SDOT started gathering additional traffic data for the Lake Washington Loop Greenway earlier this month as design work along a final route continues.

“I’ve been trying to get that going for five years now,” said Bob Edmiston with Madison Park Greenways of the new greenway. “It’s a long time in the making.”

Lake Washington Loop is a popular bicycle route that passes through Madison Valley and up the Washington Park Arboretum.

A final route for a Lake Washington Loop Neighborhood Greenway is being broken up into two sections, with the first phase extending from The Bush School on East Harrison Street, west to 29th Avenue East, and then north to 26th Avenue East and East Lee Street.

“It’s a slight reroute, so our wayfinding signage will be very important in that,” said Summer Jawson, SDOT’s Neighborhood Greenway Program manager. “People will still be able to bike on MLK if they choose to use the old route.”

The second leg continues north on 26th Avenue East to East Roanoke Street and Lake Washington Boulevard East.

“It works really well with the Madison BRT plan,” Jawson said. “We’re really excited about implementing this route that (Madison Park Greenways) have been working on and supporting and advocating in their work group.”

SDOT’s previous traffic study collected data on vehicle speed and volumes, as well as bike counts along three route alternatives. Students at The Bush School helped come up with those route alternatives, Edmiston said, adding the hope is the greenway will help offset traffic issues as the school continues to grow.

Jawson said SDOT is currently working with the community on implementing a grant for speed humps along East Harrison.

“It’s already much farther along in design, so that would be the first phase of implementation from the grant they received,” she said.

The latest traffic study is tracking vehicle speed and volumes between intersections and turning movement counts, as wells as bicyclist and pedestrian counts, according to SDOT.

One intersection being studied, west of where the new greenway crosses East Madison, is at Martin Luther King Jr. Way East. That’s where the future Rapid Ride G bus line will turn around after the Madison Bus Rapid Transit project is completed.

Construction of the Madison BRT project, which will create dedicated bus lanes along the Madison corridor from downtown to Madison Valley, is still slated to start in 2019.

Jawson said Madison Park Greenways has proposed a signaled crosswalk at East Madison and 29th Avenue East, which would be challenging, and so SDOT is working on a signal design alternative.

Edmiston said Madison Park Greenways met in late March to work on writing grant applications to help fund construction of the Lake Washington Loop Neighborhood Greenway. 

The Madison Valley resident is also concerned with how the greenway will eventually connect to the University of Washington through Montlake Boulevard East.

The Washington State Department of Transportation could begin construction of the Montlake Phase of State Route 520 by late 2018.

This phase will complete the eastbound half of the SR-520 west approach bridge, a new Montlake interchange, lid and land bridge.

Jawson said she worked closely with Montlake stakeholders and WSDOT on a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (NTMP).

Part of that plan includes reconfiguring the intersection of East Montlake Place East and East Roanoke Street to support greenway connections, according to the final NTMP. The city is also planning a greenway on East Roanoke Street that would connect to an existing greenway on 22nd Avenue East.

Jawson said she expects a lot of conversation to be had regarding how the north end of Lake Washington Loop will connect with SR-520.

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