Project Summary

Seattle’s Westlake Avenue is a busy corridor with many conflicts between drivers, pedestrians, and people seeking a safe, comfortable, direct bike route to and from downtown. Toole Design led an intensive year-long public engagement and alternative analysis process, bringing the community together around a concept design that met the needs of all travel modes, while still respecting the residents and businesses along this unique maritime corridor on Lake Union. With our help, Seattle City staff took the concept through final design and construction in less than a year. Following completion, PeopleforBikes named Westlake Avenue the best new bike lane in the country in 2016.

A world-class bikeway: the first flat, intuitive link joining downtown Seattle to the north side and a vast regional trail network.
At first glance, adding another mode of travel to this busy marine corridor seemed unlikely. Toole Design stepped in and imagined a space where people bicycling and walking, business owners and customers, and houseboat residents could share the corridor harmoniously, safely, and enjoyably.
This was one of Seattle’s first protected bike lane projects, and the unique setting required an innovative approach to interactions between parking for cars and boats, resident and business access across the trail, accessible design, and connections with the parallel Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop Trail.
We patiently listened to the concerns of marine business owners, marina residents, and customers, and developed a range of ideas that fostered productive conversations that lead to the final design.



The resulting bike lane provides a comfortable experience for people walking, biking, conducting business, and accessing the marina.

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