Council propels revamped ‘Ped-Bike’ plan toward completion

A plan that would bolster alternatives to the high cost of driving by increasing Bellevue’s network of pedestrian and bicycle thoroughfares has moved a step closer to implementation.

A plan that would bolster alternatives to the high cost of driving by increasing Bellevue’s network of pedestrian and bicycle thoroughfares has moved a step closer to implementation.

The council received the Transportation Commission’s recommendations Nov. 4 on the updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan, and directed staff to continue work on Comprehensive Plan amendments based on the update. The city’s Planning Commission is scheduled to review the proposed amendments in coming weeks, and final council approval is expected in early 2009.

The ped-bike plan is consistent with the council’s commitment to a “multi-modal” approach to a transportation system that offers a variety of travel options, including a pedestrian, bicycle and trail network.

The process to update the ped-bike plan, last modified in 1999, began in early 2007, and has involved numerous opportunities for the public to help. In addition to four council presentations on the topic, the Transportation Commission has overseen an outreach effort that reflects strong interest in the update.

Public participation has included six focus groups, 40 public events attracting a total of more than 500 people, and 1,300 responses to an online survey about the ped-bike plan.

Major conclusions drawn from the work: bike and walking corridors need to connect people to where they want to go; new pathways should complement the character of Bellevue; and additional attention is needed to increase awareness among all travelers about sharing the road.

Among other objectives, the ped-bike plan calls for Bellevue in the next 10 years to create at least two integrated, connected north-south and two east-west bicycle routes in the city, reduce accidents with vehicles by 25 percent from 2007 levels, build 25 miles of sidewalks along arterial streets, and increase bike and foot trips by 10 percent above 2007 numbers.

For more information on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Plan update, project documents and maps, visit the Bellevue website at https://www.bellevuewa.gov/pedbikeplan.htm.