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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


posted by on July 30 at 10:29 AM

Mayor Greg Nickels just announced three streets that will be opened to pedestrians and cyclists (and closed to cars) three Sundays in August and September. They are:

•14th Avenue East from Volunteer Park to East Republican Street, from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 24.

Rainier Avenue South from South Orcas to South Alaska Street, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 31.

• Alki Avenue from California Way Southwest around Alki Beach to the south end of 63rd at Beach Drive from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 7.

Additionally, the city is expanding its “Car-Free Sundays” program—currently in effect on Lake Washington Blvd. from Mount Baker to Seward Park—to include the upper loop of Seward Park and the western loop of Volunteer Park on Sundays throughout August. Restrictions on cars will also go into effect some weekdays—Mondays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Volunteer Park, Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Seward Park, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Lake Washington Blvd.

Closing Rainier, even for three hours, is bold. Most days, the road functions more like a highway than like the 30 mph, four-lane arterial it is, as commuters from Renton and points south use it as an alternative to I-5. Nickels says the closures announced today are a precursor to more car-free days in 2009. My suggestion? Do something that will really make the point that streets are for everybody, not just cars. Close Rainier from 10 to 6 on a Monday.

RSS icon Comments


PERFECT politics!! He can throw some days in where bikes reign supreme and then turn around and fuck them come Monday morning for the daily commute.

Greg, you are truly a Clinton-Democrat!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 30, 2008 10:34 AM

Now if only he'd designate a "women only" day out, you'd probably be in hog heaven, wouldn't you, Ms. Pathetic Mud Dragging Whiny Flipflopper?

Every post you make further blots any credibility this publication has. I hope somebody is keeping score.

Posted by Enough | July 30, 2008 10:34 AM

Um, but then, how will the taxpayer-subsidized roads be used for single-occupancy drivers that the cyclists subsidize?

I mean, next thing you ask for, you'll want them not to build the streetcar through the U Dist given that more than 90 percent of the people here don't want it ... while asking them to build a streetcar thru Fremont to Ballard where 90 percent of the people there want it ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 10:34 AM

How does closing a street from cars encourage its use for everyone, including cars?

Posted by curious | July 30, 2008 10:39 AM

Closing Rainier is a good idea, for the very reason you claim it's not; people are constantly doing 45 up and down that section and not treating it like the pedestrian-heavy small community it is. If they really need to get somewhere in a hurry MLK Way is just over the hill and much faster.

Posted by Henry | July 30, 2008 10:41 AM

Erica, please stop writing about bicycles until you can demonstrate that you have operated one outside the comfy confines of Capitol Hill.


Posted by Jeff | July 30, 2008 10:41 AM

What the hell is up with the attitude copped toward Erica? If she wrote the same posts under "Eric" or even a set of initials unknown, you monkeys wouldn't throw this poo.

Posted by Amelia | July 30, 2008 10:44 AM

oh, snap @6!

good point.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 10:48 AM

Amelia, When you continually slant the news to your meet your own narrow agenda and discount valid points only because they disagree with yours, well ... expect to get a lot of shit.

Posted by Monkey | July 30, 2008 10:50 AM

So is the lesson here attack and you shall recieve?

I am a cyclist so put your firey sticks away

Posted by Julie Russell | July 30, 2008 10:51 AM

Seems like a reward for the efforts of Critical Mass.

Which is a god damn shame.

Posted by Nick | July 30, 2008 10:51 AM

The Mayor's next proclaimation:

"Bring Back the McRib Day!"

Posted by michael strangeways | July 30, 2008 10:59 AM

So, good idea, with Lk WA Blvd and Rainier Ave aka HWY 167 closed between S Alaska and S Orcas we have...hundreds of cars careening down the hood's streets where the
children and unicorns play? Construction that closed Bangor couldn't keep the local mfs from trying to bust through, this should be an awesome hot sunday in the hood ending with at least one violent moment. Good plan, team "we don't actually live there, we just think it's a good idea".

Posted by local mf | July 30, 2008 11:00 AM

Cool, but I was hoping they'd close Lk Wa Blvd through the Arboretum, too. It's basically a freeway through the park. Anyway I think it's a good start, and hopefully they will expand this to some larger arterials, and routes that link through the entire city, in the future.

Posted by rb | July 30, 2008 11:01 AM

Maybe Gregg can close the viaduct every other Sunday and pray this when the next earthquake will bring it down.

