Mountlake Bridge to 520 trail …

Bikes are supposed to detour to the west side of Montlake, cross 520, cross back across Montlake, and cross back across 520 again – for three weeks.


Sidewalk repair and detour along Montlake Blvd E begin as soon as Monday, June 18

Montlake Boulevard map. The part between East Shelby and Hamlin Streets is labeled sidewalk closed. There’s a detour route to the left of the road

The Seattle Department of Transportation is moving forward with another local project as part of the SR 520 Montlake Phase Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (pdf). As early as Monday, June 18, SDOT will begin to repair and widen the sidewalk along Montlake Boulevard East between East Hamlin and East Shelby streets (see project limits on the map).

An improved sidewalk makes it easier to walk and bike, and supports a connection to the new SR 520 Trail. The city project is in addition to traffic-calming projects SDOT is conducting as part of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan.

What to expect during construction

  • Typical construction work hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday through Friday, for up to 3 weeks.

  • Temporary sidewalk restrictions, with a biking and walking detour around the east side of Montlake Boulevard East between East Shelby and East Hamlin streets.

  • Those walking or biking north from Lake Washington Boulevard East will need to move to the west side of Montlake Boulevard between Lake Washington Boulevard East and East Shelby Street. Please follow all posted signs.

  • Short-term bus-lane restrictions outside of peak periods, generally 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Mondaythrough Friday. This provides crews sufficient space to work safely.

  • Temporary bus-stop closure at the southeast corner of Montlake Boulevard East and East Shelby Street. The bus stop on the east side of Montlake Boulevard at SR 520 will remain open during this work. However, those using this bus stop will need to cross to the west side of Montlake Boulevard to proceed north (see map). Please visit King County Metro’s website for details and updates.

  • Typical construction-related noise, dust, and odors during construction work hours.

Questions about the project? Contact Golnaz Camarda at 206-684-3136 or

Expedia closes Elliot Bay Trail

Another one:


“The section of the trail surrounding the new headquarters campus on the Elliott Bay waterfront will close July 18, detouring pedestrians over the West Galer Street flyover and along Elliott Avenue, and sending cyclists along Alaskan Way.”


Provence Bicycle Tour

Lake Wilderness paving

It’s construction season in Seattle, one of our two seasons (the other being the rainy season.)  Closures have been announced or are in effect on the Interurban both North and South of Seattle, on the Sammamish River trail, on the Tolt Pipeline trail – and on the Burke Gilman.

King County just issued a determination of non-significance with respect to the paving of the existing trail that branches off of the Cedar River trail.  (This is the initial segment of a trail that will eventually run over to Black Diamond and server as a connector between the Cedar and Green River trails.)

My issue is the statement that “A variety of wall  types, including solider (sic) pile, concrete cantilever, and gravity block will be installed…”  It’s a trail, folks.  it’s flat.  The railroad grade has been there for 100 years.  Why do we need to tear out the existing structures and engineer a cadillac version?  Pave it, use permeable asphalt if you want, but take the savings and pave the Cedar River trail to Landsburg.

The cost of building out the compromise route of the missing link on the Burke is now up to $26 million and it will go higher before they get done.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that most of the conflict I encounter while riding is in construction zones – in our system those guys really do rule.



SPU Water System Plan

Seattle Public Utilities circulated a draft of a water system plan and as a frequent user of the Tolt Pipeline Trail I felt a need to comment:

Joan Kersnar, Drinking Water Planning Manager
Seattle Public Utilities
P.O. Box 34018; Seattle, WA 98124-4018
(206) 684-0839 or

Comments on 2019 Water System Plan

Dear Ms. Kersnar:

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Seattle Public Utilities (“SPU”) Public Review Draft (the “Draft”) of the 2019 Water System Plan (the “Plan”.)

The SEPA check list indicates that “The existing uncovered in-town reservoirs are closed for public use. The Lake Youngs, Tolt, and Cedar River Reservoirs are also closed for public use and the draft 2017 SPU Watershed Protection Plan includes further information on regulations, policies, and program details for these areas. “  It is important that the Plan address restricted access to these areas in order for those restrictions to be perceived as other than arbitrary.

It is clear from the Draft that SPU has evaluated the risk of contamination and other relevant risks insofar as covered reservoirs and in-town facilities are concerned and that it has concluded that public access in most cases can be properly managed. It is important that the Plan indicate that this same level of analysis and hazard mitigation will also be applied to the watershed areas so that reasoned decisions can be made regarding permitted recreational uses.

The discussions regarding Kerriston Road which are found in several places in the Draft, suggest that known exceptions to the access restrictions occur and that the risk to public safety and to SPU assets is not sufficient to warrant urgent actions. If the existing level of unauthorized access can be tolerated the Plan should address legalizing and managing this and similar activity. (The Plan should address how SPU can bring its significant expertise with relevant physical security, signage, lighting and design features to bear on managing public access to limited portions of the watershed areas.)

More specifically, the Cedar River Trail (Milwaukee RR corridor) between Landsburg Park and Rattlesnake Lake is an “attractive nusiance” that represents a gap in the regional trail system inviting illicit access (as evidenced by these GPS tracks.)

The Plan should address:

1. How SPU rationalizes restricting access by the public (with manageable physical and sanitary security risks) while permitting hunting access for selected community groups (with arguably greater physical and sanitary risk.)

2. How SPU justifies granting on-going, unsupervised trail access to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance if similar access on designated trails cannot be afforded to the greater bicycle community

3. How SPU arrives at the conclusion that land acquisition in the Kerriston Road enclave is an appropriate capital expenditure as opposed to pavement and fencing to manage limited access.

4. The process SPU would use to develop management plans to address limited access to this segment of the trail

Thank you for this opportunity to comment. I look forward to the final version of the Plan.


Jerry Scott





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…