My family went on a bike ride to the zoo and back. We live near I-90 and Rainier Ave S (just barely in “southeast” Seattle) and the zoo is on Phinney ridge just north of N 50th St. Depending on route, it’s just over 6 miles to 7 or more. We chose to go through downtown because that allowed us to use the new Dearborn protected bike lane (PBL) and the 2nd Ave PBL. I’ll try to gloss jargon at least once! People who have been biking a while forget that a lot of this stuff is kind of mystifying.
The latest Bike Master Plan was adopted in 2014. There’s even a map. But plans require implementation and that’s where I sometimes feel we’ve lost our way. I’ve historically just accepted bike infrastructure as what it is, even being happy someone painted sharrows on a road to maybe warn folks in cars that people on bikes might be present. But since having a kid and really trying to bike regularly again – and experiencing how awesome the 2nd Ave bike lane is – I’ve realized that being happy to “share” the streets with cars isn’t enough to get people biking. And if we can’t change the default in cities away from half ton plus carbon polluting vehicles, then we’re killing people in the short term and the long-term. So this blog is a bit about me looking at some bike infrastructure and realizing that we aren’t doing a very good job of building it.
I stopped biking to work regularly at about the sixth month of pregnancy. Almost five years ago! I kept trying to get back into it but with kiddo management and time, I just never did get into a regular cadence again. Since this is May, some coworkers of course organized and encouraged folks to get biking again so I’ve been trying!