The City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday to make the Seattle side of the 520 Bridge Replacement Project more bike and pedestrian friendly.
During the meeting, the council addressed the public’s desire for better access through the plans, after concerns that the initial plan made Montlake more dangerous for bikers and walkers. According to Montlaker neighborhood blog, the public requested that WSDOT:
- Build the Portage Bay Bridge Trail while minimizing width and visual impact.
- Redesign the Montlake Lid with a “wider range of options” to improve pedestrian and bicycle connections.
- Improve safety in the underbridge areas.
- Create an interim “Lake to Land” Plan that doesn’t preclude good options for the Montlake Lid and with adequate mitigation for the neighborhood.
We took a look at the SR 520 Replacement Project construction components in the past, which include connective changes such as the landscaped lid that will cover the roadway in Montlake and the construction of a new draw bridge spanning the cut.
At the meeting, the council and WSDOT said changes to the plan will include a 16-foot wide bike and pedestrian path on the new Lake Washington Blvd to connect to the 14th Ave overpass, and a new traffic signal will be added to the Montlake Blvd northbound off-ramp.
There are, however, still lingering safety concerns, according to the Montlaker, which live-blogged the meeting:
3:22 – CM Bagshaw: What’s been done about “dark and dangerous” areas for pedestrians underneath the freeway? How will students walk to Montlake Elementary School?
WSDOT: “We have more work to do on that.”
3:24 CM Bagshaw: “Would you let your 8-year-old child walk in this area?”
The Seattle Bike Blog has a link to the resolution, which includes specific bike and pedestrian safety recommendations from the report, including keeping popular biking and walking trail between Montlake and Roanoke.