Regional Council selects $17M in walk/bike investments

Concept of Overlake Village bridge from Redmond and Sound Transit

Concept of Overlake Village bridge from Redmond and Sound Transit

The Puget Sound Regional Council has announced $17 million in Federal funds for walking and biking investments in the area. Investments include $600,000 for the underfunded Northgate Station bike/walk bridge as well as key trail connections in Lynnwood, Bellevue, Renton, Redmond, Bainbridge and more.

Even more Seattle projects are on the contingency list to receive funding if any approved projects fall through, including the UW’s Hed Ec overpass that badly needs replacing.

Here’s the list from the PSRC:

Tacoma’s Prairie Line Trail — $1,919,372 and the Tacoma 13 Corridor – $95,000

Kirkland’s Park Lane Pedestrian corridor enhancements – $857,479

Seattle’s Canton and Nord Alleys repaving – $851,018 and the Northgate Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge – $600,000

Renton’s Lake Washington Loop Trail – $346,000

Bainbridge’s Sound to Olympics Trail / SR305 Corridor Enhancements, Phase 2 – $1,617,550

Redmond’s  Overlake Village Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge – $5,000,000

Bellevue’s Northup Way Connection to the SR 520 Trail – $2,215,820

Carnation’s SR 203/Tolt Avenue Central Business District improvements – $735,250

King County’s Missing Sidewalks in Skyway – $657,015

Lynnwood’s Interurban Regional Trail – Missing Link – $1,323,450

Sumner Trail-Main Street to Puyallup Street – $228,624

Lakewood’s  112th / 111th – Bridgeport to Kendrick – $156,000

Bonney Lake’s Fennel Creek Trail – Segment 2 – $273,600

Edmonds’ Sunset Avenue Overlook Trail – $90,903

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23 Responses to Regional Council selects $17M in walk/bike investments

  1. Jake says:

    Are there details of these projects available online? In particular, I’m curious what part of the Lake Washington Loop Renton is planning to upgrade.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Not easily accessible. Each is probably worth a post of its own, and I plan to report on the details of many of them in future posts. In the meantime, I figured y’all would like to see the list.

      • Josh says:

        Google makes it easy — search PSRC and your top hits should include the presentation to PSRC seeking funding for the project. e.g., searching for

        PSRC Prairie Line Trail — UWT Campus to Foss Waterfront Segment

        gives you:

        http://www.psrc.org/assets/9945/Tacoma-PrairieLineTrail-WEB.pdf

        PSRC is pretty good about putting these Project Identification summaries on-line.

      • Josh says:

        Oops, that is, Google for

        PSRC [name of project as printed on list]

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Thanks, Josh!

      • Josh says:

        Happy to help. Understanding the Byzantine process that goes into some of these funding decisions can really help explain a lot of what sometimes seems like totally random choices.

        Long before a project gets funding, it needs to be incorporated into long-term plans. The more plans it appears in, and the more detail the planning has, the more likely it is to get the next level of funding.

        When your local advocacy group gets the ball rolling on any conceptual facility, getting politicians interested is really only the first of many steps. A concept can get preliminary design funding. If that goes OK, the preliminary design can qualify for more detailed design. After two or three rounds of design funding, you can start going after right-of-way acquisition or construction funding.

        It can feel like a system stacked against getting anything done, and in a way, it is. It’s a system stacked against the sort of rapid “urban renewal” freeway schemes that devastated so many U.S. cities, against unplanned sprawl and uncoordinated spending.

        It’s a slow, anti-populist, bureaucratic, infuriating system that helps protect us from eight-lane freeways through the Arboretum and new urban-density developments at the end of two-lane highways.

        And it’s the reason picky little details in concept documents like the Bicycle Master Plan really matter — they can drive funding decisions for a decade, even if they’re recognized as being outdated or mistaken.

  2. Charles B says:

    Glad to see continued work on the interurban missing links. These ones are basically low hanging fruit, but its better than no progress of course ;)

    It would be nice if we could do something about the really unpleasant detours in the route further north when you get to the north end of the Mall though…

    • daihard says:

      Agreed. I ride through the missing links between Shoreline and Alderwood Mall pretty often. It would be nice if I could stay on the trail all the way.

  3. Kirk from Ballard says:

    While it is great to see all of these exciting projects, when I read lists like this, I continue to be disappointed that none of them involve the Ballard Bridge. I know this is the Puget Sound Regional Council, but even the City of Seattle lists of projects and additional funding leave out the Ballard Bridge.

    In the spring of 2012, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began an update of the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan (BMP). One of the first steps of the update process was to find out more about how people currently view bicycling and what they would like to see from the plan update. The SDOT used an online survey and mapping tool conducted in May and June of 2012 as part of the plan update, in addition to information from a statistically valid phone survey SDOT conducted in April 2012, and other comments received at outreach events and via email during the spring of 2012.

