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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    501

    Commuting in Seattle: Late hours

    How safe would it be for me to ride the Burke Gilman commuting from the U district to downtown in early AM hours, 4-5am-ish? I am getting increasingly frustrated by my 5 mile commute taking one hour (downtown to U district at 5pm) by car and am increasingly angry by the time I arrive at work. However, I'm concerned about my safety by cycling home on the trail that early in the morning. Thoughts?
    2014 Surly Straggler
    2012 Salsa Casseroll - STOLEN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I think it would likely be very safe - and probably not as lonely as you might think - there are plenty of other commuters out there, rain and shine and I'd bet some of them have an early day too. Cyclists being mugged or otherwise attacked is a pretty rare event in the first place and I couldn't find any incidents on the Burke specifically.

    The only real problem I can recall on a bike path here was a series of attacks on commuters outside of the I-90 tunnel- the muggers were lying in wait at the end of the tunnel and ambushing cycle commuters and stealing their bags. For a while people started waiting for a group to enter and exit the tunnel and eventually the attacks stopped (one intrepid cyclist even rammed the would be thief). I'm not sure if the thieves were eventually caught or not.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    501
    Thanks so much for your reply, Eden. I'd really like to give it ago but the rational part of me asks, "BUT what IF someone does try something?" Thinking about carrying mace or pepper spray but don't know how useful it'd be. I wish I was a man and wouldn't have to be worried about these things.
    2014 Surly Straggler
    2012 Salsa Casseroll - STOLEN

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    VeganBikeChick, could you try it once, with pepper spray at hand, just to see what the traffic on the trail is like? I understand your concerns. I did meet a guy on the Sammamish River Trail a month or so ago who does a super-early morning commute all year round (that includes the BG part you're talking about), and he was telling me about seeing owls often at that time. My point isn't so much the owls--although wouldn't that be great??--but that I think there ARE other early commuters and you might feel safer if you tested out that possibility just once.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    I go through Interlake Park on my evening commute. While it's not particularly late it is dark in the winter and yes - it has run through my mind that if someone wanted to it would be easy to ambush a cyclist in there - it's very dark, even early in the evening and not always so busy if it's cold or wet, but I don't dwell on it - I just stay aware, well lit and keep moving. And yes! I have seen owls (and hear them even more often)
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    501
    Thanks again Eden, and Salsa. I might just take salsa's advice and do it once so that I can see for myself if I feel comfortable or not. I don't want fear to stop my ability to commute.
    2014 Surly Straggler
    2012 Salsa Casseroll - STOLEN

 

 

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