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 working on the discovery phase of the Pedestrian Master Plan update. Click on the green Pedestrian Discovery Phase button below to learn how you can engage in this step of the plan updates.

Green button with pedestrian character, button reads Pedestrian Discovery Phase; clicking this image will take you to the Pedestrian Discovery Phase Engage Bellingham Page.

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.

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 working on the discovery phase of the Pedestrian Master Plan update. Click on the green Pedestrian Discovery Phase button below to learn how you can engage in this step of the plan updates.

Green button with pedestrian character, button reads Pedestrian Discovery Phase; clicking this image will take you to the Pedestrian Discovery Phase Engage Bellingham Page.

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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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Bike lanes and accessible sidewalks should be extended along the entirety of 32nd street as it is a major, straight, flat connector between excellent bike lanes on Old Samish Way, Bill McDonald and Old Fairhaven Parkway. The north end of 32nd street has accommodated hundreds of new bedrooms over the past 4 years and there has been no improvement of infrastructure for bikes and peds. 32nd street is a safe route to school for Sehome, it connects to high usage retail including grocery, hardware, and pharmacy, and it is a designated low-income tract. Improving bike and ped access along 32nd would both meet the goals of the Bike and Ped plan AND it would go a long way to getting people out of their cars to combat climate change. There are similar collector arterials throughout Bellingham (Eldridge, Cornwall) that are not accommodating any new growth, yet they are getting Bike and Ped updates. Please address the areas of our city that are accommodating growth. Addressing 32nd street would be a great step in the right direction.

    Nick Galati asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the public input for improving the pedestrian network.

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    I live part-time in the Magnolia Hills neighborhood. I am elderly and have walking issues, including having to walk with a cane. My doctor and physical therapist want me to walk for my health. Unfortunately, I am limited here because there is no safe crossing out of the neighborhood from Woburn to Old Woburn or in reverse. The traffic here is truly hazardous. Therefore, I pretty much have to use my car to get to a place where I can walk. In my time here, I have observed a number of people trying to cross Woburn/Old Woburn at great hazard. This is an issue on its own, but made much worse by the fact there is a bus stop here and no obvious cross-walk. What I have personally witnessed: Example1: An elderly man with walking issues such as myself. Trying to slowly navigate that crossing is positively scary. Example 2: A woman with an infant in a stroller and two young children, trying to hold on to them all and get safely across the street. It took her six or so minutes to wait on the street until enough cars cleared to venture out. (And even then it isn’t safe and cars come up quickly here and there are curves.) Example 3: Hazards to bike riders—and there are many—who want to get to get to the other side so they can access Whatcom Park. Example 4: Recently there was a funeral for a police chief. Cars were parked all over, requiring many attendees to cross the street to get to the burial site which was adjacent to the street. Yet there is a fancy crosswalk not that far away to the north. However, due to sidewalk issues (there is none and we’d have to walk against traffic in a bike lane!), there are no safe ways to get to that crosswalk from the south. So there are no good alternatives trying to cross a very busy thoroughfare without the city’s intervention.

    M. E. asked 4 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the public input for improving the pedestrian network.

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    It would be helpful if the comment entry field had paragraph breaks enabled.

    Beachskiff asked 4 days ago

    Engage Bellingham is the City's engagement tool purchased from Bang the Table Engagement HQ, we will look into if this is something the City's IT department can enable or if disabled from the software company.

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    My main concerns have been when bike lanes end and funnel me into traffic with cars. This happens pretty frequently if you don't know the best routes through neighborhoods when navigating north-south or east-west. Most of the main areas where this has been a problem for me have been addressed by other commenters. I would like to see more emphasis on traversing through the city in a continuous and easy way. I would also add that Strava Metro or Heatmaps can be used to account for the most commonly used cycling or pedestrian routes. I think it would also be really interesting to include the use of the EPA EJ screening tool to accomodate more vulnerable communities (to pollution, income, etc) who might not have access to better infrastructure to connect them to town.

    Mark Schroeder asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the public input for improving the bicycle network.

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    Traffic calming (speed bumps) when approaching intersections and roundabouts on Cordata Blvd. Lots off pedestrians in the summer coming too the new park, and just out walking, but traffic is moving very fast along Cordata with slightly curved wide roads, and they often don't slow down much, especially for traffic circles, and even worse for just straight intersections where there is only an implied cross walk. That would be another idea, paint cross walks at each significant intersection, I think it at least gives the drivers a heads up that someone might be thinking of crossing there.

    ClimberNW asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the list of public input for improving the pedestrian network.

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    The following principles have been described as critical for a safe transportation system by USDOT Secretary Pete, WSDOT Safety Engineer Milton, and NTSB Chair Homendy (and their agencies). Bellingham has long supported the priority of safety for all, along with these state & federal agencies. I would like to have the updated plans identify & articulate how these principles are incorporated in policy and projects: 1. Death & serious injury are unacceptable. 2. Humans make mistakes – the transportation system can be designed & operated to accommodate human mistakes and injury tolerances – even with error or poor behavior – to avoid death and serious injuries. 3. Humans are vulnerable – people have physical limits for tolerating crash forces; the system accommodates human vulnerabilities 4. Responsibility is shared – All stakeholders (transportation system users and managers, vehicle manufacturers, etc.) must ensure that crashes don’t lead to fatal or serious injuries. 5. Safety is proactive – Identify and mitigate latent risks in the transportation system, rather than waiting for crashes to occur and reacting afterwards. 6. Redundancy is crucial – Reducing risks requires that all parts of the transportation system are strengthened, so that if one part fails, the other parts still protect people.

