Of 520’s many ramps-to-nowhere, there is one that does go somewhere: it connects the Arboretum and the Montlake flyer bus stop on 520 with 2000 feet of unused freeway ramp. The ramp was built 99% complete in 1963 and then waited for the R.H. Thomson freeway that never came – its ends left truncated by Seattle’s freeway revolt. WSDOT has since maintained its uselessness with signs that say, “No Trespassing.”
Imagine riding a bike out of the Arboretum and onto a bicycle ramp that soars over the far side of 520, landing exactly where busses arrive from the Eastside. No more battling through traffic on Montlake Boulevard. Sadly, the opportunity to create the best bicycle ramp in Seattle has suffered the same fate as the R.H. Thomson. It seems that entrenched interests at the Arboretum, the city and the state have always squashed the idea and prevented the ramp from becoming anything other than a symbol of political stalemate.
Making the ramp usable for cyclists and pedestrians would not take much. A little carpentry and a few concrete highway barriers would safely complete its missing ends. The hardware for hand rails and lamp posts is all there, as it has been since the early 60s. There is plenty of space for riders and walkers and best of all – the view is fantastic.