This is a series to acquaint bicyclists, especially those either new to Seattle or new to bicycling to the popular bicycling routes in Seattle. Previous articles have covered routes from Magnolia, Ballard, north Seattle to downtown and to the University District and beyond. Those new to Seattle might find the introductory material of Part IV particularly helpful as it deals with some of the bicycling infrastructure in Seattle.
Beginning with Part V, this series will explore routes and trails south of the Seattle Ship Canal, beginning with navigating the downtown corridor. Two of the most popular routes getting to downtown west of Lake Union have been mentioned previously. These heavily used routes are the Elliott Bay Trail and Dexter Ave. N. Bicyclists using Elliott Bay Trail are often connecting from Magnolia, Ballard or Queen Anne. Part II explained these connecting points. Until November a year ago, Queen Anne cyclists had many challenges getting to downtown. Then last November, the W. Thomas Street Overpass opened. The wide promenade-style bridge connects pedestrians and bicyclists pleasantly from 3rd Avenue W on Queen Anne to Myrtle Edwards Park, the Seattle Waterfront and the Elliott Bay Trail.
For the purpose of this article, downtown will be the area south of Denny Way to Jackson, from the Seattle Waterfront east to Broadway. 2nd Ave., a preferred route by many has bike lanes. Also of course, a very heavily traveled route is the continuation of the Elliott Bay Trail. Because there are many traffic complications due to the Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition and tunnel construction, this will be covered in a separate article. Many of downtown’s east - west streets do not have bike lanes, but do have sharrows with some exceptions, Spring Street from 2nd to 4th, Cherry Street from 1st to 4th. Because 4th Ave does have bike lanes from S. Washington Street to Spring Street, it is also quite popular among bicycle commuters.
Part V continues with east-west streets and their brief descriptions of their bicycle signage.