Lake Washington Loop closure

Ride today was supposed to come back on the loop route around the south end of the lake but at the Seahawks facility there was a Renton cop telling everybody that the road and the trail were closed for a Seahawks 12K.

They could have signed the closure so that people didn’t go a mile-and-a-half up the trail to a dead-end. They could have posted a detour. They could have routed their runners on the trail so that regular traffic could use the road. but no, they just shut it down with no notice and a cop who didn’t give a shit.

I saw at least 40 maybe 50 cyclists during the time it took me to ride up there and back. I thought about riding up Lake Washington Blvd and going around, but 44th and 30th were also closed so you’d have to ride over to Highway 900 somehow and come down that hill by Fryes. I don’t get how the city can close a county trail and I don’t get how you can shut down a public street with no detour. I guess that I should be glad I don’t live on the closed road, but this left me pissed off for the rest of my ride.

I emailed King County complaining that I was denied access to the ERC – we’ll see what kind of response comes from that.  UPDATE:  lots of weasel but better than nothing.

Raised Plates Ahead

There are 38 raised plates on the new 520 Bridge bike lane apparently covering expansion joints.  At least 28 of them are on the original section of the bridge – the western high-rise and approach ramp have fewer plates and most of them are wide.  The original section has closely spaced narrow plates that are humped-up so that you want to get out of the saddle when you hit them at a normal speed.  Instead of replacing the bumps with flat ones, or instead of mounting them flush with the trail surface, WSDOT installed a sign warning cyclists of the hazard ahead.

The I-90 bridge has fewer expansion joints and no covers on the main bridge.  On the east channel bridge there are covers, but they are flat and flush with the trail surface.  (They don’t have as many bolts holding them down as the new  520 ones do so they make noise but no real bump when you go over them.)

It’s possible that the design of the plates on the 520 bridge was intentional to save money or to better drain water or something, but in terms of user utility it was a really dumb design.  Unless the idea was to employ “hostile architecture” to slow people down…

Lynnwood Interurban Fix

March 25 Everett Herald

LYNNWOOD — Drivers and cyclists alike will have detours while city crews complete a “missing link” in the Interurban Trail near 212th Street SW, at the border with Mountlake Terrace.

Contractor crews working for the city of Lynnwood are expected to start setting up for work this week. Once under way, work hours are expected from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through July, with minor activity continuing into the fall.

Eastbound traffic will be detoured first, likely starting the week of April 2, followed later on by westbound traffic.

The street will be modified and the trail realigned along the north side. A new crossing is planned there near 63rd Avenue W. The project, which includes other public works construction, is expected to cost about $2.9 million.


Originally they said that they were going to fix this gap in 2016.  then the PUD said that they were going to move stuff so that there would be a cheaper option if construction was delayed and they announced that it would be done in the fall of 2017.  Now it’s spring of 2018 – pretty close.  You may remember that this is the project that cuts through the substation (or pole storage yard) north of 212th and eliminates the detour by the tennis courts. It’s going to be better than what’s there now – no chicane at the park entrance, no crazy crossing with an island in the middle.  However, I’ll bet that routing the trail on the north side of 212th for almost a block isn’t going to feel like it was designed for cyclists.  We’ll see…



Whiskey Ridge

This Article is mainly about an extension to the estuary trail in Marysville, but it has a teaser in it about an offshoot to the Centennial Trail.  I invested some time in finding a way from downtown Marysville over to the Centennial Trail because I wasn’t happy with the return to the trail from Silvana.  I realized that I could ride around Kayak Point and get down to Marysville and then ride highway 529 into Everett and never have to jog over to the Centennial Trail at all.  Odette and I did that route – once.  SR 529 is not a fun route.  I did several exploratory rides looking for an alternative and decided that Sunnyside over to Homeacres worked.  To do that as a loop from Snohomish I needed to ride up the Centennial to Marysville and then cut over…


I remember 84th as a really busy road, so a trail along it would be welcome.  I favored 60th (at the South end of Lake Cassidy) but might have opted for 84th if I were doing a loop out of Arlington.  either way I think Whiskey Ridge is a pretty good climb and the way I ended up doing it was fairly steep.


On a related matter, note that WDOT is rebuilding the Highway 2 Hewitt Ave. trestle which will likely mess up the access to 20th from Sunnyside.  Now if they would just put that estuary trail through to Homeacres…

ELK Sam Trail

Yesterday I rode the East Lake Sammamish trail again – the first time since the South Sammamish Segment A opened on January 17.  They did a good job on the trail, it is wide and smooth and attractively landscaped.  Now the only unpaved segment is the South Sammamish Segment B which is 3.6 miles long.  When the whole thing is done it will be much better than riding the parkway.

Most of the railroad right-of-way is 100 ft. wide, but the segment that isn’t done yet has a bunch of spots that are narrower than that.  I guess that it isn’t surprising that this was the last part to be done – some people are going to have to pay for special use permits and are still going to end up with a nice attractively landscaped trail running through their back yard.


Now, at the other end of the trail, in Issaquah, there is a major construction project that will have the trail closed until late 2018.  No detours, either, and the parkway where it goes under I-5 is no place to ride a bike.  If only they would provide a reasonable way across Gilman Blvd. I’d forgive them.


