East Marginal – Smoother Sailing 3

Wet and windy this morning, but the paving on East Marginal is feeling a LOT better. New surfacing at the Hanford to Horton intersections and another of the worst sections further north.  One less thing to think about when getting into the north bound bike lane, and just in time for wetter, darker riding.

Thank you SDOT!  These are more of the interim improvements requested by Mayor McGinn and approved by City Council, pushed by Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen.  Funded by savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct project.

IMG_0303  IMG_0309Some of the curved, buried RR tracks have been removed, and trees in the sidewalk from Spokane to near Horton have been transplanted along side or removed, and the tree pits have been paved. Still to come: moving hydrants and some signs out of the path and grinding down bumps. Puddle drainage. Widening the west side sidewalk to really convert the west side sidewalk to a multi-use path workable for two-way bike traffic?

If you have not tried the downtown commute via West Seattle Bridge Trail, East Marginal and Alaskan Way, this could be a good time to give it a shot. Not perfect (still have Lake Marginal and a big puddle near Spokane), but much improved surface, and there is still light to see and get to know it.  Come January, when the Viaduct is shut down for tunnel drilling, it may be dark and wet and colder, but a bike with lights and rain jacket for 30 minutes will beat being stuck in traffic for an hour or more.

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Here are a couple of “before” shots in the same area, from January of this year:

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  • Steven Gaub

    looks like an improvement
    .

  • Eric Shalit

    This is a terrific step and long overdue. Too bad it took a death to get this project in motion. Is there a plan for a clearly marked and possibly lit recommended crossing area?
    The Port always seems well-maintained and I don’t believe they need to
    go begging for funding. Port-related truck use causes huge wear and tear
    on this street. Too bad it’s not considered part of Port maintenance.
    It will deteriorate again over time. Would be good to know there’s a
    long-term maintenance plan in place.

  • David Somers

    Agreed. This has been a lot more pleasant to ride.

    I am curious though. Why do we all seem to cross E Marginal away from the traffic lights? I commute this route all the time and see tons of folks doing it. Especially within a few hundred yards just north of the Hanford Junction?

    I go through there early in the morning (5:30 to 5:45 AM) heading north. I used to follow everyone else’s lead and come off the West Seattle Bridge and stay on the west side sidewalk along E Marginal until somewhere around Hanford where I would cross E Marginal diagonally. It always seemed Iffy to me.

    I finally stopped and now just cross E Marginal at the light at Spokane and go north from there. At that hour there is little if any traffic, but if there is I am covered by the traffic light or the cross walk, whichever offers me the fastest crossing. Typically I will catch up with any bicyclists ahead of me who have chosen to cross over north of Hanford so I am not experiencing any significant delay doing this, or at worst a minute or two.

    Heading south is no issue at night since I am in the west side south bound bike lane there all the way and there are no crossings to deal with.

    Just curious.

    Cheers everyone!

    Dave