    Therese asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the list of public input for the plan updates.

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    All existing ROWs should be preserved and new dedications more rigorously required in new developments and redevelopments. For instance, urban village developments should require dedications for public space - easily justified by pedestrian need and convenience. ROW vacations should accommodate only public purposes, not private interests. ROWs not useful for traveled ways due to gradients or connections should be retained for green space, urban forestry - and maybe future flight paths for eVTOLs emerging as urban transport options. We just don't know so should never surrender these dominant rights. The City has a peculiar view of ROWs and should update their Nystrand v. O'Malley policy foundation to include elements from Baxter-WyckoffCo. v. City of Seattle. They need also recognize that ROWs are legally “opened” as soon as any public or publicly approved improvements are placed, and as such technically accessible by the general public. I appreciate their trying to save on maintenance by foisting the responsibility on abutters with their "unimproved" designation, but it's really not a "thing" in law. No-protest LID agreements signed by developers in lieu of meeting minimum street/sidewalk standards should be enforced. This would provide many missing pedestrian links in Happy Valley or wherever else these were allowed - and save the City a bundle in meeting pedestrian goals with improved facilities. We have already waited to long for implementation to go without challenge but waiting longer won't improve the optics. 24th between OFP and Donovan needs sidewalks. A crossing is needed at 24th and OFP. However, Donovan has become an alternate SR11 due to existing OFP pedestrian crossing delays and the traffic signaling scheme approaching the freeway interchange. The traffic actuated light at 30th and OFP is particularly problematic because drivers race down Donovan to actuate this signal, cutting in line ahead of OFP backups which often extend past 24th during peak hours. This exacerbates OFP backups and, in turn, encourages more circumventing traffic on Donovan. Donovan has two school zones on this stretch, so a more comprehensive plan that considers speed reduction on Donovan and traffic management alternatives of OFP is needed. Stop signs on Donovan at 21st and 24th would help. Replacing the signal at 32nd with a traffic circle would effectively manage the on & off ramps and allow the reopening of 32nd without stopping traffic. The signal at 30th should be timed, not traffic actuated, at least during peak hours. The north end of 24th at BMP ends with a stairs. A more accessible alternative should be considered. Already a dangerously eroded foot path indicates this need. The ROW is wide enough to provide wheelchair grades. 30th between Donovan and OFP is a substandard arterial and the Fairhaven bound bus stop a serious vehicle and pedestrian hazard. 32nd has a few assisted living facilities and plenty of apartments. On nice days, several people in wheelchairs can be witnessed idling around on the side with only intermittent sidewalks and no crossing to the east side. The more continuous east sidewalk is almost ubiquitously obstructed with mailboxes, utility poles, garbage cans and cars protruding beyond their driveways. This is an important pedestrian and bicycle connection that desperately needs improvement. A traffic circle with signaled pedestrian crossings should be considered at SR11/Parkridge/Hawthorne/Cowgill. The current signalization creates impatience which endangers school children in transit more than a signalized circle would. Especially in consideration of our aging population, modal separation should be a top priority. Separated bike and pedestrian ROWs should be required whenever/wherever possible. Traffic demand management signs visually indicating ‘cars must yield to ped/bike’ could be helpful for safety in many areas throughout town. A local ordinance with associated fines will help, too.

    Beachskiff asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the list of public input for the plan updates.

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    I ask that the city prioritize the needs of children, including kids learning to be independent pedestrians and cyclists. I also ask that you prioritize the needs of folks of all ages with a variety of abilities. I agree with the suggestion to prioritize network completion for our pedestrian and bike/micro-mobility networks. We can do this by adopting a new project delivery model using quick-build infrastructure instead of focusing on capital projects. Many cities have rapidly expanded networks using quick-build projects which are inexpensive and allow for prototyping. https://nacto.org/.../2016PeoplefoBikes_Quick-Builds-for...

    PBK asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, it will be added to the list of public input for the plan updates.

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    Can we stop traffic using Old Woburn as a thoroughfare to skip the traffic lights on Lakeway/Woburn Street. Cars speed through Old Woburn to get to Lakeway. There is a blind spot which makes it hard to see cars when you exit the housing estate. Cars go far to fast here. It is a potential accident spot for cars exiting the housing estate but it’s also an issue for pedestrians trying to cross into Woburn Street. I’d like to see the access to Lakeway blocked off. Or at least, the 25 mph speed limit enforced. Or a sign suggesting the road is for residents only and not a cut-through to avoid traffic lights.

    J from Wildflower asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment identifying Old Woburn as an area you would like to see slower traffic.

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    Parking on Eldridge is minimal due to the number of vehicle accidents that happen due to speeding, drugs, and alcohol. Please consider traffic calming measures in addition to bike lanes for biker safety.

    KathyK asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for your comment.

Page last updated: 27 Jun 2022, 01:45 PM