New protected bike path opens in downtown Seattle on Fourth Avenue

The Seattle Department of Transportation announced that the new protected Fourth Avenue bike path through downtown Seattle is now complete and open to bikers.

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The final sections of the two-way bike path connects to the larger Center City Bike network in and around downtown Seattle, with connections to the Uptown, Capitol Hill, and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. The protected bike path runs on the west side of the street along Fourth Avenue, uninterrupted from Vine Street in Belltown to Yesler Way to Pioneer Square. See all the cycle paths on the SDOT card here.

The project, according to SDOT, was made possible by taxes from Levy to Move Seattle.

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A protected cycle path allows bikers to travel safely alongside traffic. It separates riders from moving vehicles and separates signal phases for all users, meaning drivers don’t have to give way to pedestrians and cyclists to turn left.

“This change will help reduce collisions and make the walking, cycling and driving experience more comfortable and predictable,” SDOT says on its blog.

There’s a bike-specific green light with a green bike icon to let bikers know when to go, but SDOT says they should always look both ways before crossing the intersection. Drivers will have a red “no turn” arrow while it is green for bikers.

The new route also creates a north / south option through downtown along the existing Second Avenue bike path to help reach important destinations without hills. Along Fourth Avenue is Westlake Park, the Central Library, City Hall, and other major sites and residential buildings that are now easier to reach by bicycle. Learn more about this new route on SDOT’s project page here.