Seattle officials believe that adding bicycle greenways to side streets throughout the city could be key in encouraging cycling and preventing bike accidents.

Bicycle Greenways and Reducing Seattle Cyclist Accident Injury Rates

This week we covered the story of Proposition 1 in Seattle: a controversial proposal that would instate a $60 car-tab tax and raise an estimated $200 million in transportation funds. A significant portion of this money would be used to create new bicycle parking spaces and hundreds of miles of bicycle lanes through the Seattle area, including several new greenways.


But what is a bicycle greenway, and how could building greenways in Seattle help reduce the number of car-bicycle collisions, bicycle accident injuries, and bicycle accident fatalities?


A greenway is a multi-purpose path dedicated to urban travel and landscaped vegetation. In many cases, greenways are renovated from traditional city streets that may lack green spaces or safe commuting options for bikers and those on foot. Greenways take priority away from motorized vehicles by adding narrow segments of road, adding speed bumps, adding roundabouts, and narrowing lanes by adding greenery. Greenways also allow cyclists to use low-traffic residential streets to ride and commute, taking them off larger, busier roads that can result in high-speed crashes, serious injuries, and fatal accidents.


Seattle officials hope that building bicycle greenways on side streets throughout the city will result in several improvements for residents:


  • Cyclists who feel uncomfortable biking on major roadways will have alternative routes to travel.

  • The number of overall bike-car collisions and serious cyclist injuries should drop.

  • Trees, shrubs, and other landscaping with improve the look and feel of affected streets.

  • Pedestrians will also benefit from these alternate routes.

  • Greenways will further prevent speeding on residential streets.


Of course, some residents and officials are against adding bicycle greenways to Seattle's transportation improvement plan, citing that other projects such as bridge repair and new sidewalks should be top priorities.


Have you been injured in a Seattle bicycle accident? Speak to a Washington State personal injury lawyer today about your case to learn about your options for legal action.