Bellevue still has a long way to go before its bike network can be considered “safe for all users” (Google Streetview)

It’s no secret that biking in Bellevue can be a tall order. Most of our city’s roads do not have bike facilities, and those that do often only have a line of paint protecting riders from the cars that speed by them. Although a few roads incorporate protection through additional spacing or plastic bollards, these elements often do not last along the whole length of a road. This can create dangerous situations for inexperienced riders – one minute they feel safe and secure, but suddenly they are forced to move onto busy sidewalks, ride between cars, or (worst of all) directly merge with vehicle traffic. This incomplete network leaves cycling only accessible to the limited few (usually young, white, and male) riders who feel confident and secure riding alongside vehicle traffic while the rest of our neighbors are left out.

Luckily, it’s in city leaders’ best interests to build out Bellevue’s bike network and make it more accessible. Transportation makes up 43% of the city’s total emissions, so if the city wants to reach its ambitious emissions reductions targets, it will need to encourage residents to switch from driving to other modes of transportation. Bicycling can play an important role in this transitionbut only if the city commits to building a comprehensive cycling network that is accessible to all riders

Goals:

  1. Engage community members from diverse ages, genders, ethnicities, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn what safe infrastructure means to them
  2. Work with organizations like Cascade Bicycle Club, Leafline Trails Coalition, Eastrail Partners, and others to support targeted improvements in Bellevue’s Bike Network
  3. Coordinate, organize, and/or support events to mark the opening of new bicycle facilities in the city

Header photo by Cascade Bicycle Club