Part II begins a brief overview of some of Seattle’s recommended bike routes:
To access the Elliott Bay Trail, bicyclists are encouraged to follow either 20th Avenue West off Thorndyke Avenue West or 21st Avenue West. The trail is accessed by a left turn off either one of these streets.
Reaching the Ship Canal Trail from Magnolia has become immensely easier since the completion of the trail under the Ballard Bridge. No longer when east-bound must bicyclists negotiate the Nickerson St. fly-over. The trail’s begins along the Burlington-Northern property from Emerson St., where it crosses 16th Avenue West at two locations because the street loops back to the Fishermen’s Terminal net sheds. BNSF secondary railroad tracks intersect the trail. However, both SDOT and BNSF have taken safety precautions for all users. Be aware of very sharp and narrow turns at the tracks where users are guided by safety fencing.
From the Ship Canal Trail, cyclists can cross the Fremont Bridge to access the Burke-Gilman Trail or continue under the bridge toward South Lake Union (SLU). Though some intrepid cyclists choose to ride along Westlake, for most, until the city’s proposed cycle track is completed, the parking lots or promenade-width sidewalks are a better route along the lake. Due to the SLU streetcar tracks, cyclists are advised to use 9th Avenue N rather than continue downtown on Westlake N.
Many bicycle commuters ride to downtown from neighborhoods to the north. Follow some of the popular routes:
From Ballard south-bound, the most popular routes are
24th Avenue NW to Shilshole Avenue NW to join the Burke Gilman Trail. Note this traverses a portion of the “missing link.” Besides the narrowness of the street, the railroad tracks beneath the Ballard Bridge continue to be an extreme hazard to bicyclists. Markings on the street show bicyclists to take these tracks at 90 degrees. The signage is designed also to warn motorists of the route bicyclists will travel.
15th Avenue NW across the Ballard Bridge to downtown is an extremely busy thoroughfare. Crossing the Ballard Bridge takes care. Bicyclists as well as pedestrians use the narrow sidewalks. Though it is advised that bicyclists traveling north use the east side of the bridge and southbound bicyclists use the west side, this isn't mandatory so all should use caution.
8th Avenue NW is well-marked with bike lanes on both sides of the street, and heavily used from N. 85th St. to Leary Way where many cyclists join the Burke Gilman Trail continuing east or crossing the Fremont Bridge where most ride on to downtown via Dexter Avenue. Though marked bike lanes do not continue further north than N. 85th St., sharrows do indicate recommended riding position for bicyclists.
Dexter Avenue next to the Burke-Gilman Trail is probably the most heavily trafficked street by bicyclists. With the addition of traffic-calming features, the street has become much safer for all users into the downtown corridor.