Rules of the Road: 5 Do’s and Don’ts at Green Lake’s Trail

March 20, 2015 7:57am


For anyone who has visited it, Green Lake Park is one of many treasured gems of Seattle. The 323 acre park of lush greenery, peaceful waters and abundant wildlife is why we choose to live, play and spend our time here all year round. But as anyone who has visited on a sunny day knows, the park can get crowded.

Today marks the first day of Spring. And as we mark that occasion, it seems as good as time as any to revisit some park trail do’s and don’ts. The Seattle Parks and Recreation maintains its formal courtesy code, but here are five quick ones from us:

1. Feet in the inner lane, wheels in the outer lane. This is by far, in my humble opinion, the  most lost etiquette on the trail. Throughout the pathway look for helpful markers to remind you. Feet in the inner lane, wheels in the outer.  “Feet” can be defined as runners, walkers, furry friends, even strollers. “Wheels” can be defined as bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, and so on. But did you also know that the Parks Department has recommended directions? That’s right. Wheels should go counter clockwise while walkers and runners are recommended to go in the clockwise direction.

2. Pass with courtesy. Especially on crowded days, this can be tough. But really, just take notice of your surroundings and be courteous of those trying to get by. If you want to pass, stick to the left and try to make your next move known. Speed up and slow down as necessary. If you see someone who wants to pass, be courteous and make room for them.

3. Groups? Be mindful of your space. Along that same note, if you’re in a twosome, threesome, foursome or more, be wary of how much space you’re taking up. Nobody likes that group of six who string themselves across the entire trail. The park is big and there’s room for everybody, just be mindful and break up the group as needed. Travel no more than two abreast.

4. Dog owners – leash up and pick up. One thing to love about Green Lake is that the park is entirely dog friendly and, for the most part, the people are as well. Let’s each try to do our part to keep it this way. Dog owners, this is good to keep in mind if your dog has an extendable leash and gets in someone’s path. The Parks Department has a standard length requirement of 5 ft. Make sure you do your part and pick up after your pups. If you stop so your dog can sniff another, step aside so you don’t interfere with anyone behind you.

5. Bicyclists, slow down. The Parks Department has a “Bicycle Use Policy” that dictates bicycles will be operated a “safe speed,” especially when passing other users. The department has a strict 10 mph maximum. Yield to pedestrians and use the outside lane only.

Happy trails, Greenlakers!