Last week, the Seattle Department of Transportation closed 2.5 miles of roadway in the Central District and West Seattle as part of Stay Healthy Streets. The program aims to let pedestrians, cyclists, and rollerbladers socially distance more gracefully. (Can it ban hoverboards too? Please?) Today, SDOT adds six more miles (part of a planned 15 miles total), with additions in Greenwood, Rainier Beach, and Beacon Hill. SDOT picked areas with limited open space and car ownership, and 15 miles is great. But seeing places like Oakland offer 74 miles, we quickly got jealous. What other streets could offer a luxuriously wide berth, free from automotive tyranny? Here’s a wish list.
The Streets Circling Green Lake
The stretch of West Green Lake Way North through Woodland Park is already closed. But even in non-social distancing times it can be nigh impossible to dodge the strollers and dog leashes and cyclists on the two slender paths circling Green Lake, especially when the lawns are soggy with rain. Snagging a couple more lanes from cars could fix that nicely.
Shilshole Avenue Northwest
Honestly, many Burke-Gilman Trail adjacent streets—Northlake Way, Seaview Avenue, Lakeshore Boulevard—would be fantastic. But seeing Ballard’s long-contested missing link officially given over to cyclists and runners is too sweet to pass up.
Lakeview Boulevard East
Ascending Eastlake and Capitol Hill from South Lake Union could go from vertical trudge to stroll.
Lake Washington Boulevard
A wending bike ride from Montlake, through the Arboretum, past Madison Beach, and finally to Seward Park—with no fear of getting run down by a Tesla. Can you imagine?
West Marginal Way Southwest
The Duwamish Trail in Delridge is nice, slipping as it does between parks and the river, but so frequently slender that the generous 15 feet of exercise social distance won’t happen. And there’s this road right beside it.
The West Seattle Bridge
It probably wouldn’t fall from a few joggers and cyclists, right? Right!?