Should Seattle take a traffic lane for an outer loop at Green Lake?

Dec 1, 2021, 5:02 AM
Green Lake...
The path at Green Lake in Seattle. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Green Lake in Seattle could have an outer loop for walking and biking in the near future — in addition to its popular 2.8-mile path next to the lake — but creating that loop could involve removing street parking or one-lane of vehicle access along one segment.

The suggestion for a full outer loop around the edge of the lake has already been proposed, and includes two segments that would connect to the existing bike lanes around the lake.

Segment one along Aurora Avenue North would create a new path between North 63rd Street and West Green Lake Drive North along the on-ramp and along Aurora. Vehicle access would remain along the on-ramp.

Segment two along West Green Lake Drive North has multiple options. The first option would remove the street parking and maintain vehicle travel lanes in both directions, and add a two-way walking and biking path on the lake side of the street. Option two would keep the street parking, but remove either a northbound or a southbound vehicle travel lane, and again add a two-way walking and biking path on the lake side of the street. Option three would remove the parking, leaving two-way vehicle traffic in the middle and bike lanes on each side.

Seattleites are encouraged to weigh in on options in a survey open until Dec. 6. The Seattle Department of Transportation wants to know what they value, what’s working, and what could be different about getting around Green Lake.

5-year project around Green Lake finishes with new bike lanes, paved roads

The Green Lake Outer Loop project builds off two recently completed projects at the popular park: the Green Lake and Wallingford Multimodel Paving Project, and the shared walking and biking path on West Green Lake Way North.

As part of the paving project completed earlier in 2021, a two-lane bike path was added along East Green Lake Way North.

The new shared walking and biking path, also added in 2021, creates more space for people to “walk, roll, and bike safely around the lake and connect our neighborhoods.” The portion of the road with the shared path was closed to drive-through traffic for most of the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic as a “Keep Moving Street” in order to help people get outside and be able to stay distanced from others.

‘Keep Moving Street’ at Green Lake reopens to drivers with walk-bike path

The two segments in the full outer loop proposal along Aurora Avenue North and West Green Lake Drive North are shown in the map below:

Check the project webpage here for more updates and details. The outer loop project team will be presenting at the Phinney Ridge Community Council on Dec. 7.

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Should Seattle take a traffic lane for an outer loop at Green Lake?