[Day 7 errand-less workout, Day 8 off]
After a few days away from running errands, I’m back. I started with yet another pass by the 520 trail crossing of NE 40th St. Yesterday (March 12th), I arrived by bike to find the crossing just flat-out closed. The only options were to hop the plants and curb around the construction and kind of near the crosswalk or to head down the sidewalk. At the next intersection, there isn’t even a crosswalk to support getting back to the 520 trail, so it’s either 3 crosswalks or some kind of crosswalk to vehicle transition. Or keep going and take roads. None of these are real alternatives. If people are to depend on protected infrastructure, then it’s got to be something like this: convert the southern-most lane of 51st into a protected route to 150th and convert a lane down it as well. Or find a way to support the trail crossing at all stages of construction.
Today I was pleasantly surprised to see the trail back open. However, curb openings were in the wrong places for crossing, so part of the road was closed to support walking/biking back to the crosswalk. On the south side, this meant the right turn lane was closed and the 3 lane wide on-ramp was reduced to 2 lanes, which provided enough space for the 2 lanes of traffic that use it. (Shortly after the entrance it widens to 3 and 4 lanes for the HOV lane and bus stop, but none of the directions feed the on-ramp with 3 lanes.) While crossing 6 lanes of 40th is still a lot, the sharper turns due to the closures made for a remarkable difference from 8 higher-speed lanes, both on foot and then on my return commute by bike.
Next I ran to the Uwajimaya in Bellevue. Yes, unfortunately it’s in Bellevue and designed for cars, so driving would be miserable and biking dangerous. In fact, not only is it near NE 8th St., but 120th Ave. NE is much worse than it used to be due to widening which probably now qualifies it as a stroad:
They did provide a bike lane, but as it approaches 8th, poof:
which is the same mistake that is being made in the 116th rechannelization. Of course, this area would need significant changes to the intersection at 8th (and 8th itself), and without those, there probably aren’t any options.
Back to the errands: I had crossed 8th a bit to the east where it’s a little calmer and looped around to approach from the south. This wasn’t too bad (on foot). Crossing the parking lot was ok. And then I had my soy sauce. Coming back out of the parking lot, I noticed the Big Apple Bagels and picked up a chocolate muffin. As with a previous trip, I probably wouldn’t have made this stop by car since I wouldn’t have noticed it until I had given up my parking spot. Sadly, the run with all of these goods was only a block as I picked up a bus ride to complete the trip. But, the obligatory “after-transport” photo:
The intersection with 8th was also under construction, and it was done well:
In the end, running to the store and busing away worked quite well for this one.