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Posted by on May 10, 2015 in Blog, Cycling Routes, King County, Urban Rides | 0 comments

Bike a Boulevard on a Lazy Sunday Afternoon

There’s Ravenna Boulevard from Green Lake to the University District, Cheasty and Mount Baker boulevards that link Beacon Hill to Lake Washington, Magnolia Boulevard atop that hill, Interlaken Boulevard along north Capitol Hill and, of course, the granddaddy: Lake Washington Boulevard.

Mt Baker Blvd

Elissa Arnheim appreciates biking with her child in tow on the quiet, divided lanes of Mount Baker Boulevard. “It’s just the way a street should be.”

Those are five of my favorite Seattle boulevards that make for a great leisurely bike ride. See my article on “bike-able” boulevards in today’s Seattle Times.

A boulevard is defined as a broad, often landscaped thoroughfare. City planners have always envisioned grand statements along such gussied-up streets: they should contain walking paths and an overhanging tree canopy. Views should be preserved, as should a leisurely, luxurious feel. They should connect our parks. Generally, the workaday traffic for cross-town transportation or neighborhood commerce is shunted to another street, so as not to overwhelm the boulevard experience.

At 10 miles per hour with the wind on your face, the cyclist can take in all the amenities, and has time to contemplate the glory of such human-centered design.

Cheasty Boulevard

Cheasty Boulevard in early spring.

Pack a picnic and try two or three, but don’t plan for them all in one day; that would be contrary to the boulevard-rider’s credo of relaxing and enjoying the charms of a wide, cycling-friendly street.

Olmsted history tour

If you’re a history buff, there’s a lot of online history to tell you about the legacy of the Olmsted landscape design firm. The famous designers of New York City’s Central Park were hired by Seattle city planners in 1903 to add parks and amenities to the young metropolis.

You also could pedal my “Historic Seattle Tour.” I’ve told the stories of the first bike route in Seattle (before there were cars), and given turn-by-turn directions for the tour, on this site. The tour is also in the 2nd edition of Biking Puget Sound.

CBC ride on Mt. Baker Blvd.

A group of cyclists on a Cascade Bicycle Club free daily ride enjoy wide Mt. Baker Blvd.

In addition, here are some good links (with fun old pictures) to Seattle’s parks and cycling history:

Bicycle Sundays

Lake Washington Boulevard south of Mount Baker Park to Seward Park will be closed to motorized traffic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on these Bicycle Sundays in 2015:

  • May 3, 17, 31
  • June 21, 28
  • July 5, 12
  • August 9, 16, 30
  • September 13, 20

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