New bike path in Bellevue; Burke-Gilman update

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As bicycle paths go it isn't very long, less than a half mile.

But Bellevue city officials say it will make travel safer for bicyclists and pedestrians in the Factoria shopping area of Bellevue.

A work in progress since late summer, the 124th Avenue connector trail opened this week.

The 10-foot-wide path connects the I-90 bike trail (also known as the Mountains to Sound Trail) to 124th Avenue SE. It's one of many projects included in the Bellevue Pedestrian Bicycle Plan.


On the north side, the bike path's connection with the I-90 trail is well marked with way-finding signs. A kiosk at the nearby corner with Factoria Boulevard will display maps about biking and walking in the area.

Bicyclists (or pedestrians) from the south side of Bellevue can pick up the trail from 124th Avenue SE, which has bike lanes part of the way, and connect to the I-90 bike trail without hassling with all the traffic on Factoria Boulevard.

The total cost of the project was $1.4 million, which includes a gathering spot with benches at Factoria Boulevard, the kiosk, signs and some other improvements.
Franz Loewenherz, senior transportation planner for the city, said they were able to bundle a $354,000 federal grant and $605,000 state grant to help pay for the trail.

Meanwhile, the City of Bellevue is progressing with a $3 million bicycle and pedestrian trail on the east side of 108th Avenue, SE, generally in the area of Enatai Beach and Enatai Elementary School.

Burke-Gilman Trail

Also of note to bicyclists in the region, King County announced that the northern segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail renovation project will reopen by Dec. 31. That is the segment between Ballinger Way Northeast to Logboom Park.

The southern segment of the trail renovation project from Northeast 145 Street to Ballinger Way is expected to remain closed until late January.

The county says it ran into problems along the old section of the Burke-Gilman south of Ballinger Way in Lake Forest Park that created about a month delay. More details in Sunday's Seattle Times.

The detour will remain open until the entire project is finished.

Missing link

Meanwhile, the city of Seattle went to court on Friday in its efforts to complete the “missing link” in Ballard.

Some area business leaders oppose completing the Burke-Gilman trail through this neighborhood and are repeatedly dragging the city back to court over the issue.

Cascade Bicycle Club attended the latest hearing and “tweeted” the blow-by-blow court action, collated at the Seattle Bike Blog.

A decision from the judge is expected on Jan. 6, 2012.

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