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Northlake Way is getting a short section of new sidewalk, bike lane

Work is underway on a short new stretch of sidewalk and bike lane on Northlake Way near the University Bridge.

Identified as a key missing piece in the Pedestrian Master Plan, the sidewalk will connect the businesses on Northlake Way (like Voula’s! Mmmmm…) to the UW campus sidewalk and trail network.

For people biking, the project will preserve the existing painted bike lines east of 8th Ave NE and add one extra block of westbound bike lane connecting to 7th Ave NE. It’s a bit of a climb, but 7th Ave NE is a shortcut to the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s not a groundbreaking improvement for biking, but it’s something.


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This project leaves the biggest problem spot in the area for another day. The stretch of Northlake Way between 7th and 6th Avenues NE (under the Ship Canal Bridge) is massively over-designed with two lanes in each direction, pedestrian-unfriendly channelized right turns and terrible pavement conditions. This stretch could use a serious remake, and there could be some great opportunities for creative use of excess road space. But that’s a project for another day.

Work on the new sidewalk will last until the end of May.

More details from SDOT:

SDOT is advising travelers that work along NE Northlake Way is scheduled to begin as early as Monday, April 10. The impacts mentioned below are expected to continue through the end of May, as crews begin building new sidewalks on the north side of NE Northlake Way between 7th Ave NE and Eastlake Place NE, and on the south side of NE Northlake Way between 8th Ave NE and Eastlake Place NE.

Starting the week of April 10 through mid-May, travelers can expect:

  • Temporary vehicle lane restrictions between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Flaggers maintaining 2-way traffic along NE Northlake Way
  • Short-term/temporary parking and bike lane restrictions with 72-hour notice
  • Normal weekday work hours, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

This sidewalk is a high priority in SDOT’s pedestrian Master Plan and will connect NE Northlake Way with existing sidewalk on NE Pacific St and the sidewalk network near the University of Washington campus.

Please visit the project website at www.seattle.gov/transportation/sidewalks_nenorthlakeway.htm for more information and to sign up for project email updates. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience while this work is being completed. For inquiries, please email: [email protected] or call (206) 684-4747.


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5 responses to “Northlake Way is getting a short section of new sidewalk, bike lane”

  1. Seems pretty crazy to make graphics, do outreach, and go out there just to do one block that’s adjacent to other blocks that are in such bad shape — but in Seattle this seems to be standard operating procedure…

    1. Matthew Snyder

      ^^ This. We keep hearing about how expensive even relatively straightforward ROW projects are in Seattle, and this kind of scattershot approach to construction can’t be helping matters. This project is funded (at least in part) by Move Seattle money, which makes it even more frustrating that it’s being done in such an isolated and inefficient way.

      I’m not sure what’s going on with the larger goal of repaving Northlake. Last year, SDOT made graphics, did outreach and handed out fliers to local businesses, put up “No parking” signs along the stretch of Northlake just east of Gas Works, in preparation for a repaving project. And then… they didn’t do it.

      1. In fairness to SDOT, I guess this is two blocks adjacent to other blocks in really bad shape. This project will fix the absolute worst sidewalk conditions, but sidewalks are deficient at least to 5th Ave NE.

    2. Skylar

      Indeed, especially when this is the result of *three years* of planning. It’s no wonder that so much of the city is without basic transportation facilities like sidewalks, when simple stuff can’t get done quickly. As Tom said, this section of Northlake is huge, and there’s plenty of room in the existing right-of-way for sidewalks.

  2. Stuart Strand

    It’s no much, but it’s something. The pedestrian facilities there are particularly dangerous, and there is an increasing amount of foot traffic.

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