Ride to celebrate the life of Max Snyder Sunday

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks, Marley, for letting us know about Max and the ride to celebrate his life. We send our condolences to his loved ones.

1403791_10202038335374100_829030516_o (2)The Seattle bike community is invited to join together to joyfully remember a beloved friend, fellow bike rider, and awesome friend who we lost too soon. Max Snyder was a well-loved, passionate member of the Seattle bicycling community who passed away October 2.

Please join us 10 a.m. Sunday, November 29 at the Seattle University Bell turnaround for a celebratory memorial bike ride in his honor. You’re encouraged to come in costume, sweater vests and ties, or just be your best version of yourself. Max wouldn’t want it any other way.

Max passed away during a trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. While on a walk with his girlfriend, they were approached by men with knives and unknown motives. Max was stabbed four times. His girlfriend survived the assault, but Max suffered internal bleeding and did not. He was 23.

Max had an unmatched zeal for life and passion for bike riding, and did everything he could to share that love with others. He founded and led the Seattle University Cycling Team in 2011, and served as President of the Seattle University Bike Club. Max also shared his talents with other bike organizations, including World Bicycle Relief, which shared this beautiful tribute. Continue reading

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Commute Seattle will install bike counter display on 2nd Ave

Mock-up of the display sign

Mock-up of the display sign

Downtown Seattle will get its first live-updated bike counter display soon thanks to Commute Seattle.

Located on 2nd Ave between Madison and Marion Streets, the counter will tick away daily and annual totals as people bike by. As we’ve seen with existing counter displays on the Fremont and Spokane St Bridges, it’s a fun way to show off how many people are biking and give a little boost of encouragement to people by saying, quite literally, “You count.”

The other major benefit of the counters is data, but that’s less of an issue in this case because the city already has tubes at this location ticking away quietly. In fact, the counter has measured more than 237,000 bike trips January through October of this year: 157,000 southbound and 81,000 northbound.

Location and shape of the counter, from the Transpo Committee presentation

Location and shape of the counter, from the Transpo Committee presentation

According to a presentation to the City Council Transportation Committee Tuesday (PDF), Commute Seattle will gift the counter to the city and hopes to have it installed in early 2016. It will utilize the same counting technology as the Fremont and West Seattle counters, but the display itself will be more sleek and simple. Basically, it will look more like a standard street sign and less like the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Continue reading

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Cranksgiving 2015 shatters records, 160 people hauled 1,560 lbs of food

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 10.02.23 AMSeattle’s sixth annual Cranksgiving food drive bike ride was Saturday, and it was one for the record books. 160 people bought an astounding 1,560 pounds of food from local food vendors all around town and hauled it by bike to Rainier Valley Food Bank.

As our city grows and generates so much wealth, that wealth is not getting to everyone. Rainier Valley Food Bank is serving more people now than it ever has. The organization helps thousands of people put food on the table every week, and the holiday season is its busiest time.

So big thanks to everyone who came out Saturday for a day of fun, but also a day of lending a hand. Cranksgiving is now one of the biggest one-time food drives for the food bank annually, and it happens one food purchase, one pedal stroke and one bike pannier at a time. But families struggle year-round in our city, so please consider volunteering or donating more often if you can. You can even start now by helping their online holiday fund drive.

Cranksgiving is an alleycat-style scavenger hunt by bike where riders get a list of items to buy and food sellers to buy from all around town. The concept started on the east coast and spread to cities all over the country. Seattle Bike Blog has had the privilege of starting and hosting Seattle’s Cranksgiving for the past six years.

It’s technically a race, though most people don’t actually race. The more items you check off the list and places you visit, the more points you get. Prizes were donated by Mountaineers Books, The Royal Room, Flying Lion Brewing, Detours bags, Urban Cycling by Madi Carlson, Free Range Cycles, Rebecca Roush and Kelli Refer. We also owe a big thank you to Dan Dilulio, who volunteered to help work the finish line at the Royal Room.

Being in November, Seattle’s rainiest month, Cranksgiving is also a winter biking event. But the weather did not cooperate Saturday, beaming sunshine the whole time.

It’s also a celebration of all the wonderful and unique food sellers around Seattle, from farmers markets to the Pike Place Market to co-ops to international markets to community-loved discount stores. Because grocery shopping is a blast when you go by bike. Continue reading

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Westlake lawsuit is over, bikeway set to open in the summer

More details on the lawsuit "compromise" below

More details on the lawsuit “compromise” below

The Westlake bikeway lawsuit is over, and construction will begin soon on a two-way protected bike lane from the Fremont Bridge to Lake Union Park. If all goes according to schedule, the bikeway will open in the summer.

