Checking out the Beacon Hill Greenway

Sadly, I had to cancel Explore the new Beacon Hill Greenway with Kidical Mass last Sunday on account of snow. We weren’t up for the long trek to Beacon Hill in those conditions, but made the most of the snow close to home. However, I checked it out (a.k.a. route tested) the Wednesday before the scheduled ride…otherwise known as Seahawks Parade Day.

I had called for the ride to start from the playground at Judkins Park, assuming the restrooms of such a large park would be open year round and justify starting the ride 0.6 miles away from the start of the greenway…but they were on seasonal closure. Something to keep in mind if we get a chance for a do-over before public park potty season starts.

Judkins Park playground

However, starting north of the freeway meant I got to ride over this six-block-long ped-and-bike bridge alongside the freeway that meant avoiding a dip and climb. Google maps tells me this is part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail–a different type of greenway, not to be confused with Neighborhood Greenway.

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail to the Beacon Hill Greenway

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail to the Beacon Hill Greenway

I don’t know what the view looks like on regular days, but on Seahawks Parade Day there was no one leaving Seattle and standstill traffic into Seattle:

View of I-90 from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail

And that took me straight to the Greenway.

Arriving at the Beacon Hill Greenway

Looking back towards the trail used to access the greenway shows the DEAD END sign Transportation Nag writes about (among others) in Not Dead! It’s a Living End!

North end of the Beacon Hill Greenway

Due to the closed restrooms, I made plans to stop in at Hello Bicycle for kids in need of a pit stop and for a quick toe thawing. Playground-to-playground rides are tough in the cold season, though I had planned to bring lots of blankets and extra outer layers along to share at the end point.

Hello Bicycle

And finally, Jefferson Park playground:

Jefferson Park playground

My original plan was to ride to the south tip of the greenway and return to Jefferson Park, but it was a slight downhill the whole way after the park and I didn’t think it was worth climbing back up if there were little riders along. So here’s the route, though I think a future ride might start much closer, like at the Beacon Hill Library, because the beginning of the greenway has a hill, too.

I think the Beacon Hill Greenway isn’t completely done, but when it is, Beacon B.I.K.E.S. will organize a celebration. I found some of the transitions a little confusing so I hope those will change. Following a turn of the greenway through a two-way stop often meant stopping to wait for free-flowing cross traffic which felt a bit awkward–these would be more comfortable as four-way stops. There were quite a few of those. And it was interesting to see a combination of speed humps–one across the whole street or divided into two or three humps. The three-piece speed humps didn’t encourage the few motorists I encountered to slow at all.

Two-part speed hump on the Beacon Hill Greenway

Three-part speed hump on the Beacon Hill Greenway

But there’s a lot of good stuff, too! The views are amazing up here:

View from the Beacon Hill Greenway

And there’s a Little Free Libaray at 3307 Lafayette that would make a fun stop. It didn’t contain any children’s books when I route tested, but I could hopefully recruit a nearby Kidical Masser to seed it with something for the kiddos ahead of time.

Little Free Library on the Beacon Hill Greenway

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4 thoughts on “Checking out the Beacon Hill Greenway

  1. That looks like a beautiful ride! We have tons of 3 price speed humps in our neighborhood. The gaps are supposed to be for ambulances to get across but it only encourages drivers to swerve into the gaps and keep speeding. It’s so frustrating!

    • I thought that might be the reason. I’ve heard that our speed humps are all low enough that cars stay above the speed limit…but we don’t have speed humps (yet, I hope!) on our local Neighborhood Greenway so I haven’t seen it firsthand.

  2. Speed humps, of the dromedary or Bactrian varieties, are such a joke. They don’t hardly or don’t at all slow speeding motorists, but they do slow cyclists, who are gonna have a hard time getting *up* to the speed limit. Such gorgeous weather you got! That slog up 17th (or 18th) isn’t ideal for wee pedalists, though I *have* successfully coached my 7yo up it a couple times (not painlessly :P ). Maybe start at the old Amazon campus??

    • Thank you for the Amazon tip! I have faith future speed humps will be more effective (based on the three different styles on Beacon–that’s gotta be research, rigtht?!). I’ve heard other bicyclists complain about being slowed down by them, but I think I must go slow enough already since I don’t notice :)

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