When the I-5 Freeway was constructed through the city of Seattle, it effectively split parts of the community into halves. The no-man’s land underneath the freeway became a place no one would want their children to come near as it was problem area, with rampant drug use, prostitution, garbage littered everywhere.
That all has changed at the Colonnade, thanks to the efforts of their local bike club, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
While it was something that didn’t happen overnight, through their dedicated efforts and the aid of the community, they succeeded in creating a major success story. This dead urban space is now a draw for the local community, and also brings in mountain bikers from all over, bolstering the local economy. It now is a destination on the local bike path, and also features a dog park for local community residents.
There is much we can take from the example of Seattle. It clearly is possible to create an urban riding destination, and a safe place for children as well as riders and enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Let’s remember to shoot for the sky- there is no reason San Francisco shouldn’t be the next major city known for its urban riding opportunities. We have a great need for a place to ride for all user groups in the cycling family, and we can and will make it happen.
Here is a great documentary on the I-5 Colonnade Project:
For another great feature on the Seattle Skills Park, click here