Two cyclists head east along the U.S. 2 trestle path Saturday in Everett. The bike connection from there into downtown could get easier in a couple of years. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Two cyclists head east along the U.S. 2 trestle path Saturday in Everett. The bike connection from there into downtown could get easier in a couple of years. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Everett eyeing $1.35M to expand bike paths east of Broadway

The city could build bike-only paths and sidewalks on Fulton Street between California Street and Pacific Avenue.

Everett thinks it has the missing link for people who want to bike, roll or stroll to and from downtown.

The city is considering a $1.35 million project to design and build bike-only paths, bike signal crossings, and sidewalks on Fulton Street between California Street and Pacific Avenue. The stretch, under half of a mile, would connect Everett’s existing and planned bike lanes on California Street to Everett Station and the U.S. 2 trestle pedestrian path.

“This project fits in well with other nearby non-motorized amenities,” said city engineer Tom Hood last week during a presentation to the Everett City Council.

Initially city staff envisioned the Fulton Street project as being some signs and pavement markings. But Everett got grants that let them “significantly” expand its scope, Hood said.

Most of the project’s money comes from Federal Transportation Alternatives Program and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grants. The city is using $350,000 from its street improvements fund as matching funds, too. The federal dollars have to be obligated by June 2024.

The council is expected to vote on the project Wednesday.

“I’m definitely really supportive of enhancements to our built environment just to protect our bicyclists and our pedestrians,” District 2 Councilmember Paula Rhyne said.

Tyler Rourke, the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee chairperson and a regular bike commuter, said he’s glad to see small projects like this. But he wants a more robust bike and sidewalk network. That would let people more easily and safely get around without a personal vehicle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and congestion, he said.

“Generally the comments are the city should do better,” Rourke said. “We have basically zero protected bike lanes in Everett.”

Highway and street projects in Everett’s six-year transportation improvement program, basically a running wish list, vastly exceed those for biking, pedestrians and transit. Most of the highway projects would be led by the state Department of Transportation.

Fulton Street is one part of a larger plan to better link areas around the bus and train hub at 3201 Smith Ave. Light rail is expected to begin service in that area by 2037.

Everett already has a bike lane signal to cross Broadway at California Street. The city is still figuring out the configuration and route of bike lanes, parking, sidewalks and vehicle lanes east of that intersection.

There were five options presented in a survey that closed in December. Four of the choices separated bike lanes from vehicle traffic with parking, posts or both.

About 15% of the California Street project’s design had been done, Hood said.

Another proposed project is the Wall Street Connector, a bike and pedestrian route between the station and Angel of the Winds Arena on Broadway and Hewitt Avenue.

Sound Transit money would fund improvements to bike lanes and sidewalks along Smith Avenue and Wall Street, Hood said. That path skirts the steep hill of Pacific Avenue and puts people at the doorstep of the arena and within a block or two from shops on Hewitt Avenue or the Snohomish County campus.

The city and Sound Transit need an agreement in place by the end of the year, according to city documents.

North of Everett Avenue, the Fulton bike corridor would move west to Baker Street. Hood said that work will start at 12th Street and progress south.

The U.S. 2 pedestrian path is one of the best cycling accesses to and from parts east of Everett. It’s accessed under Interstate 5 from Hewitt and follows the eastbound trestle on the south side across the river. Then it cuts south to 43rd Avenue SE on Ebey Island. From there, riders can reach Snohomish and the Centennial Trail to Lake Stevens, Marysville and Arlington.

Everett’s working on an I-5 and U.S. 2 interchange study and “pushing heavily” for a non-motorized connection to the California Street bike corridor, Hood said.

The city is updating its comprehensive plan, a 20-year planning document that guides city policies and projects. Part of that could include information for a later update to Everett’s bike master plan, which was last updated in 2017.

Have a question? Call 425-339-3037 or email streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

Clarifications: This story has been modified to include the funding obligation date for the Fulton Street project, locations for work on the Wall Street Connector, and the relationship between the comprehensive plan update and the bike master plan.

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