November 28, 2007

The ribbon is cut

Mayor Ava Frisinger cut the ribbon for the High Point connector this morning. I’ll post some pictures later if any of them turned out, but I’ll have a hard time saying anything better than what local bicycle activist Kent Peterson wrote about the trail.

November 25, 2007

New trail!

At 10am on Wednesday 11/28 there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new trail. Given the snappy name of “I-90 Issaquah-High Point Trail Connector”, the new link connects the trails at the Sunset Interchange (exit 18 off I-90) with the East Lake Sammamish Trail where it crosses under I-90. The trail is completely separate from the streets except for a signalized crossing of Front Street just north of I-90.

View Larger Map

This is a largely transportation-oriented trail rather than being strictly recreational. From the Sunset Interchange you can go three (now four) different directions: up the hill to the Issaquah Highlands, east to Preston on the High Point trail, or down along Sunset Way into downtown Issaquah. At the other end, the East Lake Sammamish trail will take you either back into Issaquah or along the east shore of Lake Sammamish all the way to Redmond.

I plan to be there for the opening. There’s more information on the Cascade Bike Club events calendar also on the City of Issaquah website though the details there are buried in a PDF.

November 17, 2007

Not first

It’s nice not to be the first to do something since you can steal their ideas learn from their experience. Which is why I was so excited to discover Transportation Alternatives which is pretty much exactly what I’m trying to move towards here only on a slightly different scale. Okay, not slightly, completely:

Our Mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.

They started in 1973, have 5500 members, ten full-time and four part-time staff, and an annual budget of over a million dollars. Wow!

I’m looking forward to mining through their extensive web site.

November 12, 2007

Reason #1: Weather

There are lots of reasons to travel around our town under your own steam. For example, the weather.

There is nothing better to make you feel alive and part of the world than to be outdoors experiencing the weather. The sun warming your back. A spritz of rain on your face. Sometimes both at once! And always the movement of the air, sometimes a gentle caress, sometimes, like today, jostling and careening through the valley like a herd of buffalo.

Being out in the weather for long enough to get where you’re going gives you time to reflect on where that air has been, where that rain will go next, what that sunshine sets in motion in all the green around us.


I wrote a little piece on my blog about what set me on the path to starting GAIT. Rather than duplicate it here I’ll just let you click the link above to read it over there. The main reason I put it over there was to confer some google juice on this shiny new site.

Timing is everything

Naturally, the city went through the full length of the Pickering Trail with a leaf blower this morning. :-)

I’m still glad I did what I did. At the very least it saved the city crew some time and cut back the blower emissions a little bit. Plus, I got some exercise as I can tell every time I try to move my arms today.

What I really want to do in that spot is sweep away all the dirt on the sidewalk so it stops being a mudslick every time it rains. I’ll have to wait for a dry stretch to do that. Or maybe wait until spring when the flood season is past.

November 11, 2007

Have to start somewhere

My vision for GAIT is still evolving, but I’m picturing small actions to make active transportation more attractive to my neighbors.

What I did today is an example.

Yesterday on a walk to lunch at the Boarding House in Gilman Village, I saw a woman pushing a little luggage cart in the street on Juniper rather than using the sidewalk. She said she was avoiding the leaves on the sidewalk because they get stuck on the wheels of her cart.

So today I went over there on my bike with my push broom and spent five minutes getting the worst of the leaves off the sidewalk. The push broom is a sub-optimal tool for this job. So from there I rode to Lowe’s and bought a rake.

To try out my new rake I went to the part of the Pickering Trail that runs under the bridge that carries 56th over Issaquah Creek. The trail was designed to flood and it does at least a few times every winter. There is always a layer of silt left over when the city finishes removing the worst of the flood wrack from the trail. It makes things slippery, and it only gets worse when the autumn leaves fall over it. So I spent an hour raking most of the leaves off the part of the trail north of the bridge. I’ll do the part south of the bridge in a few days.

Here’s a before picture. It was too dark when I finished to do an after picture.

Pickering Trail north of SE 56th Street