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The Benefits of Connectivity

A mini-travelogue on Seattle’s trails and bike network in the Post-Intelligencer recently shows the value of park connectivity — something Olmsted knew the value of and something cities across the country are still trying to achieve.

But the coolest things about this ride are the water and the string of parks along the way — very much the “string of pearls” envisioned by the Olmsted brothers, the famous architects of Seattle’s park system. We began at the gem of Coleman Park along Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle just south of I-90, then crossed the bridge and rode to Mercer Slough Park in Bellevue. After our return across the bridge, we rounded out the ride by adding several miles south down to and around Seward Park and about a mile loop to the north for a lunch stop in Leschi.

Living in Minneapolis around the famous 50-mile Grand Rounds ring of parkways and trails within the city, I can say that what makes park systems great isn’t its parks alone, but the connections between them that enable the experience described above.

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