Yesterday we were riding north and discovered that construction is complete on the Westlake Bike Lane, with a dedication ceremony set for tomorrow. I got pictures!
This view from the Galer Street Pedestrian Overpass shows the new lanes headed south toward downtown. The lanes end at the Mercer Mess, at the south end of Lake Union Park, while the adjacent Westlake Avenue continues well into tourist country, almost to the southern monorail terminal. We used this same route for a long time even though it meant dodging cars in a series of linked parking lots — it seemed easier than the hill on nearly-parallel Dexter Avenue.
The project caused concern over loss of parking and disruption to businesses during construction, but improved traffic flow may be worth it. Most of the accidents along this route over the years were low-speed collisions; but back in 2001, while there were still remnants of railroad tracks, I fell and broke my hip near Boat World. Piled into a push-cart while Alex rode up to the top of Queen Anne Hill for the car, I had plenty of time to think how pleasant some new asphalt would be.
The best connections are at the north end of the lanes. Immediately across the Fremont Bridge, the Burke-Gilman Trail stretches in either direction and links to other regional trail systems. Go west under the bridge instead and you’re headed along the Ship Canal Trail, and thence either south along Elliott Bay or west to the Ballard Locks and Discovery Park.
Seattle’s weather and topography present some challenges for cyclists, but we’re thankful to the City for effective attempts like this one to encourage human-powered travel. The counter on the Fremont bridge already shows an average of over three thousand bike trips a day.