Avoid 10th Ave E Sat and Sun, the Ballard Bridge until the end of September

Looking north towards the bridge over SR 520. Those potholes are particularly mean.

I can’t wait until this project is done. Repaving this section of 10th Ave E was way overdue. I finally decided to stop taking 10th after I trued my front wheel, went for a ride up Cap Hill and back to North Seattle, and it was wobbly again.

The route down Roy to Lake View Dr is very pretty (though Roy is not exactly pothole-free). Those of you who do this trip often, what is your favorite route from Broadway to the University Bridge?

Here’s the press release. Basically, go a different route this weekend or deal with some headache.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and its contractor will work on street improvements on 10th Avenue E this weekend, August 14 and 15.

Starting Saturday, crews will remove and replace the existing pavement on the west side of 10th Avenue East between the SR 520 overpass and approximately 400 feet south of East Miller Street. Planned work hours are from 7 a.m. on Saturday, during the night on Saturday, and on Sunday morning before noon.

10th Avenue East will be closed to northbound through traffic, except transit, between East Boston Street and East Roanoke Street. One southbound lane will remain open. The street will be open to local traffic. Northbound through traffic will be detoured on East Roy Street to Belmont Avenue East, to Lakeview Boulevard East, to Boylston Avenue East, and then to East Roanoke Street.

East Miller Street will be closed to through traffic at 10th Avenue East between Broadway Avenue East and Federal Avenue East. Westbound traffic will be required to turn left (south) at 10th Avenue East. No through eastbound traffic will be allowed between Broadway Avenue East and 10th Avenue East. Local vehicle access will be maintained.

The Ballard Bridge

It goes without saying that I don’t like riding on the Ballard Bridge. But riding all the way to Fremont is not likely to offer a good alternative to a lot of people (especially after the Locks close at night). Well, be ready to deal with even more squished and crowded sidewalks across the bridge for the next month (or more). From SDOT:

A contractor working for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) started this week cleaning and painting the handrails on the sidewalks along the Ballard Bridge approaches (the raised roadways at each end of the bridge).

The sidewalk on the east side of the bridge is now closed through August 30th.  On August 31, or shortly thereafter, the sidewalk on the west side will close for three weeks.  The sidewalks will be closed around the clock, Monday through Friday, and will reopen for weekends.

The public stairway is partially closed.  Access to the west sidewalk is open, but access to the east sidewalk is closed. This situation will reverse when the contractor moves the handrail painting to the west side of the bridge.

Detour signs direct pedestrians to the side not being painted.

Bicyclists are encouraged to use one of the alternate detour routes being provided; either the Ballard Locks or the Fremont Bridge.  Alternately, if using a detour route is a hardship, bicyclists may use the sidewalk not being painted.  However, due to the narrowness of the sidewalks and the contra-flow bike traffic, bicyclists will be required to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge.

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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9 Responses to Avoid 10th Ave E Sat and Sun, the Ballard Bridge until the end of September

  1. Leif says:

    10th Ave:

    I live on 10th just a few blocks up from here, so the route is unavoidable and infuriating. Every morning on my way to work I shake my way down, praying a new pothole won’t have formed since the last time I rode down. I’m so glad they are repaving this section, though the whole street really needs to be done. Also, some traffic calming is definitely in order. When in the downhill direction I will take a lane and be going at or near the speed limit and still have cars riding my ass or passing me. Its ridiculous how much speeding goes on there.

    Ballard Bridge:

    This is stupid. They should convert one of the car lanes in each direction to bike only during this work. Why do cyclists have to go way out of their way in order to make the trip? We need some sort of law on the books that requires SDOT to treat pedestrians and cyclists with equal priority to cars for construction mitigation. Garr!

  2. Sylvie says:

    10th Ave:

    If you’re able to start further back, you could cut over to 19th and take that to Interlaaken, and follow that route to the right where it T’s, then turn left at Roanoke where Interlaaken ends. It’s a short, not-too-steep uphill climb from there to where 10th intersects the road there. That way you’ll bypass most of the crap on 10th, though it may involve climbing another hill just to get to Interlaaken.

    Ballard Bridge:

    I agree 100% with Leif. Maybe we could bring the issue to the next Seattle Bicycle Alliance Board meeting in September? They have a few minutes in the beginning of the meeting to hear citizens’ issues.

  3. Brad Hawkins says:

    My favorite part of 10th east are the polished stones sticking out of the concrete at the bottom where you then have to execute a left turn onto Roanoke. Spooky!

    As for the Ballard Bridge, why didn’t they just put a couple of signs up letting drivers know that bicycles have full right to an entire lane for the length of the bridge? Wouldn’t that be the simple solution? Wouldn’t that also fix most of the problems of the Missing Link?

    Oh yes, I know the answer to that. Bikes aren’t really transportation and everybody knows that people outside getting exercise don’t mind a two mile diversion. They’re just out having a good time. Make way for the all important “freight mobility”.

    I don’t know that we need an entire lane on the Ballard bridge, but a few signs specifying legal expectations sure would be handy.

  4. eric.br says:

    heartily agree with all comments.

    ballard bridge: with the 8.some million dollars the city is planning on spending on the missing link, i have always felt that the money would have been better spent upgrading the ballard bridge: the only logical route downtown from ballard (the locks, not 24-hour accessible, not at grade, not even fully rideable are not logical…) as a daily commuter from ballard to downtown for a year, the options of getting thrown into a. the traffic or b. the water first thing in the morning was the worst way to start out your day. i often question cascade’s support of the missing link, but sadly just chalk it up to them once again favoring the recreational rider, the stp rider, the money donating rider, over the urban cyclist. :(

    10th: gave up on that downhill pothole-ridden deathtrap years ago over the super steep roy/lakeview/under i-5 near the bridge route. interlaken is beautiful as well. sadly the lakeview route has never shown up on a seattle bike map….

    • Sylvie says:

      “super steep roy/lakeview/under i-5 near the bridge route.”

      The Hobo Trail? The bit under the i-5, near the University Bridge, has been closed for awhile now. It looks like SDOT is doing some construction there, and I used to use it pretty often but it’s blocked by a chain-link fence now. It was a convenient back way from the U-Bridge to the West side of Cap Hill, but you can’t get through there at the moment.

      • eric.br says:

        the under i-5 bit is still open, just now it’s more of a cattle-shute than a big open pavilion. rode it yesterday :) no idea why they’ve put up all the chain link though….

  5. Karl says:

    Let me guess, as soon as they are done, they’ll paint some new Sharrows far to the right again.

    I hope I’m wrong. It seems 90% of the Sharrows in this town are painted far to the right, which totally destroys their meaning and confuses everyone.

  6. Karl says:

    On a more positive note; I think the best detour for 10th is to take Delmar to Interlaken and climb up through Interlaken Park. Quiet and peaceful, with nice views.

  7. Jez says:

    LOL, and now they work on, and CLOSE, the sidewalks (west then east) on the Fremont Bridge. Does Seattle have a dept that is suppose to regulate traffic around construction, events, & repairs?

    (I guess if I had to break my wrist this is a good summer to do it. By the time I can cycle again all this should be over)

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