while researching the abandoned Pennsylvania turnpike earlier this year i came across Seattle’s version, the Ramps to Nowhere. built as part of an expressway that would have cut through the city’s arboretum, the project was abandoned in the 1970s leaving behind unfinished freeway ramps in the middle of a marsh.
i totally forgot about them until early this morning when i was trying to figure out what to do with my last day in the city, and i’m so glad i remembered. these “ghost ramps” are much easier to access than the PA turnpike — there’s even a small parking lot (the loop on the map) and plop you’re right there.
the ramps are clearly marked with No Trespassing signs and while it looks like there would be lots of hobos (or zombies) the only people there this morning were middle-aged yuppie couples walking their dogs. (you are indeed in a park by the arboretum.) i was hesitant to go up and walk one of the ramps due to the fact that you’re pretty much breaking the law in full public view, but i did eventually when the park emptied for a couple minutes. i didn’t go down very far, but that little adrenaline buzz did the trick. for what it’s worth, it looks pretty clear that many people use that ramp to drink and smoke on. if you go, you’ll see what i mean.