In this week's War on Cars manifesto, we interviewed Cathy Tuttle, who leads monthly rides to introduce “reluctant bikers, or willing but wary bikers” to safe riding routes. “We noticed that the places we chose to take new cyclists were rarely on existing bike routes, they were on the quieter streets just off main arterials,” she explained, which is why Tuttle is spearheading a grassroots effort to turn select streets into priority biking/walking routes:
Wallingford resident Cathy Tuttle is head of the group Spokespeople. She's leading Seattle's "greenway movement" to convert select non-arterial roads that connect neighborhoods into dedicated bike routes, where driving is discouraged. In 2009, Tuttle wrote a grant asking the city to turn 44th Street, between I-5 and Stone Way North, into a greenway. Her grant was awarded last year and Seattle's first greenway will be open to riders by the end of November. Now at least five other groups in the city are organizing to build greenways in their neighborhoods.
And she's not alone. Residents in Beacon Hill, Ballard, and the University District are also pushing for greenways in their neighborhoods. "If you query the census data, only 37 percent of working people in the U-District's core own a car," explains Eli Goldberg, who's advocating turning 47th
Avenue Street into a greenway. "The majority of us don’t have a quick, efficient way of getting around. We need to be better about addressing the question: how does a predominantly car-free population get around their neighborhood?"
Tonight, Tuttle, Goldber, other greenways activists are having a public potluck meet up at Mosaic Coffeehouse* from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to discuss greenways, grants, and how to sell this great idea to the city. If your interested in greenways, organizing, or potlucks, you should go.
*Featuring Seattle City Council Member Sally Bagshaw, lover of potlucks.