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Old 05-25-09, 12:51 AM   #1
gnychis
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Seattle: how to bike from Univ District to Redmond/Microsoft?

Hi all,

I am from Pittsburgh, in Seattle for an internship! I shipped my Trek 2.1 Compact over with me to take advantage of the wonderful west coast I am living in the University District, just directly north of the University of Washington on 55th and 26th. I am looking to bike to work in Redmond (Microsoft).

The major obstacle seems to be getting across the inlet, from one side of the 520 bridge, to the other. I see 3 possibilities for this. The first (and easiest) seems to bike south towards 520, and hop on a bus (bike on the rack) until I get across the 520 bridge. This is OK, but I was looking to avoid busing.

The second option seems to be biking south past UW, and then across the small Montlake drawbridge, and finally to I-90 and biking across it. From looking at the bike trail maps, once across the Montlake drawbridge, it seems like biking in traffic to get down to I-90.

Finally, I guess I could go north and around the water (east), but this seems a bit longer.

Any thoughts? I would greatly appreciate any feedback from some locals familiar with the routes

Thanks
George
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Old 05-25-09, 02:08 AM   #2
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Well, you're probably about 20 miles from campus if you take the Burke Gilman Trail. I can't really imagine there's a better option that doesn't involve the bus.
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Old 05-25-09, 03:12 AM   #3
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DylanJ is right. Take the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish River Trail around and exit at Leary Way in Redmond. Go west one block to the intersection with West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. Cross west and take the multi-use path that parallels Highway 520 to arrive at the Microsoft campus.
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Old 05-25-09, 10:49 AM   #4
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thanks for the responses! In biking the Burke-Gilman trail, do you mean for me to go north around the inlet, or to still go south across I-90?
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Old 05-25-09, 11:33 AM   #5
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The Burke Gilman Trail goes around Lake Washington ("the inlet") to the north. Google Burke Gilman Trail and look at the map of it. It continues as the Sammamish River Trail and heads toward Redmond/Microsoft.

After you go through a moderately long tunnel, stay to the left, this is right after a golf course. After that you go downhill for a short while and you have to cross the bridge to your right. Keep following the trail, about a mile and half down the trail hits a T (to the right is loose gravel, to the left is a bridge) and cross the bridge to the left. Shortly after you will be riding on a residential street, just take it to the end and the trail continues there. You go down a hill and you'll need to cross the bridge to your right very shortly. That's all for any difficulty you'd have following the trail, I think, then once you get to Redmond you'll have to follow BlueRoads directions. Map it out. The Burke Gilman Trail and Sammamish River Trail are both identified on Google Maps, as well.
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Old 05-25-09, 12:12 PM   #6
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Going north on the Burke Gilman, you can shave off some miles (but add some hills and traffic) by turning off the trail at Juanita Drive (I think it's actually called 68th there) and following Juanita Drive to Market south through Kirkland. Make your way east through Kirkland on Kirkland Ave to State St heading south to NE 68th. Go east on NE 68th which will take you across 405 and eventually turn into NE 70th and then Old Redmond Rd. Turn north on 154th. From there you can either go across 520 to 156th or hop on the
the 520 trail.

There are good shoulders or bike lanes for most of that route.
The intersection on the 520 trail are particularly nasty though.
Also no bike lane/shoulder on 156th.

Depending upon which MSFT building I was heading for though, the first time I'd probably go all the way around the lake on the trail on through Redmond. Then at Marymoor Park, keep heading south on Lk Sammamish Parkway to 172nd then west on NE 30th which will take you to the main campus.
The Lk Sammamish Parkway/Belred Rd intersection can be a bit dicey at rush hour though.
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Old 05-25-09, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the help! I figured today would be a good day for a dry run since it is a holiday and all went well! I took the Burke trail all the way to redmond town center and then swung right up the bridge to the 520 trail. Then I took the 520 trail right to 36th which is basically right to my building (99).

It was a great bike. There is nothing like this right around the Pittsburgh area. I loved it. It seemed like it might have been a bit more of a high slow-traffic day because of the holiday. It was a lot of navigatin around children. I suspect this wont be the case on a morning commute

I'd be interested in your shortcut zippy, I'm going to take a look at the map and post again some time later. Thanks for all the help again.
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Old 05-25-09, 03:20 PM   #8
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Hmmm, I just mapped out the Juanita route and it saves less than a mile to MSFT.
Unless you wanted to see more of the eastside during rush hour, I'd just stay with the Samm River trail.

Here's the route in case you're curious.
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2855941
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Old 05-25-09, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnychis View Post
It was a great bike. There is nothing like this right around the Pittsburgh area. I loved it. It seemed like it might have been a bit more of a high slow-traffic day because of the holiday. It was a lot of navigatin around children. I suspect this wont be the case on a morning commute
You will find the trail to be relatively empty on weekday mornings. On nice weekday evenings, there will be a fair amount of foot and bike traffic to navigate around. On weekends, I do my best to ride elsewhere.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:59 AM   #10
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I suggest that you don't wear in Steelers gear while you are here

I hope you enjoy your stay here and check out all the ride opportunities that our area offers.

David
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Old 05-27-09, 08:13 PM   #11
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+1 to the Burke Gilman trail

I go from Kirkland to the U District a few days a week that way; definitely the best way to go.
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