City finally set to finish Ballard Missing Link tweaks announced in 2012 + Scary near miss video

Temporary safety changes announced in 2012 have been implemented slowly

Temporary safety changes announced in 2012 have been implemented slowly

In late 2012, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and then-Mayor Mike McGinn held a press conference under the Ballard Bridge to announce a series of temporary safety improvements to the dangerous streets connecting the two severed ends of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Some of those changes have been implemented, and some were improved (they built a two-way bikeway rather than planned “advisory” bike lanes, which would have directed people on bikes close to the road edges).

The city is just now getting started on shoulder paving work they announced during that 2012 press event. Work is scheduled to begin April 28 and will go through May 6. If you bike this route, be prepared for delays or to take a different route.

Details from SDOT: Continue reading

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Ballard Farmers Market will offer valet bike parking Sunday

Ballard's bike parking shortage is so severe, some have gone to drastic measures to find a spot. 2011 photo by Anne-Marije Rook

Ballard’s bike parking shortage is so severe, some have gone to drastic measures to find a spot. 2011 photo by Anne-Marije Rook

Here’s very welcome news to anyone who has found themselves improvising a bike parking spot in the Ballard commercial core: Cascade Bicycle Club will host valet bike parking at the Ballard Farmers Market Sunday (but you still need to bring a lock). From the market:

Did you hear the rumor yet? Ballard Farmers Market will be setting up a valet bicycle parking rack, in partnership with the esteemed Cascade Bicycle Club. We’ll be setting it up starting at 10 am. Ride your bike to the best farmers market on Sunday.

It’s hard to park a car near the market, sure. But it doesn’t need to be so hard to park a bike. Solving car parking supply problems is impossible. Solving bike parking supply problems simply requires a bike corral every block or two.

The Farmers Markets have been doing a lot of awesome stuff to encourage people to bike. Remember to buy a Bicycle Benefits sticker so you can get your $2 in market bucks.

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USDOT will host SODO bike/walk/freight safety assessment

The US Department of Transportation is headed to Seattle to assess bike/walk “safety challenges” in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood, where major bike commute routes mix with freight traffic. Unfortunately, this mix sometimes ends in tragedy or injury.

The May 7 event will include a series of speakers, a review of routes, a chance to experience the neighborhood from different perspectives (by video or maybe freight truck ride alongs) and even a bike ride. The final result will be part of “a national analysis on truck conflict with non-motorized traffic.”

The assessment is part of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s Safer People, Safer Streets initiative. More details from USDOT:

You are cordially invited to join U.S. Department of Transportation and traffic safety partners in conducting a bicycle and pedestrian assessment in Seattle. USDOT field offices in Washington have developed a corridor-level assessment to promote better understanding of the safety challenges specific to large vehicle conflicts with nonmotorized travelers in the SODO neighborhood.

The assessment will examine safety conditions along a route in SODO for bicyclists, pedestrians, and large vehicle drivers. The goal of the assessment is to identify common safety issues and improvement recommendations for nonmotorized and motorized traffic in the corridor. A panel of transportation professionals will present and discuss safety issues along the route, followed by an opportunity for participants to perform an assessment and provide input on safety conditions.

Continue reading

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Seattle Children’s leads new WA Bicycle Friendly Businesses

Bicycle-Friendly-BusinessThe League of American Bicyclists has announced their newest Bicycle Friendly Business ratings, and Seattle Children’s leads the way in Washington State.

And that should come as no surprise to anyone following all the work the hospital has done recently to encourage employees to bike to work. They went way beyond just providing quality bike parking and other amenities like showers.

Seattle Children’s funded safe streets projects in the neighborhood, including one of the city’s first neighborhood greenways on 39th Ave NE. They built a new trail connection to the Burke-Gilman and a protected bike lane to help complete the connection to their campus. Their theory was that if you help create safe and comfortable bike routes, their employees will be more likely to bike. And, no surprise, they were right.

They also helped sponsor Pronto Cycle Share and, most recently, opened an on-site bike shop offering employees free tune ups and discounted repairs while they work.

Apparently, that’s what a “Platinum” level bike-friendly business looks like, according to the League. Seattle Children’s is the only business in Washington State to receive that rating and one of only 20 in the nation. In fact, they are the only medical center in the country to receive the top rating and one of only five employers with more than 500 employees to reach Platinum. So, every other major employer in the area, the bar has been raised. Your move.

WA Bikes lays out the rest of the new and upgraded businesses: Continue reading

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PUBLIC Bikes now open on Capitol Hill

IMG_1250I just swung by the PUBLIC Bikes shop at Pine and Summit, and the crew there is mopping the floors and putting the final touches on the renovated shop space. They opened quietly this afternoon, and their grand opening party planned for closer to June, said VP of Retail Bryan Shawley.

As we reported previously, the Seattle store is the company’s first location outside of their Bay Area headquarters. With a focus on stylish and mostly affordable bikes, Seattle has already proven to be a good market for the company with strong sales online and at Ride Bicycles on Roosevelt (a Seattle Bike Blog sponsor).

The shop feels more like a boutique than a more typical parts garage bike shop. And don’t expect to take your non-PUBLIC bike there for a tune-up. At least at first, they are only going to be servicing PUBLIC brand bikes (if you just need something small like a flat fixed, they can probably help you out). Continue reading

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CHS: Eastlake community looks to improve and expand I-5 Colonnade Park

From the Eastlake Community Council

From the Eastlake Community Council

I-5 Colonnade urban mountain bike park is one of the city’s most unique public spaces. It’s a powerful reclaiming of a space destroyed by construction of the elevated I-5 structure separating Eastlake from Capitol Hill.

Ten years later, the community wants to revist the park, improve walk/bike connections through the area and even expand the park further south.

Because I-5 destroyed a whole lot of space in the neighborhood, and it’s about time we did what we can to reconnect as many of the places as we can.

Capitol Hill Seattle reported on the plans ahead of Thursday’s public meeting:

Opened in 2005, the Colonnade is now in need of some work and the Eastlake Community Council wants input on how the park should be improved and expanded. An introductory public meeting on the project will be held Thursday night at 6:30 PM at the Agora Conference Center.

Located under I-5 along Lakeview Blvd. E, the Colonnade includes an off-leash dog park, pedestrian walkways, and an award winning mountain bike park. The Eastlake Community Council, which was responsible for obtaining the initial funds to open the space in 2005, has already kicked around some ideas for improvements to the park: Continue reading

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Crowdfunding Highlight: MOBROLL, a Puget Sound bicycle, music, film and art festival

A bicycle, arts and music festival touring Puget Sound cities throughout May? I don’t think I really need to say anything more.

MOBROLL will be in Seattle for Memorial Day weekend and Folklife. Stay tuned for details on stuff happening as they tear through town.

Details from the MOBROLL Kickstarter:

MOBROLL is a springtime Festival of bicycles, music, film, & art that travels the vastly beautiful Puget Sound during the month of May.
For the last 5 years, MOBROLL has grown, learned, and deepened in so many ways! It all started because two friends weren’t hanging out together enough anymore, and needed something to create, something to share. It sure did the trick.

MOBROLL is different. 

It is a festival dedicated to the culture of the Puget Sound. And it travels. Beginning May 1st and lasting for 2-weeks & 3-weekends it travels from Bellingham to Olympia stopping in 14-different seaside cities producing a huge array of multi-layered events.

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