Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Burke-Gilman Trail closure and detour

Finally, after years of foot dragging by the leaders of Lake Forest Park, reconstruction of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Lake Forest Park will begin this week. This is one of the first-built sections of B-GT. It has deteriorated and is eight feet wide. It will be repaved and widened - the pavement will be wider plus gravel shoulders. And some other little things I don't recall.
BG-T will be closed from the Seattle city limits at ME 145 St. to Log Boom Park in Kenmore (about 200 yards west of it).

The big concern as construction was about to begin has been "where does all that traffic go?" What will be the detour? A detour isn't important for walkers because they don't go very far and can easily find other routes. Walkers who use it for point-to-point travel are going to the LFP Center; they can cross Bothell Way NE/Highway 522; in some places it will take some exploring, but it's doable.

But many bicycle riders traverse LFP on longer rides. It would be easy for them to ride Highway 522/Bothell Way NE, but its speed limit is 45 mph and climbs at 250 feet going south and the shoulder is for buses. Not good. Some riders use it, though their legal standing is doubtful when they ride in the bus-only lane. After much back and forth it was announced that there would be no detour. Huh?? That answer was not acceptable. So they did come up with one.

The detour signs have gone up. All the preliminary talk was about it going up NE 165 St. to 37 Ave. NE. But they decided to use Ballinger Way NE, of all routes, to connect to 37th via NE 178 St.
Maps are at City of LFP web site. The map is in three sections. The page is not user friendly at all, but the map links are at the top.

Photo: Zeus the corgi shows a detour sign at NE 165 St. and 37th Ave NE. Click to enlarge.

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