City will install temporary protected bike lane on Roosevelt + Neighbors urge city to extend plans further

Roosevelt PBL Fact Sheet - FINAL copy-mapFor much of northeast Seattle, Roosevelt Way is the primary bike route connection to the University of Washington, the University Bridge and beyond. Unfortunately, it is also a hotspot for collisions and injuries for people biking. Nearly 20 people have been injured in collisions while biking on Roosevelt in just the past four years.

As Andres Salomon noted in a guest post here in September, the city has plans and funding to repave Roosevelt Way and parts of 11th Ave NE. But early plans included few if any bike facility updates despite the street’s collision history and recommendations in the city’s Bike Master Plan for protected bike lanes.

Well, the city listened and is planning to try out a temporary one-way protected bike lane on Roosevelt between NE 45th Street and the University Bridge before paving begins. Crews are scheduled to install this bike lane in December and January.

The current bike lane is a skinny, paint-only lane squeezed between fast cars and buses headed downhill and parked cars. Much of the bike lane is well within the door zone, meaning someone opening the door of a parked car could easily open it in the path of a person biking down the hill.

The city’s proposed temporary bike lane upgrade would move the bike lane to the curb and use the existing bike lane as a buffer space lined with reflective posts. Here’s what that would look like, according to SDOT: Continue reading

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SDOT and PeopleForBikes make a video about 2nd Ave that’s … well, just watch it

There are a couple ways to encourage and teach people to use a new piece of bike infrastructure. In the first handful of days after the 2nd Ave protected bike lane opened, for example, volunteers and SDOT staff were out telling people face-to-face how to use it. Then the police focused enforcement on the bike lane, handing out tickets and warnings to people driving or biking who were still using it wrong.

Or, of course, you can do this:

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Light Up Your Ride with Commute Seattle Thursday

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, eating away an hour of light in the evening. So you gotta get your bike ready for darker commutes if you haven’t already, and Commute Seattle wants to help.

1798985_10152801494314853_4121604270059350078_oThis is the second year Commute Seattle has help Light Up Your Ride, an event to provide folks with a place to ask questions about bike commuting in the dark and to get some advice on how to stay visible through the winter. Plus, there’s free coffee and prizes and stuff.

Personally, I finally made the jump to dynamo lights (powered by a generator in the front wheel hub), and so far I’m loving it. It wasn’t exactly a cheap upgrade (you gotta get a new wheel), but neither was replacing finicky battery-powered lights that break every year. In many European countries, bikes cannot legally be sold without lights, and some countries even require that dynamo-powered lights come standard on new most bikes.

But the US bike market never adopted a bike light requirement, so it’s up to you to figure out a solution that works for you and fits in your budget. But lights absolutely are not optional. You are legally required to have a headlight and a rear reflector, though a rear light is highly recommended.  Studies suggest that people biking at night without lights often feel more visible than they really are.

Details on Light Up Your Ride: Continue reading

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Pronto operator Alta Bicycle Share bought by New York company

Image from Pronto

Image from Pronto

Rumors have been swirling around for months now, but Alta Bicycle Share officially announced Tuesday that they have been bought by a New York-based investment group. Alta Bicycle Share operates many of the biggest bike share systems in the US including Pronto Cycle Share.

The purchase comes amid challenges expanding and improving successful systems in New York and Chicago. Citi Bike in New York has especially had challenges with software and with demand overwhelming the supply of station docks and bikes. The new owners plan double the size of Citi Bike to an astounding 12,000 bikes, according to the New York Times.

Holly Houser, Executive Director of Pronto, said she does not expect the buyout to effect the Seattle-based system.

“The short answer is that Pronto won’t really see any direct effects of this buy out,” she said. “Overall, we see it as a positive step in the evolution of a still very young bike share industry.” Houser directs Puget Sound Bike Share, the non-profit organization that owns Pronto. PSBS contracts with Alta to operate the system, so Houser is not an Alta employee. Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: Every Capitol Hill Pronto station in 7 minutes

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! By the way, you’ve voted already, right?

First up, here’s a mesmerizing tour of every Capitol Hill Pronto station by Capitol Hill Seattle:

Continue reading

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Saturday: Join Mayor Murray on a vigil walk for 7-year-old struck on MLK

Map from Rainier Valley Greenways

Map from Rainier Valley Greenways

Someone driving down MLK struck and critically injured seven-year-old Zeytuna Edo September 30 while Zeytuna was on her way to a tutoring session at the Boys & Girls Club. The person behind the wheel did not stop. In fact, witnesses said the driver did not even slow down.

Nearly a month later, Zeytuna is still hospitalized, and her family and community is holding a vigil and walk Saturday to send her their best wishes and to talk about how to prevent this from happening again. Mayor Ed Murray is schedule to speak.

You can join by meeting at the Columbia City light rail station at MLK and S Alaska at 2 p.m. The walk will head to the Genesee Street, where she was struck, then to the Boys & Girls Club for a “solutions meeting.”

So far, more than $30,000 have been raised online to help support her family through this very tough time. You can still contribute.

Details on the walk from Rainier Valley Greenways: Continue reading

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No TIGER grant for Burke-Gilman Trail + UW is now a gold-level bike friendly campus

This section of trail near the University Bridge demonstrates what the whole trail could someday be like

This section of trail near the University Bridge demonstrates what the whole trail could someday be like

Once again, the University of Washington was not selected for a competitive TIGER grant to upgrade the entirety of the Burke-Gilman Trail through their campus.

The university manages the section of the popular regional trail that passes through their campus, and they have plans to fully rebuild and widen the bumpy, deteriorating trail as soon as they can get their hands on the $14 million they need to make it happen. This is the second year in a row their application failed to make it to the top of a growing list of projects. 797 eligible applications were received, but USDOT was only able to award money for 72 of them.

“At the moment, we do not have a clear funding strategy that can deliver the project prior to light rail opening,” UW Director of Transportation Josh Kavanagh told UW’s The Daily. If they had been selected, work could have begun in early 2015. It they wait until the next TIGER cycle (and then win, which is clearly no easy task), construction won’t be complete until well after UW Station opens.

As we reported previously, the Northgate bike/walk bridge also failed to win a TIGER grant.

Upgrading the Burke through campus is needed as soon as possible. When not being detoured due to the Rainier Vista project, the trail carries as many people during rush hour as a lane of a busy freeway (more than 1,000). This means crunched spaces, slow-downs for bike users and uncomfortable conditions for people walking. When light rail trains start arriving at UW Station in 2016, that number is expected to jump up about 50 percent, beyond capacity for many sections of the trail. The trail is an important piece of the region’s mobility that needs to support the growing need for people to bike, walk and access transit. Continue reading

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