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Segment of Lake Washington Blvd To Reopen December 18-January 4

SDOT has just announced that it will be closing a small segment of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Stan Sayres Boat Launch (at 45th Ave S) starting this Friday December 18 and running through Sunday January 4. This is the same segment of Lake Washington that was closed over Thanksgiving weekend, and is a shortened segment of the 3-mile Keep Moving street that SDOT piloted over the summer that extended all the way down to Seward Park.

Another small segment of the street between the boat launch and 50th Ave S is designated “local access” with signage but will still allow vehicles.

Map showing closed Lake Washington Boulevard
The segment of Lake Washington Boulevard closed to cars.

These temporary closures are clearly intended to provide extra open space around holidays but they also serve a transportation need in a segment of town without a reasonable safe north-south bike route. The narrow pedestrian path along Lake Washington boulevard is also inadequate for people who want to maintain six feet from other around them. Many are calling for at least a portion of the street to be made permanently car-free.

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The city continues to have a protracted conversation about the future of Lake Washington Boulevard as a place where people that aren’t in personal vehicles are prioritized. Last week the parks board, which technically controls the land that the street is on, discussed the issue, and the Twitter thread from Erica C. Barnett is worth your time.

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3 responses to “Segment of Lake Washington Blvd To Reopen December 18-January 4”

  1. NickS

    I’m thrilled that this segment of Lk. WA Blvd S. is getting re-opened to peds and cyclists and will be taking advantage of it starting this weekend, but I’m also frustrated that it’s only the northern segment. It’s pretty clear why they’ve chosen to open this section — it’s the only segment which adjoins parking lots and has no lakefront houses (at least, no houses accessed by driveways directly off the boulevard). Rich people matter, as does giving someone a subsidized place to park their car.

    The problem is not just that the pedestrian path is narrow, it’s that it’s just that, a singular path; the boulevard lacks a sidewalk or path on the west side of the street and the east side path (and at times, sidewalk) is hemmed in by trees and water. The only way to distance from oncoming or slower path users is to walk in the street, something that is both currently illegal and extremely dangerous.

    SDOT needs to pull their head out, open Lake Washington Blvd to peds and cyclists through next summer at the minimum to provide a safe outdoor recreation area for SE Seattle residents, and reevaluate at that time. I’m apoplectic at the voiced concern by SDOT that vehicle commuters were frustrated by the loss of a commute option along the boulevard. I can’t say any more strongly that this. is. not. the. best. purpose. this. beautiful. lakefront. boulevard. can. serve. Commute on I-5, Rainier Ave S., MLK Jr. Way S., even Beacon Ave S. Lake Washington Blvd is a jewel, it’s something to slow down and enjoy, and I don’t give a rats ass about some driver pissed off because they lost a traffic-light free bypass.

  2. Rob Toren

    Where do you think the cars will go? On to more crowded residential streets which is more dangerous for both residents and drivers. Plus this time period is typically very rainy and cold, not conducive to either cycling or walking. Just another example of progressive Seattle’s war on cars.

    1. If you concern is residential cut through, we have tools to deal with that as well. Namely diverters. Just another example of a concern troll.

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