Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Section of Burke-Gilman trail to temporarily close for safety

By Kris Olsen

The planned closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood on Monday, July 11 is postponed. WSDOT will work with the bicycle community, the City of Seattle and others on next steps to provide passage for bikers and pedestrians near the Aurora Bridge work zone.

Cyclist who use the Burke-Gilman Trail to commute to work, visit Golden Gardens or grab a tasty treat along the route will have a slight detour for the next few months. A short section of the trail in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood will be closed for safety reasons as crews continue their preservation work on the Aurora Avenue Bridge. It should reopen by Oct. 31.

Why is the closure necessary?
Cleaning and repainting the historic Aurora Avenue/George Washington Memorial Bridge requires some big equipment that must be located close to the bridge. The area immediately west of the Lake Washington Rowing Club is the only suitable location to place this equipment. It wouldn't be safe to have trail users trying to negotiate their way through the area so it was agreed that to keep trail users safe, that section should be blocked off.

Users of the Burke-Gilman Trail will need to use a detour to get around a short
section of the trail that will be closed due to safety this summer.

We recognize that this is a busy time of year on this trail for regular and seasonal cyclists. The timing of the closure is driven by the progress made on the project. We appreciate trail users planning ahead and being patient during this work. Preservation of this iconic bridge is critical to ensure that it remains safe for years to come for all those who use it and the people who live, work and play below it.

Closure details
The trail will be closed from the crosswalk immediately west of the Lake Washington Rowing Club to the west end of the office building at 1000 North Northlake Way.

This short section of the Burke-Gilman Trail under the Aurora Bridge will be closed
until about late October while the bridge painting project is overhead.

  • The trail will begin closing at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 11.
  • The small U-Park immediately west of the rowing club will be closed.
  • The crosswalk on North Northlake Way will remain open.

Cyclists and pedestrians will follow a signed detour that runs east-west on North 34th Street between Phinney Avenue North and Stone Way North. There are also numerous routes between North 34th Street and the trail that cyclists and pedestrians can use. We encourage everyone to use caution on these alternate routes.

Trail will be open for special events
Our contractor will move the equipment to ensure the trail is open for designated special events, such as the Lake Union 10K in August. WSDOT and the contractor are working closely with the City of Seattle to continue to identify events in the area that need to use the trail.


Jeff G. said...

By moving all bike traffic to 34th, does this also mean that the building being constructed at on 34th just east of Fremont ave will no longer regularly close off the westbound sidewalk and bike lane during the day, requiring pedestrians to cross to the other side of the street and bikes to merge into traffic. This construction already makes 34th less safe for bikes and pedestrians and is not a suitable option for those with kids or more casual bikers.

Also, please evalute the parking at the intersection of Fremont Ave and 34th. The westbound right turn lane only has markings for cars to cross the bike lane directly into a parking spot. In reality, they have to cross further up the street and the lane only holds about 2 cars. The bike lane is regularly blocked by cars trying to get into the right turn lane. A simple solution is to remove 1-2 parking spots in that lane and not allow trucks to use that lane as a loading zone.

DAD said...

Detouring to 34th is not an option. As Jeff G has pointed out, construction closes the bike lane and sidewalk for most of the day. Drivers abuse the cyclists who are forced into the drive lane. The drive lane is often backed up for two blocks west bound. The sidewalk on the south side of 34th is narrow and totally inadequate.

Dan Becker said...

Thank you for listening to feedback and not putting people in danger by implementing a bad idea.

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