Posted by J.R. Labrador | July 30, 2008 11:02 AM

I'm not sure I see the point of closing that stretch of Rainier. Orcas to Alaska is by no means a pleasant, scenic ride; I agree with the poster above that the road through the Arboretum would be a great idea (and Lake Washington Blvd gets closed often enough as is, so no biggy,) but Rainier is just an ugly arterial.

Posted by Ursula | July 30, 2008 11:08 AM


You are an idiot. Closing Rainier Ave S from 10-6 on a Monday is a horrible idea. Can you please move to Canada?

Posted by midknightrider | July 30, 2008 11:16 AM

I'd like to see a closed Viaduct some Sunday, too, so I can go out and take all those incredible photos you can see from up there but never capture.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 11:23 AM

@14 makes a lot more sense.

And if you carpooled on the Viaduct, you'd have lots of chances to take pics, Fnarf.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 11:28 AM

Is ECB under contract or something? Dan? Is she your sister?

Do better.

Posted by Non | July 30, 2008 11:31 AM

Uh, 14th Avenue East from Volunteer Park to East Republican Street is six blocks, with almost no traffic anyway. What's the point?

I mean, a block party would be nice.

Posted by carlos | July 30, 2008 11:35 AM

I do not live on Capitol Hill. Please make a note of it.

Posted by ECB | July 30, 2008 11:36 AM

The pedestrians better watch out for the cyclists who will mow their ass down without a second thought.

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | July 30, 2008 11:40 AM

Will you be at the next critical mass? Will you be racing in the Dead Baby Downhill? Will you come ride with .83? Have you ever ridden with Cascade? Chilly Hilly? STP? Ever been to 20/20 cycles? The Bikery? MOBIUS? The Bike Shack? Bike Works? Slow Sunday? Hump-Day Hustle? Bike to Work Day?

I'm only curious because for someone who seems to love cycling as much as you do I find it odd that no one has ever seen you on a bike off of the hill.

Consider this an open invite. Come ride with us (the cycling masses of Seattle).

Seriously, we don't *bite

*Derrick Ito bites. Hard.

Posted by Jeff | July 30, 2008 11:43 AM

Wasn't the Critical Mass melee at 14th and Aloha, right in the middle of the August 24th closure?

And I wonder if Greg "I'm Afraid to Ride" Nickels knows that this six block stretch of 14th has potholes large enough for him to bathe in.

Posted by DOUG. | July 30, 2008 11:57 AM

Let's face it, if it was closed to cars, ECB would be upset by all the people with fixies and wheelchairs using it.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 12:04 PM

ECB Philosophy: Streets are not for transportation, they are for "making points".

Posted by David Wright | July 30, 2008 12:06 PM

This is cool and all. But how many times have you all tried biking/walking a reasonable distance with two or three children? I know -- I'm a bad person for reproducing and causing more people pollution and all that -- but seriously, do these street closures benefit anyone but singlefolks with no kids? Are we fast approaching liberal fascism?

Posted by Mom | July 30, 2008 12:06 PM

"Do something that will really make the point that streets are for everybody, not just cars. Close Rainier from 10 to 6 on a Monday."

Start doing shit like this and you'll see a pretty strong move toward declassifying bikes as vehicles. Not to mention that the 95% of people who do not ride bikes as transportation will grow rather impatient with funding bike improvements.

Instead of just trying to piss people off, how about pushing solutions that would work for everyone, like making dedicated bike and pedestrian corridors maybe anchored with BRT, street cars, and light rail. Third ave in downtown would be a good start. Throw in some street vendors and public space and you've got a place people will actually like.

Posted by Giffy | July 30, 2008 12:09 PM

Oh snap! @27 wins.

Posted by ECB Fan Club | July 30, 2008 12:19 PM

@28 - more times than I care to remember, actually. I had a bunch of younger siblings.

And actually, @29 wins.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 12:29 PM

Okay, so on second thought this plan isn't nearly as gutsy as it should be. NYC is planning a similar thing, three Saturdays in August, on a route that extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Park. Freakin' PARK AVENUE and Lafayette, people (major intersections will be open to cross-traffic). That would be equivalent to Seattle closing off a downtown avenue from the ID to Queen Anne, or maybe Madison from the sound to the lake. Doing this on a major arterial, where people already live/work/congregrate, would bring the crowds out and not make it a liberal fascist event for singlefolk (that's for you, @28).

