We’d prefer not to have to say this, but we continue to have both good news and bad news regarding the Lake Forest Park Burke Gilman redevelopment project. The good news: it’s finally going to happen, and it’s going to result in substantially safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. The bad news: it’s going to pose a substantial burden on those who depend on the trail for their commute trips or for recreation. Reality check: trail closes on June 15 for several months and the detour route is, at best, subpar.
We prefer that the trail project proceed during this construction season, despite our disappointments with that detour. King County has been working hard to make sure there’s a viable route during construction—but this appears to be a difficult task. WSDOT has been unaccommodating in allowing for a safe and direct bicycle detour like a protected lane on SR522, the obvious choice to safely and conveniently accommodate thousands who use that section of trail. And local property owners have been vocal opponents to other potential routes (note the minutes from this city council meeting)—including threatening a lawsuit to keep bikes away.
While we’ve been hearing people’s concerns and have many of our own, standing firm means that we’d be actually standing firmly in the way of a very important trail safety project. We know that, as a community, none of us want that. So in the meanwhile, we have two things to ask.
First, we ask that King County assess the detour one month in to determine if shuttles should be back on the table and if there are any concerns that need to be better accommodated.
Second, we ask you to post your thoughts on your preferred bike route in the comments section. Cascade won’t be recommending any particular route (including King County’s recommended detour) but we trust our members and friends to offer their useful suggestions in helping us all get around while our beloved trail is being improved.
Learn more about the construction on King County’s website.