The first project of its kind in Bellevue, the East Bellevue Demonstration Greenway is intended to make it easier for people to bicycle and walk around the neighborhood to reach nearby destinations. The two-mile long greenway (map) was installed in late August and early September, 2021, along 166th and 165th avenues, from Southeast 14th Street to Northup Way. The “demonstration” aspect of the project means the city used quick-build, low-cost treatments, and that residents are encouraged to provide feedback before, during and after installation.
Wanted: More community feedback
To find out what people who travel the corridor and live near it think of the greenway, we invite you to respond to a short questionnaire, available through January 2022, at EngagingBellevue.com/east-bellevue-greenway. Your responses will help us determine whether to keep or refine the improvements and provide a greater understanding for planning future greenways.
The current questionnaire builds on a previous one that sought input prior to the installation on a preferred design pattern for the five traffic circles. A “leaves” pattern was selected because of its “Pacific Northwest” feel, colorful and all-inclusive design and focus on nature (survey results).
The greenway project (map) treatments are intended to make it safer and more comfortable to bicycle and roll on the corridor. Improvements will include:
- Bicycle pavement markings such as sharrow symbols and green paint for higher visibility near busy road crossings
- Rapid-build traffic circles and associated pavement artwork at several locations
- Relocating stop signs at key intersections (see map) to minimize the number of stops for people biking and rolling
- Wayfinding signs directing people to nearby destinations
- New 20 mph speed limit signs (down from 25 mph)
The demonstration period will last approximately six months, until early 2022.
Depending on project results and feedback from residents, more permanent treatments – including speed bumps, concrete traffic circles and traffic diverters – may be added later as a separate project.
Request traffic safety yard signs
To raise awareness of traffic safety in neighborhoods, the city offers colorful neighborhood yard signs with traffic safety messages for people using our streets. To obtain one of the yards signs to place near your home or along the Greenway, please request one. Additionally, as part of this project, the speed limit along the Greenway was reduced to 20 mph. To reinforce the new speed limit, the city offers “20 is Plenty” yard signs. If you’d like one of these, please contact John Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-452-6967.
Why a demonstration project?
The demonstration approach allows several benefits:
- Provides a low-cost, real-world opportunity to test a neighborhood greenway in Bellevue, and to implement improvements more rapidly and efficiently than traditional project delivery would allow.
- Encourages residents to provide feedback before, during and after installation.
- City staff can monitor traffic conditions and make quick adjustments, if needed.
- Helps to determine appropriate next steps before (potentially) making more expensive, permanent investments.
- Emphasizes data collection to better understand project benefits and impacts that could help guide the implementation of future greenways elsewhere in Bellevue.
In 2020, the city launched Bellevue Healthy Streets, in which several streets – including the 165th/166th avenue corridor – were closed to non-local motor vehicle traffic to allow better physical distancing practices during the COVID-19 crisis. The demonstration project builds on the Healthy Streets foundation. The 165th/166th avenue corridor also was identified as a bicycling route in the city’s 2009 Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan, listed as Project Idea NB-1 in the city’s 2016 Bicycle Rapid Implementation Program and noted as a potential next step in Bellevue’s Healthy Streets Evaluation Report.
About neighborhood greenways
Also known as “neighborhood bikeways” or “bicycle boulevards” in other cities, neighborhood greenways include treatments that make it easier and safer to bicycle on low-speed streets. They typically include signs and pavement markings to clearly identify the bike route and may also include traffic calming measures to help lower vehicle speeds and reduce vehicle volumes.
The estimated cost of $200,000 is funded by the voter-approved Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy, and by the Neighborhood Traffic Safety program.
- Summer 2021: Construction started in late August and was completed in early September.
- Summer 2021 to early 2022: The demonstration period will last approximately six months, until early 2022.