See the nearly-completed Arboretum Trail design at Thursday meeting

From an April 2012 presentation on the trail

From an April 2012 presentation on the trail

The state is funding a trail through the Arboretum as part of the 520 Bridge project, and you have a chance to get a look at how design is evolving and give feedback Thursday.

The meeting is 6:30 – 7:45 p.m. at the Arboretum’s Graham Visitors Center.

Part of the Arboretum’s Master Plan, the trail will connect from Madison Street to the Montlake neighborhood. Though it will be a key bike route, it will also increase public access to new parts of the park previously difficult to get to. Along with Arboretum Drive, the new trail will complete a biking and walking loop through the park.

Design details presented at a recent meeting of the Bicycle Advisory Board showed that while the trail will encourage bicycling, it is not meant for high-speed travel. Design elements will encourage a casual pace, and people who want to go faster will still be encouraged to use Lake Washington Boulevard.

Details about the meeting from Seattle Parks:

Seattle Parks and Recreation, the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the Arboretum Foundation invites the community to a public meeting for the Washington Park Arboretum Multi-Use Trail. The final public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Graham Visitors Center located inside the park at 2300 Arboretum Dr. E.

The Arboretum Multi-Use Trail project provides a trail from the intersection of East Madison through the Arboretum to the intersection of Foster Island Road and Lake Washington Boulevard.

At the meeting, design development drawings will be presented that take into consideration input from public meetings held in 2011-2012.  Parks staff will be on-site to answer questions and collect feedback. The community is encouraged to participate and all are welcome.

In June 2013, City Council approved $7.8 million from Washington State Department of Transportation to fund implementation of the Arboretum Multi-Use Trail. This project, as outlined in the in the Arboretum’s Master Plan, is a key element in mitigation effects of the upcoming replacement of the State Route 520 Bridge.

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11 Responses to See the nearly-completed Arboretum Trail design at Thursday meeting

  1. LWC says:

    “…people who want to go faster will still be encouraged to use Lake Washington Boulevard.”

    That seems like a good compromise. Though as an occasional fast cyclist who legally takes the road lane adjacent to facilities designed for slower riders, I can tell you that this setup prompts a disproportionate amount of rage in drivers who feel the presence of a bike path implies an obligation to use it.

    • Jayne says:

      That’s just one of the problems with a state drivers licensing system that doesn’t adequately train people to operate motor vehicles in public.

    • Al Dimond says:

      Because the new 520 bridge won’t have direct ramps to and from LWB through the Arboretum there should be less car traffic on the road. People really going to/from areas near LWB will still use it, but I think today people going to/from MLK and even west of there use it to bypass certain traffic conditions, and they won’t find the same advantages going forward.

    • Josh says:

      I’m glad to see recognition that supporting all ages and abilities doesn’t necessarily mean cramming all ages and abilities onto the same facility.

      Look at recent public comments on Westlake, for example, and you’ll find lots of slower riders who complain more about fast cyclists on the existing route than they do about cars. Before that, there were similar complaints when the Broadway sidepath opened, cyclists complaining about other cyclists going too fast for the design of the path. And of course it’s a perennial complaint on BGT.

      A shared-use path through a park still has to meet safe design standards, but it doesn’t have to be designed to encourage high speeds, especially if there’s a reasonable alternative route.

  2. BGM says:

    While I appreciate & support more bike lanes and access, here there is already a well-traveled, well marked surface route for bikes that roughly parallels this trail slightly to the west through neighborhood streets. Is there really a need for another route with one already marked in use? Perhaps the new 520 project will interfere with the existing route?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      It’s not all about biking.

    • biliruben says:

      I’ve taken the alternative route in the past, and it is extraordinarily hilly. To the point where I have aged out of it. My knees ask that I don’t go down and up more than necessary. Hopefully the new path is much kinder. I would never take my kid on the current “marked route”, due to both safety and pain.

      Personally, I think we should get a nice 10 foot easement between the water and the golf-course, and provide a flat, safe, quiet and easy route all the way from Montlake to Seward Park. I heard a rumor there is a chance that might happen.

    • bill says:

      There are already many well-traveled, well marked surface routes for cars offering parallel routes through the city. Half of the roads should be closed to motor vehicles and be given over to pedestrians and cyclists.

      • Kirk says:

        Or at least remove some of the parking. There is more public space devoted to free automobile parking than devoted to all bicycle facilities combined.

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