Last Sunday, at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, city planners, advocates and policy makers from around the country, joined David Hiller and me for a bike tour of Seattle’s Good, Bad and Ugly bike facilities. We provided the group with Green Bikes – returned from last years earn-a-bike program — helmets and snacks before rolling out through town.
The tour was an opportunity to showcase some of what the city of Seattle has done to make it and safer to ride through town as well as what hasn’t worked out the way it was intended, by visiting various types of facilities along the way.
First stop, the South Lake Union Streetcar tracks where participants could view firsthand why the placement on the sides of the street is an ongoing problem for the safe passage of bicyclists. We checked out the way-finding signage directing us North past the “Mercer mess” and rode the bike lanes up Dexter, across the Fremont Bridge and on to the infamous cyclist-eating railroad tracks of the Missing Link.
Our intrepid tourists then braved the last of the “ugly” and crossed the Ballard Bridge. The return trip to downtown took us along the Pier 91 Terminal Bike Trail, and along our star attraction, the Elliot Bay Trail through Myrtle Edwards Park where the views are fabulous. The tour wrapped up with a ride down the Second Avenue left-hand sited bike lane.
The tour was informative and fun. No doubt, these folks will head back home to their drawing boards and meetings with fresh ideas.