Story from the Sole: People Of All Ages Need To Move!

As most Seattle residents would agree, it’s wonderful to have public transportation options. However, the mere existence of public transit is not enough – users must be able to easily access it as well. People need sidewalks, bike lanes, and other improvements to get them safely to the transit system. Having a transit station nearby is great, but if no one can get to it, what’s the point? Just ask Carolyn Price, who has observed this situation firsthand.

Story from the Sole: People Of All Ages Need To Move!

As most Seattle residents would agree, it’s wonderful to have public transportation options. However, the mere existence of public transit is not enough – users must be able to easily access it as well. People need sidewalks, bike lanes, and other improvements to get them safely to the transit system. Having a transit station nearby is great, but if no one can get to it, what’s the point? Just ask Carolyn Price, who has observed this situation firsthand.

By Leah Wyatt

Carolyn, a Seattle native, obtained a journalism degree from Western Washington University and then embarked on a career in sports writing, eventually becoming the first female sports editor in Washington State. In 1988 she founded Outdoors NW, a publication targeting outdoor enthusiasts in the Portland and Seattle areas.

Having grown up in the Northgate area in the years prior to the construction of I-5, Carolyn remembers being able to walk directly to Northgate Mall from her childhood home to the west (which now houses Outdoors NW’s office). Remembering how dramatically the construction of I-5 reshaped her neighborhood, Carolyn supported Feet First’s campaign to improve pedestrian infrastructure surrounding the planned Sound Transit Northgate light rail station. She was particularly excited about the Northgate Pedestrian Connection under I-5possibility of building a pedestrian/bicycle bridge across I-5 to connect North Seattle Community College to the station, reconnecting her neighborhood to Northgate. Carolyn participated in Feet First’s efforts to make this bridge a reality, and on June 28th the Sound Transit board unanimously voted to expand funding to help provide for it along with other bicycle and pedestrian facilities. 

The current I-5 pedestrian crossing at N Northgate Way.

Seattle is lucky to have an active, forward-thinking lifestyle and culture, Carolyn feels, and if our government builds more sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities she thinks that we can be a model city, providing an example for others. When creating a public transportation system, a master plan considering all angles and enabling people to easily get to it is needed, as exemplified by the planned pedestrian bridge near the Northgate station (pictured below.)Northgate Proposed Pedestrian Bridge

Carolyn, a cyclist, is also an advocate for improvements that benefit bicycle transportation. Her typical bike route, which takes her north of NE 125th street, was recently improved by the addition of a bike-only lane. This bike lane benefits everyone in the area; Carolyn used to bike on the sidewalk, but now drivers, cyclists, and walkers each have their own space.

“It is crucial to be active,” says Carolyn, “for our physical, mental, and social health.” Carolyn’s mother, a 90-year-old wheelchair user, recently asked to work with a personal trainer in order to regain her ability to walk. Says Carolyn, “People of all ages need to move and want to move. I’ve always been an advocate for human-powered transportation.”

Story from the Sole is a monthly feature. Read another Story from the Sole and send ideas of individuals that you would like to see profiled in the future!

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