So tomorrow’s Seattle Bike to Work Day. Hell yeah! I’m happy about it, it’s a great day, supposed to be great weather for it, and it’s great that there’s any emphasis and public support for such a conceivably mundane activity. I am honestly really happy and glad when I hear people refer to it as a holiday as I have a number of times this week. There have been a few repairs at the shop that the owners urged to have done before Friday, it felt a little bit like the few weeks preceding the STP. The fact that May is considered Bike Month is awesome, I haven’t yet seen any cards at Hallmark but anytime now I expect to see one in my mailbox.
I’m really curious though. Are there any numbers calculated as to how effective this hubbub is at getting people to bike to work on Monday, May 19th, 2008? Or any/every day hereafter? Bike to work, bike to school, bike to play, bike to shop, bike to theater, bike for groceries, bike for peace, bike for coffee, bike for booze, bike anywhere and everywhere!
Clarification: This is not to say that changing one’s individual actions to benefit themselves and the larger world by riding a bike to work is mundane, but rather that the actual act of riding one’s bike is such an easy and simple activity that it can be described as mundane. And yet as simple as riding a bike to work is—and as one’s transportation—it is wholly affecting in it’s importance and excitement.
I don’t want to come off too negative about these new street features, but I am curious and suspicious at the same time. It does appear the DOT is attempting to accommodate cyclists, and honestly, that’s a good thing!
What features am I talking about? There are several throughout the city now. The one I noticed was just after crossing the Fremont Bridge on my way up to Queen Anne. Like it’s supposed to, it immediately caught my eye as I came off the bridge, a column of what looked like astro-turf crossing the street directly next to the crosswalk.
I saw this green bike lane appear this Friday past and took some photos of it Saturday morning. Already the gravel material they’ve used is separating from the lane; as would be suspected I think. Maybe this is part of the process and I’m just squawking early, but I’ve seen plenty of lane striping and other markings on the streets here in Seattle. Why isn’t that type of paint being used for these new bike symbols and other bike improvements? Those old bike lanes on 34th going into Fremont still have their bike paint holding strong; when were they painted? Probably when that street was paved (and that was a long time ago by the feel of it).
A disintegrating cyclist off the Fremont Bridge
It’s often said that the grass is always greener, perhaps so are the bike lanes. Portland has some awesome bike lanes, as well as bike boxes, and dedicated bike routes.
It’s cool that Portland recognizes our attempts at improving cycling infrastructure. Seattle needs to take some more cues from our neighbor down there I think. Maybe at least get the name of their paint supplier.
Portland green bike lane. Photo compliments of peng1