I haven’t commuted by bike in quite some time, but I’m taking a few days off from running so I gave it another try. And what a terrible experience it was.
Overlake Transit Center is a complete joke right now. All pedestrian and bicycle traffic going between 156th Ave (i.e., most of Microsoft) and the 520 trail (including a very busy bus stop) has apparently been funneled into the small sidewalk on the south side of 40th that has been made narrower by a Sound Transit construction fence sticking into the middle of it. It wasn’t comfortable to ride alone in the middle of the day, and it’s a downright disaster during busy times. And apparently my waiting behind someone walking wasn’t acceptable to the workout warrior behind me who had to blast past us both through the grass median.
The 520 trail crossings at 51st and 40th are just as bad as ever, but I lucked out and no one tried to kill me yesterday.
The trail itself, however, is quite a mess. It’s still unlit in most places except for the headlights from 520 that blind you, but it doesn’t matter anyway because any obstructions on the ground are covered by leaves everywhere anyway. The plentiful bumps are rather unpleasant.
Somehow the sharrows near Ben Rush Elementary still work. (Well, it’s not the sharrows. You can get lucky and have the street to yourself.)
Old Redmond Road is still the mess it’s always been. No one likes riding right next to fast moving traffic, and that’s why you pretty much only see spandex in the bike lane. And if you don’t cross an intersection fast enough for that spandex, you’ll get passed and cut off, which is doubly annoying when you’re then waiting behind that spandex all the way up the hill. Thanks.
And when it’s finally time to turn left off of Old Redmond Road, then you get to play with cars in two lanes. Or you can make a two stage left and wait for the light twice.
Redmond, Sound Transit, and those two bicyclists have made driving a better choice than biking.