“Missing Link” Bike Route Study on NW Market St - Leary Ave NW - 17th Ave NW

November 22, 2023

What Happening Now?

We’re excited to share we’ve reached an initial concept at 10% design! We look forward to further refining it based on the community’s input. This 10% design can be viewed via our full roll plot and on 11X17 plan set pages on aerial. We expect to be able to share 30% designs by the end of 2023. Here are some general facts about the project scope, potential impacts, and design specifications. Graphics and cross sections of the proposed improvements can be found below and here

Thank you to everyone who attended our August 10 online open house! Watch the presentation from our open house and check out our Q&A from the meeting. Our community survey, which closed in September, received 1,739 responses. We’re appreciative of this continued engagement with our design. We’ve completed our analysis and summary of the results, and our survey report is now available. 

We’ll continue to collect community feedback throughout the rest of the design process via our feedback form and by contacting businesses and property owners near the route, presenting to community groups, conducting more field research, and offering other opportunities to engage with the design. Sign up for our listserv to learn about upcoming opportunities to share feedback as well as receive regular updates on this bike route study. 

We will be hosting a tabling event Tuesday, November 28, if you want to speak with someone from our team, look at the 10% plans, and provide any feedback. Project tabling information:

When: Tuesday, November 28, from 3-5PM

Where: NW Market St and 24th Ave NW, southwest corner of the intersection



People out and about on Ballard streets

Councilmember Dan Strauss and Mayor Bruce Harrell requested that SDOT study this route as an option for connecting the Burke-Gilman Missing Link with an all ages and abilities bicycle facility through Ballard along NW Market St, Leary Ave NW, and 17th Ave NW. More details about this request can be found here and here.

The Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link is the long-planned multi-use trail safety improvements along 1.4 miles of Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Locks connecting the two existing sections of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Ballard.

SDOT has a 100% design for a proposed route along Shilshole Ave NW, however construction along this route has been paused due to ongoing litigation for over 25 years. This route remains an option if these legal challenges are resolved. Please see this website for more information on the Shilshole alignment.

Moving forward with designs for the Market/Leary/17th route will help us understand how this project will improve connectivity in the bike network, as well as potential impacts.

We've launched a design and public engagement process to study what an alternative “Missing Link” connection using 17th Ave NW, Leary Ave NW, and NW Market St would look like and mean for community members and businesses. This early design will result in an initial concept only (30% Design) at this point, and will be refined with community input. We’ll share this work with the public and take feedback on how to best design this route. 


The newly proposed route would extend along NW Market Street two blocks east from 24th Ave NW and then run along Leary Ave NW to 17th Ave NW where it re-joins the Shilshole Route as designed to connect to the Burke Gilman Trail.

Project Elements 

  • A 10 ft wide and .6 mile long multi-use trail connection as part of the Burke Gilman “Missing Link” for both pedestrians and people who use bikes or other mobility devices to access businesses along Market, Leary, and 17th. Only the south side of Market, southwest side of Leary, and west side of 17th would be reconstructed as part of this proposed design to move the curb line out. 
  • Safety improvements including:
    • New ADA-compliant curb ramps
    • Additional curb bulbs
    • Raised crossings at some intersections 
    • Traffic signal updates to accommodate trail crossings
  • Loading/parking lanes along the southwest side of Leary would be preserved. Around 60 additional back-in angle parking spots could potentially be added on NW 48th St and 22nd Ave NW with the proposed operational changes to those roads.  
  • Replacing all existing trees that would need to be removed to accommodate the additional space for a trail connection at a 3 to 1 ratio within the project area. At this point around 30 trees would be impacted and require around 90 replacement trees.  

View this PDF for more graphics explaining this 10% design. 

17th Ave NW 

The graphics below show a proposed cross section of 17th Ave NW between Leary Ave NW and Shilshole Ave NW, before and after improvements looking north. 
Improvements along this section of the route include: 

  • The 10’ multi-use trail standard across this design.
  • Increased sidewalk coverage, including a 6’ sidewalk on the west side of the street.The existing east side sidewalk would remain as it currently exists with upgraded ramps at the crossings. 
  • Parking would be retained along the west side of 17th Ave NW.
  • The crossings of both NW 48th Street and Ballard Ave NW would be raised. 
  • Additional parking would be designed on NW 48th Street as back-in angle with eastbound traffic only permitted from NW 48th Street onto 17th Ave NW.  


Leary Ave NW Improvements 

The graphics below show a cross section of Leary Ave NW between 17th Ave NW and NW Market St, before and after improvements looking northwest. 

Improvements along this section of the route include: 

  • The 10’ multi-use trail standard across this design.
  • Increased sidewalk coverage, including an 8 to 10’ sidewalk on the southwest side of the street.
  • A center turn lane between the two driving lanes, and a bus lane on the east side of the street going northbound, consistent with the Route 40 project north of Ione.
  • A 5’ minimum planting strip separating the multi-use trail from the preserved parking lane on the southwest side of Leary Ave NW. 



NW Market St Improvements 

The graphics below show a cross section of NW Market St between NW Leary Ave and 24th Ave NW, before and after improvements looking east. 

Improvements along this section of the route include: 

  • The 10’ multi-use trail standard across this design. 
  • No changes to the north side of NW Market Street proprosed with this project. 
  • An 8’ sidewalk on the south side of the street.
  • Bus lanes on both sides of NW Market Street.
  • Redesigned eastbound bus stop for Route 40/44 with 10 ft wide pedestrian loading area closer to 22nd Ave NW. A 5’ planting strip where additional street trees will be planted, separating the multi-use trail from the vehicular travel lane.
  • Retain existing space for 6’ minimum street cafes on both sides of the street. 



After Marker St

Draft rendering of the proposed bike trail on NW Market St at Ballard Ave NW, looking eastbound


The Seattle Department of Transportation will use existing funds allocated to the Burke Gilman Trail Project to develop this conceptual design for the Missing Link Connection along Market/Leary/17th. This will allow SDOT to understand mobility impacts along this alternative route.


We’ve reached an initial concept at 10% design and are currently still in the early design stages for this route. We expect to be able to share 30% designs by the end of 2023.

We are continuing to collect community feedback on this route via the online feedback form. Throughout the rest of 2023, we will contact all businesses and property owners near the route, present at community groups, conduct field research, and continue to receive feedback via the online feedback form. 

Preliminary Outreach

Councilmember Dan Strauss held stakeholder meetings in January 2023 with Bicycle, Industrial, and Commercial interests to receive initial feedback on this proposed route for completion of the “Missing Link”. This initial feedback specified both corridor-wide and street-specific design considerations. Please see this link to Councilmember Dan Strauss’ letter that contains the feedback he received and design specifications for the city to consider.

Additionally, the outreach team has mailed project information postcards to all 3,625 adjacent property owners of record along the route, met individually with business and property owners along the route, conducted door-to-door flyering along the route, held an early design public meeting, held tabling events at the Ballard Farmers Market and again on the corner of Market and 24th Ave NW during the afternoon commute on September 5th, and completed a community survey that had over 1700 respondents.

Project Documents

Project Fact Sheet Document (November 2023)

Survey Report Parts One and Two (Summer 2023)

Draft 10% Design Plans On 11X17 Aerial (November 2023)

Draft 10% Design Roll Plot (November 2023)

Draft 10% Design Graphics November 2023)

Q&A From the Open House  (August 2023)

Project Open House Video (August 2023)

Project flyer (July 2023) 

Project mailer (July 2023) 


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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