It’s impressive how far we’ve come. Bike trails and bike lanes cross the metro. New lanes have been painted on important routes, particularly inside Seattle. Drivers are more polite, not only skipping the shouted complaints of the ’80s, but often carefully waiting for bicyclists to pass before turning right. There’s plenty left to do, but still.
I took today off work and went for a ride, enjoying the scenery, the infrastructure (isn’t that an emotive word?), the unusual number of friendly nods from other bicyclists (a weekday thing?), and the clouds and trees that kept things comfortable, at least for the first couple hours before it got hot. A great day.
Except there was an incident at the Fremont Bridge. Probably good people forgetting to use good judgment.
As I headed over the bridge around lunchtime, 90 percent of the bike/pedestrian path was blocked by a City pickup and a pizza delivery car (delivering to the operator’s tower) parked side-by-side, leaving just enough room for a bike to edge through along the curb, and hopefully not fall into traffic in the process. The two drivers and presumably the operator were all outside. I yelled at them, they clearly saw the error, the pickup was moved immediately… and here we are.
How often does this happen? If it’s more than “never again,” something has to change. It may be too much to expect safe parking by the Domino’s driver. But the City staff… do they really think delivery drivers all think about public access or safety? The solution is that nobody should park on the bridge except City staff that will do it right. As for lunch, if Fremont is too far and nobody will deliver on foot, brown-bag it.
This isn’t the worst incident I’ve had on a drawbridge. About 15 years ago, the Ballard Bridge started to go up while I was walking across. Ever since then I’ve always looked for handholds, just in case.
Today is a good reminder that our City’s well-meaning plans and people who are generally good public servants aren’t enough. Infrastructure isn’t enough. You also have to look at practices, including how the bridge operator gets lunch.