Bike Lanes on Northwest (Bellingham)

This was forwarded from Dan who organized the recent meeting at city hall:

Good day,  here’s a little update on what’s happening around getting bike lanes on Northwest Ave., Elm St. and Dupont St. and three simple things you can do to help make it happen.

The short version of how you can help:

  1. Send an email to the four addresses below.  Let them know you support cycling in Bellingham and want to see the Northwest/Elm/Dupont corridor improved  THIS YEAR.
  2. Spread this email far and wide.  Get as many people as possible to do item 1 at least, and hopefully item 3 as well.
  3. If you can make it, come to the open house that Public Works will host at Shuksan Middle School, Wednesday, March 23, 7-9pm.   Tell someone from PW why you’re there.

That’s it.  So simple.  Please, send one short email to these four addresses.  Let your desires be known to our local policy makers.  We need to impress upon them that there is a large constituency of citizens who want this.  They need to hear the message in big numbers.

Send your message to:
And use the subject line:    Northwest/Elm/Dupont Bike Lanes

The long version (’cause I just love to type):

Bellingham City Council has proposed installing bike lanes on Dupont St., Elm St. and Northwest Ave from downtown to I-5.  This could be one of the biggest bike projects ever in Bellingham.  But it is not a done deal.  You can help make it happen.  Mayor Pike and Public Works would prefer to put the project off until 2012 and expand the scope and cost of it significantly beyond bike lanes.  Details of what else they want to include are not yet available, except that Public Works is seeking $20,000 for the design work alone.  I can only speculate that additions might include bus pull-outs, cross-walks, and bulb-outs at intersections.   Those would be good additions in the long run, but striping bike lanes thissummer does not preclude building these other elements next summer.  And, most importantly, I think, is that there is no guarantee that following this fall’s election we will still have the relatively bike-friendly mayor and council that we do now.  I hope we do, but as they say: elections have consequences.  Putting this off for another year may mean it doesn’t happen at all, especially as the price grows to a politically unpalatable scale in tight times.  A different mayor and council next year may say “Too big, too expensive” and cancel the whole thing.  The bike lanes alone are very inexpensive and easily engineered.  This much can be done this year without limiting what can be added next year.

A few other random talking points:

  1. $4/Gallon.
  2. The only viable cycling route from downtown to Whatcom Community College, Bellis Fair, and Cordata.  Give Northside residents an alternative means to come into town finally.
  3. Some say the climate is changing.
  4. Six schools along this route and childhood obesity.
  5. Good for the local economy (gas money leaves the community immediately, money NOT spent on gas is more likely to stay local).
  6. Good for NW Ave businesses (cyclists are statistically more likely to stop at the businesses they pass than to go out of their way).
  7. It is in the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
  8. Approved by the Birchwood and Columbia Neighborhood Associations

They need to hear the message.  In big numbers.  Send the emails.  Please.  And have a great ride today.   Thanks  -Dan


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