City Biking to Safeco Field
posted by May 14 at 13:19 PMon
I didn’t ride my bike to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners beat the Yankees last Friday night because I’m a smug piece of bike riding shit. I ride a bike when and where I can because, gee, I actually prefer riding my bike. I enjoy biking around. Not only is being on a bike in the city in the spring a hell of a lot more pleasant than being in a car, riding to Safeco Field on a Friday night at 6 PM is a hell of a lot faster than driving.
So this post isn’t about me wanting to have my virtue rewarded or recognized; nor am I hypocritically drawing attention to my carbon-neutral trip down to carbon-crazed Safeco Field. But I have to say…
Wouldn’t it would be better for everyone if more people rode their bikes—people who can, people that live close enough—to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners play? And not just better for the planet but better also for people who choose to drive to Safeco Field? More people riding bikes to the game means less competition for those $20 parking spots, less congestion before the game, less of a traffic jam after the game. (I know drivers have a hard time with this concept—bikers make a city a better place to drive!—because my boyfriend, a driver, is incapable of recognizing it.)
So it seems strange that our city—which is widely rumored to have a bright green mayor—hasn’t placed bike racks all around Safeco Field. There’s one lonely rack in the parking lot across the street on the South side of the stadium and that’s it. Depending on where your seats are located, locking up in that rack may mean a six block walk to your seats.
There ought to be bike racks near every entrance. Racks that would allow folks who ride their bikes down to Safeco to lock up near the entrance closest to their seats. Racks that would, by their presence, serve as constant visual reminders, letting people know they can ride to their bikes down to the game.
But the city believes that a half a dozen bike racks around Safeco Field would impede foot traffic. Maybe they would. But that seems like a small price to pay to get more people to ride to Safeco. And it’s not as if people on bikes aren’t already locking their bikes up near the entrances closest to their seats anyway. They’re locking their bikes to trees…
…to garbage cans…
…and to expensive, olde-timey light posts.
The five bikes above were all locked up on the North side of the Safeco Field—all by one entrance, all within twenty feet of each other. Spread out along the sidewalk, these five bikes—one of ‘em is mine—were a greater impediment to foot traffic than they would have been if they were gathered up in one bike rack.