Following on the heels of the completion, earlier this year, of the bike path along East Green Lake Way, the city is now making plans to finish this “outer loop” by adding a path along the west side of the lake. The vision is for separated lanes for walking and biking to be added to Aurora Avenue and West Green Lake Way. While funds have been allocated for the planning phase of this project, money for the actual construction has yet to be identified.
The multi-use path around Green Lake immediately near the water (the “inner loop”) is, to say the least, heavily used. This has pushed the city to construct an outer loop, utilizing existing roadways, to offload some of the traffic from the inner loop. SDOT is still in the early stages of planning and citizen engagement, so a final design is far from determined at this point. Still, SDOT has a number of proposals up for discussion. Complete details are here, but a synopsis is below.
Bicyclists and other users traveling clockwise around Green Lake on the outer loop can currently head southbound in the separated bike lanes on East Green Lake Way then turn northbound (at the Pitch and Putt) onto West Green Lake Way on a short segment of separated path. SDOT plans to extend this path up the existing onramp to Aurora Avenue where cement barriers would keep cars and bikes apart (see illustration).
The outer loop would continue onto West Green Lake Drive to ultimately meet up with the existing path at the junction with East Green Lake Drive near Dukes, the wading pool, etc. SDOT is considering three options for what this segment would look like. All options call for two lanes of multi-use path either side-by-side on the lakeside of the roadway or with one lane on each side. Space would be made for the path by removing parking or a vehicle travel lane.
- Winter 2022: Collect traffic data, conduct traffic analysis, continue engagement, including participating in existing community group meetings; consider funding sources
- Winter/Spring 2022: Aurora Ave N Corridor Design Study Launches
- Spring 2022: Review community engagement feedback and traffic analysis results, work with WSDOT, draft a design
- Spring 2022: Community engagement to share proposed design and get additional feedback
- Summer/Fall 2022: Construction could begin as early as mid-2022
While SDOT is still in the early stages of citizen engagement, the first opportunity to provide input has already happened. On November 9, SDOT held what it termed an “open house” to explain their plans and solicit comments.
Some residents understandably expressed concerns over loss of parking which they use to access the park. Others noted possible traffic snarls that could result from removing a travel lane. Many, of course, were supportive of completing the loop while others seemed to feel that existing infrastructure is sufficient to meet needs.
You can download SDOT’s two-page summary of the meeting here.