W Thomas St overpass opens new possibilities for Lower Queen Anne

Looking south on 3rd Ave W.

After months (years?) of delay, the W Thomas St walking and biking overpass opened Friday. The bridge connects Lower Queen Anne to Myrtle Edwards Park and the Elliott Bay Trail, closing a huge missing link for the neighborhood and commuters alike.

Before the overpass, people at 3rd Ave W and W Thomas Street would have needed to travel one mile just to get to the other side of the tracks, including a trip down unfriendly Elliott Ave. Now, not only is there a connection across Elliott and the trail yard, but there is also a fantastic new view point:

It’s even pretty nice in the rain.

The trail was supposed to be open in the spring, but it was delayed due to railing supply issues. It is technically not yet complete, as some of the railing pieces are temporary and made of wood. Additional work will be done in the next month or so.

Over the weekend, I tested a route from Lower Queen Anne to Fremont using the new overpass and sticking almost entirely to trails and bike lanes (BTW, can you say Gilman Ave W cycle track?). Here’s a map:


View Larger Map

The overpass is a little hard to find from Lower Queen Anne, but I assume signage is on the way. 3rd Ave W could also use a curb cut to help people on wheels access the start of the ramp.

It would also be cool to have some sort of big celebration, like a community walk/bike ride from Seattle Center to Myrtle Edwards Park or something. After all, it’s a big deal for the neighborhood, and is the start of a bikeability renaissance for Queen Anne.

Have you tried the bridge yet? What were your thoughts?

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15 Responses to W Thomas St overpass opens new possibilities for Lower Queen Anne

  1. brittlestar says:

    This is a fantastic addition to the neighborhood. I live in LQA and commute to work halfway down Alaska Way. This overpass, essentially eliminated 90% of the stressful intersections on my commute, and provided a couple minutes of serenity along the water too!

  2. Mike says:

    I’ve taken the bridge several times already. My only complaint is the same thing you noticed “3rd Ave W could also use a curb cut to help people on wheels access the start of the ramp.”

    They redid the sidewalk on the approach to the bridge. Why didn’t they cut out the curb there? Instead you need to ride on the sidewalk for half a block, which I never like to do.

  3. Bruce Nourish says:

    Got back from vacation yesterday afternoon. The bastards opened it when I was away just to annoy me! The weather was absolutely miserable last night, so I went out and walked it — didn’t fancy riding around Belltown in a deluge. Got totally soaked but I love it. This is game-changing for Uptown as a neighborhood.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It needs a new name. W Thomas St Pedestrian Overpass is awful. Uptown Overpass is alright, though it sounds too highway-like. I have conflicted feelings about the term “Greenbridge.” I like the term “Footbridge,” even though it sort of leaves out bikes (I bet the vast majority of traffic on the bridge will be people walking). Uptown Footbridge sounds adventurous, which is sort of the idea since it leads to the Sound.

  4. Will in Seattle says:

    I suggest Hell Bridge.

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  6. -b- says:

    Has a named been agreed to? Myrtle Edwards bike bridge?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      No consensus yet. I like Myrtle Edwards Bridge, Uptown Overpass, Uptown-to-Bay Bridge, Queen Anne Footbridge. Should it be a bridge, overpass, footbridge, or what? It definitely needs a new name, especially since Thomas is not even the best street to use to get there from Queen Anne (Harrison is).

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