Mayor Ed Murray has once again brokered a deal to keep the project moving forward and out of the courts. A project that once appeared headed to the legal hell of the Ballard Missing Link is moving forward. It will be the first flat, direct and (hopefully) safe bike route between the city center and neighborhoods north of the Ship Canal.

But the settlement comes with a significant design change that will create a bikeway pinch point only eight feet wide, far below recommended standards and even further below best practices.

But first, some background

Already a popular bike route, the existing sprawling parking lot along the western edge of Lake Union does not work well for anyone. There is no clear route for people biking, so everyone chooses their own path. This makes walking, driving and biking in the area unpredictable and unnecessarily stressful. And, worse, people biking keep getting injured, often by people who pull out of a parking space into their paths.

The $3.6 million project is funded by a regional grant and local funds, but it encountered some fairly strong backlash from some businesses and residents along the lake. A group calling itself the Westlake Stakeholders sued to delay the entire citywide Bicycle Master Plan in late 2013, but later agreed to drop the suit on the condition that the city create a community design process. And they did. Continue reading

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Man killed while biking in Everett, person driving fled but was caught

A man driving a pickup truck in Everett struck and killed a man biking Thursday evening around 6:30 p.m.

The identity of the man killed has not yet been released. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Few details have been released about how the collision at 126th Street SE and 19th Ave SE (AKA the Bothell Everett Highway SR 527) occurred.

The Everett man driving the pickup fled the scene, but witnesses led police to his location near Silver Lake. He was captured and transported to the hospital. Everett Police said in a statement Thursday evening that they expected to book him in Snohomish County Jail for investigation of Vehicular Homicide.

It is not yet known if drugs or alcohol were factors. 19th Ave SE is a wide five-lane street with skinny painted bike lanes. It is a major north-south bike route.

More details from Everett Police: Continue reading

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Mt Baker intersection plan continues to wow + A new standard for public outreach

AMB Open House_11-12-2015_Plansections-zoom

AMB Open House_11-12-2015_Plansections-bike

Images from the Accessible Mt Baker open house materials.

Seattle’s plan to turn one of its worst intersections into one of its best just keeps getting better. With the misleadingly-boring name “Accessible Mount Baker,” the project would simultaneously revolutionize non-motorized transportation in the whole Rainier Valley, prevent dozens of serious traffic injuries every year, improve general traffic flow, improve transit connections and create space for a successful neighborhood center complete with more housing, more businesses and more gathering spaces.

When you add up all the benefits, the $20-24 million price tag starts to sound like a real bargain.

Then general plan hasn’t changed since our previous report, but the design concept has gotten more specific and complex traffic analyses have shown the concept can work as predicted. Also, voters passed Move Seattle, which will invest $6 million into the project.

The general idea is to uncross a crisscrossing intersection of Southeast Seattle’s two major north-south streets: Rainier Ave and MLK Jr Way. Today, this intersection works horribly for everyone. The traffic volumes, turning movements and large size of the intersection require long signal cycles. Buses full of people wait, people walking wait, people driving wait and people biking, well, they’re basically left to fend for themselves.

Collisions are common both at the intersection itself and at nearby intersections that are impacted by the cascading traffic headache caused by this one mega-intersection: Continue reading

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Online Premiere: Groundswell #7 on the neighborhood street party as a response to gentrification

It’s a world (online) premiere! Seattle Bike Blog is happy to host the online release of Microcosm Publishing’s Groundswell #7: Gentrification Response Team.

For years, Elly Blue and Joe Biel over at Microcosm Publishing have been touring the country visiting towns small and large to talk about bicycling. They have met and listened to people at the grassroots who see bicycling as a tool for change — all kinds of change.

“Joe and I had both been to a bunch of transportation conferences, and we kept hearing the same exact stories told over and over,” said Blue via email. “The narrative underlying those canonical stories is basically that a visionary planner or elected official or bicycle advocacy organization appears in a city, says, ‘Let there be bike lanes,’ and then, lo, the people come and ride bikes gratefully on their new infrastructure.

“But we’ve been traveling extensively with the Dinner and Bikes tour for the past six years, meeting people all over the country, and the stories we saw unfolding were very different. The people who take the risks and have the initial visions are usually regular people who want to make their community better and see bicycling as a tool—often one tool among many—for doing that.”

The seventh video of the series takes place in Portland, but it was produced with help from a delegation from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (you can hear Phyllis Porter from Rainier Valley Greenways conducting some of the interviews). This trip was one big impetus for Seattle’s first two Summer Parkways events this year. Continue reading

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