Hempfest. Usually pot activists and people on bikes don’t conflict with each other. The issues are pretty different (if you think I’m wrong, make your case in the comments below!).
But the weekend-long pot protestival that is Hempfest essentially closes a major bicycling transportation corridor with few good alternatives, and that is cause for conflict (unless, of course, you are headed to Hempfest, in which case it’s very convenient!).
One reader Nicole wrote to me to complain about set-up work already causing issues:
Anyone else complaining about the hempfest taking up the entire myrtle edwards/elliot bay trail for about 1.5 miles?? They claim that bicyclists should stay on the west path but i was cut off by multiple moving vehicles on this path yesterday in addition to volunteers just standing in the way. I called and complained to the city: 684-2489- so the more the merrier to get them to either move the festival elsewhere or keep it contained to one of the paths.
Myrtle Edwards Park is simply not a very good venue for such a festival. With only two entrance points (would be three by now if it weren’t for Hempfest delaying the W Thomas St Overpass last year), entering the festival through security can take forever. On top of that, the Elliott Bay Trail, a major regional trail, is closed to biking due the hordes of people everywhere. If you want to get through, you have to dismount, go through security and listen to a bluegrass-reggae fusion band.
Joking aside, I do like festivals and think Hempfest should keep going, just maybe not there. In the meantime, you may want to plan another route this weekend.
Do you have a favorite detour you would suggest (preferably something reasonably welcoming to people who like to ride slow)?
(P.S. The Bike News Roundup was supposed to be out today, but Amtrak’s glacial Internet has delayed it yet another day)