Multi-Modal Connector
The UW is requesting a $10-12 million federal TIGER grant to complete funding for this critical transportation corridor


The Burke-Gilman Trail is more than a regional treasure; it is a major transportation, recreation and nature corridor and the most heavily-used trail in Washington. In recent years, the trail’s growing popularity has led to overcrowding and conflicts between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Additional development, including a new light rail station, is anticipated to dramatically increase trail demand.

     Improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety Enhanced connections to the regional transit network Increased capacity for growing trail demand A world-class active transportation trail system Better access to one of Seattle’s largest economic centers

The Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector will replace the critical yet aging cornerstone of the regional trails network with a modern, world-class connection. The new section will not only meet existing needs, but provide enough capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the trail safely well into our future.

Level of Service (LOS) grades were assigned using the Federal Highway Administration’s Shared-Use Path Level of Service Calculator (SUPLOS) based on counts taken in October 2010. The grades shown represent analysis of the segments as shared trails.


E = Very Poor, F = Failing


238% increase


 Alder & Elm Residence Halls Open  Children’s Hospital & University VIllage Expansions  Mercer Apartments Open  Regional Bike Share Launches System  Husky Stadium Completion  SR 520 Bicycle & Pedestrian Path




 UW Stadium & Capitol Hill Light Rail  Lander & Terry Halls Open  Brooklyn & Roosevelt Light Rail  Northgate Light Rail
2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028

92% increase



Contact Information: Elisabeth McLaughlin, UW Transportation Services, Phone: 206-616-6685 Email: eml27@uw.edu Web: uw.edu/burke-gilman

May 2013

State of Good Repair


With the Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector, the University of Washington is planning for the region’s active transportation future. New light rail stations, high-density residential living, and expansions of the bicycle and pedestrian networks continue to transform the region and encourage walking and bicycling; the connector complements these efforts by creating a world-class transportation, recreation, and nature corridor in the heart of the region.

 Reconstruction will provide better drainage, ameliorating standing water issues and preventing unsafe trail conditions.  New trees, shrubs and landscaping will maintain the trail’s beautiful canopy without destructive root upheaval.  Universal access infrastructure will replace non-ADA compliant connections.  The use of concrete on the pedestrian trail will minimize life-cycle costs and future maintenance.  If left unimproved, the poor condition of the trail will threaten accessibility, mobility and economic growth in one of Seattle’s largest business districts.

Economic Competitiveness
 The Burke-Gilman Trail Multi-Modal Connector is necessary to fully realize the promise of Sound Transit’s University Link Light Rail.  One in every 18 jobs in Seattle is linked back to the UW.  UW’s overall annual economic impact in Washington is $9.1 billion.  Walking and bicycling are the most efficient, reliable and cost-competitive forms of accessing jobs.  The UW is Seattle’s largest employer, and the third largest employer in the state.  The trail connects all of North Seattle with light rail, enabling residents to get to downtown Seattle without a vehicle.  According to one study, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects create 46% more jobs than road-only projects.

 The Burke-Gilman Trail provides Seattle residents access to a world-class university, hundreds of businesses, a stadium and arena, regional medical center and social services, museums, performing arts centers, public parks, farmers markets and more.  Trail improvements ensure said resources are available to people of all ages, incomes, races, ethnicities and abilities.  Since 2010, the percentage of students living within one mile of campus has grown from 29% to 39%, making the University District one of Seattle’s most dense urban villages.  The University District is expected to become a choice destination in Seattle with the addition of light rail and increased development.  In the last 10 years, UW faculty bike trips have more than tripled, student and staff bike trips have nearly doubled, and faculty and student walking trips have grown by 25%.  Census tracts around the University District and the Burke-Gilman Trail have some of the highest bicycle mode shares in Seattle.  The trail provides low-cost transportation options, access which economically-disadvantaged populations rely on to connect to jobs, education and other services.

 The Burke-Gilman Trail will serve as a model for pedestrian and bike trails nationwide with new standards for mode separation, safety improvements, interchange design, long-term durability and project partnerships.  The Rails to Trails Conservancy is partnering with the University of Washington to research trail use before and after project completion as part of a nationwide study on trail improvements and their effects.

Environmental Sustainability
 Biking and walking reduce our dependence on oil, and improve air quality and our community’s health.  Trail improvements in this 1.7 mile corridor are estimated to reduce the following: - Hydrocarbons by an average of 56,005 lbs/year - Particulate matter by an average of 416 lbs/year - Nitrous oxides by an average of 39,121 lbs/year - Carbon monoxide by an average of 510,630 lbs/year - Carbon dioxide by an average of 15,195,367 lbs/year

 The project will improve four high-crash locations between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.  Trail improvements will separate bicyclists from pedestrians, minimizing modal conflicts and improving safety.  A grade-separated crossing at Pend Oreille Road Northeast will eliminate a dangerous intersection with poor sight lines and heavy vehicle and transit traffic.  Trail intersections will feature large mixing zones with distinct materials, better signage, improved lighting and traffic calming measures that will alert trail users to upcoming intersections.

Contact Information: Elisabeth McLaughlin, UW Transportation Services, Phone: 206-616-6685 Email: eml27@uw.edu Web: uw.edu/burke-gilman

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