Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin and then on to Chicago.

Now, on the way home with stops for cycling in Santa Fe, Sacramento and the wine country, and then Seattle. From there by bicycle back home.

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
Seattle and Tacoma, WA
Date: 2006-10-08


Thoughts for the Day



Today, a trip by regional bus to Tacoma and the glass museum.

    The regional bus system is an easy way to get around to neighbouring cites and towns. While it is a fare system, the cost of a trip is quite reasonable. For $3 we passed through three fare zones and ended up with transfer for the local bus system at the destination. The distance between the two cities is about 50 kilometres.

Tacoma has a double-articulating streetcar running on a separated right of way along arterial streets for most of the four stops that the streetcar makes. The centre section is slung low making easy access for wheelchairs and bicycles. The two ends are raised. What was impressive was the interiors of the streetcars. They were inviting, open, and comfortable.

    The system seems to be just a few kilometres long with four stops. With a service frequency of 10 minutes, two streetcars seem to be sufficient to provide the service.

The glass museum was interesting but not overwhelming. The theatre was interesting where glassblowers were busy creating pieces while a commentator was educating the audience on the process. The adjacent gallery had very interesting pieces of glass works.

It appears that the City of Tacoma has been busy in creating a downtown and a major road that would attract people. There is much more to be done as there is little that draws people to this street. There is a lack of eating places and outdoor cafés. There are insufficient stores that make it interesting for tourists or for locals to stroll. There is a need for people to live in this area in apartments and in townhouses. The dwelling density needs to be increased.

  A ride to the theatre district on the streetcar and then a stroll back to Union Station and the museum, all the while looking for a place for lunch on a Sunday.

  Something of interest was not found. So, the decision to take the ride back to Seattle and down to Pike Market and a bit of shopping and some supper.


Cycling Facilities




  At the main transportation station where buses, the streetcar, commuter trains, and regional / national trains meet, there were bike lockers and bike racks under cover at street level besides where motorcycles were parked.

  Bike lockers were well advertised unlike some cities that try to hide them from potential users.  
  Signs at major bus and streetcar stops advertise that bicycles are welcome on the transit system.