With the opening of the W Thomas St overpass last week, it’s time to look at the progress of some other projects around town that will affect people biking.
Above is the main structure of the UW Station biking and walking bridge over Montlake Boulevard. Once completed, the bridge will connect from the east sidewalk of the Montlake Bridge and UW Station to the Burke-Gilman Trail.
The bridge will not be open for several more years, though, as there is much work to be done in the Montlake Triangle, including burying Pacific Place and building new trail connections on the UW side. Here’s a concept image of the final project:
Short Linden Ave cycle track section opens
It’s only a block long, but the first section of cycle track on Linden Ave gives you a taste of what is to come for the Interurban North cycle route between the Shoreline border and Seattle’s Interurban Trail segment between Bitter Lake and Greenwood.
Construction on the project is moving forward, though there are still sections they have not begun working on yet. The project is scheduled for completion in spring of 2013.
Sneak peak at the Yesler Way “bike sneak”
What is a “bike sneak” you ask? Good question! From what I can tell, it’s a unique solution devised to help make sure people biking cross the streetcar tracks at a safe angle. It might be hard to tell in the image above, but I was standing in the future bike lane when I shot it. So essentially, the bike lane will feed you up this curb for a couple feet, then let you back down to street level where the cone is on the far side. Paint will direct you across the tracks at a safe angle so you can carry on up Yesler.
It is certainly unusual, and I am eager to see if people use it properly once it is in action. If people choose to stay on the street level, the tracks will be at a very dangerous angle, so proper and obvious guides are likely going to be important to teach people to use it.
In fact, I have started receiving notes from people who are concerned about these tracks posing safety hazards to people biking. I hear at least one person has crashed already. The city should expedite painting and signing the bike sneak to prevent any more injuries now that the majority of construction on this corner (14th and Yesler) is complete.
Here’s a letter from reader Peter:
New light rail extension has tracks turning off yesler ave in a sweeping arc southbound on 14th ave. Essentially cutting off bike travel going eastbound up Yesler ave by presenting a deep grove along side each rail that cannot be crossed safely. One bike has been damaged and was locked up on the sign post, eventually a white bicycle is going to be chained up there as well when the streets get dark and wet.
Also, as I rode around the area last night, I realized that there is likely a need to a bike box on northbound 14th Ave at Yesler. If I am headed east on Yesler and want to make a left onto 14th, there is no clear way to do so currently. Plans do not seem to include a bike box, at least as of this previous post.