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Old 02-23-05, 07:44 PM   #1
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Who Commutes on the Burke Gilman/Sammamish River Trail?

So making the best of Los Angeles Commuting, but I came across this photo and it so made me miss the Burke. Anyone have any good Burke/Samm trail stories, pictures. When I lived in Seattle hardly a day would go by where I didn't ride some portion of these two trails. This isn't a bike lane debate thread, just a celebration of, in my opinion, one of the best urban bikeways. My favorite bit is the portion between Fremont and the U-district.
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Old 02-23-05, 09:57 PM   #2
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Nada, I do the 520 trail... The BG trail is so nice that the peds basically took it over and police clock/ticket speeders (which goes on your car insurance).
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Old 02-24-05, 11:21 AM   #3
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golly.

Now I'm missing the Burke too.

When did you ride them? I used to work/manage the ASUW bike shop back in the day. Also did a bit of wrenching at Wright Bros.

Take care,
Tom
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Old 02-24-05, 11:44 AM   #4
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I'm on the Burke everyday, betw Lake Forest Park and the UW, for 7+ yrs now. In warmer nicer weather I'll commute down 35th or Sand Point, but the Burke is nice in the winter/rainy months. Peds are all inside, and most of the commute trail traffic has gone the way of the SUV until it gets sunny and warm again. I see maybe 10 people on the way in at 6-7 am, and even fewer after 6pm in the evening.

I've only ever seen cops on the trail in LFP. Usually they sit at the 165th intersection. A couple fat bike cops, sometimes a motorcycle cop and maybe even a squad car. Usually they're looking for cyclists blowing through the (ridiculous) stop signs on the trail in this area. They'll get you for "failure to yield" which I've heard is a $65+ fine and goes on your driving record. Never been caught: they only come out on nice warm sunny days, usually during the evening commute (4-5 pm). I have absolutely never seen them out if there's even a hint of precip. They may be there on weekends--I wouldn't know: I avoid the B-G and Sam Riv trails like the plague on the weekend.

Don't get me started on B-G stories...
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Old 02-28-05, 02:15 PM   #5
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Daily, from 25th NE to the U Bridge. On days when I want to spin, I'll hit the B-G over to the Ship Canal Trail (via Fremont Br) and then Interlake Tr / Elliot Bay Tr to downtown. Early in the morning, there's almost no traffic, ped or otherwise.

I really dig living so close to the Burke - definitely a deciding factor in buying my house. Having a bike highway - wide, no cars, few stops - is a great thing.
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Old 02-28-05, 02:53 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=UWengineer]
I've only ever seen cops on the trail in LFP. Usually they sit at the 165th intersection. A couple fat bike cops, sometimes a motorcycle cop and maybe even a squad car. Usually they're looking for cyclists blowing through the (ridiculous) stop signs on the trail in this area. They'll get you for "failure to yield" which I've heard is a $65+ fine and goes on your driving record. Never been caught: they only come out on nice warm sunny days, usually during the evening commute (4-5 pm). I have absolutely never seen them out if there's even a hint of precip. They may be there on weekends--I wouldn't know: I avoid the B-G and Sam Riv trails like the plague on the weekend.
QUOTE]

They clock people on it, really? If it were me, and there wasn't a motorcycle cop present, I think I'd be tempted into my first police chase. Where is LFP?
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Old 02-28-05, 04:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jimmythefly
Where is LFP?
At the northend of Lk Washington, Lake Forest Park is nestled tightly between Seattle's urban grit and Kenmore's suburban grit. City hates the BG trail enough that they're trying (or have) passed legislation to break up the trail's pavement and make it dirt instead (in a quest to "create more natural drainage"). Voted the mostly likely place to get a ticket in your car, short of Brier. Doesn't surprise me that they look to ticket bicycle commuters as well. Just seems to be their way, long as I can remember.
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Old 02-28-05, 04:55 PM   #8
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I work across from Gasworks thsi time of the year i ride the trail from here to Eastlake or Fremont bridge. In the Summer I take the trail to Bothell landing and head north from there. I love the wild chickens up at the landing.
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Old 02-28-05, 05:22 PM   #9
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Oh, I had forgotten about the chickens. Damn, now I'm hungry and I miss the burke.
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Old 02-28-05, 08:54 PM   #10
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Oh, I had forgotten about the chickens. Damn, now I'm hungry and I miss the burke.
Oh now I understand the new BBQ area - near the free roaming chicken brood. Easy pick'ns
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Old 02-28-05, 09:10 PM   #11
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I love the Burke - I agree that the University-Fremont stretch is the nicest. A little too much traffic when it's nice out (like it has been for several weeks until today), but it is a great trail anyway.
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Old 03-01-05, 11:37 AM   #12
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I've seen the LFP PD out there relatively frequently during the warmer months. Seems to have stepped up after the City's hearings on what to "do" about the TRail. Last I heard, they had established some kind of panel at the Mayor's request to investigate. Prior to that, they had decided to let the Trail fall into disrepair through LFP. It had been determined that the current path does not meet current standards for safety and access, or some obscure environemntal protection standards (too much paved area, or some such thing--thus the suggestion to rip the whole thing up and replace it with gravel).

