This Saturday I experienced the joy of riding on the first segment of Seattle’s first cyclectrack. It was awesome.
Actually, it was beyond awesome. It was like skiing 18 inches of fresh snow on a sunny day with good friends. It was, “did that just happen?” awesome. It was so awesome I rode back and forth on it a few times, just because I could.
What made it so awesome? Well, first, it was a surprise. I hadn’t been on Linden Ave N in a few weeks, so when I got to 145th St I was unaware that SDOT had completed the first segment of the Linden Ave Complete Streets project, a fantastic project to make Linden Ave N safer for all between 125th St. N and 145th St. N.
Second, it’s Seattle’s first cycletrack! I’ve had the pleasure of riding on cycletracks in Vancouver, I’ve watched in envy as cities across America built miles and miles of cycletracks, and I’ve been patiently waiting for the day Seattle would get one built.
Third, this is exactly the type of bikeway we should build more of (much more of, like 200 miles more of by 2020) if we want Seattle to become a city where everyone, from an eight-year-old child to her eighty-year-old grandmother, has the freedom to safely ride where they need to go.
In fact, when I jubilantly posted a picture of this cycletrack to my Facebook page, my friend Michelle, who’s like 71% of Americans who want to ride more, but doesn’t because we haven’t made the investments necessary for them to feel safe, posted, “I would actually bike on that!” on my wall.
Sure, it’s only .1 miles long, and we need to build 199.9 more miles of bikeways like it (cycletracks, neighborhood greenways, buffered bike lanes, shared-use trails) by 2020 if we want to become the type of city we know we should be, but it’s an important step in the right direction. So today, in addition to celebrating the Seahawks’ victory over the Patriots, let’s celebrate a the awesomeness that is Seattle’s first cycletrack.