Kids' eye view

This Sunday, my husband took our five-year-old on the trail-a-bike and I took the littles in the trailer, and we set off from Wedgwood to Keystone Ave and N 51st St. As we biked up, and down, from Ravenna to the I-5 underpass, my three-year-old and I discussed the route. She didn’t like the downhills; I begged to differ. She wondered why we were going ‘so slow,’ and I took the opportunity to teach her about grades and climbing.

kids eye view

As we ventured from NE 65th to 20th Ave NE, sometimes we were in a bike lane, and sometimes we merged into traffic. Sometimes we were on a greenway, and sometimes we were in the door zone. Whenever she saw the iconic bike painted on the road, she shouted out, “Now this is just for BIKES ONLY! We’re safe now!” I agreed, as we do when we want our children to believe we are in control, and then I wondered what would make the roads we were riding on truly safe for cyclists.

It’s more than road speeds and road diets, more than the location of parked cars and painted sharrows. What makes a city truly friendly for cycling is a comprehensive transportation plan that takes into account the people living in the neighborhoods we’re just traversing. A plan that gives anyone, including cyclists, options when they leave their house.

Seattle is an idyllic city and I am glad to be here, continuing the vital work of the Cascade Bicycle Club. The region has made progress toward making cycling safer and more accessible, but we still have far to go to build an excellent transportation system for all users.