Seattle Parks ready to cut ribbon on new Interlaken staircase and bike runnel

Seattle has found it a major challenge to create much of its planned bike infrastructure but one important new feature for riders headed for Capitol Hill via Interlaken Blvd will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting Saturday.

The celebration for the newly completed Interlaken Park Path and Stair Upgrade will begin this Saturday at 9:30 AM (PDF) at the corner of Boyer and Howe.

A ride up Interlaken (Image: CHS)

“The steep slopes and geotechnical recommendations required a robust concrete structure with shoring walls and steel pilings to construct the new stair and ramp connection between Interlaken Blvd and Boyer Ave E at E Howe Street,” Seattle Parks says about the upgrade. “Also included are community requested elements – a bicycle runnel, guard rails and a switchback that connects to the designated crosswalk.”

The Seattle Parks District funds provided $205,000 in 2018 “for greenways related capital project planning, design and construction” and $118,000 per year for programming, activation and events, the city says.

The investment comes as the Seattle Department of Transportation completed 23rd Ave corridor road work in the area that ultimately ended up falling well short of a “road diet” on the Montlake end of things. Transportation officials backed off more aggressive plans for new bus lanes in the northern stretch of the overhaul and responded to the neighborhood’s business community by maintaining street parking along the road.

Neighbors to the northeast of Capitol Hill are also invited to an upcoming community meeting on a much larger project in the area’s other gem of a park. Early planning for a new Environmental Education Center in the Washington Park Arboretum will be presented at the Graham Visitors Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Wednesday night:

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), in equal partnership with the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UW), and the Arboretum Foundation (AF) are engaging in a pre-design study for the building of a new Environmental Education Center at Washington Park Arboretum. This new facility will allow the current youth and adult education programming to expand by nearly double those currently served annually. The desired goal is to serve 20,000 children and adults annually from diverse communities across the region.

You can learn more here.


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8 thoughts on “Seattle Parks ready to cut ribbon on new Interlaken staircase and bike runnel

  1. Or you could go around the corner onto 23rd ? Huge spending on something that almost no one is going to use I imagine. And yes, I ride my bike up interlaken daily !

    • The City has taken note of your complaint and from now on will only build something if you personally will ever use it.

      • Up the road is a school (Lowell) half full of homeless kids – might it not be better to use a pile of $$ to help them at Xmas than build a ramp to nowhere for nobody?

      • Instead of our projects needing to compete with homeless children, why don’t we properly fund our society so children are no longer homeless and competing with infrastructure funding?

  2. Fred Hutch installed a bike runnel alongside the staircase connecting Eastlake and Fairview at the N. end of the campus.
    I regularly see people carrying their bikes on the stairs. I’ve NEVER seen anyone using the bike runnel. I tried it once myself: it was very awkward.

  3. I frequently used the sloping gravel footpath that this project unnecessarily replaced. The project has created a huge length of stairs and added a switchback the doubles the walking length. Apparently the switchback was added to meet the Boyer pedestrian crossing, which was placed on the wrong corner. Lots of poor planning and wasted dollars.

  4. Good lord, I hope pedestrians actually use this because biking up 24th to Interlaken is trivial in comparison to utilizing this monstrosity.