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Westlake Avenue North Cycle Track

Revised April 22, 2014

SDOT shared two alignment concepts at a recent Design Advisory Committee meeting. You can view a presentation and images of Concept A and Concept B in the “Design Advisory Committee” section below.

Mark your calendar: Project open house scheduled for May 21. Time and location details will be announced soon.  

Project Overview

The Westlake Cycle Track is a project to design and build a cycle track along Westlake Avenue North between Lake Union Park and the existing Ship Canal Trail in front of Diamond Marina (south of the Aurora Bridge overpass Cycle tracks are a means for bicyclists of all ages and abilities to travel safely via corridors largely free of  pedestrians or vehicles.

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SDOT’s primary goal is to improve safety for all travel modes.

Designing and constructing a cycle track on Westlake Avenue North has three key benefits:

  • Safety for all users:
    • People biking – Supports bike riders of all ages and abilities
    • People walking – Separates bikes from pedestrians
    • People driving – Provides predictability within parking lot
  • Connectivity: Connects with surrounding bike/walking trails
  • Accessibility: Provides a flat, low-stress bike path, making this scenic corridor more accessible to residents and visitors

During the 2007 Seattle Bicycle Master Plan outreach process, Westlake was one of the most requested facilities for bicycle infrastructure improvements.  The proposed 2013 Bicycle Master Plan also designates a cycle track for Westlake Avenue North.

Bike ridership in this corridor is increasing partly due to growth in the South Lake Union and Westlake areas and partly because of the desire for a direct, level bike route protected from faster moving vehicles.

Project Information

SDOT conducted the following corridor studies to inform cycle track design:

Current Conditions

Many travel modes share limited space in the Westlake corridor, including residential, business, recreational, tourism and freight traffic. Westlake is a designated Major Truck Street – a type of street that accommodates significant freight movement through the City. Westlake is also a highly traveled commuter route. The Westlake Cycle Track will strive to balance these competing needs while meeting the key goal of improving safety.

East Side of Westlake Corridor parking lots
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One typical section of the Westlake Ave North right-of-way, looking north – The configuration in the parking lot varies considerably along the length.

Bicyclists currently have three route options when traveling through the Westlake corridor:

1. Ride on the existing eastern sidewalk adjacent to businesses, where bicyclists must cross paths with pedestrians entering and exiting businesses.
2. Ride through the parking area between Westlake Avenue North and the eastern sidewalk, where both bicyclists and vehicles must navigate around each other in a limited space. conflictpoint.jpg
3. Ride on the Westlake Avenue North roadway, a four-lane arterial that carries heavy truck and bus traffic.

Project Schedule

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The project has three key phases:

  • Phase 1: Data collection and analysis, alignment evaluation and selection of a preferred alternative. Began in fall 2013 and expected to continue through summer 2014.
  • Phase 2: Environmental review and final design of the preferred alternative. Expected to begin in 2014 and finish in 2015.
  • Phase 3: Construction of the cycle track. Expected to start in 2015.

Phase 1 began by reviewing existing conditions and appropriate design criteria, as well as traffic and parking studies. Detailed reports on these aspects of the project will be distributed when complete. We will collect data from nearby businesses and residents on how they use the corridor shortly, and a Design Advisory Committee is currently being formed.

During late spring and early summer 2014, we will analyze possible alignments with the help of the Design Advisory Committee. We’ll hold a design open house on May 21 to seek additional input from the broader community.

We expect to hold an open house in September 2014 to share the resulting basic design. SDOT will recommend a preferred design before Phase 2 begins.

Public Engagement

Involving the public in the project will help ensure a full understanding of current corridor use and future needs. We will seek public input in a variety of ways:

  • Open houses
  • Public presentations which always include opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback
  • Project surveys to receive key information from adjacent businesses and residents on a variety of topics.
  • A Design Advisory Committee appointed by Mayor Murray to work with the project team. Read on for additional information.  
  • Public comments for the project team by email or by phone

The first open house was held on Oct. 28, 2013 to introduce the project and help define key issues. Meeting materials are included in the table below.

The second open house will be held on May 21, 2014 to introduce potential alignments and invite feedback from the public. At the third open house, SDOT will present the recommended alignment along with preliminary design details.

A survey of Westlake businesses and residents within the project area was recently conducted to collect information about parking and delivery utilization of the corridor. Stay tuned for results of the survey. The survey is now closed.

