02 February 2010

[liff] What Will You Find Under A Bridge, But Troll Avenue? (Seattle)

2314.Tipped off by an offhand comment Benjamin Lukoff left on the César E Chávez Blvd, I paid a virtual visit to That City Up North to see if I could see something.

Legend has it, trolls live under bridges. Seattle, like PDX, has many bridges; and like PDX, in more than a few cases, the approach to the bridge is as a viaduct built over the street it debouches onto, creating a sort of "under-street" over which the bridge forms a ceiling. There are five blocks of this under the east approaches to the Morrison and Hawthorne Bridges, for instance, and SE Morrison, SE Belmont, SE Hawthorne Blvd, and SE Madison St run beneath them as streets open to traffic.

The George Washington Memorial Bridge, or the Aurora Bridge in the local parlance because it unites the sections of Aurora Avenue north and south of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, has several blocks of Aurora Avenue N under the bridge on the north side. It's said the Fremont Troll lived or lives there, and a great amazing statue of him (clutching a real VW Beetle) was constructed there in his honor.

So, too, was the street under the bridge so named, apparently in 2005, Troll Avenue N.

Google Maps Street View, looking west on N. 34th Street:

Right in the middle of the bridge, at the pier foot there, is the sign:

Once again, I do like the design of the Seattle street blades, though they aren't using Clearview. No time like the present, New York Alki!

Keep it weird, Seattle. That's why we love you.

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1 comment:

Benjamin Lukoff said...

Yep! This sign is from the last redesign. They'll get to it eventually... before 2005, this was simply named Aurora Avenue N., same as the bridge above, but it confused people, and I think the Fire Department requested the change. (35th & Aurora -- does that mean below the bridge or up top?)

There aren't too many locations in Seattle where there are both upper and lower roadways.. this was the most high-profile.