Alta is leading a team that is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation to develop a Trails Upgrade Plan for Seattle’s 40 miles of trails. The Seattle Trails Upgrade Plan builds from the Seattle Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans and supports safety, social equity, economic productivity, sustainability and livable communities.

Based on recommendations from the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Update, also led by Alta, the City is aiming to develop recommendations to improve the multi-use trail environment, conduct multi-use trail capacity studies to evaluate trail expansion needs, crossing improvements, public outreach and conceptual design for up to five (5) locations.Maintenance and improvement of the trails will increase the use of the network by making them safer and reducing barriers to use.

The goals of the project include improving existing trails to encourage increased use to help meet Seattle’s non-motorized transportation goals and improving access to recreation for all residents. The project includes assessing existing trail conditions, updating maintenance plan, evaluating trail expansion needs, updating design guidelines and policies, developing concept designs, and determining prioritization at trail crossings. The team will develop an existing conditions report, design guidelines and trail improvements, policy recommendations, and a final plan and report.

Interns from SDOT and Alta created a detailed inventory of about 40 miles of Seattle’s paved trails using the Data Cycle. With video cameras mounted on their helmets and the Data Cycle equipped with a customized tablet computer, accelerometers and proximity sensors; field observations were geocoded on the spot. This robust inventory will be used to establish baseline conditions and assess trail maintenance and improvement needs. Watch a video of the team taking the Data Cycle for a spin.