The problem does seem to be systemic. Back in October, I was smacked hard (almost head on) by a minivan at 35th and Ballinger Way. She was heading the opposite direction and turned left into me (read: she hit me, I didn't T-bone her). Was thrown ~30' into a parking lot, bounced off a couple parked cars, etc etc. Got the whole backboard-neckbrace-ambulance ride deal. Definitely the motorist's fault. Anyway, the reason for the digression: when my wife went to the LFP PD later in the day to file a request for a police report on the accident, she was confronted by the staff there, who told her she didn't need the report because the accident "was obviously the cyclist's fault." We got one anyway...

The shame of it all is that LFP would be great riding territory otherwise: winding wooded residential streets with low traffic and some decent hills (Perkins is pretty nice).
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Old 03-01-05, 11:42 AM   #13
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The Mayor of LFP vetoed the bill to block the trail. As far as the trail is concerned it is the property of King County not LFP so they cannot do anything to the trail. The Police are stricly enforcing the speedlimit and stop signs so be careful.
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Old 03-01-05, 11:56 PM   #14
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Looks like a nice trail. Kinda reminds me of the Springwater Corridor in Portland. Is this one an old railroad right of way like Springwater is?

BTW it always intrigues me how bicycle offenses can go on one's driving record. What happens when the police pull over a 12 year old? Biking without a license???
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Old 03-02-05, 12:10 AM   #15
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Looks like a nice trail. Kinda reminds me of the Springwater Corridor in Portland. Is this one an old railroad right of way like Springwater is?
The BG trail in Seattle and the SW trail in Portland are both rails to trails conversions. the BG trail predates the SW by about 10 years or more. I rode the BG in 79. I imagine bike traffic volumes are way up since then.
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Old 03-02-05, 12:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jimhens714
Looks like a nice trail. Kinda reminds me of the Springwater Corridor in Portland. Is this one an old railroad right of way like Springwater is?

BTW it always intrigues me how bicycle offenses can go on one's driving record. What happens when the police pull over a 12 year old? Biking without a license???
15MPH speed limit...12yr olds aren't the target. Adult wallets are....gotta get those speeding ticket quotas
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Old 03-02-05, 04:05 PM   #17
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I'm on the Sammamish River Trail every day for my commute. I've posted many a picture from it here in the past. This year I'm keeping a photo journal of a year in the commute here (Follow the commute link) Anyway nothing beats the trail in the morning - I'm pretty tired pre-coffee and I'm happy to have the easy ride in to work. In the afternoon I have a lot of options all of them but the trail are quite hilly. In the summer the trail is so crowded with amateurs I almost always take one of the hilly routes. Same goes for the Burke-Gillman on the weekends - too crowded for fun riding.
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Old 03-03-05, 10:46 PM   #18
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I'm one of the lucky ones who can hop on the trail every day, from Magnolia to Sandpoint. My favorite time of the year is spring or fall when the sun is coming up, the cars have yet to pollute the air, and all is quiet. Along the trail the mallards are socializing in Fremont, the crews are pulling their skulls along the Ship Canal, and a workboat is making its way out to sea.

But then the warm temps come and the coeds amass along the trail after school, running between Gasworks and UW. They have no clue they're on the proverbial bike highway of Seattle and take up the whole width. Time to learn them a thing or two.