I mean, seriously, 14th? Why not 15th?

But, baby steps.

Posted by rb | July 30, 2008 12:30 PM

I'm one of the handicapped bus riders you complained about slowing down YOUR commute on the No. 9. And you bet, Monday through Friday, I take the bus to work. Thanks for trying to fuck it up even more for me, "ECB." Maybe I should just accept a handicapped placard from the DMV and start driving every day. Why not, free parking?

Posted by Commuter | July 30, 2008 12:35 PM

Yep - another step forward for ECB's well-documented screw-the-handicapped agenda, I guess. I wonder if it occurs to her that a large portion of the populace cannot, for one reason or another, ride a bicycle.

Posted by tsm | July 30, 2008 12:41 PM

Better yet - why not 12th?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 12:43 PM

Seattle is becoming more of a Nanny State than San Francisco. Hard to believe considering the general level of incompetence among local politicians,

Posted by Dingo Rossi | July 30, 2008 12:57 PM
My suggestion? Do something that will really make the point that streets are for everybody, not just cars. Close Rainier from 10 to 6 on a Monday.

Close Rainier. Not just to cars, bicycles, pedestrians... Close Rainier. That'll learn 'em: Everybody -- Stay off the fuck off this fuckingforeverybody street!

Posted by jebus h. xst | July 30, 2008 1:01 PM

Oh great. Everytime a street is closed in Seattle, then the parking situation becomes a nightmare all around it due to the already limited parking. Now, I have a garage on Cap Hill, but I know plenty of people who don't and this effects them; especially ones that don't have M-F jobs.

And not everyone can commute via bike, or even have a place to store it. I would love a bike, but at my last apartment there was literally *no* place to put it. This whole 'cars are evil, bikes work for everyone they are just lazy' agenda is annoying. Why do we have to close streets? I don't understand the purpose. I don't see any benefit, even for bikers.

Posted by Original Monique | July 30, 2008 1:09 PM

Everytime a street closes, an angel gets its wings...

Posted by michael strangeways | July 30, 2008 1:34 PM

@19: you are an infected twat pustule. No, you can't, because you're moving too fast. Maybe you don't know how photography works?

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 1:38 PM

I'll believe the roads are not just for cars when cyclists stay off the sidewalk. Bikes are to people what cars are to bikes. Minus more traumatic injuries.

Posted by Nay | July 30, 2008 1:40 PM

@40 Now Fnarf this is Will we're talking about, of course he knows how photography works he probably babysat Ansel Adams' kids and dated Annie Leibowitz...

Posted by PopTart | July 30, 2008 1:42 PM

@38, it's interesting that you're complaining about the temporary closure of a couple hundred yards of roadway but at the same time, advocating for people to permanently park their cars on public roads. If they don't have a garage on their own property, then perhaps they never could afford a car in the first place. People like that have turned half of Seattle's streets into one-ways but that's ok, right? Just because somebody has a car doesn't mean they own the property it sits on. That's why they are called PUBLIC ROADS.

Posted by El Seven | July 30, 2008 1:51 PM

The viaduct is open to bikes one evening every month.

Posted by DOUG. | July 30, 2008 1:56 PM

Closing Rainier, even for three hours, is bold.

...or it's savvy politicking; a poison pill put into the plan to make sure the South Seattle community rejects this idea out of hand.

Then Nickels' office will be able to say they both "tried closing streets" and "are listening to the community" when they go ahead and back out of the plan in 2009.

Posted by Timrrr | July 30, 2008 1:56 PM

@38 - take the bus, Original Monique. And remember to fume at the wheelchair users who use it ...

@40 - invest in a more recent steadicam camera - the more modern ones are pretty good, especially if you're not using a car with shot shocks.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 2:09 PM

It's kind of pathetic how up-in-arms people get about something as trivial as closing a street on a single day that might inconvenience them slightly if they're too stupid to plan ahead.

A good roads system would have a mix of roads, some favoring pedestrian uses, some favoring bicycles, and some favoring cars, with most having a mix of all three. You wouldn't need to have temporary road closures for bikes because there would be permanent routes available. And really, even without this ideal, what's the difference between a cyclist's day on a major arterial and an annual parade that blocks traffic for everyone else? It's a city; sometimes public facilities are in use by a specific group, inconveniencing everyone else. If that kind of thing bugs you, maybe you should leave the fucking city and build a bunker on your rural compound.

