UPDATE: Here’s the winner, as announced by the city this afternoon: James Corner Field Operations.
The city is set to announce it’s design leadership for the waterfront today. Here’s a side-to-side comparison of their Powerpoint presentations from last week’s evening event downtown (first one is above, see below for the other three). Not a whole lotta bikes in these images, but it is mildly interesting to compare each group’s photo screen savers.
I’m for the surface/transit option instead of the tunnel, so none of these ideas are all that appealing to me. But if this tunnel were to go forward, there better be something big in it for bikes. Even still, I don’t know how totally useful a new bike trail would be for bikers. I guess it would sort of help connect E Marginal Way, the Elliott Bay Trail and Ferry Terminal, but it won’t do much for getting anyone into downtown (since the hills are so steep from the waterfront).
I don’t think a big open space is going to bring a ton of people to the waterfront. There will have to be a big draw other than some watercolors and flashy landscaping.
Here’s my question to you: Where can bikes fit into a new Seattle waterfront design?
Or, if you have a LOT of time on your hands, you can watch their presentations:
My dream: a series of Trampe-style bike lifts up Madison St, from Alaskan Way at least up to 5th Ave, but ideally all the way up to Swedish. All of downtown, First Hill, Seattle U, Broadway and 12th Ave could then be reached with no more than small amounts of climbing.
In the real world: enough places are usefully connected by the waterfront that a bike path has value, plus it would be a great recreational amenity. The problem with the current one is that it has some dodgy street crossings and is often full of pedestrians – I’d love to see one that’s on the West side of the street so there are no crossing cars, and more visibly separated from the pedestrian path. Also, clear signs that direct people to the hidden elevator in the Pike Place Market garage, which opens up a lot of downtown to people who don’t want to climb there.