A Day at Discovery Park

Not too long ago I didn’t think it was possible to ride to Discovery Park. When I was 37 weeks pregnant I accepted the (self-imposed) challenge & rode over. And then down to the beach. And on the way back up (mostly walking) I thought to myself: if I can make it up this hill, I can totally give birth. I was pretty sure I’d give birth on that hill, I was having so many contractions!

On the way home I noticed new markings indicating a change in the bike lane. And while recovering from birthing H they did it! They made a protected bike lane from the end of the Ship Canal Trail to Magnolia Town Center (about 4 blocks away).

We had ridden over last month for a family picnic and hike and it was glorious (minus those last 4 blocks – WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME SEATTLE?!)!

So we were back! And I was determined to find a way up to the bluffs where there’s a big sandy patch perfect for exploring. We made it with only minimal breaking of the no riding on trails rules and I think I figured out how to go next time to avoid that issue. I’ll post the route once I confirm.

The day was clear and the Olympics were out! We spent about 40 minutes shoveling sand into our mouth before I packed us up and headed for the playground.

The playground squirrels are bold! One climbed into the bike trailer while we were on the swings.

The protected lanes worked well except when we had to turn from Gilman onto Emerson. I signaled our turn too adamantly & ended up biking into the soft bollard in the middle of the lane, where my toe got caught underneath it! I thought I was going to have to take off my shoe! After several awkward minutes of jiggling my foot I was free! And we made our way home without further incident.

Yay for safe infrastructure!

Why is building safe infrastructure so hard?

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night, convinced that your idea is so important that you just HAVE to write it down RIGHT NOW before you forget?

Why don’t we have community hearings when they want to add a shoulder to a road? Or add guardrail or rumble strips? When they want to add a median? When planners and engineers want to incorporate safety features to protect people driving we rarely hear about it.

Why then, when they try to add infrastructure to protect people riding bikes or walking do we need to hold multiple community stakeholder meetings over the course of several months or even years to get this done?

Why, when we try to build infrastructure to protect the lives of our most vulnerable users, to ensure their safe and constitutionally protected passage on our streets, must we first appease the community and get “buy-in”? Why can’t we do this?

The answer is value. We don’t value the lives of those who don’t travel exclusively by car. They aren’t important. They’re just “recreating” and they need to grow up and buy cars like real adults.

I’m tired of being told that my safety and constitutional rights aren’t as important as people who drive. We deserve the infrastructure; community buy-in be damned. If safety was truly paramount – as the saying goes: if we could save even one life – we would build the infrastructure that is proven to increase safety.