I had some stuff to return to Patagonia today so I rode downtown after I dropped the kids off at school. Since I was riding downtown anyway, Tim asked me to take a detour to his office and drop something off that he forgot this morning. So I took the route he usually takes to work. Man he is right about Eastlake and South Lake Union. What a mess. It’s really hard to believe the city lets developers get away with randomly closing lanes on well travelled streets.
This one was really nice – right at the end of the University Bridge – no warning and barely enough room for one bike to get by. Good thing I wasn’t going very fast. Talk about Bicycle Neglect. (Read Alan Durnings latest series for more).
I got my errands done and decided to ride through The Market before I went home. Pike Place Market is one of those touristy spots in the city that the locals love as much as the out-of-towners. Local farmers selling fresh produce and flowers, fish throwing, great butchers, yummy baked goods, funky art and crafts and excellent people watching. All and all a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.
However, they really need to ban cars on that street. What a waste of an otherwise lovely cobblestone street. It could be so much more as a pedestrian and bike-only-zone. I’d even be happy if they just made it a pedestrian zone and installed more bike racks so you could lock up or just dismount and walk. I always wonder why anyone would choose to drive down there. There is never any available parking anyway so why not skip the headache of looking for parking and just park a block away and walk?
I lived in Paris for six months in college and I just loved all of the pedestrian market streets – Rue Mouffetard, Rue Cler, Rue Daguerre – all pleasant stroll-inducing market streets. It was so nice to wander without needing to look over your shoulder every minute to make sure a car wasn’t bearing down on you. On pedestrian streets, they allow delivery trucks to enter only in the early morning and in the late evening so businesses can get their deliveries. The rest of the time, cars are not allowed.
It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to do the same at Pike Place Market. Banning cars would really alleviate this mess and make it a really nice pedestrian zone. Ah, I digress again. Oh no what’s happening? I’m supposed to be the positive one of our duo. I think Tim might be rubbing off on me.
Ranting aside, biking is always better than driving. I love riding my bike everywhere. It’s such a great way to travel. It’s even more pleasant to ride while listening to some good tunes on a semi-sunny day without kids weighing me down. After my Market cruise, I rode home via Westlake, Eastlake and through the U District making a short detour in Cowan Park to chat with a friend. What a beautiful way to spend the day.