Seattle just built a bike lane on Aurora, and it’s amazing.
Even though I knew in my head that a complete Green Lake Outer Loop bike lane would be great, riding it was even better than I expected. For decades, the west side of Green Lake has been a no-go zone for anyone on a bike. The crowded inner loop path in the park only allowed biking in one direction, and there was no real sidewalk along the side of the Aurora Avenue North faux-freeway.
To complete the Outer Loop, SDOT constructed new bike lanes on Green Lake Drive and along the curb lane of Aurora, and the result is excellent. They also dramatically improved the connection to N 77th Street. I was surprised how comfortable it felt to ride considering how close the new path is to general traffic on Aurora. They repurposed an old highway barrier that is big and heavy enough to feel reasonably safe while also saving some money in the process.
Riding the new path is very low-stress and fast. Green Lake is not that small, and riding around the other side has been adding a lot of time to many trips. From Green Lake Way North (toward Stone Way) to Green Lake Drive North (toward N 83rd Street), the new west path is about a half a mile shorter than the east path. Not only that, it also avoids busy areas like the intersection with Ravenna Blvd.
If watching our video above wasn’t enough for you, Best Side Cycling was there the same day: