News of Madison Valley

Choose the Lake Washington Greenway Route

AUGUST 26, 2016 | LINDY WISHARD

The Lake Washington Greenway organizers need your help to select which route will become the neighborhood greenway between Madison St and Boyer Ave. This is the route that will be engineered to best accommodate bicyclists and pedestrian traffic. After you finish reading the pros and cons, send your choice of route A, B or C to Lauren Squires.

If you have additional comments about car, bicycle, and pedestrian routes north of Madison St please let them know—they’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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Remember, please send your selection to Lauren Squires.

 

More about the Lake Washington Greenway Route Project

Wednesday night, August 24, Madison Valley residents held a well attended meeting at Bailey-Boushay House regarding this project. Bob Edmiston of Madison Greenways and David Rodgers, a traffic engineer with MIG lead the meeting. 

What is a Greenway? 

A greenway is a route engineered to be bicycle and pedestrian friendly. Our previous article on greenways can be read here. 

What is this project?

This project is to select, and subsequently design, the route that will be the best bicycle and pedestrian connection between East Madison St and Montlake. 

What is the project timeline?

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Is there funding for implementation? 

No, this project does not currently have funding for implementation. The community will apply for grants for elements of implementation, and will work to encourage SDOT to incorporate the route improvements into the annual budget in future years. 

How was this process funded?

Residents applied for the 2016 Park and Streets fund, and were awarded grant money to pay the traffic engineer, MIG, for their help. In addition, community volunteers have spent hundreds of hours talking with residents, mapping routes, studying future SDOT/WDOT plans, and counting cars and bikes.

The Data, So Far

To fully understand the traffic patterns in the neighborhood a study was performed this spring. The study measured vehicle speeds, volumes, route slopes, bicycle counts, and more. 

Arterial Streets

This map shows the high-traffic arterial streets through the neighborhood.

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Potential Greenway Routes

Again, here we see the three routes being considered as the North/South connection. I have labeled them A, B, and C for easy identification. 

A = 25th Ave
B = 28th Ave connecting to 26th
C = 29th Ave connecting to 26th

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Daily Vehicular Traffic

This map shows the number of cars traveling along the three potential routes each day. 28th Ave East has the most traffic, and this makes sense given the traffic light at Madison and the 28th/MLK intersection.

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Vehicle Speeds

On this map we can see where cars are traveling fastest.

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Daily Bicycle Traffic

The same route that carries the most cars also carries the most bikes. It’s interesting to note Route B is also the Lake Washington Loop Trail — an existing, well-known bike route.

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Street Slopes

While Route A has less traffic, it also has the steepest slopes.

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To learn more visit:

Project Website: www.seattle.gov/transportation/lakewashingtonloopgreenway.htm

Arboretum Neighbors for Safer Streets: https://arboretum.nextdoor.com/groups/724004/

SDOT Neighborhood Greenways Program: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/greenways.htm

 

Photos from Wednesday’s Meeting

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Comments?

If you have comments and ideas for this project, please share your feedback by sending email to Lauren Squires.

 

Topics: Transportation, Safety

Hybrid of B and C would be best! (8:22 am Aug 31)
As a resident of the area and a regular user of these streets (by foot, bike, and car), I will start by saying how happy I am that we are having this conversation. We should always do our best to make our streets functional and safe for all the users - especially the bikers and walkers. It seems that both options B and C are good options. However, I do think that a slight modification of the potential options would bring the best of both worlds to the table. If option C continued up Roy (a block before Madison) and then turned left along the B path to Madison, it seems this would create the best possible option for pedestrians, users of the new play fields, and also the bikers who would benefit from the stoplight at Madison. This would allow for option C to fulfill its greatest benefit - that being that it only has side traffic coming from one direction as Washington Park creates the boundary on the other side, and allowing for an existing stoplight for crossing Madison. In closing, if the options are set in stone as proposed, then I feel option C is the best - especially if a traffic light were an option at Madison.
Madison Valley Bike Commuter (12:03 pm Aug 29)
As a daily bike commuter, I (and most cyclists) tend to avoid hills as much as I can (i.e. no one rides south on MLK, everyone rides south on 27th, so it was such a waste to put a bike path on MLK which is so busy and steep). Small neighborhood streets where cars can come from the left or the right to knock you out (they don't stop for bikes all the time) are dangerous for bikers. So I would suggest Option B or C, since they minimize cross streets and hills. Please don't add those massive berms that cross the entire street as they are uncomfortable to bike over. If they can leave a gap in the middle, or a wider one on the sides, then bikes can go around them.
James Drage (9:50 am Aug 29)
Thanks for taking this on. I ride route C regularly (at least once a day, often twice). I prefer this over route B because it doesn't have the four-way stop sign. One other note: the street is pretty narrow right along the Arboretum, because cars park on both sides of the street. So I think the only change I would propose is to disallow parking on one side or the other along 29th between Helen and Roy, to allow for two lanes of traffic. Thanks again!
Shane Repking (9:17 pm Aug 27)
First of all, I would like to thank you for your efforts in what will be a great improvement for the neighborhood! I am an avid cyclist. I have been riding my bike to work for the past 15 years, and regularly take my family on rides from 26th Ave E and Madison to the Burke Gilman, or south to Seward Park or Madison Park Beach. I think that route B is the best route. Here are my thoughts. 1. It connects downtown Montlake to the commercial in Madison Valley. Everyone in Montlake is going to want to ride thier bikes to our new PCC:) 2. If you are doing the Lake Washington Route, this is the most direct route to link up north of 520, and you avoid that hill. 3. Let me stress the importance of avoiding that hill. People are going to end up going on 28th and 26th even if you put that greenway in on 25th, just to avoid that hill. Especially if they have a family in tow, which is exactly who we should have in mind when we are talking about protected lanes. 4. I think that people drive too fast along 28th/26th to Boyer as it is. This is a residential neighborhood with lots of kids. We need to slow people down. Because this is the most heavily used route by car, we will be making the biggest impact to slow people down. Thank you!
Michael Lindell (7:38 pm Aug 26)
For bicycle or foot traffic between Boyer and Madison, there is an existing Lake Washington Loop Trail, an existing path/sidewalk on the west side of Lake Washington Blvd that connects to a path through the Washington Park Playfield, and the Arboretum Loop Trail that is under construction. I think it is important to consider the incremental value of the proposed Lake Washington Greenway to the infrastructure that already exists or is currently under construction. By that criterion, Route A seems to be the least desirable (street slopes make it even more problematic for young cyclists) and Route C has no apparent advantage over the existing bike route (Route B).