The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will finally open a pedestrian and bicycle trail on SR-520 later this month, as highlighted in the video. The trail crosses Lake Washington on a new bridge span meant to replace the ageing one to the south. The trail was partially opened on April 2, 2016 when WSDOT held a special ceremony to mark completion of the new cross-lake bridge midspan. For years, people wanting to walk or bike across the bridge have had to be shuttled across by transit. But that that will all change on Wednesday, December 20th.
The trail opening means that it will have taken the highway department more than 600 days–almost a full two years–since the new bridge midspan opened for vehicular traffic to provide a space for people walking and biking. While the cross-lake trail completion is an achievement to celebrate, it’s also reflective of WSDOT’s priorities of consistently putting motorized vehicles before people walking and biking. Also notable is that the new cross-lake trail opening will be met with an incomplete safe walking and biking network near the Montlake Interchange. There is still much to do before walking and biking across SR-520 will be a safe and viable choice.