The Mayor’s Challenge: Walk, Bike, Ride



Truth be told, my commute is an arduous one.

It is seven blocks from home to City Hall, which equates to roughly a half-mile. Seven long, soul-crushing blocks, fraught with peril at every turn. Like the breakfast bagel at Cherry Street Coffee. Or the turkey sandwich at Bakeman’s. But I endure; I soldier on.

My vehicle of choice. No feet were harmed during the making of this blog post.

Maybe you’re thinking that those seven blocks are a cakewalk, but I’ll remind you that the incline gets progressively steeper each block as you head east up Cherry Street. I don’t cheat, either, when I get to City Hall. Most of you know there’s an elevator at street-level just past Noah’s, but every day I take the grand outdoor stairway from 4th Ave all the way to the main lobby. I catch my breath while grabbing a cup of coffee from City Grind, then it’s up the stairs to the 2nd floor.

It isn’t the commute to and from work that has been the challenge. Much like other Councilmembers have mentioned on this blog, the most difficult aspect is planning routes and managing our time during the day. There’s a greater effort involved on my part when I’ve got a meeting in Georgetown in the morning, two briefings back at City Hall an hour later, then a walking tour of a park in North Seattle just after lunch. Our office covers a lot of ground, and we’re doing our best to do it all on foot, by bus, or in the occasional cab. Metro Trip Planner and One Bus Away become your closest allies.

I’ve gotten a lot of practice over these last seven months in office, and with the lessons reinforced by the Mayor’s Walk, Bike, Ride initiative, the bottom line is simple. This challenge is really about adaptability, a little extra planning, and a change in attitude. The payoff is worth it and it manifests physically, mentally, and environmentally.

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