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Redesigning the Burke-Gilman Trail


The Burke-Gilman Trail is a popular and heavily used pedestrian and cycling trail that runs 27 miles through the City of Seattle and suburbs to the north. As an urban trail, the Burke-Gilman has several “conflict zones” where changes in trail typology create safety problems for the trail users. This project seeks to first identify and better understand the nature of these conflict zones, and second, develop responsive design solutions that will increase the overall safety of the trail. To understand the circulation patterns and safety issues on the Burke-Gilman Trail, cameras were placed at three intersections to capture near misses, crashes, and unique uses of the trail space. The results of these observations highlight the design failures and the need for design modifications. The design solutions were developed by applying design best practices to the particular contexts of the trail. The design products from this project are intended to inspire action and build community awareness of the safety issues inherent in the current design of the Burke-Gilman trail.