Thursday, May 17, 2018

Adventure is out there - join us on May 20 to celebrate the SR 520 Trail!

By Emily Durante

May is one of our favorite months here on the SR 520 Project. The warmer weather signals that at last our long winter is behind us and summer is on the way. This change in season is a great time to explore local and regional pedestrian and bicycle trails, and coincides nicely with May, Bike Everywhere Month. May also plays host to our favorite day of the year – "520 Day" – also known as May 20!

This 520 Day, we're celebrating the SR 520 Trail with an informal ribbon-cutting event. Last December, hundreds of community members gathered to help us open the trail across Lake Washington and take the inaugural trip across the lake. Now that it's warming up outside, we want to officially cut the ribbon to celebrate the trail's "opening" and kick off the summer adventure season.
Some of the inaugural SR 520 Trail users enjoyed a beautiful, if chilly ride on Dec. 20, 2017.

The trail is designed for users of all abilities and types of travel, including by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, skateboard or stroller. Since the trail opened in December 2017, it's quickly become a vital part of our region's bicycle and pedestrian network. Bicyclists and pedestrians have taken more than 110,000 trips on the trail since December. Every day hundreds of people use the trail to commute, exercise or take advantage of outstanding views of Lake Washington and Union Bay.
We hope you're able to join us this Sunday, May 20. We'll have a short ceremony at 11 a.m. to cut a ribbon and "open" the SR 520 Trail. We'll be joined by a few of our community partners, including Cascade Bicycle Club, which has worked with us for more than 20 years to make this trail a reality. After the ceremony, you'll have a chance to cut your very own ribbon and get an SR 520 Trail sticker! As you hang out and enjoy the trail, representatives from our community partners, including the Seattle Running Club, will be on hand to share more about the great work they do. Additionally, SR 520 Program staff will be available to answer questions about the Trail and our ongoing reconstruction project.
The segment of the new SR 520 Trail on the floating bridge opened as an out-and-back excursion in July 2016.

What's next?
In the years to come we'll be extending the SR 520 Trail across Portage Bay and building a new, non-motorized crossing over I-5. We'll improve the connection to the Bill Dawson Trail, and build a new bicycle and pedestrian land bridge over SR 520 that connects the Washington Park Arboretum (and its recently completed Arboretum Loop Trail) to East Montlake Park. Most importantly, we'll continually work to make sure this trail serves the growing number of people choosing non-motorized forms of transportation for generations to come.