Bike lanes to be added to 236th

The Mountlake Terrace City Council voted 6-1 Thursday night to implement bike lanes on 236th St. SW from 54th Ave W to Cedar Way. Thursday’s discussion and vote was a follow-up from the council’s split decision in July. Speaking during public comment at the meeting in favor of the bike lanes were representative from the Cascade Bicycle Club and the Forest Ridge Estates Homeowner’s Association. The Forest Ridge development is the 2 cul-de-sacs off of 236th between Cedar Way and 48th Ave W. Also speaking in favor of the bike lanes were a Mountlake Terrace resident and an Edmonds resident. The council also received around 9 emails generally in favor of adding bike lanes to 236th St. SW.

City staff prepared and presented a report addressing many of Council’s concerns from their meeting in July. The Council voted 6-1 in support of the city staff recommended option to make 236th a 3-lane road (1 lane and bike lanes in both directions and a center turn lane) from 54th Ave W to Cedar Way. Mayor Jerry Smith voted to change the lane configuration and add bike lanes between Cedar Way and 48th but to the striping as-is between 48th and 54th. Smith’s concerns were mostly with reducing on-street parking for the Forest Crest playfield.

  1. The bike lanes are fine but the turn lane down the middle sucks! Then you get stuck behind all those slow drivers on the road because it’s only one lane. LAME!

  2. The City Council got it half right last night. Although I was originally against any reconfiguration of striping, I now see the safety benefits to reducing the vehicular traffic lanes from four to two on 236th between Cedar Way and 48th Avenue. The center left-turn lane (and resulting traffic calming) is necessary considering the increasing number of residents living on that block. The addition of bicycle lanes there is secondary to the safety benefits resulting from the lane reconfiguration. (We will need to watch that secondary neighborhood streets in the area don’t take on some of the 9000 cars that travel that stretch of 236th looking for alternative routes due to resulting increased congestion.) rn The sacrifice of the south-side curb parking on between 48th and 52nd Avenues for the addition of bicycle lanes on 236th was an ill-advised decision by the council. This change creates more unsafe scenarios than safe ones. Mayor Smith was the only one who had it right; he favored the changes between Cedar Way and 48th, while wanting no changes west of 48th Avenue.

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