The addition of a biking and walking trail to the proposed 520 bridge is not the only part of the state’s plan that will affect people on bikes. As a way of mitigating traffic issues on Lake Washington Boulevard through the Arboretum, the state is currently working on the design of a new multi-use trail all the way from Montlake to Madison Valley.
What to do about the unfortunately car-packed Lake Washington Boulevard has been debated for years. Suggestions for limiting use of the historic roadway as a bypass for other parallel routes, such as 24th/23rd Ave E have ranged from tolling to limiting access to local traffic. The scenic road and popular bicycle route carries over 15,000 vehicle trips per day, according to city counts (that’s a lot for a scenic road).
The proposed trail would provide a route near Lake Washington Boulevard that meanders around the park’s extensive tree species collections. Once the 520 bridge is completed (assuming it finds the other $2+ billion in funding it needs), the new Arboretum trail would connect to the 520 trail without ever requiring the rider to mix with car traffic. In Madison Valley, it would meet up with the popular Lake Washington Loop bike route.
Another interesting consequence of the the new trail is that, once completed, it will meet up on the north and south with Arboretum Drive, creating an Arboretum loop.
More details, from a fall presentation: