Aurora Ave could still get a Stay Healthy Street, design documents confirm

A proposal to convert the curbside lane of northbound Aurora Ave N alongside Green Lake Park into walking, biking, and rolling space in the form of a Stay Healthy Street is still under active consideration by SDOT and WSDOT, Seattle Bike Blog has learned. This stretch of road doesn’t have any sidewalks, just a dirt path next to fast-moving traffic along Aurora. The inner loop at Green Lake Park is currently restricted to people walking in one direction, with people riding bikes currently not allowed. Repurposing a lane of this short segment of Aurora, which is underutilized, would add another accessible route around Green Lake and really the only way for people biking to get around this segment of the lake.

SDOT’s Ethan Bergerson told Seattle Bike Blog: “SDOT and WSDOT are continuing to consider the opportunity to create a larger Stay Healthy Street near Green Lake Park. Considerations include COVID-19 recovery and vaccination rates, traffic calming solutions, and funding availability.”

Dirt road with a puddle with tire tracks next to three lane Aurora with median obscuring the other three travel lanes.

Current condition of the dirt path around Green Lake along Aurora Ave.

Draft plans for the closure that were created last Summer obtained by a records request show just how far along the proposal has come to becoming reality. They show a water-filled barrier protecting the curbside lane on northbound Aurora, connecting West Green Lake Drive N with West Green Lake Way N.

Blueprint showing walk bike and rolling lane on Aurora

Barriers on Aurora protected bike walk and roll lane

Walk bike and roll lane on Aurora protected by barriers

On the south end, this lane would connect with the existing Keep Moving Street that has been in place along the southwest corner of the lake since last year. Last month, SDOT announced that they would be adjusting that street to reopen West Green Lake Way to vehicle traffic southbound to provide access to parking lots, while keeping the northbound lane for people walking, biking, and rolling. This change hasn’t been made yet, but has been promised soon.

Street closed sign in front of two lane road

The Green Lake Keep Moving Street, due to reopen to vehicle traffic in one direction.

At the north end, the barriers would end a short distance from Aurora, with the entire stretch of West Green Lake Drive between Aurora and Winona Ave N closed to through traffic like a Stay Healthy Street, with ADA access to the parking lot on that stretch still maintained.

 

Barriers stop shortly after Aurora Ave on Green Lake Drive northbound

Winona Ave and Green Lake Drive with signage blocking the south part of Green Lake Drive

If all of that’s confusing (because it is) hopefully this map can help clarify the segments depicted here. You can see the full plans from this post here.

Three segments around the lake as described in the article.

What’s being considered or actually happening along each stretch around Green Lake.

The long-anticipated protected bike lanes around the east side of Green Lake are scheduled to be completed this year. If this proposal were approved, people biking would have a nearly completely protected route around the entire lake. Whether this idea for the west side of the lake is just a pandemic experiment, or a good idea that never sees the light of day remains to be seen.

About Ryan Packer

Ryan Packer is Temporary Editor of Seattle Bike Blog.
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5 Responses to Aurora Ave could still get a Stay Healthy Street, design documents confirm

  1. bobco85 says:

    If this gets installed and works for Green Lake, there’s a particular road along a particular much larger lake that I know a lot of people including myself would like to see this duplicated ;)

  2. The Dude says:

    I hope they figure out something on the west side, because so far everything they have done on the east side of GL has just made it a pain in the ass to get through there on a bike. Random traffic islands that force cyclists either into auto traffic or groups of pedestrians. No safe choice but to take the lane.

  3. AW says:

    Isn’t Aurora ave at that stretch part of SR 99 and really a highway. Despite the posted speed limit I am sure a good number of people will be driving 50, 60+ mph. I am not sure how safe I will feel behind only a water filled barrier. And my guess is that if they are proposing an easy to install barrier that there are also plans to easily remove them.

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