What's the gap?
The still-under-construction waterfront trail was planned to end at Pier 62 next to the Seattle Aquarium, and not connect to the Elliott Bay Trail! To ensure seamless connectivity between the New Waterfront Trail and Elliott Bay Trail we advocated with thousands of fellow activists to create a safe water-side trail that provides a direct and convenient experience for everyone.
Here's what this gap feels like today
People are crammed onto a small sidewalk space with lampposts as obstacles next to the large and under-used Alaskan Way roadway.
People power making a difference
Unfortunately, the Port of Seattle did not want a continuous waterside trail, because they were concerned about loading and unloading for their cruise ship terminal. Instead, they wanted the trail to cross Alaskan Way twice to avoid their terminal (see graphic below). This opposition delayed the project by over a year.
But thanks to over 1,300 people who responded to our advocacy alert with emails, letters, and public comments the Port of Seattle Commissioners now support a waterside trail, and SDOT has announced a compromise design that is moving forward!
The compromise design will use removable bollards that allow the cruise ship terminal to use the trail for loading and unloading purposes when needed (with a detour to the east side), but will be a continuous trail during all other times (including all evenings). SDOT is also planning to reduce the number of lanes on Alaskan Way, which will create shorter crosswalks and safer speeds!
Cross-section of west side, two-way protected bike lane in front of Pier 66 (Blanchard St - Wall St) on non-sailing days
Cross-section of east side shared path detour in front of Pier 66 (Blanchard St - Wall St) on sailing days
Join us in thanking SDOT for improving the downtown waterfront trail.