People turned out in droves this week for the inaugural ride across the new bike/pedestrian trail on the State Route 520 Bridge. WSDOT officially debuted the trail Wednesday, Dec. 20, marking another important milestone for the 520 corridor project.
— SR 520 (@wsdot_520) December 20, 2017
(Video courtesy of WSDOT)
This is the first time people on bikes have had their own lane across the 520 floating bridge. The trail is “14 feet wide, which allows for a comfortable mix of bicyclists and pedestrians and is “designed for users of all abilities,” according to WSDOT. Read more about the project here.
Up until now, many bicyclists have used bike racks on a Metro or Sound Transit bus to cross the bridge. There’s been so much demand for bike crossings on regular-scheduled service that both agencies also pick up bicyclists on out-of-service buses at no charge between the ends of the bridge at the Montlake and Evergreen Point freeway stops.
That extra service won’t change with the 520 trail opening. Metro and Sound Transit will continue to offer “deadheading” service and monitor demand with the new bike path in place.
Metro’s website has more information on how to use 520 bike service if the rack on a scheduled bus is full.
FUN FACT: Metro is the first large transit agency to equip its entire fleet with bike racks. The reason we first did so was a lack of bike/pedestrian access on the old State Route 520 Bridge. The first racks were designed in-house, fitted on a limited number of buses used only on some trips crossing the 520 Bridge. The racks were awkward and had to be removed for bus washing. They were in use from 1978 to 1994. In 1993, Metro issued a request for proposals for a bike rack that would meet the needs of the whole fleet of a busy transit system. The winning bid went to Sportworks a Woodinville company whose design is now the norm for more than 500 transit systems.