Westside Non-Motorized Improvements

Project Overview

The Westside Non-Motorized Improvements Project (ES563) will add and improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in 15 locations throughout Bellingham, primarily on the west side of town. The project includes improvements in the following areas:

Parking removal and other safety improvements on Eldridge Avenue were authorized by City Council in October 2022 under the condition that these improvements would be part of a pilot project. City staff will evaluate how successfully this project improves safety for all users by collecting data and public input for approximately one year after project construction. The City is working with a consultant who will collect data on volume, speed, and classification of vehicles, as well as pedestrian and bicyclist volume, before construction and quarterly after construction.

Project improvements may be modified depending on the results of the collected data and public input. Public Works’ staff will report their findings to City Council in late 2024 or early 2025.

Project improvements on Eldridge Avenue include:

  • Parking removal to allow for installation of protected bike lanes. The bike lane improvements are project #13 on the 6-Year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)
    • Bike lanes will be 5’ wide and have a 2’ buffer from the roadway using vertical reflective delineators. 
  • Crossings at four locations (Victor, West, Lafayette, and Nequalicum) will be improved with marked crosswalk, rapid rectangular flashing beacons (RRFB), and ADA curb ramp improvements.
  • Crossings on other side streets will be marked.
  • Planned connecting bike boulevards will be marked with shared lane markings. This includes Lafayette St to Monroe St, all the way to Meridian St. This also includes West St to W North St, which will be a direct route to Squalicum Park.

Project improvements on Cornwall Avenue include:

  • Parking removal to allow for installation of protected bike lanes.
  • A connection between the developing waterfront to the new City Park, Salish Landing (formerly referred to as “Cornwall Beach Park”).
  • Wharf Street will be marked with shared lane markings to connect the new facility to the existing South Bay Trail. 

There are 13 additional locations that will have crossing improvements constructed as part of this project:

  • Cordata Area
    • Cordata Pkwy between Meadow and Sequoia Streets: New mid-block crossing with RRFB.
    • W Horton and Ryzex Way: ADA curb ramp upgrades and new marked crosswalk with RRFB.  This crossing is near the new trail that connects to Cordata Park.
  • Northwest Ave
    • Mid-block crossing near Home Ln: Existing crossing will have RRFB added.
    • Northwest Ave and Victor St: ADA curb ramp upgrades and added RRFB to existing crossing.
  • James St and Sunset Pond Park Mid-Block Crossing: Existing crossing will have a pedestrian refuge and RRFB added.
  • Orleans St and E Illinois: This school zone intersection will have the north crossing marked and RRFB added for both crossings.
  • Dupont St and H St: New marked crosswalk.
  • W Holly St and W Champion St: ADA curb ramp upgrades, curb bulb-outs, and pedestrian refuge added on W Holly St.
  • Boulevard St and E Pine Stairs: Existing marked crossing will have ADA curb ramp installed and RRFB added.
  • Ohio St
    • Ellis Intersection crossings will be improved with RRFBs on both sides. This is a busy crossing for bicycles due to the trail connections. Extra push buttons for bicyclists will be included.
    • Grant Intersection crossings will be improved with RRFBs on both sides. This is also a busy crossing and well-used by bicycles on the marked bicycle boulevard. Extra push buttons for bicyclists will be included.
  • Woburn St Trail Mid-Block Crossing: New mid-block crossing situated between the Whatcom Creek Trail and Whatcom Falls Park Parking Lot. The marked crossing will include a pedestrian refuge and RRFB.
ES563 Westside Non-Motorized Improvements project locations. Please click on the map to open a larger PDF version.

Project Status – May 2023

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • 60% design completed. View project plans.
  • Data collection consultant under contract for Eldridge Pilot Project. The consultant will collect data on volume, speed, and classification of vehicles, as well as pedestrian and bicyclist volume before construction and quarterly after construction begins.

Construction Impacts

Construction is anticipated in August 2023. More information on construction impacts will be provided once a contractor is selected.

More Information

Informational Open House Recording

The City hosted a public open house and Q&A session on Thursday, February 16 about the bike and pedestrian improvements happening in spring 2023 as part of the Parkview Safe Routes to School, West Illinois Multimodal, and Westside Non-Motorized Improvements projects. View a PDF of the presentation slides and a recording of the presentation below.

Engage Bellingham

Visit the Parking Removal for Bike and Pedestrian Upgrades page on Engage Bellingham to learn more about the parking removal projects and ask questions.

  • October 2014 – City Council approves Bellingham Bicycle Master Plan
  • Many of the bicycle infrastructure improvements that are part of this project were originally identified in the Bellingham Bicycle Master Plan.
  • June 2022 – Projects identified in 6-year TIP
  • Many of the multimodal improvements that are part of this project were also identified in the City’s annual 2023-2028 Transportation Improvement Program.
  • October 3, 2022 – Public hearing on parking removal
  • Public hearing at City Council to consider removal of on-street parking to install bike lanes for 2023 non-motorized projects (see Agenda Bill 23465).
  • October 24, 2022 – Project authorized by City Council
  • Project authorized after City Council voted to approve parking removal on both Eldridge and Cornwall on October 24. Watch the discussion (see Agenda Bill 23489).
  • January 2023 – Surveyor under contract
  • Surveyor under contract to complete survey of existing conditions at select locations.
  • February 2023
  • 30% Design complete
  • Request for Proposals (RFP) advertised for Data Collection consultant on the Eldridge Pilot Project
  • February 16, 2023 – City staff hosted a public open house and Q&A session
  • April 2023 – Final data from survey of existing site conditions received
  • This data informs the 60% Design and project construction.
  • May 2023
  • 60% Design complete
  • 100% Design to be completed and construction contract to go to bid
  • August 2023 (tentative) – Construction expected to begin
  • November 2023 (tentative) – Construction expected to end
  • June 2023 – December 2024 – Evaluation of Eldridge Avenue Pilot Project
  • Safety data will be collected before project construction and quarterly after project construction for one year. This data, along with public input, will be used to evaluate the success of the pilot project and identify if modifications are needed. In late 2024/early 2025, City staff will present their findings to Council.

These improvements are funded by City Street funds and the voter-approved Bellingham Transportation Fund.


Jessica Bennett, Project Engineer
Phone: (360) 778-7923
Email: jjbennett@cob.org

Participating Departments

Affected Neighborhoods

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