Last Friday, we wrote about a proposal by the University of Washington for a major upgrade to the section of the Burke-Gilman trail that traverses the UW campus. Community support is a component in considering TIGER applications, so the STB Board would like to throw our support behind this application, and urge readers who care about safe and effective pedestrian and bike infrastructure in Seattle to do the same, by filling out the form at this page.
There are multiple reasons for our support:
- The current trail is inadequate, obsolete and under-designed for its current level of traffic. Trail users are particularly poorly served by the multiplicity of (largely non-wheelchair-accessible) connection points and unsafe road crossings. The UW proposal solves those problems.
- These problems will only increase with the opening of University Link in 2016, as the light rail station to the southeast of the university, and anticipated property development to the west, increase demand on this regional active-transportation highway.
- This TIGER funding cycle represents the best (and likely the only) way to fund these improvements in time for the 2016 opening of University Link. Before the station opening is the smart time to perform this unavoidably-disruptive construction work.
- This section of the Burke-Gilman trail is of regional importance, connecting all of northeast Seattle and the northeastern suburbs to the five-year interim northern terminus of Link Light Rail, the region’s transit backbone, and to the UW and downtown Seattle, two of our regions’s biggest travel demand centers.
We strongly urge the United States Department of Transportation to consider and approve the University of Washington’s Burke-Gilman connector proposal, and for our state and federal elected officials to support and advance it however they may.
STB’s Editorial Board currently consists of Martin H. Duke, Bruce Nourish, and Sherwin Lee.