Members of Seattle City Council and Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams,
I write to you with sincere concern for the well being of my fellow citizens using the three mile long trail around Green Lake Park. It is consistently overcrowded, and slow ground-walkers often spill over into the area intended for those on wheels. This letter is sparked by several incidents during an afternoon leisure tour last Sunday, when clear skies drew residents out of the Craftsman-style woodwork and I nearly destroyed several small children and excited dogs while riding my bike.
Fear not, I have a novel idea for solving this dangerous situation. I will preface by saying there is no urban problem that cannot be solved by the proper application of asphalt. Let’s widen the trail, but not leave it at that. We need to divide the trail into zones suitable for each type of trail user. The joggers, stroller-pushing mothers, and high-speed two-wheelers such as myself all have very different spatial needs.
Now, Council, I know what you’re thinking. Dogs and babies don’t pay taxes, so why should they get their own lanes? And surely, lone meanderers could save space by holding hands with strangers instead of traveling solo. But consider that us cyclists don’t even pay for roads! Surely we can all enjoy a little freeloading now and then together as a community.
Another innovation here is that the trail will be made one-way, in the counter-clockwise direction, because that is the current predominant flow. Why that is I cannot say, but it would be a fascinating experiment to compare with a similar park in the southern hemisphere. Nonetheless, there are many nonconformers who travel in the opposite clockwise direction, so they will require their own basic lane. This also begs a question: is it possible that, symbolically, these people are moving forward in time, and that the rest of us are the backwards savages? Perhaps we will all eventually come around to circumnavigating the lake in the other direction, having been enlightened by some noble naysayer. Thankfully, this proposed design is inherently adaptive to a contraflow configuration, contributing to “future proofing”, “resilience”, and “climate change mitigation”.
I appreciate your consideration in this important matter, and look forward to hearing your thoughts. I will be in touch next week about further reducing congestion with a cross-lake floating bike bridge.
Scott Bonjukian, Founder, Concerned Cyclists of Seattle