Posted by Cascadian | July 30, 2008 2:48 PM

@46, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. A Steadicam is the stupidest fucking idea I've ever heard of. I'm not making a fucking movie, I'm taking photographs, and in addition to the jouncing motion (which the Steadicam isn't very good on) there's the issue of motion blur, which the Steadicam does NOTHING for, and the framing and angle of the shots, which the Steadicam does NOTHING for. And Steadicams cost thousands of dollars.

The only thing you see when you drive on the viaduct is a movie of the car in front of you, because your mind is blinkered. If you took a look to your right or your left you'd see more, but you still wouldn't be able to take it in; your "buffers are full" to put it politely.

DOUG. mentions something that is both true and useful, which is more in ten words than you could ever accomplish in a thousand lifetimes. Jesus. Shut the fuck up.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 2:56 PM

I may have jumped the gun on the "true" part. Where can I find more info about this bike closure, DOUG.? I'm not turning anything up in Google.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 2:59 PM

It is open to cyclists the last Friday of every month...

Posted by El Seven | July 30, 2008 3:01 PM

Can you provide a link? The only thing I'm finding is that one-off viaduct ride Critical Mass did last year. I'm not looking to hang around with them.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 3:20 PM

Sorry, thought the ellipsis would give it away. I was joking and I think Doug was too. The last Friday of every month IS Critical Mass day.

Posted by El Seven | July 30, 2008 3:28 PM

Fnarf just got pwned.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by Jeff | July 30, 2008 3:32 PM

Can I buy a vowel?

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 3:43 PM
Posted by DOUG. | July 30, 2008 3:44 PM

@42 - nope, never met either.

You can buy a modern camera with motion-stabilizing features for around $800, actually, Fnarf. Unless you're one of those film nazis.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 30, 2008 3:53 PM

Image stabilization doesn't do a blessed thing for motion blur, Will. Really, I know what I'm talking about, and you do not. You're a fuckhead. A complete and utter jizz bag. Go away.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 4:51 PM

Is it just me, or have other primarily-pedestrian people in Seattle noticed that our city's auto drivers seem much more cautious at pedestrian crossings since the Critical Mass Fiasco? Seems like I've gone four days straight now without once having my right-of-way cut off by some horsepower-entitled asshole or another--a milestone!

Anybody else?

Posted by Jeff Stevens | July 30, 2008 5:08 PM

Quite the opposite, Jeff. I came very close to getting creamed by a truck today in the marked, unsignaled crossing right in front of my work. Small sample size theater.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 5:17 PM

@58, no more than usual. I walk home most days, and unless it's a really busy intersection like Lk Wa Blvd and Madison, drivers will generally stop to let me cross. I'm also not a terribly militant pedestrian and only cross a few busy arterials, so my walks are generally confrontation-free.

BUT I am glad I no longer work downtown, becuase the red-light running down there is out.of.control. I was developing serious pedestrian-rage issues at motorists.

Posted by rb | July 30, 2008 5:17 PM


I'm going to take a lawn chair and sit in the middle of the E 14th. Get a lot of friends to do it, and we'll have a grand ol' time. It'll be a protest!

Posted by TheMisanthrope | July 30, 2008 5:30 PM

Fnarf @59,

Three questions:

One, did you get the license plate number?

Two, do Kelly O and Ari Spool still have all that Rize we keep hearing so much about?

Three, do you have contact info for both Kelly O and Ari Spool, and Critical Mass?

Critical Mass must get awful thirsty riding those bikes all day long. Maybe you see where I'm going with this...

Posted by Jeff Stevens | July 30, 2008 6:03 PM

No, don't know, no. I'm good for nothing. But decorative.

Posted by Fnarf | July 30, 2008 6:35 PM

Closing off Rainier for 8 hours on a Monday? Oh, that'll go over just great with the doo-rag contingent. You live in the whitest part of Columbia City, don't you? Chicken.

Posted by Handicapped Express Bus Rider | July 30, 2008 6:37 PM

I absolutely agree with Fnarf. I would love an afternoon of using my STILL camera on the viaduct. I always take my visiting guests down the viaduct- the view is unforgettable!!!

Posted by Cattymaran | July 31, 2008 9:43 AM

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