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After sudden closure of Broadway bikeway section, Sound Transit creates a bike detour

IMG_0134Two weeks ago, people biking southbound on the new Broadway Bikeway were met with a surprise: Oncoming cars.

No, these were not scofflaws behind the wheel, they were following a new detour put in place by Sound Transit as part of the Capitol Hill Station construction. Unfortunately, there was little warning to people on bikes that the northernmost block of the brand new bikeway had been scrubbed out, leading to quite a few people having hair-raising experiences.

After several people took to Twitter to express their concerns, Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray sent me an honest response: “Yes, this part of the project is not off to a great start.” The issues were also well documented by Capitol Hill Seattle.


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A few weeks later, Sound Transit has installed signs pointing people on bikes to a detour around Broadway.

-c6rlm2OAaN2tVTUyL3_mYynILIwy-vsnqMG1uhqISE8cCzVOALgfAnglGWywktYSFdj2hA0HF8TxqzS7LlN8sIm_FTxb5dX9Co32RoSaZDRtgoGIyx5fA-k-EtpnizME5TZOLuonv8qGQix5C0gLCP9nuQ7YjDWivdUrTfjj7_Jlwwh404jkIhNYGBJ_eLRqHljAqbhvP8=s0-d-e1-fThe opening of a short section of the Broadway Bikeway has certainly been a learning experience in many ways for the city. Many of the early issues surrounding parking confusion were solved quickly, which is a good sign for future projects.

With construction getting closer to reaching Yesler Way, the southern end of the bikeway is getting tantalizingly close to being finished. But the northern end will be facing construction headaches for most of 2014.

And of course, the Broadway Bikeway won’t truly be finished until the streetcar (and bikeway) extends north to Roy or Volunteer Park.

The Bike Master Plan update, which is still awaiting City Council approval, even suggests extending the bikeway all the way to 520 and Roanoke Park. How amazing would that be?


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15 responses to “After sudden closure of Broadway bikeway section, Sound Transit creates a bike detour”

  1. Gordon

    An alternative to detouring to 12th: 11th is actually a really nice street to bike on next to Volunteer Park.

    1. Alternatively alternatively, I’ll stick to my usual route of 10th -> cut through Cal Anderson. Gravelly, but very relaxing!

    2. Gordon

      (And by Volunteer I of course meant Cal Anderson)

  2. I’d ponder moving to Seattle again if the bikeway DID get all the way to 520 and to Redmond.

  3. Local Pedestrian

    Rather than talking that silly detour, why not just ride on the sidewalk along the East side of Broadway for the few blocks?

    1. Charles B

      Crowded sidewalks are not a good bike way alternative. Residential streets work a lot better.. until you hit busy intersections at least.

      1. Local Pedestrian

        The sidewalk on the East side of Broadway between John and Howell is generally not very crowded.

  4. Me and my three year old kid were two of the folks who were almost run over by an oncoming car in the scrubbed portion of the bikeway. Very disappointed by Sound Transit’s contractors and SDOT’s handling of this entire project’s impact on biking on Broadway.

    I’ve been cutting one block west to Harvard at John. The pavement is crap and drivers are not paying attention while entering or exiting the Seattle Central parking garage but this route is much less out of the way for my daily commute down Broadway to Pine Street.

    I may just keep doing it that way forever if making a 90 degree turn and waiting for a light in those tiny bike boxes remain the only way to turn West off of the bikeway.

    This detour route seems a little silly to me, not only because it is up a small hill and two blocks in the wrong direction (for me). This section of 12th is also seriously impacted by construction right now.

    The bike-focused staff have been very helpful to me personally since I started twitter-complaining about this. I just wish Capitol Hill’s bicyclists could be considered before the complaining became necessary.

  5. Merlin

    I’m with Forrest, I prefer to ride through Cal Anderson Park. The art on the walls around the construction site is fun, dramatic and frequently changes; the fountain is lovely even when it’s not working, and so far I haven’t seen anybody trying to drive a car on the paths.

  6. Richard

    Ugh – I hate that portion of John. I don’t know what it is about it, but the biggest jerks I’ve ever encountered on Seattle’s streets have been the 3-4 times I rode on on that stretch of John.

  7. […] The Broadway Bikeway is getting so close to being paved all the way to Yesler, but it may not be fully opened until project work wraps up in May. This late opening is to avoid situations where people encounter unexpected closures due to continued construction, as has been a problem at the north end of bikeway. […]

  8. […] was closed suddenly in January to accommodate Capitol Hill Station construction, many people voiced concerns that the changes were dangerous and confusing for people on […]

  9. […] the opening is a huge step for biking in these key, dense, central neighborhoods, use of the lanes will still be limited due significant construction at the north end of of the bikeway near the future Capitol Hill Station. That construction detours people on bikes […]

  10. […] the detour first started, there were some serious safety concerns, so Sound Transit and SDOT improved the detour by adding a 4-way stop at Denny and Harvard to make […]

  11. […] officially exactly two years ago, the north end of the project has been a bike route dead end due to construction for Capitol Hill Station at Denny Way. That means one of the city’s most visible and […]

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