Two Multi-Modal Roads in a Yellow Wood

image The Burke-Gilman Trail is an old railroad right-of-way that runs east-west through Seattle.  A few hundred feet of it was torn up during recent construction of new housing for students at the University of Washington.  The trail has now been replaced and looks pretty much like it did before.  It’s still a winding asphalt path just wide enough for light bicycle and foot traffic–the only traffic allowed, though it intersects many busy streets.  The only things new are a short bit of sidewalk and stripes of textured concrete where the refurbished trail crosses a couple of service roads behind the new housing.  Except for looking a little cleaner, it’s the same old trail serving the same old unmotorized purpose (which we cherish).
Some administrator must have felt a need to apologize for the temporary disruption on the trail.  A sign has been set near one of the service roads describing the the new section as the Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector.  I assume this means it connects the biking and walking part of the trail with the walking and biking part of the trail.  Or maybe it has something to do with a path leading to the nearby University-owned coffee shop called The Husky Grind.  (Really? The Husky Grind? Did they think that through?) 
In any case, it’s nice to know that thoughtful city planners consider scalability in future re-purposing of multi-modal transportation infrastructure.

Sept. 10, 2013


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