REACH THE END of East Edgar Street in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, and you’ll be met with a view of South Lake Union and a lot of warning signs. A bright red diamond screams “ROAD END.” Two smaller signs mark the location as a “Wildlife Sanctuary.” (I found identical signs online for $20.) Another sign, next to the suddenly interrupted sidewalk, is written in friendlier san serif type, but delivers the most deterring message in underscored all caps: “PRIVATE PROPERTY … NO TRESPASSING.”

The dissuasive signs add a bit of visual interest to my sketch. But given this is one of 149 city-designated shoreline street-ends in Seattle, could they all be for real?

The Seattle Department of Transportation defines a shoreline street-end as a location where the public right of way meets the waterfront. 

Many of these precious waterfront spots have been improved, thanks to community involvement and support from a city program. The shoreline access at East Allison Street a few blocks from here was restored in 2018. East Roanoke Street nearby, East Shelby Street in Portage Bay and Southwest Carroll Street in West Seattle are other improved street-ends I’ve enjoyed visiting.

It might not be feasible to extend Edgar Street all the way to the shoreline due to the elevation drop between the roadway and the lake. But I could picture a restful lookout with a couple of benches in place of the brambles and those unofficial-looking signs.

Without somewhere to sit down and relax, the gorgeous view is hard to appreciate.