Residents on Queen Anne's east side have no doubt noticed the white spray paint checkering Taylor Ave N from Mercer St all the way up the hill to Boston St. Seattle Department of Transportation workers made the preliminary mark-ups to prep for installation of a mile of uphill climbing lane and down hill sharrows.
The climbing lane (essentially a traditional bike lane) will be five feet wide and placed to the left of a seven-foot parking lane. Travel lanes will be narrowed to 10 feet on from 13 feet on the uphill side. The downhill side will have an 11-foot shared lane and seven foot parking lane. The soon-to-be-installed infrastructure on Taylor is coupled with recently installed sharrows on Boston St providing a marked route all the way to the commercial center of upper Queen Anne.
According to SDOT spokesman Rick Sheridan, the project is estimated to cost between $50,000 to $75,000 and should be completed by the end of the week, weather depending.
Taylor Ave is one of the best bicycle route to the top of Queen Anne (for what it's worth, I live in lower Queen Anne and ride on Taylor regularly). It's a big long hill to be sure, but compared to most of the other wall-like options available, Taylor is quite manageable. Unfortunately, it's a wide right-of-way (60-66 feet for two travel and two parking lanes) which allows drivers to drive quite fast. Since bicyclists are riding slowly up the climb, the discomfort of being passed by speeding drivers is exacerbated. Having a dedicated space for slow climbers should help mitigate this problem while also increasing driver's expectations of bicyclists being on the road.