    The top crossing location barrier was the Ballard Bridge, which was also referenced in numerous comments.

    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/bmp/919Public%20Engagement%20Summary%20Report2.pdf

    And yet there is still nothing planned to remedy the Ballard Bridge.

    • William C. says:

      Perhaps that’s because Sound Transit is even now considering building a new bridge parallel to it for their possible light rail line? Of course, that’s not even going to go to ballot for another two years, but I’d guess that’s why they’re holding off the funding.

    • RossB says:

      William beat me to it. By the way, comment period for the Sound Transit proposal ends today. You can comment by emailing the representative (shown on this page: http://www.soundtransit.org/x7914.xml) or by filling out the online survey. I emailed Ryan Bianchi and told him that I liked the idea of a 70 foot high bridge in Ballard, because it could also serve as a good bicycle and pedestrian bridge. I had other comments as well.

      • Al Dimond says:

        For transit a high bridge is great because it rarely opens. For connecting two hilltop neighborhoods a high bridge is great because it cuts off the grade (e.g. Aurora if you’re going from the zoo to upper Queen Anne). For general local pedestrian and cycling mobility between low-lying places, a bridge that high means a lot of extra climbing for no good reason.

        Along the lines of some things that have been discussed in Fremont, I think a new higher bridge in Ballard ought to have a general vehicle lane in addition to a transit lane and a great bike route, in exchange for losing a vehicle lane in each direction on the existing, lower Ballard Bridge. Then that bridge would have room for bike/ped facilities along the lines of the U Bridge.

    • Kirk from Ballard says:

      I know SoundTransit is considering a new bridge in Ballard, as one of eight options. I don’t really have my hopes too high that it’s going to happen; the other options through Fremont or with a tunnel seem much more viable.

      And still nothing definite is planned to remedy the Ballard Bridge. So much could be done with so little money. It is the number one barrier to cycling as identified in SDOT’s own survey, and not one thing has been done by SDOT to improve it since their poll. Nothing.

      • Michael says:

        Not entirely true. Some work has been done to determine the cost of retrofitting the bridge to better accommodate bikes and peds. One option is to add additional deck space by cantilevering and the price tag is $30 million. That is a relatively small amount of money when compared to building a new bridge. But, as has been stated, a new bridge is being considered, and that is probably why the retrofit option does not have a lot of momentum at this point. In fact, possibly two new bridges. That’s right, if ST’s preferred option does not meet the city’s objectives (e.g. a tunnel does nothing for peds/bikes), the city may consider building its own bridge. One would hope though that the two agencies could come up with something that meets all objectives- a tough nut to crack for sure.

  4. Gary says:

    What is clearly shown is the Bellevue/Redmond preference. $5M for the Overlake crossing, and another $2.2 Million to get from Northup to the 520 trail. That’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend on an area which doesn’t have the density of bicyclists that Seattle/Ballard/Freemont/U-District has. …. On the otherhand, it may spur more riding but I doubt it. Microsoft has a great need for easy access to the campus from the neighborhoods but driving around I don’t see that many riders, or full bike racks at any of the other malls in that area.

    And yes it’s a self fulfilling problem. No access, easy parking for cars, wide roads for driving with no bike lanes and who in their right mind would ride a bike in that area. With the coming Light Rail to Overlake these fixes might help but IMO Sound Transit should be funding this.

  5. Andres Salomon says:

    For quick reference; the Northup Way Connection to the SR 520 Trail is an $11mil project, scheduled to be completed by Dec 31st, 2015. The goal is to connect the existing 520 trail with the newly constructed 520 bridge trail. Thus, one would be able to bike from Montlake/NE Seattle all the way to Redmond entirely on multi-use trails (one can mostly do that now by going up and over the lake, but that adds an extra 20ish miles each way to your commute).

    Seems like a good place to throw some money in my book!

    • Al Dimond says:

      According to City of Bellevue documents I’ve seen, Northup isn’t going to be an MUP, but a bike-lane route. It looks very well designed to me.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        Ah, you’re right! I assumed the MUP part.
        Looks like there will be 5′ bike lanes (hopefully separated from vehicles!) and 6′ sidewalks, a pedestrian bridge, and 4′ planting strips. It also includes rain gardens and porous concrete.

      • Al Dimond says:

        I don’t think there would be a physical barrier between the bike lanes and general traffic lanes along Northup, but there isn’t a ton of traffic on this part of Northup and, most importantly, the intersection designs look good. There will be a connectivity gap between this and the Cross-Kirkland Corridor trail when that’s finished. Hopefully the gap is so obvious that the two cities do something about it… if not I’ll have to find some public meetings on Tuesdays (I’m often in Kirkland on Tuesday) and bother some public officials…

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