Follow the Green Gravel Road

I don’t want to come off too negative about these new street features, but I am curious and suspicious at the same time. It does appear the DOT is attempting to accommodate cyclists, and honestly, that’s a good thing!

What features am I talking about? There are several throughout the city now. The one I noticed was just after crossing the Fremont Bridge on my way up to Queen Anne. Like it’s supposed to, it immediately caught my eye as I came off the bridge, a column of what looked like astro-turf crossing the street directly next to the crosswalk.


I saw this green bike lane appear this Friday past and took some photos of it Saturday morning. Already the gravel material they’ve used is separating from the lane; as would be suspected I think. Maybe this is part of the process and I’m just squawking early, but I’ve seen plenty of lane striping and other markings on the streets here in Seattle. Why isn’t that type of paint being used for these new bike symbols and other bike improvements? Those old bike lanes on 34th going into Fremont still have their bike paint holding strong; when were they painted? Probably when that street was paved (and that was a long time ago by the feel of it).

A disintegrating cyclist off the Fremont Bridge

It’s often said that the grass is always greener, perhaps so are the bike lanes. Portland has some awesome bike lanes, as well as bike boxes, and dedicated bike routes.
It’s cool that Portland recognizes our attempts at improving cycling infrastructure. Seattle needs to take some more cues from our neighbor down there I think. Maybe at least get the name of their paint supplier.

Portland green bike lane. Photo compliments of peng1

4 thoughts on “Follow the Green Gravel Road”

  1. It looks like the work isn’t complete yet. I just walked over and took some photos of my own. There are some white dashed spray paint lines on top of and beside the green pad that aim to the left of the curb, straight into the sharrows.

    I hope that the first painting crew just made a mistake and it will be re-done soon.


  2. I checked with SDOT.

    The plans were correct, but the paint crew made a mistake. The green pad should have aimed into the sharrows. This is only the second green pad that the paint crew has done in Seattle, and for all I know they might not have even been told that it was for bikes. People make mistakes. This wasn’t an intentional decision like the Stone Way sharrows. SDOT is aware of the mistake and will be correcting it soon.

    They paint when they can which means in between rain storms. While it was put in place before bike to work day, the timing is probably just a coincidence.

    Also, that metal strip is a required bridge joint. There are other similar ones near Baja Fresh and Quiznos on the other side. Aside from having textured metal, I’m not sure what they could do.

    As for the quality of the work, talk to the mayor or head of SDOT about their hiring process and performance reviews.


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