Trail from Mercer Island to Sodo

Can someone help me with a good bike trail/path from Mercer Island to Sodo?  I live not too far from the I-90 trail so I know how to get there and cross the bridge.  It's just after crossing the bridge, what is the best way to get to Sodo? More specifically, I'm trying to get to the John Stanford Center on 3rd Ave S.   I'm feeling a little nervous...

Submitted by JeffPowers on

Judie- I would suggest you look at the following route, which largely has bike lanes: Take the I-90 trail to Hiawatha Pl northbound, then left onto Dearborn ( busy but bike lane), left onto Maynard, right onto Charles, left onto 6th Ave S (the only sketchy part), cross the street at Royal Brougham and ride on the sidewalk for a block, and then turn left onto the SODO bike trail down towards your destination off of Lander. Good luck!

Submitted by Josh on

Most of that route is simple, and you can do most of it on trails.

The I-90 Trail continues after the bridge, stay on it, through the tunnel, through the parks, up to Sturgus Park.

At the west end of Sturgus Park, after you pass the pagoda, the I-90 Trail forks -- the left fork climbs up to 12th Ave S, the right fork drops under 12th Ave S and runs parallel to I-5 as far as Holgate.  You want the right fork, under the bridge and along the hillside southbound.

Take a right onto Holgate.  It's a steep ride down the hill, I prefer to take it in the center of the lane, riding your brakes you'll still be as fast as traffic, but if you're more comfortable off the street, there's a somewhat-narrow sidewalk most of the way down the hill.

IF YOU TAKE THE SIDEWALK, WATCH OUT FOR THE POORLY-MARKED STAIRS! 

Most of the width of the sidewalk runs into a staircase down to the surface street, and I know at least one cyclist has launched down those stairs by mistake on a rainy night.  If you're riding the sidewalk, you can walk down the stairs or take the street the last bit of the way down, they'll both get you to the same place.

You'll land on Holgate just before 6th, which gives you a choice of staying on the street to 3rd and riding south on 3rd, or heading south on the SODO trail just after the train tracks at 6th.  SODO Trail will take you to the Link station on S. Lander, just a block from Stanford Center.

On the ride back, there is no sidewalk on the uphill side of Holgate, so you'll either want to take the stairs and sidewalk on the north side of Holgate, or take an assertive lane position climbing the hill in the street.  The lane isn't wide enough for cars to pass safely within the lane, and you don't want them to try squeezing through when there's oncoming traffic speeding down the hill.

Check out Google maps for bike directions.  You might not have noticed that there are selections off to the left.  The default is "car", but there are symbols for biking, walking and transit.  If you select the biking icon, you see all these green lines on the map...  they are the bike paths.  Punch in the from and to locations and Google gives you directions optimized for a bike.  I've checked these results many times against the route I would take, and either it gives me the same route or one that might be better, or simply point out an option that I might have missed.  Anyway, this is a great place to start planning any route, and then you can tweak it like any other map on Google by dragging sections around.  The neat thing about Google maps is that as you zoom in it flips to street view and you can easily check out the road, if there is a shoulder, etc.