After spending time in Seattle over the last ten years it’s apparent that bicycle culture has a significant impact on the quality of life in a city. For some, it seems to improve that quality. For others, it appears to diminish it.
Bikers argue that bike lanes are egalitarian, healthy, and green. Yet I see mostly white people using Seattle’s bike lanes. White people riding expensive bikes and loaded down with the pricey gear.
Walking and driving around Seattle and watching the birthplace of grunge disappear is heartbreaking. From where I’m standing it appears that bike lanes have partnered with gentrification.
From what I’m hearing, bikers’ perspective is limited to bike lanes. They seem to lack the critical thinking skills — or empathy, or humility—required to see that their hobby might have negative impacts on the hidden and fragile networks and traditions within their community.