Puget Sound Regional Council

And some interesting appropriations from the PSRC Executive Board on January 25:

  • King County Parks – East Lake Sammamish Trail North Extension, PE/Design and Construction, $2,318,683
  • Seattle – Bell St. Protected Bike Lane, Construction, $1,349,521
  • Seattle – Cowen Park Historic Bridge, Construction, $2,409,859
  • Bainbridge Island – Olympic Drive Non-Motorized Improvement Project, Construction, $878,320
  • Issaquah – Newport Way Non-Motorized Improvement Project – SR 900 to SE 54th St., PE/Design, $1,550,888
  • Tacoma – Pipeline Trail, Phase III Construction, Construction, $1,936,057
  • Lynnwood – 44th Ave. W/I-5 Underpass Improvements, PE/Design, $255,672
  • Sultan – Sultan Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge, Construction, $2,500,000

Capital Budget

clipped from BikingBis with some items of local interest bolded:

“One of the biggest projects is for acquisition of land along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The budget allows $2 million for land acquisition, as long as adjacent landowners can cross or drive on the trail for agricultural purposes. Future costs are projected at $8 million. The long-sought rehabilitation of the Renslow Trestle across I-90 east of Ellensburg is also in the budget. The abandoned trestle was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad that later became the John Wayne Pioneer Trail through Iron Horse State Park. When the railroad abandoned railroad corridor in the 1980s, it dismantled part of the bridge. Trail users must take a detour on local roads to avoid the bridge where it crosses I-90. The Iron Horse Renslow Trestle Decking and Railing project is funded for $1.2 million.

Another big project is work on the Whitehorse Trail in Snohomish County, funded at $1.1 million. The 9.4-mile trail runs from Arlington to Darrington along the Skykomish River and through Oso landslide zone. The Centennial Trail Coalition says the money will pay for installing a new packed gravel surface this year. Meanwhile, another $1 million went toward the project to extend Centennial Trail southward from its trailhead in Snohomish.

The restoration of an abandoned railroad tunnel on the Spruce Railroad Trail in Clallam County is getting $649,000 in the state budget. The trail is part of an abandoned railroad that ran along the north side of Lake Crescent near Port Angeles. Railroad owners dynamited the tunnels to close them after abandoning the corridor. It’s part of the Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually run between Forks and Port Townsend.

Other trail projects

Trail and bridge development for the Foothills Trail in King County received $2.8 million. The project would extend the Foothills Trail from its current terminus south of Enumclaw to meet up with the trail in Buckley, Pierce County. The project includes a crossing over the White River.

The Klickitat Trail Bridging the Final Gap — $1.202 million
Willapa Hills Trail Develop Safe Multi-Use Trail Crossing at SR 6 — $401,000
Appleway Trail Amenities (Spokane Valley) — $556,000
Columbia River Trail (Washougal) — $1 million
Ebey Waterfront Trail and Shoreline Access (Marysville) 1,000
South Gorge Trail (Spokane) — $250,000
Willows Road Regional Trail Connection (Kirkland) — $1.4 million
Lake to Sound Trail Development (Wilburton Trestle, King County) — $500,000
North Creek Regional Trail (Snohomish County) — $1 million
Ferry County Rail Trail Phase 4 (Ferry County) — $82,000
South Gorge Trail (Spokane) — $307,000″


Cycling from Chengdu to Lhasa by the national highway G318, the total distance is about 2154km. And there are two mountains over 5000 meters and ten mountains with altitude of over 4000 meters to cross over by highway. The bike ride on this route will take over 20 days to finish, and need to climb one mountain by highway in every 2 days. Difficult as it is, the road abounds with extraordinary natural scenery from plain to plateau, from forest to snow-capped mountain, and deep gorge, etc. The raging torrent from Qinghai-Tibet plateau will accompany you all the way.

Eastside Rail Corridor

King County lies.  For months they’ve been sending me emails promising that the southern section of the ERC would be open by the end of 2017.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt in figuring that it was my mistake that the Bellevue – Cross Kirkland section wasn’t going to be accessible until February, but there was no mistake about the promise on the southern segment.

Well, in late January you can ride it.  There are short patches where they’ve laid down fine gravel and rolled it well so the ride is pretty good.  Most of it is coarse gravel and mud, though, and there are construction vehicles parked in the middle of it which makes it feel less than open.

The crowning stupidity is that there are two bridges – one short, one a longer curving trestle – and instead of installing solid decks they’ve left the rails in place and fenced them off!  “Open” means a two-foot wide wooden walkway with high chainlink fencing on either side.  I was worried that my trekking bars would be too wide to fit.  I don’t think that two pedestrians will be able to get past each other, let alone anybody getting past a cyclist.

You can’t get to the ERC from Gene Coulon Park – the trails in the park still have “no bike” signs and it isn’t clear that they connect to the ERC even for pedestrians.  The first street access is from 33rd, meaning that the trail doesn’t eliminate the last two climbs north of the park.  I know that BNSF held onto the track next to the park to use as a siding when they wanted to turn around trains at the Boeing plant but the County said they were talking to them about transferring that section.  At the other end of the segment the ERC ends at the road crossing, not at the Newcastle Beach Park. I imagine that eventually this will get worked out, but I’m disappointed that they are acting like it isn’t even an issue.

The weather is going to get better in a couple months and there will be a million cyclists investigating King counties promises.  Won’t they be surprised!