Governor Inslee signs the ‘Dead Red’ bill into law

It’s official. And Governor Jay Inslee even had a joke to go with it:

Basically, if a red light or turn signal cannot detect your bike and an entire traffic signal cycle goes through without changing, you can now run that light when you get a safe opportunity.

But don’t stop there! Help everyone else who uses that traffic signal by reporting the faulty signal to your local transportation agency. In Seattle, you can easily report traffic signals that don’t detect bikes using the Find It Fix It app and website.

For more details on the new law, see our previous post.

Posted in news | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Seattle Police bust Edmonds chop shop, find 60 stolen bikes

Image from SPD

Image from SPD

Seattle Police have made their second big bike theft bust in a month.

After getting a tip from a bike theft victim, detectives posed as a buyer and bought a bike from a suspected thief selling bikes on Craigslist. When the detective confirmed the bike was stolen from a transitional housing program for homeless veterans (definitely a bad kharma multiplier), the suspect was arrested.

But here’s when the bust gets really good: The suspect tells police about a house in Edmonds where he has taken stolen bikes previously. When police arrive, they find 60 bikes in the backyard, part of a suspected chop shop. It is common for stolen bike sellers to swap out some bike parts before listing them for sale online, making it harder for owners to identify their rides.

Unfortunately, the original tipster’s bike was already sold. But 60 people owe him/her a debt of gratitude. Thanks for your work, and thanks Det. Scotty Bach at SPD for taking action and following up! With more busts like this, bike theft might just become a bit less attractive for folks looking to make some quick money.

Photos of all 60 bikes are below. You can see them in more detail on the SPD Blotter post: Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Snohomish-to-Woodinville trail discussions fall apart, put on hold

From a June 2013 presentation

From a June 2013 presentation

Remember those amazing plans to build a 12-mile trail to connect the City of Snohomish (and the start of the Centennial Trail) to Woodinville, the Sammaish River/Burke-Gilman Trail and the Eastside Trail? Well, there’s bad news this week: Talks between the county and the Port of Seattle have collapsed, the Herald reports.

The trail link would have been a major improvement to bicycle mobility in the region, allowing people to travel from Ballard and Eastside communities all the way to the Skagit County border using only trails.

With the 520 Trail finally set to reach Seattle in coming years and with Bellevue making first steps to develop their section of the Eastside Rail Corridor to connect to Kirkland’s crushed gravel trail, a connection to Snohomish would be an amazing link that opens up huge swaths of Snohomish county to bicycle transportation and travel. In fact, the county has been promoting bicycle tourism with some help from WA Bikes in recent years, a sign that they understand the incredible opportunities these trails could bring.

So news that the trail connection has been put on hold is discouraging. From the Herald: Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

SW Roxbury safety changes a good start, bike lanes must wait for repaving

This has got to be a Seattle Bike Blog record: Four posts in a row about West Seattle!

The city is hosting an open house tomorrow (Thursday) about planned safety changes to SW Roxbury Street, which forms the border between Seattle and White Center. The open house goes from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Southwest Branch Library.

The city has been studying the street for a while and — in consultation with King County, which governs White Center — has come up with a list of short-term safety changes for the street. These changes will be implemented this summer.

Unfortunately, the roadway conditions are too damaged to add bike lanes, planners say, though they intend to do so when the road is repaved. The city does not yet have a clear plan or timeline for repaving. The Bicycle Master Plan calls for protected bike lanes from 35th Ave SW to at least 8th Ave SW.

But there are a lot of lower cost changes the city can make right now to improve safety for everyone. Speeding is extremely high, and the odds of a serious injury in a collision is off the charts. People are injured in 50 percent of collisions on Roxbury, nearly twice the rate as the city average. From an SDOT presentation:

Roxbury2015_0407-collisions Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

West Seattle Blog: City begins outreach for Admiral Way bike lanes

SDOT is beginning outreach for new bike lanes planned on Admiral Way between Alki and California Ave SW.

Planners presented to the Admiral Neighborhood Association last night, according to West Seattle Blog. There will be more meetings in the next month including a May open house.

In addition to new buffered bike lanes, plans would also reduce travel lane widths to slow speeding.

At their most full, only 33 percent of on-street parking spaces are currently occupied. Underused parking lanes can be problematic because people use them as an extra lane to pass other vehicles. Plans would consolidate all the parking on one side of the street, where parking studies show the number of cars currently parking on the street should easily all fit.

Plans are still early at this point and will evolve throughout the public process. More specifics will be presented at an open house in May, according to a city press release posted by WSB:

Project Need

Collisions from 2011 to 2014 along SW Admiral Way

· 1 pedestrian collision along project extent (2012)
· 2 bike collisions along project extent (both in 2011)
· 45 vehicle collisions along project extent

Project Description

Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Don’t fear planned 35th Ave SW safety changes, fear the crashes that will happen if we don’t take action

Photo from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: Gene Tagaban of the Tlingit RavenCoho tribe plays a song for paddlers facing an important but difficult challenge at the site where James St. Clair was hit

Photo from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: Gene Tagaban of the Tlingit RavenCoho tribe plays a song for paddlers facing an important but difficult challenge at the site where James St. Clair was hit.

In the past ten years, 412 people have been seriously injured in traffic collisions on just one street in West Seattle: 35th Ave SW.

Five people have been killed.

These are not just numbers. They are our neighbors, friends, family, co-workers and teachers. Every death and debilitating injury has ramifications far beyond that one person’s life. It affects everyone they love, and often affects their ability to work. Traffic collisions on 35th Ave SW damage the West Seattle communities the road travels through the most, but it also damages the communities where every person injured lives, works and plays.

The good news is that this death, pain and social damage is entirely avoidable. In fact, as we have reported before, the city is currently working through plans to fix the street’s dangerous roadway design using tried-and-true methods proven to dramatically reduce speeding, collisions, injuries and deaths without having a significant impact on traffic flow. Plans do not include bike lanes, which we voiced frustration about, but the core safety design changes are vital.

We know it will work because we’ve done it many times before over a span of decades. It works every time. In fact, it works so well that it’s an outrage the city still has so many dangerous streets that encourage speeding and collisions the way 35th Ave SW does. Here are just a couple recent examples from city before-and-after studies: Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

This Week: Janette Sadik-Khan talk, Ride for Major Taylor + more

The Seattle Bike Blog Events Calendar is blowing up, and not just because Cascade Bicycle Club events have been added. There’s just a ton of bike stuff happening in Seattle, and the event list will really take off next month. So I hope you’ve kept your schedule clear…

And remember, anyone can post an event to the calendar. So if you see something missing or want to spread the word about your bike event, post away!

Janette Sadik-Khan Wednesday at Town Hall

Former NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan will speak at Town Hall Wednesday as part of the city’s “Changing Lanes: Blueprints for a New Road Order” speaker series.

You will probably want to reserve a free spot online now, as the event could fill up (the first event of the series featuring Gabe Klein did).

Sadik-Khan oversaw some major safe streets changes in NYC, including protected bike lanes and public plazas like the one in Times Square. She outlined some of her work in this 2013 TED Talk.

The talk starts at 6 p.m. Continue reading

Posted in news | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment