A new north-south bicycle route through Lacey is expected to open this summer. It won’t have a dedicated bike lane, but will have signs and “sharrows,” which will point cyclists in the right direction.
Sharrows — the image of a bicycle and arrows — will be painted on street surfaces.
The 3-mile route runs between Yelm Highway and Lacey Boulevard. If you’re at the north end of the city and headed south, the route begins shortly after leaving Lacey Boulevard on Judd Street. Judd then flows into a number of different streets before becoming Parkside Drive as it connects with Yelm Highway.
The cost of the project is about $60,000. Thursday’s Lacey City Council discussion about the bike route was part of a transportation committee report given by Mayor Andy Ryder. The council did not vote on the plan, but is expected to in the coming weeks.
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“I look forward to using it this summer with my daughter,” Ryder said.
But will Lacey cyclists accept it?
Cyclists have come in front of the council before, arguing that the city’s planned widening of College Street needs to include bike lanes. City officials have countered that adding lanes is expensive and that cyclists already have a north-south bike route: the Chehalis-Western Trail.
College Street between Lacey Boulevard and 37th Avenue Southeast is set to be widened from 45 feet to 61 feet, including a 3-foot shoulder. The project is expected to cost more than $30 million.
Public Works director Scott Egger has said the city looked at increasing the size of the road shoulder from 3 feet to 5 feet to accommodate bicyclists, but it would have cost an additional $1.7 million: $1.2 million in construction and $500,000 to buy right-of-way property.
The Judd Street idea emerged after cyclists continued to press the city about bike lanes on College Street.