Connect Portage Bay
Connect Portage Bay is a team of caring neighbors working to build a network of neighborhood greenways in the Montlake neighborhood, safer crossings of 24th Avenue in Montlake business district, a better “lid” to the west-end connection of the SR-520 Bridge Replacement Project and a new Portage Bay bike-ped bridge.
Connect Portage Bay works with the Madison Park Greenways, Montlake Greenways, North Capitol Hill Greenways and University Greenways.
Next team meeting: To be announced.
Network of Neighborhood Greenways
The city of Seattle is currently building a Central Area Neighborhood Greenway that will parallel the 23rd/24th Avenue Arterial, connecting Rainier Valley to the University of Washington along slow-speed residential streets.
This summer, the city will construct phase 1 from S. Jackson Street to S. John Street. Phase 3 will run from S. John Street to the Montlake Bridge, and will be constructed in late 2014 or early 2015. The city is currently planning the final stage of the greenway.
It’s quite difficult to cross the 23rd/24th Arterial. That’s why the Connect Portage Bay team is advocating for a network of north-south and east-west neighborhood greenways to parallel both sides of the 23rd/24th arterial, especially in the Montlake neighborhood and south (up the hill) to the Central District. Learn more about our efforts so far.
24th Avenue Safety Improvements in Montlake Business District
24th Avenue is the heart of the Montlake Business District and it’s the most direct, flattest (relatively speaking) route from the Montlake Bridge to the Central District. Unfortunately, 24th Avenue isn’t comfortable to cross for pedestrians and bicyclists, and it can be uncomfortable to bike uphill and dangerous to bike downhill.
That’s why the Connect Portage Bay team is advocating for new/better traffic lights and crosswalks to make the 24th Avenue intersections safer, including at Interlaken Blvd, Boyer Ave, Lynn St, Calhoun St and Louisa St.
SR 520 Bridge Replacement Project: Montlake Lid & Portage Bay Ped/Bike Bridge
While the SR 520 Bridge is currently being replaced, the Washington State Department of Transportation still does not have the funding necessary to complete the project from Montlake across Portage Bay to I-5. This portion of the SR 520 Replacement Project is estimated to cost $2 billion. WSDOT completed initial design work in 2012, which included a “park lid” across 520 in Montlake and a pedestrian/bicycle bridge across Portage Bay.
The Connect Portage Bay team and our allies support both elements but remain concerned about several design elements of the initial design, as described in this report (PDF). In January 2013, a coalition of bicycle, pedestrian and neighborhood activists successfully got the Seattle City Council to adopt a resolution asking WSDOT to work with the city to address these concerns. Read more about the coalition’s past efforts here.
Connect Portage Bay team members are reaching out to local restaurants and retail stores to submit applications to the city for additional on-street (and on-sidewalk) bike parking racks.