The Ballard – Fremont Greenways coalition is pushing for the city to create protected bike lanes on the Fremont Bridge.
The group has penned a letter to SDOT urging for an “emergency bike lane” to be installed on the bridge, which had over a million bike trips in 2019 alone.
“The unsafe conditions along the sidewalks of the Fremont Bridge force cyclists to decide between risking their health by riding too close to other people on the sidewalk and risking injury by riding with cars in traffic,” Ballard-Fremont Greenways wrote on Facebook. “You should not have to make that choice.”
The coalition has put together an online form to gain supporters, which points out the urgency of a protected bike lane given the high numbers of cyclists that use the bridge daily for commuting and recreation.
“As more people return to work, we can expect the numbers of people cycling to increase dramatically during commute hours, especially for those who choose to use cycling as an alternative to public transportation,” the online petition reads. “However, due to the legacy of the bridge’s original design, the narrow sidewalks—which are barely over 6’ wide at key points—are forced to act as two-way multi-use paths, creating unsafe conditions at the best of times.”
The group says while the Ballard Bridge also poses a problem for cyclists, they say their priority is advocating for a Fremont Bridge bike lane, “first and foremost.” They say the Fremont Bridge is generally safer for cyclists; traffic moves at an average of 40 mph on the Ballard Bridge, whereas speeds typically average below 30 mph on the Fremont Bridge.
The Ballard-Fremont Greenways’ full proposal can be found here.