its long-range transportation plan that promotes helping self-powered travelers travel safely.
Cities, counties and other agencies around the state are in various stages of submitting their wish lists, which request miles of new bicycle lanes and paths, sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses and trail extensions.
Ray Steiger, Kirkland's capital-projects manager, said his city is submitting a list of proposals that includes transforming a section of Burlington Northern Santa Fe right of way into a cross-town bike trail.
"We'll be one more city competing for all this money out there," he said.
Proposals listed as top priorities in the state's final plan in the fall can qualify for state and federal funds and will help state transportation officials gauge funding needs.
Regional transportation agencies, such as the Puget Sound Regional Council, and advocacy groups, like the Cascade Bicycle Club, are urging people to check out the list, suggest projects and get involved.
"One of the main ways the plan is to be used is to help raise awareness for issues and serve as a guide for investment," said Charlotte Claybrooke, a state bicycle and pedestrian planning specialist.
To find out more
To submit suggestions or comment on the list of proposals, which will be updated through the spring, view the plan at www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/Bike_Plan.htm
Washington transportation officials want to encourage biking and walking, with the goal that they will eventually comprise 15 percent of all trips. They currently comprise 5 percent, Claybrooke said.
The state also wants to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed in accidents by at least 10 percent over the next 20 years. Currently, they make up 14 percent of all transportation-related fatalities, she said.
Washington transportation officials aim to achieve both goals by funding projects that improve existing networks of bike and pedestrian pathways, creating safe routes for kids to walk and bike to and from school, and encouraging local governments to incorporate sidewalks and bike paths into future street improvements.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or firstname.lastname@example.org