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July 29, 2010

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A pretty common affliction back home is "Seattle Shoulder," a generalized numbness resulting from too many self-congratulatory pats on one's own back. It often occurs in conjunction with discussions of what a great city it is for bicycling, especially when compared with, say, Atlanta or Los Angeles. Don't get me wrong, I love cycling there and am also guilty of being satisfied with too little, but my experience so far in Chicago makes me want to demand much more for Seattle.

It should be easy: just flatten the hills and rewrite history.

OK, so Seattle's already done some hill-flattening; skip that. How about we rewrite history so that Seattle adopts a Burnham Plan in 1909? That way all waterfront would be public parks and trails and most hills could be simply circumvented.

(I'm thinking, for example, of Broadmoor, whose shoreline entitlement results in a somewhat dangerous
winding hilly detour along narrow Arboretum Drive and up/down actual switchbacks along Lake
Washington Boulevard. Coudn't we just sneak a shoreline trail in around it?)

History was made to be rewritten.