Washington Bikes Endorsements: Bellevue Needs Safe Places to Bike and a City Council Who’ll Help Make That Happen

Whoever fills the three council seats will help chart the trajectory of a rapidly changing Bellevue. We need people in leadership who’ll build a Bellevue Bike Network by 2020. Sign up today to help elect these bike champions.

DSC_0053_Courtesy of City of Bellevue

Washington Bikes 2017 Bellevue Endorsements:

Three of Bellevue’s seven council seats will be decided this election. Since Bellevue is a “strong council” city, with no elected Mayor, electing council members who’ll take action to advance safe biking is critical: they collectively hold the key to change.

Over the next four years, the task of city council will be to make sure safe places to bike materialize from funding sources and planning that’s already in place. Most pressing is the reality that much of Bellevue’s street network – especially downtown – is devoid of safe places to bike. Six lane roads with no bike lanes present a future opportunity for bikes, but today are unappealing to even the most experienced, fearless riders.

Until recently, Bellevue’s sole transportation focus was moving cars as efficiently as possible. But thanks to newer voices on the council the tide has started to turn in Bellevue. The city’s 2016 Transportation Neighborhood Safety tax levy was approved by local voters and came with a promise to start building a connected, all ages and abilities, bike network. Turning that funding into concrete protected bike lanes downtown is the next logical step, and bike-friendly voices on council are essential to making that happen in the next couple of years.

Today, wide, multi-lane streets devoid of bike lanes leave little option in downtown Bellevue but to take to the sidewalk or ditch the bike altogether for all but the most fearless of riders. The next city council has the chance to make biking safe and inviting in downtown Bellevue.

Between the Eastside Rail Corridor and SR-520 trail, more people will soon be arriving to Bellevue’s downtown streets on bikes, and that number is only going to increase as more of the Eastside Rail Corridor is built in the next few years. A network of protected bike lanes in downtown Bellevue will get people safely and comfortably from the SR-520, ERC, and I-90 trails to the places they need and want to go.

We’ve endorsed candidates in all three Bellevue city council races who say they’ll work to ensure that there’s more funding for biking in the next city budget, and that they support building a Downtown Basic Bike Network in Bellevue by 2020. If elected, we’ll be holding these candidates accountable and working with them to create a more bike-friendly Bellevue.

It’s not just Bellevue where electing bike-friendly leaders now is essential. In each one of the Eastside communities we’ve endorsed, there are important funding and policy decisions coming up that can make for safer, connected communities by bike.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

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