The first time anyone decides to walk, run, or cycle around Green Lake, they’re faced with an earth-shaking decision that could have dire consequences if the wrong choice is made.
Should I go clockwise or counterclockwise?
KUOW ran a story Monday delving into the very-Seattle history of this dilemma, which is complete with passive-aggressive murmuring, actually-aggressive yelling, and whistle-blowing (literally). Take the story of Robin Hennes, who would walk along the path in the early 90s in a manner that didn’t suit some locals.
“They would say, ‘Wrong way,’ then, ‘Wrong way, lady,’” Hennes recalled.
“Then it got kinda snarly, and it would be, ‘Can’t read, stupid lady. What’s the matter with you? You can’t find a man? No sex in your life?’”
...Hennes continued, “Then they would shake a fistful of keys and me and then they started blasting me with a whistle.”
Once unofficial, the rules about how to travel along the Green Lane path soon became extremely official. Arrows for Wheels (cyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers) point counterclockwise. As for Feet (walkers, runners, baby strollers), some would tell you that clockwise is the only acceptable way to go, but plenty of people take it in either direction.
That seems to be fine for most people, so long as you don’t walk in the cycling lane. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even walk close to the divider, lest you want to get an errant shoulder from people like Matthew Streib, who roller skates along the path is known to bump into errant pedestrians on purpose. As you do.
Just in case you want to get deeper into the courtesy code for the path, there’s plenty of good rules of thumb to follow as well.