I was stopped by a LFP cop on the trail last spring for running a stop sign. Sadly, I thought there was an emergency because I saw him huddled with a group of old folks (ever the girl scout) and I was thinking about what how to help and missed the stop sign. Luckily the cop was more than happy to pull out of the donut huddle and harrass me in front of the lakeside owners. I played stupid and he gave me a warning. Now I avoid that area on nice weekends and head south.

Another thing I like is that I've been riding the BG for almost 10 years and have seen some of the same people commuting during that time. I bet there are a lot of good stories on that trail. I've always thought it would make a cool coffee table book.
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Old 03-04-05, 04:00 PM   #19
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...Is this one an old railroad right of way like Springwater is?
Former Burlington Northern, and used heavily by the Northern Pacific prior to their merger with Great Northern in 1970. Abandoned around 1980 I think. I have a film of a steam train running the route in 1957, all the way out through Woodinville, Redmond, Issaquah, Preston, and out to Snoqualmie Falls. Great stuff. The only portion of the route that still has track is between Woodinville and Redmond -- roughly 8 miles. Still used by BNSF and Spirit Of Washington Dinner Train.
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Old 03-05-05, 11:33 AM   #20
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Yeah, enough nasty things cannot be said about the Lake Forrest Park local government and their police force or the *******s who elected them. They have tried to kill the BG trail for years.

Any collage radicals or Critical Mass nuts who want raise a little hell ought to take down the Stop signs on the BG trail in Lake Forrest Park and toss them into Lake Washington. You can't get a ticket for running a stop sign that isn't there. And I'd bet that LFP is too cheap to put up new ones.

Most of the people who live in Lake Forrest Park would like to build a moat around their little pristine suburb and hire rent-a-cops to stop and question every visitor. But those NIMBYs are also too #@%*#)%#^ cheap to pay for this. It would piss me off so much if most of those folks didn't drive to Seattle to work.

I don't mess with their freeways-- why do they think they should mess with my bike highway?
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Old 03-05-05, 01:34 PM   #21
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Most of the people who live in Lake Forrest Park would like to build a moat around their little pristine suburb and hire rent-a-cops to stop and question every visitor. But those NIMBYs are also too #@%*#)%#^ cheap to pay for this. It would piss me off so much if most of those folks didn't drive to Seattle to work.
It was most of these citizens that pressured the mayor to veto the bill that a small but vocal minority were trying to shove down peoples throats. They love the trail and want it to stay the way it is.

As far as the stop signs the locals have legitimate beefs. I watch bikes blow through these stop signs with little or no regard for safety issues. I also watch cyclists blow by pedestrians with kids with little or no respect for their safety. The reason the LFP police started enforcing the laws was because of a cycle/cycle accident that left one of the riders dead.

This is not a case of NIMBY it is a case of people trying to share the trail with others.
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Old 03-05-05, 01:43 PM   #22
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the trail is obviously under designed and over capacity. the answer isn't ticketing cyclists, it's redesigning the facility so it accomodates users more safely with fewer inconveniences for commuters. crossing improvements, additional ROW purchases, etc. sound like they're needed. it sounds like each community along the trail runs their own little fiefdom. isn't there a regional trail commission or something that has authority?
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Old 03-05-05, 01:56 PM   #23
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the trail is obviously under designed and over capacity. the answer isn't ticketing cyclists, it's redesigning the facility so it accomodates users more safely with fewer inconveniences for commuters. crossing improvements, additional ROW purchases, etc. sound like they're needed. it sounds like each community along the trail runs their own little fiefdom. isn't there a regional trail commission or something that has authority?
The trail is under the jurisdiction of the county the problem lies when the trail crosses public streets.
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Old 03-07-05, 01:44 PM   #24
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Stop signs on the trail in LFP at public street intersections are legit--I always yield at those--but the stop signs for people's driveways are ridiculous. I've never stopped at them, and never will.
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Old 03-07-05, 01:53 PM   #25
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Stop signs on the trail in LFP at public street intersections are legit--I always yield at those--but the stop signs for people's driveways are ridiculous. I've never stopped at them, and never will.

I agree with that it is silly to have a stop sign for one houses traffic.
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