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New South Lake Union park brings Cheshiahud Loop closer to completion

With the opening of Lake Union Park in South Lake Union, the Cheshiahud Loop comes closer to completion. The park connects to the Westlake Ave path/parking lot, allowing bikes and pedestrians a nice cut through the park instead of battling with the mess that is Valley St.

But first, some thoughts on the park. It’s a wonderful space, with access to the water, a great view of Gas Works Park and North Seattle, a nice new bridge and a pond for playing with model boats. There seems to be a lot of somewhat lost green space in the center of the park. Even at the opening, when the park was packed with people, almost no one was using much of the grassy area in the center. But perhaps people will figure out what to do with the space as time goes on.

Valet bike parking

The opening celebration featured some cool bike-centric stuff, like valet bike parking (“Garçon! My velocipede, please.”) and bike-powered spin art for kids:

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Another nice part about this park is that it makes the Cheshiahud Loop around Lake Union quite pleasant, with Lake Union and Gas Works parks bookending the ride. Some friends and I rode the loop ride two nights ago, and it was totally awesome. Before I hated riding through South Lake Union. Now only most of it sucks.

But, there are more plans in the works. The city announced funding to make changes to the intersection of Fairview N and Fairview E last week as one of the Neighborhood Street Fund projects. A reworking of Terry Ave, which is somewhat in the works, would make it easier to access downtown by riding through the heart of South Lake Union from the new park. Unfortunately, the sidewalk — ahem, excuse me … “trail” — along Fairview Ave N from Valley to Fairview Ave E is completely unacceptable and dangerous.

If you have ridden to the park, let us know your thoughts in the comments. Check out SDOT’s conceptual drawings for improvements to the Cheshiahud Loop.
CLUL Concepts

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One response to “New South Lake Union park brings Cheshiahud Loop closer to completion”

  1. david

    it’s important to note that a lot of the grassy areas in the park were only recently seeded, and were cordoned off from use. i suspect that once all the vegetation grows in, folks will use the greenspace pretty intensively. as for the gravel areas on the south side of the park, i think the design is a little lacking. i think it’s supposed to be modeled after a parisian style park, but when it’s that close to the parking lot it sort of just feels like an extension of the lot. then again, it works great as a staging area, space for vendors to set up their booths, and a loading/unloading area; for a greenspace that will likely be heavily programmed, that kind of utilitarian space probably makes a whole lot of sense.

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