Yesterday’s car-free day at Alki was great! There were well over a thousand people attending throughout the day, and most of them were on bicycles. Everyone had a great time finding better uses for the road, and all the businesses we talked to were very enthusiastic about the event, and some even said it was one of their busiest days of the year!

I noticed right away the lack of road noise, it really makes the beach much more pleasant.

There were a few local groups and businesses promoting sustainability, I put together a short video with a friend interviewing a few of them.

We biked from Capitol Hill to the Elliott Bay Water Taxi on Pier 55 which goes right to Alki. The boat was more than half-full, and more than half of the passengers had bikes! It’s a great ride, I highly recommend everyone try it out on on a nice day if you haven’t before – it’s only $3.00 and is great for out of town guests!

The taxi is a great example of how innovative public transportation can really make people happy.

There was a lot of interest in future car-free days, especially in Ballard and Freemont. Where would you like to see new car-free days next year? I’m hoping for Broadway (between Pike and Roy) on Capitol Hill, and one of the major avenues Downtown.

7 Replies to “Alki Car-Free Day”

  1. It was nice meeting you guys over there. The video just captures the essence and mood of the day. Reminds me of the excellent videos produced by Lots of people having fun. I didn’t do much, just rode around and lied down on the beach. Without the car noise, I could hear the waves and the birds really well.

    Interestingly, I was in the Spud Fish and Chips and the lady at the register was interviewed by KING5 and said business was about half of what they usually get on Sundays. Really? The line was right out the door. I walked out and saw the empty parking lot behind the store and couldn’t believe that closing the street would have that an impact. I passed by later and saw several cars parked so I guess over the course of the whole event it evened out or exceeded.

  2. Yeah, Duke’s also reports business way down, for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    The idea is great, but rather than have the locations and dates imposed from on high, from the Mayor’s Office, how about letting the neighborhoods in on the process, letting them decide when and where?

    A little more civic engagement up front would avoid problems like on Capitol Hill where people got their cars towed due to lack of foreknowledge. And it would give local businesses an opportunity to adapt (outdoor food service, retail displays, etc.)

    1. The local media were just LOOKING for an excuse to say this was a bad idea – they were going around asking businesses if they were experiencing lower customer volumes. Duke’s and Spud are both frequented mostly by those from outside the immediate area – locals might just know better…

      1. So true. I live nowhere near Alki, not even in Seattle but I was there. I could’ve gone to the Spuds closest to me in Juanita Beach. This event might have attracted more people to Alki.

        Check out the West Seattle Blog for more local coverage; they had a live blog and a follow-up post.

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