Two events make Fremont the place to be tonight (Tuesday): The kick-off meeting for Fremont Neighborhood Greenways and Critical Lass.
Fremont Neighborhood Greenways
If you live in Fremont, get thee to Nickerson Street Saloon at 7:30 p.m. and help get Fremont Neighborhood Greenways off the ground. From organizer Christian Silk:
Critical Lass likes chocolate and wine
Theo Chocolate, a cruise on the planned Ballard neighborhood Greenway, then wine? It’s good to be a biking woman in Seattle. Details from the SBB Event Calendar listing:
An easy, social ride for women lasting 45 minutes to an hour. Arrive at 5:30 to catch the last half hour of Theo Chocolate’s open hours–bring cash if you want some for later!
We’ll have a quickie Fix a Flat demo then roll out to the ship canal trail, cross the Ballard Locks and head back to Fremont on the 58th St Greenway. Re-convene at Fremont Cellars for wine tasting and talk by our Hope, Heart, Health Expert about the health benefits of wine and chocolate.
Children (in bike seats, trailers, trailer bikes) welcome during the chocolate and ride portion. As always, helmets are a must for every head on our rides.
Optional: RSVP on Facebook
As a Fremonster I guess I’ll probably show up to this thing…
Maybe I’m just not from Seattle and don’t get it, but… I wonder if it’s possible for Seattle to do a transportation project without promoting it as a parks project. For greenways it’s mostly pretty innocuous… though I think “park-like amenities” are the least important part of greenways, and the way greenways are presented provides a vision that limits their potential. In the 520 and Fauntleroy projects I sense more sinister motives in covering the projects in green, leafy veils. But maybe I’m just from Chicago…
If you’re looking at greenway infrastructure as creating a grid of “pipes for bikes” (similarly to how arterial streets are seen as pipes for cars), then yes, the park-like amenities can seem unimportant.
Many of us are hoping for more than that…
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I’m looking at greenways as a step toward a mass, ubiquitous cycling culture. We don’t do all our transportation in parks and, indeed, it would be pretty expensive and inefficient to do that. We do our transportation at all stages of life, and we’d like it to be safe and comfortable. What’s most important for greenways is that they’re safe and comfortable, that their routes are direct, useful, and have reasonable grades, that they effectively cross arterial roads and other obstacles.
The reason a focus on parks limits the potential of greenways is that the potential of safe, comfortable, direct, and useful bike and pedestrian routes is greater nowhere than in some of the parts of the city that look least like parks: SLU, Belltown, Downtown, Pioneer Square, the ID, the waterfront. The densest and most traffic-choked parts of the city, the places where it’s hardest to bike today. After those places, SODO, which isn’t likely to become the next cycling mecca, but is full of jobs, flat, and not all that big, yet unreasonably difficult to get across on bike or foot; it has a nice bike trail, the SODO bikeway, which connects to nothing. These places are at the core of the city, and are on the way between many neighborhoods, yet none yet has a greenway effort.