The Ship Canal Trail extension to Fisherman’s Terminal is ready for its grand opening, scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, November 19.
The extension should finally create a comfortable and safe way to walk or bike under the south end of the Ballard Bridge. The horrendous interchange at 15th Ave and the Ballard Bridge has long been one of the biggest problem spots for walking and biking (but especially biking, unless you like carrying your bike up and down stairways).
This trail extension does not fix every problem, but it will connect Magnolia and the core of the Seattle bicycle network (Dexter Ave and the Burke-Gilman Trail) in a way that has been dangerously lacking for decades. For many people, this means no more biking on shoulder-less cloverleaf interchange with dangerous roadway expansion gaps that can grab your wheel. For others, this may mean they finally have a route comfortable enough to give biking or walking a try.
Phase II of the Ship Canal Trail is wrapping up with a grand opening planned for Saturday, November 19, at 11 a.m. The event will take place on the grassy area south of and below W Emerson Street Bridge … where it intersects with 16th Avenue W.
This final phase of the Ship Canal Trail completes the connection from the Elliott Bay Trail and the Interbay and Magnolia neighborhoods to bicycle routes at the Fremont Bridge, including the Interurban route on Fremont Avenue North, the Burke-Gilman Trail, and the Dexter Avenue route.
Completion of this trail makes bike riding in the south canal area more comfortable for all levels of bicyclists and offers increased safety where cyclists and heavy industrial traffic have long shared traveling space.
Safety improvements include fencing all along the trail and a new railroad crossing signal installed by Burlington Northern Santa Fe along with switchbacks on either side to ensure cyclists slow down before approaching active tracks.
Also, Totcycle is organizing a Kidical Mass ride from Ballard to the Ship Canal Trail opening. It conflicts with Cranksgiving, but is a great option for those looking for a shorter ride or are trying to avoid turning their kids into “totsicles.”
Let’s meet at the Ballard Library at 10am, ride through the Locks, and through Fisherman’s Terminal to the 11am opening ceremony. There will be a short stretch of on-road action between the Locks and Terminal. We can do it.
Then we’ll ride this scenic (in an industrial then canal sort of way) trail, and pop over the Fremont Bridge for a lunch at Fremont Brewing. We’ll bring hot cider to warm folks up. Fremont Brewing is BYO food, and quite kid friendly. You can pack a picnic, but there is adjacent teriyaki, and nearby sweet and savory PIE.
Then anyone who likes can ride back to Ballard with us on the Burke Gilman Trail. This ride will be a great chance to show off your “how I keep the kids warm/dry” tricks for winter! We’ve got a MEC Newt Suit a la FamilyRide clan that we’re liking for the wet. And contemplating hot-water bottle with waterproof-on-one-side picnic blanket for the cold.
If you don’t have kids with you that day, or live in a Capitol Hill/South Seattle direction, may I suggest an alternate event? Because Cranksgiving 2011 bike ride/food drive happens to be on the same day (sorry Tom!). We really enjoyed it last year, but my kids were more totsicle than totcycle by the end of it, so I don’t think we’ll make it such a big loop with snow in the forecast. But you should.