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Creating and Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan: The Seattle Experience

Date: Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The class starts promptly at 8:30 and ends at 4:30.

Seattle Westin Hotel

Limit: Registration for this workshop is closed. This workshop is full.

Join Peter Lagerwey of the Seattle Pedestrian and Bicycle Program plus a cadre of experienced instructors as they discuss how to go about creating and implementing a bicycle master plan in your community.

Workshop instructors include: Jennifer Toole & Bill Schultheiss, Toole Design Group; Chuck Ayres and David Hiller, Cascade Bicycle Club; Bob Schneider, graduate student at U.of C. Berkeley; and Bill Hunter P.E. University of North Carolina’s Highway Safety Research Center.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the process for developing a successful bicycle master plan
  • Learn strategies to create stakeholder buy-in
  • Identify what should be included in a bicycle master plan
  • Learn creative design solutions for urban streets
  • Discuss strategies for implementation and evaluation
  • Visit and experience the latest in new facilities

The morning session will feature presentations with interactive discussions. The afternoon session will include a field trip to look at specific design concepts and implementation strategies.


8:00 – 8:30        Sign In
8:30 – 9:00        Welcome and Introductions

9:00 – 9:40        Session I:  Bicycle Master Plans – Approaches Tailored to Different Cities/Towns. Why the Perfect Approach for One City may not be the Perfect Approach for Another

This session will discuss different types and methods for doing bicycle master plans.  Although there are often similar elements of bike plans, the perfect approach for one city or town might not be the perfect approach for another.  This session will describe different approaches that have been used for cities and towns that are in various stages of implementation (starting from scratch versus already have miles of bicycle facilities), and have various opportunities and constraints (both policy-wise, as well as within their existing infrastructure).  Examples will be drawn from multiple bicycle master plans from throughout the U.S. Also, many cities combine their bike and pedestrian plans; this session will explain the special challenges presented by this type of planning, and will provide strategies for ensuring success in these types of plans.

9:40 – 11:00      Session II:  Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan – The Secrets of Our Success. 50 miles of New Bike Lanes, Climbing Lanes and Sharrows in 460 Days

This session will provide an overview of Seattle's very successful Bicycle Master Plan, and more specifically explain how the City was able to move straight from planning into project implementation. This session will explain how the detailed physical network plan was prepared, which included a detailed analysis of Seattle’s entire street network, and resulted in an extensive GIS database that identifies the recommended type of bikeway, the proposed cross section, and the phasing of every street in the bicycle network.  This session will also explain how the City was able to build a coalition of support for the recommendations of the Plan among advocates, staff and elected officials (as well as how to successfully pull off large public meetings with hundreds of attendees).   Finally, this session will address some of the hurdles that had to be overcome, including issues such as bicycle access on truck routes, limited right-of-way widths, trade-offs on streets with heavy vehicular and/or transit volumes, and many other issues.  Handouts will include information on costs, timelines, media articles, public meeting announcements, scope, goals and prioritization criteria.

11:00 – 11:15     Break

11:15 – 12:30     Session III:  Seattle’s Growing Bicycle Network – Creative Design Solutions for Urban Streets.

This session will explain the process by which design solutions were developed for Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan, and will focus specifically on the “more vexing” situations that exist in every city – solutions for places with limited street width, solutions that capitalize on additional roadway space, and analysis that is necessary in order to implement these design solutions.   Addressed will be shared lane marking placement in different roadway cross sections, climbing lanes, and Seattle’s unique public outreach program that has enabled the City to install new on-street bikeways with a minimum of opposition from adjacent landowners.  This session will also discuss the City’s approach to the “dooring issue” for bikeways on streets with heavy parking turnover.  Handouts will include specifications for new wayfinding, warning and regulatory signs, sharrows and green bike lanes; sample channelization plans that incorporate road and lane diets; door ‘hangtags’ used for public outreach; and the forms and results of recent counts measuring success of plan.

12:30 – 1:30      Lunch

1:30 – 4:30        Session IV:  Field Trip

This session is a follow-on to the previous session, and will be a narrated tour using Metro vans to view facilities described in the previous session.  Locations to visit include: bike lanes – road and lane diets; climbing lanes; sharrows; signed routes using new MUTCD signing;  downtown bike/transit shared lanes; green bike lanes; door zone warning sign; trail intersections – design and signs; and a bicycle boulevard.

If your community is contemplating a bicycle master plan, you should not miss this informative session. Note that space is limited in this workshop, and that you must pre-register using the form below.

Registration for this workshop is closed. This workshop is full.

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