The cities of Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace are launching Bike2Health, a collaborative effort to complete 11 critical missing links of the existing regional bicycle network in south Snohomish County (see map).
Funded by a $1.9 million grant from the Verdant Health Commission, the project will improve access to health and wellness choices, make bicycling safer and increase the region’s connectivity. Project design kicks off this month, with construction scheduled to begin in 2016.
Collectively the cities of Lynnwood, Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace have completed 23 miles of bicycle network over the past decade; however, much of this construction has been done separately by each city, which has resulted in a segmented bicycle network. This segmentation is one reason cited by residents for choosing to use other methods of travel.
“We learned from a survey by the Cascade Bicycle Club that only 13 percent of respondents bicycled as their regular form of transportation,” said City of Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling. “About 70 percent of survey respondents indicated they would like to bike more. We are happy to be involved in this project and hope that additional bike lanes and signage will support those who would like to cycle more frequently.”
“Bike2Health is an exciting opportunity to work with our neighboring cities while also supporting the Mountlake Terrace goal of convenient bicycling,” added Mountlake Terrace City Manager Arlene Fisher. “Working together, we will have better bicycle connectivity than could be achieved by one city working alone.”
Once complete, Bike2Health will create a regional bicycle network establishing several key north/south and east/west corridors and connecting major destinations (e.g. colleges, civic centers, employment centers, the Interurban Trail, etc.) and transit locations such as Swift bus rapid transit stations, transit centers and the Edmonds Ferry. In total, roughly ten miles of bicycle network will be completed or connected by installing shared lane markings, bicycle route signage and about six miles of new bicycle lanes.
“Bike2Health will allow for a better connection while cycling throughout our three cities and create a safer and more accessible option for alternative transportation,” said City of Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith. “It is our shared goal that bicyclists of all ages feel encouraged to ride on our streets.”
The public will have opportunities to provide input during the design phase, as well as learn more about the improved bicycle network and bicycle safety and benefits throughout the program and into 2019. Community members will be able to participate in a number of family-friendly activities such as organized bike rides, classes, and bicycle rodeos.
Project partners hope that Bike2Health is just the beginning of several additional bike improvement projects in the coming years; it is one piece of a larger effort to improve the region’s bike mobility.
For the most up-to-date information on Bike2Health, download the project Fact Sheet, visit: verdanthealth.org/bike2health or email [email protected]. To get regular updates on the project, you can subscribe to the Bike2Health Project eNews list.