Spain’s bike paths a model for West Seattle?

Grade separated bike paths in Barcelona

By Nicholas Smith

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Spain and snapped this photo in Barcelona of a great example of grade-separated bike lanes. Enormous walking path, followed by well-marked bike paths and then the roadway for cars. Beautiful, efficient and, best of all, safe. All integrated with a robust subway system.

One thing we’re really good at in America is laying down lots of cement. Perhaps with some rule changes we can begin putting that hard surface down in layers and make getting around safer for everyone.

As an added benefit, the (skinny) Spanish often take long walks in the evenings, chatting with friends and family along the way. There may be benefits to this approach that can’t be captured in a government planning study.

I can imagine several roadways in West Seattle where this approach would work well. All the way down 35th? Along Delridge? In the shopping zone of California? Others?

Learn to ride your bike safely — right here in West Seattle

Spokespeople West Seattle will be riding a 7.5 mile loop of Alki Beach on Aug. 1 enjoying the peak of summer before the crowds arrive at the beach.

The ride leaves Alki Bike and Board 2606 California Avenue SW. at 10 A.M. Bike safety checks and helmet fits are done prior to the ride so come at least 15 minutes early.

Bring a little money for a stop on Alki Beach for a summer treat. As always Spokespeople ride together and regroup on hill climbs. Bicycle riding advice is gladly given.

This ride is in partnership with Cascade Bicycle Club, Sustainable West Seattle and Spokespeople. Ride leaders are Stu Hennessey and Bill Reiswig.