Public presentations are an important opportunity for learning about the project. Feel free to email or call 206-909-8578 to request a project representative come to your organization, business or group for a project briefing. Here is a list of previous presentations:




May 21, 2014
5:30-8:30 p.m.
TBD Public Open House

March 18, 2014
9:30-11:30 a.m.

Seattle City Hall, Room L-280

Seattle Freight Advisory Board

March 5, 2014 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Seattle City Hall, Room L-280

Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board

March 3, 2014 5:00-6:30 p.m.

History House of Greater Seattle
790 N 34th St

Briefing at Lake Union District Council

Oct. 28, 2013
5:00-8:00 p.m.

B.F. Day Elementary School
3921 Linden Ave N

Public Open House

Meeting materials:

Oct. 23, 2013
9:00-10:00 a.m.

City of Seattle, Seattle Municipal Tower

Listening Session: Pedestrian groups

Oct. 22, 2013
5:30-6:30 p.m.

National Sign Building
1255 Westlake Ave N

Listening Session: Business/neighborhood groups

Oct. 22, 2013
3:30-4:30 p.m.

City of Seattle
Seattle Municipal Tower

Listening Session: Bicycle groups

Sept. 4, 2013 6:00-8:00 p.m. Seattle City Hall, Room L-280 Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board

Design Advisory Committee

Mayor Ed Murray appointed the Westlake Cycle Track Design Advisory Committee, bringing representatives with a variety of perspectives together to improve safety for all modes of travel (pedestrian, bicyclists, motor vehicles, transit and freight) in the Westlake Avenue North right-of-way.

The Design Advisory Committee will bring the local knowledge and perspectives needed to ensure the project meets all objectives. The Committee includes 13 individuals representing a variety of perspectives.

Member list:

Member Name

Interest Represented

Warren Aakervik

Freight interests

Martha Aldridge

Lake Union Park users

Andrew Austin

Non-vehicular commuters

Devor Barton

Pedestrian interests

Karen Braitmayer

Westlake Ave North business owners

Dave Chappelle

Lake Union floating home and live-aboard residents

Thomas Goldstein

Cascade Bicycle Club

Amalia Leighton

Transportation Engineer

Sarah McGray

Bicycle interests

John Meyer

Air/water transportation/tourism

Martin Nelson

Westlake Stakeholders Group*

Peter Schrappen

Lake Union marina operator and boat moorage tenants

Cam Strong

Westlake Stakeholders Group*

*Note: The Westlake Stakeholders Group represents a variety of businesses and residents within the Westlake corridor.

Additional details about the DAC members are included in the DAC member fact sheet.

Member Commitment

Members of the Design Advisory Committee (DAC) are expected to:

  • Develop an understanding of the Westlake Cycle Track Project purpose and need.
  • Work collaboratively, creatively and constructively to help determine community values.
  • Deeply engage in developing design options with safety as the overarching goal.
  • Gather feedback and provide ongoing communications between SDOT and the group they represent.
  • At each meeting, report what they have heard from their communities.
  • Provide input, as community representatives, on ways to address community concerns.

Meeting schedule

The list below outlines the DAC meeting schedule. Meeting materials will be posted online following each DAC meeting.

Spring 2014 meetings (March and April): DAC is formed, reviews expectations and charter, and learns project background. SDOT will share initial project information and the results of a business and resident survey. By the third meeting, SDOT will have initial design options to present for DAC feedback.

May 2014 open house: At a May open house, the public will review the DACs work to date and provide input on initial designs options.

Summer 2014 meetings (June through August): DAC will review public feedback, review special topics as needed (i.e. waste bin management), and discuss refined design options.

September 2014 open house: At the September open house, the public will review updated design options.

In late 2014, SDOT will select a design to move forward for environmental review and engineering.

In 2015, the DAC will reconvene to review key design milestones.

DAC meeting materials:

Meeting date


April 21 Agenda 
Concept A
Concept B

April 7


March 24

Meeting summary

Project Funding

The budget for the Westlake Avenue North Cycle Track Project is currently estimated at $3.6 million. Funding comes in part from the Federal Highway Administration through the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC). The PSRC awards Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds in a competitive process for non-motorized projects across the region. The project is also funded by surplus funds from the Spokane Viaduct Project as well as the bonds for the Cheshiahud Loop.

Contact Us

If you have comments or questions about the Westlake Avenue North Cycle Track Project please contact us:

Project Hotline: 206-909-8578
Project Email:
SDOT Communications Lead: Art Brochet

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More Information

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