Bicycle Master Plan

What’s happening now?

Below are the protected bike lane projects funded through the end of the Levy to Move Seattle. We are also building Neighborhood Greenways and Healthy Streets.

Project Name Sum of Mileage Current Status
8th Ave Mobility Improvements NA Completed
Melrose Promenade 0.1 Completed
West Marginal Way SW Safety Corridor Improvements 0.4 Completed
MLK Jr Way Safety Project 1 In Construction
Pike Pine Mobility Improvements 0.1 In Construction
Thomas St PBL (5th to Dexter)  0.25 In Construction
Eastlake Layover Facility Mobility Improvements 0.8 In Construction
East Marginal Way Corridor Improvements Project 1.3 100% design
BMP PBL - Beacon Hill PBL North Segment 1.7 100% design
11th and 12th Ave NE Paving Project 1.25 100% design
Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link 1.42 100% design
Georgetown to South Park Connection 1.64 100% design
4th Ave Protected Bike Lane Barrier NA 100% design
RapidRide J Line - Formerly RapidRide Roosevelt 2.06 100% design
Georgetown to Downtown Protected Bike Lane 1.9 100% design
Alaskan Way Safety Project 0.56 90% design
130th St PBL between Stone and 1st 0.62 30% design
"Missing Link" Bike Route Study on NW Market St - Learly Ave NW - 17th Ave NW 0.6 10% design
8th Ave (Westlake to Bell St) PBL 0 Planning
Total: 15.7


Over the next 20 years, Seattle will add 120,00 new people and 115,000 jobs within city limits. That is more growth than Seattle experienced over the last 20 years. Part of the strategy for accommodating this growth and its associated mobility needs will be bicycle investments and nurturing of the Seattle’s bicycle culture in a manner that purposefully benefits the city’s livability, affordability, public health, economic competitiveness, and natural environment.

There are many reasons for making the case for investing in bicycling. Examples of the reasons range from:

  • Safe streets for all users: Studies suggest that the risk of injury or death in a collision with motor vehicles declines as more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the number of people walking and biking appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of all roadway users. Greater safety for all road users may result from reaching a threshold of bicyclist volumes that compels motorists to drive more carefully. (refer to page 4 and 37 in the BMP more information)
  • Health benefits: Physical activity is indisputably effective in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other related chronic diseases. Public health professionals support active transportation as a means of improving these and other health outcomes related to the obesity epidemic. Bicycling can also curb health care costs. Mental health and academic achievement are also improved by walking and bicycling. One particular study of over 20,000 school-aged children found that by walking or biking to school advanced children’s mental alertness by half a school year.
  • Economic benefits: There are many ways to consider the economic benefits of increased levels of bicycling. An example as major employers – and talented employees – seek locations with good opportunities for active lifestyles and attractive urban amenities. Intercept surveys in Portland, OR sound that people arriving to retails stores on foot or by bicycle visit more frequently than those who drive and spend more money over the course of a month. Findings from New York City protected bicycle lane implementation have shown an increase in retail sales of up to 49% from locally-based businesses on 9th Ave , compared to 3% borough-wide. (refer to page 6 in the BMP for more information)
  • Environmental benefits: Transportation, within the City of Seattle, is a significant source of air, water, and carbon pollution. Roadway transportation makes up 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle. By reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in fossil fuel burning vehicles will improve and protect Seattle’s natural environment. Expanding and enhancing active transportation opportunities are a highly cost-effective approach for meeting the goals of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan. (refer to page 6 in the BMP for more information)
  • Space efficiency: There is simply very little space to add traffic lanes to meet increasing travel demands or reduce congestion in a growing population. Both vehicles and bicycles usually carry a single person, but bicycles take up much less space. Planning for bicycling and increasing the number of people riding bicycles will help optimize the use of limited urban space and create safer streets for all. Also, 41% of all trips (national average of personal trip lengths) are 0-3 miles in distance. There is great potential to increase the number of trips made by bicycle for these shorter trips. (refer to page 3 and 7 in the BMP for more information)
  • Equity: 16% of Seattle households do not have a motor vehicle for their use. Providing transportation options for these people may include walking, riding a bike, taking transit or carpooling. Providing all ages and abilities bicycle infrastructure in parts of the city with lower car ownership will provide better transportation choice for people. (refer to page 7 and 8 in the BMP for more information)


The plan’s bold vision is supported by five goals which articulate the plan’s future achievements. The goals set the basis for the plan’s performance measures and frame the prioritization criteria that help define which projects should be built first:

  • Ridership – Increase amount and mode share of bicycle riding in Seattle for all trip purposes.
  • Safety – Improve safety for bicycle riders in Seattle.
  • Connectivity – Create a high-quality bicycle network that connects to places people want to go and provides a time-competitive travel option.
  • Equity – Improve bicycle riding for all through equity in public engagement, program delivery, and capital investments.
  • Livability – Build vibrant communities by creating a welcoming environment for bicycle riding.

Bicycle Network

The bicycle network recommends a location and facility type of bicycle improvements throughout the city. A clearly defined “all ages and abilities” network, the Citywide Network, was proposed to help achieve the goals of the plan, especially as it relates to safety and connectivity, therefore increasing ridership. The Citywide network consists of bicycle facilities with comfortable separation from motor vehicles and focuses on intersection safety. These bicycle facilities are:

The secondary network, Local Connectors, provide access to the Citywide Network, parallels the Citywide Network for those riders who are comfortable riding in or near traffic, and serves destinations.

Bicycle network map

As lines on the map become projects and get prioritized, then the project delivery and design process will begin and SDOT will work with surrounding community stakeholders (residents and businesses) and partner agencies to understand priorities for each mode using the corridor(s), review data collection and technical analysis, prepare conceptual design alternatives and, ultimately, a preferred design. A project may be implemented differently than originally envisioned and recommended by the BMP planning process (refer to Chapter 7: Implementation Approach for more information).

Other Important Plan Elements

Programs – Education, encouragement, enforcement, and promotional programs will help people of all ages and abilities realize the full potential of Seattle’s new and proposed bicycle infrastructure. The types of programs help people know how to use our roads safely, no matter what mode you choose to get around. The ideas in the plan will increase the visibility of people who ride bicycles, communicate that all road users are expected to look out for each other, create safer streets, and develop a common understanding of traffic safety.

End-of-trip facilities – Part of making it easier to decide to bicycle is the reassurance that there is someplace safe, convenient, and accessible to leave your bike at the end of a trip. The plan outlines strategies to support development of a range of bicycle parking accommodations for short- and long-term use. Better aligning bicycle parking with the types of destination, trip purpose, and length of stay at destinations is an important component of the plan.

Implementation approach – Creating a bicycle project delivery process ensures that SDOT will be consistent to provide the public with an understanding of how a project will be developed, designed, and implemented. This process includes extensive public engagement, data collection, technical analysis, identification and analysis of alternatives and a preferred design. The process also consists of education about and promotion of the bicycle improvements, ongoing maintenance, and further evaluation of the project and potential evolution of design. A prioritization framework was created to assist SDOT and elected officials with a data-driven process for selecting an equitable and realistic set of prioritized projects to be completed over time. SDOT will be producing a 3-5 year implementation plan so that the community knows when a project may enter into the project delivery process in the near-term in their neighborhood. A planning-level cost estimate was developed based on bicycle facility type – the cost of full build-out of the bicycle facility projects ranges from $390 - $524 million. Performance measures were also created to assess whether the implementation of the plan is meeting its goals over time.


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.