Update, July 11: Expedia has announced that the trail reroute will be delayed until August 1, with a shorter reroute for pedestrians—and additional safety measures.
Instead of rerouting pedestrians all the way across the Helix Bridge, those on foot will follow the same route as those traveling by bicycle, along Alaskan Way. That now-multimodal detour will be in a semi-protected, eight-foot-wide lane, separated by large delineator posts.
The remaining 14 feet of road for motor vehicle travel will have its speed limit reduced to 15 miles per hour and include sharrows (stencils of bikes and arrows) every 100 feet. The roadway will also be staffed by flaggers between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and regulated by a portable traffic signal at all other hours. Motor vehicle crossings will also be indicated on the roadway.
Expedia told Curbed Seattle the additions came after consultation with the Seattle Department of Transportation and Cascade Bicycle club.
Original article, June 13:
One of the more accessible trails in Seattle’s bike network is the Elliott Bay Trail. We named it one of the best beginner bike rides in the city not just for its relatively flat terrain, but full array of Seattle scenery, from waterfront views to a working trainyard.
But with Expedia’s campus sprouting up by Centennial Park, a Port of Seattle property that hosts a segment of the trail, cyclists will be rerouted onto a shared road more than a year, starting July 18. The payoff is that in the fall of 2019, that segment of the path will reopen with improvements that should make biking past the campus easier.
”Everyone who uses the trail is aware of the really abrupt turn in front of our new campus,” said Mark Nagle, vice president for real estate at Expedia, in a statement. ”We want to soften that corner and make it safer and, in doing so, we were able to open up space and create a new public waterfront viewpoint.”
In the meantime, cyclists will be rerouted onto Alaskan Way, which runs parallel to the trail the other side of the campus—fortunately, a stretch of road that’s smaller and less trafficked than the waterfront road under the Viaduct, although it’s unclear whether the route will be protected in some way. Pedestrians, meanwhile, will be detoured over the Helix Bridge and along Elliott Avenue, connecting back to the trail at the Galer bridge, for a detour adding about a fifth of a mile.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) spokesperson Mafara Hobson confirmed that Expedia is working with SDOT on a Street Improvement Permit (SIP) “to ensure that the design meets standards and encompasses more than the trail improvements.”
“The trail modifications [and] new design and open space will be a great improvement for all users when complete,” added Hobson.
Cycling advocacy group Cascade Bicycle Club also rubber-stamped the proposal.
“We are thrilled with the work that Expedia is doing to improve the Elliott Bay Trail and the public spaces around their new campus,” said Richard Smith, Cascade’s executive director, in a statement. “We will be working closely with Expedia to ensure the temporary detour is safe for all riders, and look forward to partnering with Expedia as they transition to their new Seattle home.”