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The UW Burke-Gilman detour changes again next week

detour map 2.2.2015Anyone who bikes through UW campus regularly is familiar with changing Burke-Gilman Trail detours. So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it’s changing again.

Just remember, it’s gonna be pretty awesome when the Montlake Triangle project is complete and the bike/walk bridge from Husky Stadium opens. The Montlake Triangle project is scheduled for completion in fall 2015. UW Station is scheduled to begin operation in early 2016.

Details on the detour change from UW:

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Detour route between BGT and Mason Road NE scheduled to change on February 2

Due to Montlake Triangle Project construction, pedestrians and cyclists who use the Burke-Gilman Trail segment through the eastern part of the University of Washington campus will experience a modification to their travel. The scheduled start date for this change is Monday, February 2. The current switchback through the small parking lot (C12) near the Montlake Triangle construction area will close, and trail traffic will be directed to use the detours outlined below. However, the staircase at that location connecting the trail to NE Mason Road and NE Pacific Place/Montlake Boulevard NE will remain open for pedestrians and those who choose to carry their bikes.

Bicycling: Green detour signs and green sharrow road markings will direct bikes along Mason Road NE parallel to the trail. A connection between the trail and Mason Road NE is now available via a paved pathway south of NE Whatcom Lane, across from the Padelford Parking Garage. People on bikes can access the Snohomish Overpass (Hec Ed Bridge) via the ramp south of Snohomish Lane. Please use slow speeds on this ramp and stop and yield to pedestrians and other trail traffic before crossing the trail.

Walking: Blue detour signs will direct pedestrians along the trail between NE Whatcom Lane and the construction area at the Montlake Triangle, connecting the trail to NE Mason Road via the staircase adjacent to C12 and Wilcox Hall. For rolling access, use the ramp south of Snohomish Lane.
This C12 detour segment closure is scheduled to begin Monday, February 2 and continue through mid-June, until work on the Rainier Vista is completed. Then, trail traffic will be able to travel along the trail to the newly renovated Rainier Vista and connect with the Burke-Gilman Trail detour segment on Stevens Way NE.
As we prepare for this new phase of trail detours, please expect to see additional trail detour signage installed, green bike sharrows painted on Mason Road NE, and lane dividers painted on the path connecting Mason Road NE and the Trail south of NE Whatcom Lane to assist with merging and exiting the trail. We’ll also be updating our trail maps to show the new routes once they are brought into service. As a reminder, detour route maps can be found on our website.

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13 responses to “The UW Burke-Gilman detour changes again next week”

  1. Scott

    Am I the only one annoyed/confused by the crossing at 15th Ave NE & NE 40st St?

    1. Skylar

      I’m actually more annoyed/confused by the crossing at 40th/Brooklyn than 15th. At least SDOT made an attempt at providing safety for bikes at 15th. At 40th/Brooklyn, west bound bikes are dumped out on the wrong side of the street in an area with lots of pedestrians and inattentive drivers, and nothing but a 4-way stop to help out.

      1. Scott

        I asked a (campus) cop about the “all crosswalks green” at 40th/15th (where I have seen pedestrians cross the intersection diagonally) and he actually told me that they would rather have a bike/pedestrian collision than a bike/car collision. I asked him why not no collisions at all and he just stared at me like I had three heads.

      2. Pedestrians are supposed to cross diagonally at 40th/15th — that’s how “scrambles” work the world over. Scrambles are great for supporting unusual bike movements like switching in and out of two-way sidepaths, just don’t go too fast and it’s fine. We had a similar signal introduced at Green/Wright just after I arrived at U of Illinois… along with occasional jaywalking stings for students that dared to cross along with the vehicles’ green lights. UIUC has loads of cycletracks, including one up Wright Street; I used to cross Green there all the time on my bike to get to engineering campus, never a problem.

        All-way stops are also reasonably adequate for supporting unusual bike movements (see the “temporary missing link” switcharoo at NW 45th/11th, or the end of Ravenna Boulevard at Green Lake) as long as it’s mostly clear to everyone where to look for everyone else… but I tend to take that stretch westbound in the (ahem) vehicular mode these days, to avoid crossing over eastbound traffic lanes twice within three blocks.

      3. Skylar

        I guess the one thing that does confuse me about 40th/15th is the “No Turn On Red” sign. Does it apply to bikes? It seems it would, since bikes are considered vehicles in the cycle track, but it still makes absolutely no sense since all prohibiting turns is supposed to do is protect the cycle track users from getting hooked. There’s no danger of a cycle track user hooking another cycle track user on a right turn when 15th is going.

  2. Steve Campbell

    Fall 2015? What else do they have to do to finish the Triangle part of the project? It looks like most of the plantings have been installed. The bridge is built and they’ve started the new roadway. It looks about 80% complete at this stage. Honestly from the look of the state of construction I was guesstimating the Montlake Triangle would be finished in April or May.

  3. Stuart Strand

    Mason Rd is where the school buses park during frequent K12 student visits to campus. Several buses and lots of kids milling about, the road reduced to one traffic lane. Those buses would be parked right on top of the sharrows, unless they move the parking area somewhere else. If not expect more chaos.

  4. Stuart Strand

    As for the chaotic intersection at 40th and 15th, I avoid it and the rest of the ill conceived detour west of Rainier vista by cutting through the forestry parking lot (C10) to the BGT on the narrow steep access ramp below the pedestrian bridge. It beats trying to predict the behavior of a mob of students at 40th and 15th.

  5. Daniel

    So if you choose not to dismount and walk down a flight of stairs with your bike, we are looking at about 1.5 miles of detour through UW.

  6. […] More changes to BGT: Next week, more changes will come to the Burke-Gilman Trail, this time at the UW. […]

  7. Honestly, since they started detouring the BGT through UW, almost every time I’ve gone through I’ve just taken the bus route (Stevens Way to Pend Orielle). Much simpler. Maybe I’ll try Mason Road out of curiosity but staying on Stevens is always an option if this route is confusing or clogged with yellow buses.

    1. Skylar

      I’ve taken 40th to Stevens Way to Pend Oreille since even before the detour. Avoids all the root heaves and most of the spacey students that the trail has, and is a bit more direct if you’re going north of campus.

  8. Becky

    The last time I came north across the Montlake Bridge heading up toward Magnuson Park, there was no signage whatsoever about how to get to the BGT. I stayed on the east side of Montlake to the Hec Ed bridge because that’s what I’d done before, and it worked (except for how steep/hairpinny that situation is), but I can imagine many people would be confused here.

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