As you go down the hill on 32nd Ave toward the Locks, the road changes from having sharrows to having a bike lane just south of 58th St. Many bikers (including me) still take the lane south of there. There are two reasons why. #1 The bike lane has a bunch of longitudinal cracks. That means that a bike with a narrow tire can get caught, leading to a sudden dismount and awful mess of flying limbs all over the roadway. The road surface in the main roadway is much better. #2 (and more important IMHO) the bike lane continues right through the bus stop at the bottom of the hill, that inevitably has a bus sitting there. We have to merge over sometime, and it’s easier and safer to do that at relatively low speed at the top of the steep section than at much higher speed at the bottom where there is also more turning traffic.
As a bike commuter who uses 32nd about once a week, I really appreciate how Ballard drivers are generally very courteous and even watch bikers’ body language. Most times, a driver seeing me look over my shoulder will make space for me even before I signal. I try to return the favor by being out of your way as much as possible. Today was the first day I’ve been honked at while riding. If you were the driver of the green Suburban, that’s why I was in the main traffic lane.