This week there was an article published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on the mayor’s intention to develop a bicycle network. The comments in the Soundoff are the typical vitriol you see on any message board between ignorant—and opinionated—motorists and the possibly over-anxious, but mostly logical cyclists. (Bias? Yes please.)
I would like to live in a city that can actually “do better” than other cities in terms of having a bicycle network, but more importantly I want to live in a city where I can simply ride my bike as an alternative to driving and if there is to be some overseeing “network” to make that easier, then let’s see it. Sack up and do it. I, for one, am tired of all this namby-pamby indecision about what is the “only” way to implement it. Why does any one way need to over-rule any other? The city is going to take their time doing anything (that is just the way Seattle “operates”) if there are alternatives then by all means, allow them to develop, at least in the meantime, and when this glorious network is fully available, then maybe they can co-exist.
To quote the venerable Marlene, the city’s planning and it’s road map sounds like “just so much fluff,” in this article and others I’ve read. Where are the results? This article it even states “…the plan is not a binding commitment to specific changes.” Can’t someone just commit to something? Don’t be placated by this message of a promised network, hold them to it. Isn’t this city stricken with the handicap of always talking and planning, but never doing? I’d rather not see us put all our eggs in the same basket and “plan” all that money away. (Think Monorail, and I guess the Viaduct). Like another editorial in the P-I, there are just too many “Mights”.
My point is, if it is to happen, then make it happen. I’m happy the mayor says he wants to make Seattle the best and the safest city in the nation for bicycling. Just make sure it happens. This is an easy one, more easy than the Viaduct or 520 bridge, instead of talking about it, do it and the easiest way to do it is to simply ride your bike. Mayor Nickels, ride your bike to work—everyday. Everyone, ride your bike; its the only way to understand what it’s all about. I’m not a huge advocate for bike lanes, but if they get more people riding, then I say fantastic, let them happen, just sooner as opposed to later.