“Missing Link” Bike Route Study on NW Market St - Leary Ave NW - 17th Ave NW

August 28, 2023

What Happening Now?

We've launched a design and public engagement process to study what an alternative “Missing Link” connection using 17th Ave NW, Leary Ave NW, and NW Market St would look like and mean for community members and businesses. This early design will result in an initial concept only (30% Design) at this point, and will be refined with community input. We’ll share this work with the public and take feedback on how to best design this route. 
We’re in the early stages for this potential route and expect to be able to share more details about this design this fall. We’re also beginning to collect community feedback and are contacting businesses and property owners near the route, presenting to community groups, conducting field research, and have launched a community survey. 

Thank you to everyone who attend our August 10 online open house! Watch the presentation from our event: 

We’re working on responding to the questions received at the open house and will be posting an FAQ on our webpage in the coming weeks. Sign up for our listserv to be updated when this FAQ is posted.


We want to hear from you! 

We want to hear from community members about this alternative connection. Take our survey which will be open until Friday, September 8. 

Sign up for our project email list to get regular updates.    


People out and about on Ballard streets

Councilmember Dan Strauss and Mayor Bruce Harrell requested that SDOT study this route as an option for connecting the Burke-Gilman Missing Link with an all ages and abilities bicycle facility through Ballard along NW Market St, Leary Ave NW, and 17th Ave NW. More details about this request can be found here and here.

The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link is the long-planned multi-use trail safety improvements along 1.4 miles of Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Locks connecting the two existing sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Ballard.

SDOT has a 100% design for a proposed route along Shilshole Ave NW, however construction along this route has been paused due to ongoing litigation for over 25 years. This route remains an option if these legal challenges are resolved. Please see this website for more information on the Shilshole alignment.

Moving forward with designs for the Market/Leary/17th route will help us understand how this project will improve connectivity in the bike network, as well as potential impacts.


The newly proposed route would extend along NW Market Street two blocks east from 24th Ave NW and then run along Leary Ave NW to 17th Ave NW where it re-joins the Shilshole Route as designed to connect to the Burke Gilman Trail.

Map showing a route in green starting at NW 46th St, going down Leary Ave. NW, and then turning on NW Market Street.


The Seattle Department of Transportation will use existing funds allocated to the Burke Gilman Trail Project to develop this conceptual design for the bike route along Market/Leary/17th. This will allow SDOT to understand mobility impacts along this alternative route.


We are currently in the early design stages for this route and expect to be able to share more details about this design this fall, and have 30% designs by the end of 2023.

We are also beginning to collect community feedback on this route via the website comment form. and survey.  Throughout the rest of 2023, we will contact all businesses and property owners near the route, present at community groups, conduct field research, and launch a community survey.

Preliminary Outreach

Councilmember Dan Strauss held stakeholder meetings in January with Bicycle, Industrial, and Commercial interests to receive initial feedback on this proposed route for completion of the “Missing Link”. This initial feedback specifies both corridor-wide and street-specific design considerations.

Please see this link to Councilmember Dan Strauss’ letter that contains the feedback he received and design specifications for the city to consider.

Project Documents

Project flyer (July 2023) 

Project mailer (July 2023) 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.