The Puget Sound Regional Council, which distributes federal transportation funding in the area, has recommended additional funding to build the 7th Ave protected bike lanes downtown, design a replacement Hed Ec bike/walk bridge on UW campus and to fully design two phases of the Mountains-to-Sound Trail (AKA I-90 Trail) in Bellevue.
The funds will help the council meet project delivery goals for 2014, and will help projects close remaining funding gaps. As we reported in December, the projects did not make it on the funding list initially, but were on the contingency list.
UW’s aging Hec Ed Bridge over Montlake Ave will receive $1.47 million. Replacing the bridge and redoing the uncomfortable trail crossing is a key and pricey piece of the UW’s Burke-Gilman Trail remake plans. So getting this funding could help the UW move forward with their ambitious trail plans, especially if the university wins the TIGER grant they are trying to get. Here are more details from the UW plan:
The added 7th Ave protected bike lane money primes that project for completion in the next year or two. With city plans for a pilot protected bike lane on 2nd Ave this year, the need for a safe and comfortable bike connection to Dexter Ave will be more important than ever.
The city should definitely consider accelerating the 7th Ave project so it can be completed in 2015 and should begin design work on Pike Street protected bike lanes to connect the 2nd Ave, 7th Ave and Broadway protected bike lanes.
The City of Bellevue will receive $470,000 to complete full design for the first two segments of their Mountains-to-Sound Trail plan. Once completed, this extension would extend the trail from its current terminus at Factoria Blvd to the existing bike/walk bridge at 150th Ave SE.
The city made a soothingly-soundtracked video about closing the so-called Eastgate Gap a couple years ago: