Car-Free Day #1 (2 weeks till Alki) report, in case you wondered

Two weeks till the Alki Car-Free Day, third in a series of three; that series started today, sort of, in a manner that our friends at Capitol Hill Seattle call “a slopping wet joke,” and not just because of the weather. Will add other links as we find them, starting with:
*Casey McKinnon calls it a “non-event event”
*P-I visits Alki during the Cap Hill closure
*KING calls it a washout, noting (as did CHS) it ended two hours early
*KOMO focuses on … kids who had a lemonade stand
*Seattle Times mentions the lemonade stand too (among other things)

There’s a thread in the WSB Forums, too. (Background on the scheduled 9/7 Alki Car-Free Day, from the 7/30 announcement, is here and here.) We will check with SDOT in the coming week to see if what happened on Capitol Hill will lead to any changes in the plan for Alki (and, next week, Rainier Valley) — we’ll be asking, in particular, about the pre-event towing plans (which seemed to be the biggest shock on C-Hill).

12 Replies to "Car-Free Day #1 (2 weeks till Alki) report, in case you wondered"

  • Barkdust August 25, 2008 (8:19 am)

    The PI story said that some Alki businesses, Christo’s in particular, plan to close during the event. I had thought about walking down to breakfast during the Car-Free day but now I will fire up old Betsy and drive somewhere else. How’s that for irony? Is anybody thinking down at city hall? Who will reimburse Christo’s and the other businesses at Alki for the loss of revenue? Just kidding. Nobody cares about small family-owned businesses in this town.

  • Katie McA August 25, 2008 (9:07 am)

    I was just thinking of my poor friends that live down there– and park on the street. I wonder what they are supposed to do to prepare for this so their cars don’t get towed? Something tells me we’ll be having house guests that evening…

  • WSB August 25, 2008 (9:45 am)

    I have that very question out to SDOT, re: towing. In Capitol Hill, for example, no parking kicked in at 10 am, according to an online reference I found, so there was time in the morning to get the cars moved … somewhere. We will post an update as soon as we hear from SDOT – TR

  • Danno August 25, 2008 (10:24 am)

    Kind of hard to do sidewalk chalk art in the pouring rain….

  • DB August 25, 2008 (10:27 am)

    I don’t see what the big deal is…. if anything, this should drive people to the beach who might not usually come. I know I’ve invited a group to come down and ride bikes or walk and just enjoy the day… with a plan to eat dinner down there afterwards. I would hope the local stores would see this as an opportunity, not an obstacle.

  • Sarah August 25, 2008 (10:52 am)

    DB: It’s a big (negative) deal because people have made it so. I agree with you – there is so much potential for people to view this as an opportunity to enjoy a long walk on Alki and a leisurely dinner without voices being drowned out by passing motorcycle packs or being nearly run down by a bright yellow Hummer that doesn’t feel the need to stop for crosswalks. You have to remember that there are some extremely negative, whiny commenters on this blog that will take any opportunity to complain.

  • flipjack August 25, 2008 (12:43 pm)

    I think it’s great! It reminds me of the controversy about the smoking ban. People complained about how unrealistic that was and now look, attendance is UP in bars. It’s a very free-ing feeling to be able to walk around in the streets and not be on the look out for smelly, loud cars. I’d like to block off the street in front of my house at least one day a week.

  • GenHillOne August 25, 2008 (12:51 pm)

    I’m not sure it’s fair to characterize comments on “this blog” that way, Sarah. If you read the links provided, they’re pretty similar. Remember that if someone with a motorcycle or a bright yellow Hummer lives along Alki, they’ll still be on the road.

  • GenHillOne August 25, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    p.s. WSB – has there been further clarification of the “curb lane” use mentioned here?

    Alki is only two lanes, right? So either it is a misidentification, or cars/shuttle will be allowed to drive adjacent to the curb, which is usually parking. Let’s hope it’s the former, otherwise, pretty risky.

  • Michael Snyder August 25, 2008 (1:32 pm)

    Until the rain pushed me back inside, I was planning to bicycle from Ballard over to West Seattle and Capitol Hill among other places to spend money at your businesses and get to know your neighborhoods more. It is a great idea, businesses just need to be a little creative and think about how to embrace the change and use it as a competitive opportunity instead of being afraid of it and simply shutting out the opportunity.

  • Barkdust August 25, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    Thanks for the link GenHillOne. I guess there will be one lane open for the shuttle and local access. Do you think that bikes will be required to stay on the bike path? Otherwise, pedestrian traffic in the street will be dodgy. BTW, ever see a bike stop for a pedestrian to cross a bike path? What are the traffic/pedestrian rules about bike paths? I really don’t know. I just know that on Alki there are bikes zipping along on a bike path in the middle of a sidewalk.

    Frankly, I hope that businesses remain open and give this thing a chance. Even though many (most?) of their regular customers will stay away, they may have a chance to find some new customers. Supporters of this idea should plan to patronize the merchants who stay open.

  • Al August 25, 2008 (2:42 pm)

    This does work if it’s planned right.

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