Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Updates

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Two cyclist in green bike lane as they approach road intersection with red car waiting.

Getting where we need to go is one of the most important parts of our lives. Whether it's getting to work, school, doctor’s appointments, or recreating, running errands, or for emergencies - we depend on safe and reliable transportation options to move from place to place. Pedestrian and bicycle networks provide options to commute safely and efficiently via biking or walking; the City identifies and prioritizes improvements to these networks through the Pedestrian Master Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan.

Current engagement opportunities

We are currently accepting feedback on the draft Pedestrian Plan Update, including the story map which contains draft plan updates. Click the image below to learn more about the Pedestrian Plan Development Phase.

Box states Pedestrian Discovery Phase. Down arrow. Box contains Pedestrian Discovery Phase with click here icon. Down arrow. Box contains Bicycle Discovery Phase. Down arrow. Box contains Bicycle Plan Development Phase. Down arrow. Box contains stakeholder review.

Why update the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans?

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans are each city-wide plans that identify future projects to create a more walkable and ridable community. The Pedestrian Master Plan was adopted in 2012 and the Bicycle Master Plan in 2014. Since they were adopted, many projects identified in these master plans have been completed while the city has grown and the needs of the community have changed. The updates will continue the work to advance safe, connected walking and biking networks and supportive programs that encourage active transportation in Bellingham.

  • The Pedestrian Master Plan Update will focus on integrating the ADA Transition Plan and further refining the project list, priorities and design toolbox to better reflect the City’s available resources and needs.
  • The Bicycle Master Plan Update will focus on completing bike network connections, evaluating options for more challenging connections and developing a prioritized list of projects.

Both plans will identify and prioritize needs in Bellingham’s Urban Growth Areas and consider the network value and feasibility of integrating unimproved rights-of-way. Public engagement is an integral part of both plan updates and will be used to inform projects, programs and priorities for further building out Bellingham’s pedestrian and bicycle networks for people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently walk, bike and roll.

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Getting where we need to go is one of the most important parts of our lives. Whether it's getting to work, school, doctor’s appointments, or recreating, running errands, or for emergencies - we depend on safe and reliable transportation options to move from place to place. Pedestrian and bicycle networks provide options to commute safely and efficiently via biking or walking; the City identifies and prioritizes improvements to these networks through the Pedestrian Master Plan and the Bicycle Master Plan.

Current engagement opportunities

We are currently accepting feedback on the draft Pedestrian Plan Update, including the story map which contains draft plan updates. Click the image below to learn more about the Pedestrian Plan Development Phase.

Box states Pedestrian Discovery Phase. Down arrow. Box contains Pedestrian Discovery Phase with click here icon. Down arrow. Box contains Bicycle Discovery Phase. Down arrow. Box contains Bicycle Plan Development Phase. Down arrow. Box contains stakeholder review.

Why update the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans?

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans are each city-wide plans that identify future projects to create a more walkable and ridable community. The Pedestrian Master Plan was adopted in 2012 and the Bicycle Master Plan in 2014. Since they were adopted, many projects identified in these master plans have been completed while the city has grown and the needs of the community have changed. The updates will continue the work to advance safe, connected walking and biking networks and supportive programs that encourage active transportation in Bellingham.

  • The Pedestrian Master Plan Update will focus on integrating the ADA Transition Plan and further refining the project list, priorities and design toolbox to better reflect the City’s available resources and needs.
  • The Bicycle Master Plan Update will focus on completing bike network connections, evaluating options for more challenging connections and developing a prioritized list of projects.

Both plans will identify and prioritize needs in Bellingham’s Urban Growth Areas and consider the network value and feasibility of integrating unimproved rights-of-way. Public engagement is an integral part of both plan updates and will be used to inform projects, programs and priorities for further building out Bellingham’s pedestrian and bicycle networks for people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently walk, bike and roll.

Sign up for project notifications

Stay in the know! Sign up to receive project notifications on progress and upcoming public engagement opportunities and events.

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    I want to question the foundation of your improvement processes. I don't mean to be harsh, I just want to know what your template is. What I hope to see is urban design that's not centered around the mobility of cars, which is usually counter to urban planning in most American cities. An example of which would be a typical crosswalk with flashing lights. Lights do not slow down cars. A crosswalk that is raised to the level of the side walk provides a physical incentive for drivers to slow down. Some texture on the road a few dozen feet ahead would help alert drivers. But my question is this: Do you have a plan to increase the availability of public transit alongside these plans for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure? What use is the infrastructure, after all, if previous locals who were priced out of town have to drive back in from Ferndale or Lynden or elsewhere?

    Case Atwater asked 7 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. The City works closely with Whatcom Transportation Authority, however increase in service is ultimately up to WTA.

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    Have you considered lowering speed limits throughout the city as recommended by Walk and Roll? 20 is plenty!

    JHR asked 2 days ago

    Thank you for your question. Policy 1.6 in the Draft Policy and Program Recommendations states:

    Address safety issues associated with vehicle speed. Use best practice methods to conduct speed studies and crash analyses on arterials already posted at 25 mph to determine extent to which drivers are exceeding the posted speed and where speed management strategies should be prioritized. Conduct speed studies on arterials with posted speeds 30 mph or greater to determine corridors suitable for a reduction in posted speed and the degree to which speed management strategies need to be deployed. Explore a reduction in prima facie speed limit for residential streets from 25 mph to 20 mph.

