Ideas Roll in for Combating "Dangerous Crowding" on Seattle's Trails and Sidewalks

The mayor is still considering her options.



Interesting that the quote "dangerous crowding" appears in the headline but nowhere in the story. If people are not observing social distancing, that's not an excuse for us to pull out our standard hobby horses, as nice as they may be and as peripherally beneficial as they may be to furthering the cause of social distancing.

If there is indeed "dangerous crowding," then rather than coming up with solutions in search of problems, we need to as immediately and directly as possible solve the problem at hand. If people are willfully failing to observe social distancing, then we need to make them start observing social distancing.

The Italian and Spanish police have been cracking down. I think the Seattle police and the state police need to be doing the same. I can tell you I was out at Greenlake yesterday doing my best to keep to myself, and there were lots of people out there in close groups who couldn't all have been housemates and family members--some of whom had to be just buds.


Professor History will call for summary executions like he did for people selling home made hand sanitizer. Then he'll delete his account so no one remembers and his comment disappears like a fart in the wind.


@1: Good point! Post has been update to make clear that the quote comes from the new Seattle Neighborhood Greenways plan.


Just hearing now that New York State has raised the fine for violating social distancing rules to $500. Just hearing now that LA is requiring all workers and customers to wear masks.

Yeah, I'm sure that these measures are racist and classist and don't sufficiently correlate with our predefined political agendas. And above all they are discriminatory against the stupid and selfish among us. What greater right is there in America than to be stupid and selfish?

I just hope that the likes of Jenny Durkan and Dow Constantine and Jay Inslee can set aside these concerns and emulate these counterparts of theirs elsewhere. Also, I want to nominate Kauai Mayor Derek Kawakami for the title of America's Most Kick-Ass Mayor:


Eli @3, thanks for updating.


@1 Opening up empty roads IS solving the problem. People are trying their best to social distance and don't have the space to do so.


Dangerous crowding on sidewalks and bike lanes? Is this the best new angle you guys can come up with? If people aren't taking social distancing seriously then their not going to no matter how much space you give them.


Becks @6, I'm not necessarily against this proposal. I do want this proposal to be evaluated strictly from the standpoint of its efficacy at promoting social distancing while at the same time not compromising the ability of essential workers to get to their jobs. I'm sure there are some streets we should be opening up to bikes and pedestrians. I don't want this to be a power grab by us density advocates.

But let's not confuse the means and the end. The end is social distancing, and there are other, even more effective measures we could be taking to advance it that we're not. Maybe I should not believe my own lyin' eyes, but if I am to believe my own lying eyes, "People are trying their best to social distance" should ain't what I'm seeing.


Corerction @9: "should ain't what I'm seeing" = "sure ain't what I'm seeing."


Did anybody suggest stay at home or mind your own business?


I agree with @9/10 that we should not confuse the means with the end, and not that in many cases a lack of space isn't necessarily the issue.

And @8 - I hear you. Runners seem the be the worst. I've been walking in the middle of the street in my residential neighborhood, and on multiple occassions have had runners jog past me no more that a foot or two away - even though there's more than enough room to pass six feet clear. Sure, at our speed differential they are only violating my six-foot personal space for a very brief moment... but violating it nonetheless.


I’ve lived near Seattle Center for decades and the sidewalks in the neighborhood are full of more tourists than ever, taking selfies in masks and crowding the sidewalks in large groups. I wonder when we can be like the people living in coastal tourist towns and tell people that unless they live in a Lower Queen Anne zipcode they need to stop crowding our sidewalks, drug & grocery stores and parks.


I think we should start summary executions like I did with people who made home made hand sanitizer. Oh. And mandatory abortion. And forced homosexuality AND forced sex reassignment. Also. We need euthanasia squads for hopeless loser trolls with nothing better to do.


Or we could try this: 1-877-ASS-HOLE

HERO Program

The HERO Program helps WSDOT educate HOV and HOT lane violators and ferry line cutters on the purpose, rules, and benefits of these freeway lanes and ferry lines. We started the program in 1984 as a way to encourage drivers to self-enforce HOV lane rules. It is now a nationally recognized program which has served as a role model for similar programs in other states. We expanded the program to include ferries in 2010.

How the HERO Program works
Drivers can report HOV, HOT lane or ferry line violators online or by calling at 1-877-764-HERO. We will then mail educational materials about HOV, HOT lane and ferry line usage to the registered owner of the vehicle that was seen violating.

First-time HOV lane violators are sent an educational brochure. Second-time HOV lane violators are sent a letter from WSDOT. Third-time HOV lane violators are sent a letter from the Washington State Patrol.


I've had several experiences walking through downtown over the past few days, early in the morning (6-7am) where the sidewalk was 10' wide and I'm "tight-roping" the curb and yet, almost invariably, there will be someone who will walk within arms reach of me.

I like the idea of closing down some streets for non-motor vehicle use, to give people more space, but as others have posted, social distancing is the issue. And some people just don't get it (or just don't care/think it's doing anything) and will use the new space in the same way they were using trails and the beaches before; clumping, crowding, and brushing by people.


Take the "parking lane" back. It was originally used for horses and then for bikes. It was not intended for cars until quite recently.


I don't think the problem is that bad in people's own neighborhoods. The problem is at places like Green Lake, Alki, Cal Anderson, etc., where every dipshit and their dog come from god-knows-where to bike, run, hang out, smoke weed, etc.

I get it; they're scenic places and all, but besides Social Distancing (tm) the other part of the Governor's order is to STAY THE FUCK HOME! Don't spread your spores! Limit your travels to work and necessities. Beyond that, if you have to drive there to get there, you probably shouldn't BE there. You can walk around your own damn block.

Now I live at one of these 'desirable' spots, and I can take my morning constitutional here because I live here. I know it sounds elitist and abnormal, but these are (with apologies to Marcellus Wallace) pretty fucking far from normal times, Sparky. If you don't live here, don't come here. These places will still be here after we beat the Bug, and you can come back and be the boombox-playing, littering, chillaxing nuisance tourists you've always been.

I would suggest that along with ticketing people who are violating Social Distancing rules, check their IDs. If they don't live or work within a mile, give them an extra ticket for Unnecessary travel.

Or we can just make a pact: I won't come and spread disease in your neighborhood if you don't come and do it in mine. Deal?


After reading the comments @13 and @18, all I can say is, if we urbanistas can come up with our pet solutions for social distancing, then I guess so can the NIMBYs.


Everyone could walk on the right side of the street, like how we drive. It would keep folks from having to pass by each other face-to-face.


Personal cars is the best ways to social distance (TM).


The main problem is that all national state county parks are closed and many other public lands are closed also.

Obviously people will go to the few that remain open.

If today Greenlake and Alki are closed, people. Will then go to the next tier parks crowding them out. If you close every single park people will then congregate on main streets.

The solution is to open every park. Spread people out.


Stop road construction and get rid of the goddamn No Parking signs crowding the sidewalks.



"What greater right is there in America
than to be stupid and selfish?"

There is none greater
and Fake 'prez' is doing
his Damnedest to Constitutionalize
it, all whilst Making America Grieve Again.

He's a Multitasker that guy!


@24 kristofarian: Thank you and bless you for beating me to it.
i'm still eagerly waiting for the day Trumpty Dumpty bends over to make a putt,
ripping an inseam (tailor made from Goodyear Blimp, Inc.,), and waking a sleeping
alligator dozing in the muck at Mar-a-Lunatic. One quick SNAP! and Trumpty's gone.
Wally Gator wins the Nobel Peace Prize in one chomp.