Back in Seattle, our French vacation behind us, we didn’t stop riding — our summer was mostly warm and dry. Many of our rides these days are familiar trips with a reliable restaurant at the end — we’re not exactly tourists, but we seem to carry enough extra stuff with us that we need panniers.
For a couple of years now our preferred route south through Downtown has been Second Avenue, and recently the City has marked much of the length of the street as dedicated two-way cycle track. This has made a huge difference, and not just to us — since the change, there are three times as many bikes using the route daily.
Operation was a little sketchy at first (we were there on Day 1) but signalization was changed after the first week. The biggest problems remaining have to do with connections: southbound the route ends by Yesler, which leaves you short of the waterfront trail, itself disrupted by tunnel construction. Northbound, both before and after the new track, cyclists are tempted to ride wrong-way on the old single bike lane, and the new track ends at Pine Street. Still, it’s a lot better than nothing; though a week too late for local attorney Sher Kung, whose white “ghost bike” bears flowers at the intersection with University Street.
[Note: much progress has been made on Seattle’s bike system since this post appeared. See, for instance, our entry “Second Avenue Again.”]