    The Bellingham Pedestrian Master Plan Draft Updates story map has an embedded survey to provide feedback on policy and program recommendations.

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    Where can I find the recording of the Pedestrian Open House?

    Robin asked 3 days ago

    Thank you for your question. The recording of the Pedestrian Master Plan update open house is posted on the Engage Bellingham project page. You can also access the recording from this link.

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    I had a disturbing interaction at my daughter's birthday party with a longtime county resident who worked for twenty years at the sheriff's department. While talking about why I was getting engaged in the master planning process, I expressed my fear of dying while biking on busy thoroughfares at the city/county interface, especially the Mt Baker Highway or North Shore Road. I was shocked when she told me that within the sheriff's department they normally referred to cyclists as organ donors. Now, every time a car or truck accelerates aggressively past me on a county road, blind curve or double yellow, that conversation rings in my ear. As we start to work toward the county bike plan and making the interface between the city and county safer for bikes, is there any way to start evaluating the attitudes and anti-bike biases within county departments or introducing sensitivity training so that we are at least starting from a baseline that preventing death and serious injury for cyclists is a values baseline within the county departments? My daughter growing up without a dad shouldn't be a risk I have to calculate each time I choose to bike or commute on county roads and ensuring that there is agreement on cyclists right to the road without fear seems to be a foundational place to start before we can accomplish any substantial steps forward at the city/county margins. I know the city prides itself as pro-bike, but as the planning becomes more regional it seems we need to actively shift the thinking more broadly in our wider community.

    Dan K asked 3 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. You may be interested in the Protecting Mobility for All program which focuses on road safety.

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    I attended the pedestrian master plan powerpoint meeting last week and am interested in following up at the "office hours" this week. My question is I've seen no information come through on how to access those office hours....will you please follow up and notify folks who attended of the Zoom links and/or how to schedule to meet remotely or in person during those office hours? -Thanks

    Dan K asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your question, the City event page will have the zoom link for the office hours:

    December 7 noon to 1 p.m.

    December 7 4 to 5 p.m.

    We do not have email addresses for all those who attended but have sent information regarding the office hours to those who have signed up for project update emails. If you are not already receiving project updates via email, you can sign up here.

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    Hello, many residents, including children, cross Woburn at the Old Woburn intersection when walking/running and it would be much safer to add a crosswalk/signal or something similar. Please consider upping the priority from 3rd tier. Thank you!

    Steve L asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. We storngly suggest you also submit this request for upping the priority of this project in the embedded survey within the story map.

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    In reviewing the bicycle proposed projects, I see the area I’m concerned with, Lakeway from Queen westward, has no plan. I ride from my home into town a lot and this scares the heck out of me. The marked bike area ends abruptly with no warning for cars, and many turn right onto Puget. Since there are often pedestrians on the sidewalk here, that’s not an option. What is status on the further evaluation of this area?

    Nancy E asked 7 days ago

    The 2014 Bicycle Master Plan classifies Lakeway Drive as “Further Study Needed” and Lakeway Drive has been the subject of two in-depth multi-agency transportation studies examining possible sidewalk, crossing, and bikeway improvements, as follows:

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    At the very least a crosswalk is desperately needed at Telegraph and James St, since the apartments were built. I often see school children as well as adults trying to cross James at Telegraph by hurrying between oncoming cars. This corner is just another accident waiting to happen! Actually, the corner really needs a traffic light.

    LMD asked 6 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. James Street will undergo multiple projects in the next few years; some as soon as Summer 2023. These projects include improving the James/Telegraph intersection and James/Bakerview intersection. You can learn more about timing and funding in the 6-year TIP.

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    The bike lane on State Street is dangerous as it allows bikes to pass on the right. This is in direct violation of the rules of the road which vehicles must follow. Not being aware that bikes follow different rules I almost hit a bike passing on my right as I was making a right turn onto Holly Street. The bike was not visible in my mirrors of my work truck. A solution is to dash the bike lane marker just prior to the intersections allowing vehicles to enter the bike lane prior to turning right. This would help avoid unnecessary collisions which vehicles usually win. I am not anti-bike, I grew up riding in Seattle and taking family rides as far as Vashion Island and Kingston.

    Deb asked 7 days ago

    Thank you for your suggestion on improving bike lanes. It will be added to the list of public input for the Bicycle Master Plan Update.

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    Hello, It doesn't appear to be on the plan as far as I can tell, but I'd like to strongly suggest adding flashing lights to the cross walk at Halleck/F st by Whatcom Middle school. This intersection is dangerous, with cars blowing through the crosswalk, likely in part due to inattention, but also due to low visibility due to street parking on that block. I think flashing crosswalk would be a significant safety feature for the students and staff accessing the school and grounds. Thank you.

    Shannon1 asked 22 days ago

    Thank you for your comment. In the draft Pedestrian Master Plan updates, the intersection of Halleck Street and F street is identified to receive ADA curb ramps, marked crosswalks and RRFB (rectangular rapid flashing beacon). You can view this recommendation, along with all the other draft recommendations in this story map or the draft crossing and segment recommendations document.

Page last updated: 02 Dec 2022, 10:09 AM