Scooterville, Snohomish County
It would seem quite logical for scooters to be growing in numbers in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill. However, it’s a bit of a surprise to see them in, say, Everett.
Everett is about half an hour north of Seattle, a former mill town that has seen its fortunes rise as the price of housing in King County has skyrocketed. It has a quaint downtown that is much busier now that Comcast Arena (formerly the Everett Events Center) is attracting sporting events, concerts and other activities that bring people downtown. It’s northern terminus of Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter train.
Of course, most of the city limits is occupied by strip-mall suburban sprawl, the main drags seven lanes wide (three traffic lanes in each direction, plus a center left-turn lane). The new job has me negotiating these asphalt oceans daily, though a couple decades ago Everett was home.
As I was waiting at a red light, my attention was caught by a scooter in the adjacent lane. This one was in the parking lot at one of my stops.
A red LX 150 was coming out of the Puget Park Center, and the license plate holder wasn’t from Vespa Seattle. There have been several scooters in traffic on those main drags, looking even more like mice in the elephant herd than would be the case on Spokane Street near the Port of Seattle. While there are bicycle lanes on these roads, I certainly wouldn’t feel safe pedaling on Evergreen Way or Everett Mall Way.
This Vino 125 illustrates the 2nd-best thing about scooter ownership, namely the ease of parking. The location is near the rear entrance of an office building a few blocks south of downtown Everett.
Everett is not the kind of place where people buy stuff to show off, at least not yet. More scooters in Everett means more people are doing the math and discovering two wheels and 150cc’s can be a reasonable transportation alternative.