In April, an activist cells of cyclists calling themselves Reasonably Polite Seattleites made a point about how little it would take to make bike lanes safer: all along the city's Cherry Street bike lane under the I-5 freeway they put put reflective pylons for a total cost of $350 and their free labor.
To emphasize their attitude of 'polite' activism, they attached the reflective pylons with adhesive pads rather than epoxy glue, for simple removal.
Then they sent a letter to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), detailing why the pylons were so great: not only did they help slow regular traffic by making the lane appear narrower, they also served as an early warning system for distracted drivers that might be veering too far into the bike lane. Used on busy streets they could also discourage drivers and trucks from the practice of parking in the bike lane.SDOT politely removed the pylons and wrote them a cordial letter back, explaining that the pylons were too high to be totally safe for cyclists, but offering to give them back to Reasonable Polite Seattleites.
Now, according to Streetsblog, the city has installed permanent pylons on that stretch of Cherry. The new pylons are shorter than the originals, and provide a bit more buffer space, Streetsblog said.
Score one for DIY bike activism.