Opinion

Cyclists not the focus of ICW plan

Through the vigorous debate regarding the fate of Island Crest Way, some are suggesting that this proposal is solely or primarily a project benefitting those who travel by bicycle. On behalf of the Cascade Bicycle Club and our more than 300 members on the Island, we feel compelled to point out that this is inaccurate.

While adding facilities such as bicycle lanes may improve conditions for bicycling, it’s important to note that the driving force behind evaluating changes to Island Crest Way is traffic safety. With a high crash and injury rate, the intersection of Merrimount and ICW has drawn attention to the need to reduce traffic accidents on Island Crest.

Regardless of the potential to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, the bicycle community didn’t bring this issue to the table. Our members have consistently asked us to focus the city’s attention on common sense solutions to making the North, West and East Mercer Ways safer and more attractive for users of all types: pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.

Finally, the Cascade Bicycle Club supports evaluating changes to Island Crest not because it’s a high priority bicycle improvement, but because of the overwhelming evidence that such changes make everyone safer — drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Yes, there will be some tradeoffs that will be borne by the residents — and they must ask themselves if the safety improvements are worth it.

David Hiller

Advocacy Director

Cascade Bicycle Club

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