City selects ‘hybrid’ route for bike, pedestrian-friendly greenway connecting CD, Capitol Hill

greenwayOpting for a route with a simpler crossing at E Madison and close connections to the schools along the way, Seattle Department of Transportation planners have chosen to move forward with the “Hybrid” option for a bicycle and pedestrian friendly parallel to the 23rd Ave corridor.

The Miller Park Neighbors group announced the selection last week.

The route will begin at I-90 and pass up through the Central District along 26th and 25th Ave before a jog over to 22nd north across E Madison to Capitol Hill. For 21st and 22nd Ave, the hilly terrain and lack of a straight route between Galer and Boyer will present some of the biggest challenges to cyclists. Planners liked that the crossing at Madison is simpler and the streets provide easier access to the Miller Community Center and Capitol Hill. The route also has more pre-existing traffic calming features with roundabouts and double-sided parking than options on the east side of 23rd.

centralgreenway_map_vertical_feb27CHS wrote previously about the options under consideration and the plans for the greenway that will complement a $46 million overhaul of 23rd Ave. The 23rd Avenue greenway is likely to be the longest greenway in the city. Through a mix of signage, pavement markings, speed bumps, roundabouts and other traffic-calming features, greenways attempt to encourage more people to walk and bike to their destinations. In addition to providing an off-23rd route for a calmer, quieter trip north and south, the greenway will also help bridge the gulf created by heavily-traveled E Madison. We wrote about more ideas for calming the mighty flow of E Madison and the latest on the big project to overhaul 23rd Ave here — Downtown ‘Pike-Pine renaissance,’ 23rd Ave reinvention — time to cap I-5 and repair E Madison’s grid?

SDOT explains its decision on the hybrid route here on the greenway project page:

SDOT evaluated four potential routes on the east and west sides of 23rd Avenue for the greenway. Ultimately, a combination of the previously reviewed routes was chosen. This “hybrid” route offers the best features of the considered routes and avoids many of the potential problems.

The hybrid route will run from I-90 north on 25th/26th avenues. Then it will turn west at E. Columbia Street, providing a new signalized crossing for bikes and pedestrians. Then the route will go up 22nd Avenue to E. Madison Street, where it will cross over to 21st Avenue and continue north.

Potential features of the greenway include:

  • Pavement markings and signage to alert motorists  to expect people bicycling
  • Improved crossings to make it easier for pedestrians and people on bicycles to cross
  • Way-finding to let people know where and how far away the neighborhood destinations are located
  • Median islands, traffic circles, curb bulbs and speed humps to help keep speeds low and drivers from using neighborhood streets to avoid main streets.

The changes are planned to begin being implemented this summer with a goal for the first phase of greenway work to be complete before the end of the year. UPDATE: Seattle Bike Blog has more details and helps clarify that the phase one construction will focus on the stretch between Jackson and John.

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5 thoughts on “City selects ‘hybrid’ route for bike, pedestrian-friendly greenway connecting CD, Capitol Hill

  1. At one of the community meetings prior to the decision I asked a question about how the greenway would safely allow bi-directional bicycle traffic on 21st Ave E between Aloha and E Roy which is currently one way southbound. Will bikes use the current or an enlarged sidewalk? Will a dedicated bike lane be created on the road? Now that the decision has been made, there must be an existing proposal to achieve this.

    The one way section was a required mitigation when Holy Names built their gymnasium amplifying the already problematic traffic situation around the school.

  2. “The route also has more pre-existing traffic calming features with roundabouts and double-sided parking than options on the east side of 23rd.”

    Based on my 8 1/2 years living on 22nd, I can attest that double-sided parking has little or no practical calming effect, particularly on the section between E. Union & E. Cherry, where cars frequently zoom down the three-block “short cut” well above the speed limit. It seems like there’s a side-swipe about once every couple of months, and neighbors with children are loathe to let them play in front yards for fear one of them will chase an errant ball into traffic. Perhaps the perponderance of two-wheeled traffic will have some mitigating effect, but I would certainly expect a lot of pissed-off drivers trying to avoid the lights on 23rd confronting much slower-moving bikes on what amounts to a very narrow one-lane arterial.

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