New Alaskan Way trail provides safer route south of downtown

No more following slow-moving, stressful Alaskan Way detours full of cars. No more confusing signage that almost leads you onto a Highway 99 on-ramp. No more getting stuck waiting for a train.

WSDOT has opened a new multi-use trail between King St and S Atlantic St that will help those headed south and to the West Seattle Bridge get through the sometimes hairy mess that is Alaskan Way construction south of downtown.

No more waiting for the train!

So far, construction detours have not been comfortable and seemed to confuse a lot of people. WSDOT has been responsive about improving confusing signage, but the whole ordeal has caused a lot of headache and, I would bet, put a damper on bicycle commuting from West Seattle to the city center. Now, the trip is not only mostly straight forward, it also provides a couple truly stunning moments and views.

Being on the port side of the road, the trail gives users a relaxed opportunity to take in the port’s cranes on one side with the two-story viaduct on the other. Downtown’s skyscrapers loom in the background while Elliott Bay stretches out further as you approach. A freight train may go by next to the trail, separated by a fence. But amid all this activity, the trail provides a peaceful space to experience it all.

Have you used the trial yet? What are your thoughts?


Thank you for your patience during construction, we opened the new multi-use path on Monday, July 18.

The new path is located along Alaskan Way S. between S. Atlantic Street and S. King Street. View a map. Cyclists and pedestrians once again have a direct route to and from downtown Seattle without having to cross the railroad tracks.

As a reminder, we’ve closed the old path located along the east side of the street to give crews the room they need to build the new SR 99.

Features of the new multi-use path

Two access points

  • You can access the new path from two locations; northbound at S. Atlantic Street and southbound at S. King Street.

Barrier separates traffic from the path

  • The new path has permanent barriers separating it from traffic. This means once you are on the path, you cannot exit until you’ve reached either S. Atlantic Street to the south, or S. King Street to the north.

S. Royal Brougham Way access changes

  • We’re closing the multi-use trail along the east side of Alaskan Way S. south of S. King Street.
  • You can access S. Royal Brougham way from First Avenue S. or from E. Frontage Road S.

No more waiting for the train

  • The newly relocated railroad tail track ends just south of S. King Street. This means cyclists and pedestrians will be able to use the new path to bypass train traffic.

Map of the trail:

About Tom Fucoloro

Founder and Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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8 Responses to New Alaskan Way trail provides safer route south of downtown

  1. Jake says:

    I love the new trail. Does anyone know if this is permanent, or just a temporary fix during construction?

  2. Doug Bostrom says:

    Judging from the lamps and the curbing shown in the first photograph, it would be surprising if that portion was temporary.

  3. jeanette says:

    i love it – it’s so nice not to have to use the frontage road detour anymore! i love the history that’s shown on the plaques on the east side of the path too. wondering if the city will plant along the path… it’s just bark now. based on the info on the city’s website, this is permanent.

  4. Ints says:

    There used to be a beautiful line of mature london plane trees along both sides of Alaska Way. These trees did not keep anyone from riding their bicycle along this corridor. There were other ways to provide a safe environment for cyclists without having to kill the trees.
    SDOT and WSDOT killed them in order to put down more pavement.

  5. Anthony says:

    Hmmm, I’m thinking about the missing link section now. Though both areas are radically different, I surmise that this new trail may put the detractors of the missing link in a tougher position.

    Just thinkin’ out loud.

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