Washington State’s downtown Seattle highway tunnel is at least $223 million over budget and 2 and a half years behind schedule. All for one highway tunnel expected to carry 40,000 motor vehicles per day once it opens with no transit and no walking or biking access.
When thinking about urban transportation in terms of mega-projects like the highway tunnel, it’s easy to forget that we can dramatically increase mobility in our city just by making better use of our city streets. Streets with efficient and frequent transit, comfortable sidewalks and crosswalks, and safe and connected bike lanes can carry huge numbers of people. Multimodal streets are also better for small businesses and are more enjoyable places to be. Importantly, renovating streets costs a tiny fraction as much as a highway tunnel, even if that tunnel is on-budget (though mega-projects rarely are).
If safe streets advocates and transit supporters can advocate together, the multimodal corridor projects (partially) funded by the Move Seattle levy could be amazing. But if these projects pit transit against walking and biking safety (see also: Eastlake Ave), they will fall apart.
That’s why Seattle Transit Blog, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition and Feet First are hosting a multimodal meetup 1 p.m. Saturday (Seattle Bike Blog would be there, but I’m out of town visiting family). Swing by the Impact Hub at 2nd and Washington in Pioneer Square to get involved.
More details from the Facebook event: Continue reading
Don’t worry, the city isn’t removing the two-way bike lane on the Ballard Missing Link.
Readers have been asking why the bikeway stripes on NW 45th Street between Fred Meyer and the Ballard Bridge have been removed, as shown in this photo from Peddler Brewing:
At first it was a mystery. No bike or trail advocates I asked knew anything about it. But then Kevin from the Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail dug this up: It’s part of the city’s ongoing microsurfacing work (more info in this PDF).
Microsurfacing is a method for adding an estimated ten years to a road surface before it needs to be fully repaved. Unlike chip sealing, a method that leaves behind lots of bumpy, loose gravel, microsurfacing should be bike-safe.
I’ve asked SDOT for info on expected closure times and detours, and I’ll update when I hear back (though I’m traveling with family today, so I may be slow).
Here’s a map of streets in the area getting the microsealing treatment this summer: Continue reading
The University Bridge will be closed for the next three weekends, so plan ahead. Because the detour is going to be rough.
All people driving, biking and walking will be detoured from as early as 8 p.m. Friday to as late as 5 a.m. Monday. This closure will be repeated July 29 – August 1 and August 5 – 8.
Because the I-5 Express Trail is not real (yet), the only options for people on foot or bike trying to cross the Ship Canal Trail are the Montlake Bridge, Fremont Bridge or transit (U Link definitely makes this detour easier for people headed to Capitol Hill and downtown).
Though the city recently installed very needed speed cushions on Boyer Ave E to calm the cut-through traffic on that street, it still is not a fun street to bike on. It’s the flattest and most direct route between the bridges, but you have to be comfortable biking mixed with busy traffic to use it.
The good news is that this closure is needed to make significant and long-needed safety improvements to the north end U Bridge approaches. This work should finally end the disappearing bike lane problems in both north and south directions: Continue reading
Photo taken September 1, 2014
Seattle has settled a claim with the estate of the late Sher Kung for $3.5 million, the Seattle Times reports.
Kung was killed at 2nd and University in August 2014 just ten days before the dangerous paint-only bike lane on the street was upgraded to a protected bike lane. Though the person who turned the truck into her path had been texting around the time of the collision, he was not charged.
Kung was a new mother on her way to work as an attorney at Perkins Coie. She had already made a big splash in her young career by working on a case that helped overturn Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
Some details of the settlement are confidential, the Times reports: Continue reading
Pronto Cycle Share has released its third “unicorn” bike into the system: The #SalmonBike.
Like the bike share system’s popular Pride-themed “glam” bike in 2015, there is only one red-scaled #SalmonBike out of the 500 bikes in the fleet. If you find it, post about it on social media using its hashtag to be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes from area businesses. Pronto will also donate $3 to Save Our Wild Salmon for each spotting posted to social media.
You can simply hope to happen upon it, but the odds aren’t great. If you really want to find it, you’ll probably have to go fishing by biking from station to station looking for it. Not a bad way to spend a day.
You only have until August 7 to find it.
More details from Pronto: Continue reading
FREE BIKE may be over, but your bike is still your ticket to summer fun this weekend (duh).
So let’s take a look at some of entries to our events calendar:
E-Bike Expo at Southcenter Mall – Friday through Sunday
Details from the E-Bike Expo:
The Electric Bike Expo Is Coming To Seattle July 15-17. It’s a FREE event open to all.
There will be different electric bikes ranging from compacts and street commuters, to mountain bikes and cargo bikes to try. Many of the models are brand new to the US and here to be tested by you for the very first time!
Meet all the manufacturers and learn everything you need to know about this new, low-cost, and fun transportation and recreation option. Best of all, it’s FREE! Continue reading
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Pleasant Revolution doesn’t just tour by bike, their shows are even literally powered by bikes.
During three shows in Seattle this week they are calling the Biketopia Music Festival, members of the audience will pedal stationary bikes to generate the power used on stage by Bicicletas Por La Paz, Heather Normandale, Maisha Lani and Kristina Bennett.
You can catch them 7 – 10 p.m. Friday at Peddler Brewing, 7 – 11 p.m. at Outlander Brewery and 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Bicycle Sunday on Lake Washington Boulevard (bike with the bands from Mt Baker Beach to Seward Park for a show hosted by Bike Works).
The festival was inspired by the Ginger Ninjas, a band that toured by bike and powered their sound via audience pedal power in the mid-aughts. That same band inspired the 2010 Seattle Bicycle Music Festival, which was a blast.
More details from Pleasant Revolution: Continue reading