Find Posts By Topic

Travel Advisory: Shilshole Ave NW bike lanes beneath Ballard Bridge will be closed on Monday as we make safety enhancements to train track crossing.

Update (January 5, 2023)

It was not possible to begin this work on the week of December 19, 2022 due to snow storms and freezing rain. Work began on January 5, 2023.

Next week, we will be building safety enhancements to the bike lanes on Shilshole Ave NW beneath the Ballard Bridge. These changes will enhance navigation for people who bike across the train tracks. Depending on the weather, we expect work to last up to three days starting as soon as Monday, December 19.

A detour for people driving and riding bikes may be in place for up to three days while construction is occurring. During that time, this section of Shilshole Ave NW will be local access only. All other people driving or biking through the area should follow detour signs one block north to NW 46th St.

This work is separate and independent from the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link project which would build a 1.4 mile connection along Salmon Bay from 11th Ave NW to the Ballard Locks. This is an opportunity for a quick adjustment that makes the existing bike lanes more clear for people biking.

Detour map showing path to travel under Ballard Bridge using NW 46th St.
Detour: People biking or driving who should follow detour signs one block north to NW 46th St.

Enhancements will make it more intuitive for bike riders to navigate across railroad tracks safely.

This work will be the first phase of a safety project to add more visual and physical cues for bike riders to follow the correct path across the train tracks. This is important because the bike lanes direct riders to cross the train tracks at a right-angle so that bike wheels do not get stuck in the rails.

While the current bike lanes direct bike riders to cross the train tracks at the right angle, we see a good opportunity to make this guidance more clear for bike riders.

As a first step, we will be replacing some of the pavement next to the bicycle lanes with gravel in order to make the correct route even more apparent.

Diagram of planned changes showing areas where pavement will be replaced with gravel.
We will be replacing unused pavement with gravel to make the it more obvious how to follow the bike lanes and cross the train tracks at a safe angle.

More safety enhancements coming next year

In 2023, we will return to this area to make the route even easier for people on bikes and in cars.

This will include realigning the bicycle lanes to the south of the bridge support columns. This will be a more comfortable and intuitive layout for people riding bikes, guiding them to cross the train tracks at a safe angle.

We will also add new fencing along the train tracks and new overhead lighting under the bridge.

The eastbound general traffic lane of Shilshole Ave NW will shift south for a short distance under the bridge to make room for the bike lane realignment. About 5 on-street parking spaces will be removed to accommodate the new bike lane design.

Draft plan for additional enhancements in 2023. Diagram showing how bike lane would shift to southern side of bridge columns.
Future plans: In 2023 we will return to build more safety enhancements. This draft plan shows how the bike lane would be shifted to the southern side of the bridge columns to make the correct route more intuitive.