going to the symphony

Our eldest (age 6) was gifted symphony tickets for her birthday by her Godmother, who is quite the musician herself. Going to the Seattle Symphony kids concerts is something I’ve wanted to do, but it’s all the way in downtown Seattle, so I’ve never made it happen. This was just the prompt I needed, and what fun to get some time alone with my big girl!

We have lots of options to get there. Drive and park in the Benaroya Hall garage? That would require driving in downtown Seattle traffic, and I don’t know how the parking works. Take the bus directly from our house? That would require a transfer, and on the weekends both buses (245, 255) are on half-hour headways. During the week they are 15-minute headways so that wouldn’t be so bad. Drive to the park and ride? But it’s only three miles! Bike to the park and ride and take the bus from there? Maybe – and now that the south end of the Cross Kirkland Corridor is mostly finished we only need to ride a short stretch of 108th Ave. Even better – we biked to downtown Kirkland and took the 255 bus from the Kirkland Transit Center.

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There’s a convenient bike rack right behind the bay where the 255 picks up for Seattle. It doesn’t look like it gets much use. About a dozen people got on the bus with us on this Saturday morning, and a dozen more at the park & ride, including some fellow concert-goers.

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After a lovely concert, lunch, and picking up some pastries to take home to share with the rest of the family, we took the bus back to Kirkland, and then rode home.

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Both ways the trip went incredibly smoothly. I am so glad we didn’t drive!

While we had lots of transportation options, and I know how to navigate all of these options and am motivated to do so, it was a little frustrating that the Seattle Symphony only seemed to recognize one option: driving. When calling to order the tickets, I was asked if I needed parking. I found only driving directions on the website. Even mentioning on the phone or website that there is direct access to Benaroya Hall from the University Street tunnel stop (you don’t even have to go out in the rain!) would be a help. Just plant the seed. Maybe that seed will cause somebody who would otherwise have driven to look up a bus schedule. Removing some (any) uncertainty can go a long way in helping people to choose something other than the default of driving.

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