Seattle’s Westlake Avenue bikeway was named America’s best new bike lane of 2016 last month by People for Bikes, an industry coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers, as well as a charitable foundation.
What makes the $3.6 million project notably effective is that it takes advantage of the flat topography close to Lake Union which is beneficial to cycling while also connecting an existing network of trails to a desirable destination. Michael Anderson, local innovation staff writer for People for Bikes, described it as “the first flat, intuitive link joining downtown Seattle to the north side and a vast regional trail network.”
The project was not without its opponents, but the final design preserved 90 percent of the spaces in a relevant public parking lot.
“If you never sit down and talk to the people who are on the other side of the table, you’re going to invent reasons to disagree,” said Seattle Transportation Director Scott Kubly. “When it gets right down to it, most people wanted the same thing.”
Other notable new bike lanes from 2016 included Chicago’s Randolph Street; the Downtown-University Network in Tallahassee, Florida; River Street in Aurora, Illinois; and New York City’s Pulaski Bridge.