Weekend Guide: Silly Hilly, Bike Plan Party, Dust Off Days and more

The Seattle Bike Blog events calendar is overflowing, and it’s not even Bike Month yet. Here is a look at some of the bikey stuff happening this weekend:

Silly Hilly

1966207_10152134911404081_2164559161216323836_oAs we reported, the city is planning a neighborhood greenway through the Central District and parts of Capitol Hill and Montlake. But there’s one problem: There’s no clear way to get from Capitol Hill to Montlake without going up a very steep hill or traveling on the busy and dangerous 24th Ave.

Well, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club are partnering to host a community route exploration event Saturday to test out ideas in search of a route that will work for people of all ages and abilities.

The Silly Hilly starts at Montlake Elementary at 2 p.m. and ends at Miller Park.

For more info, see this Capitol Hill Seattle story. Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: Less Car More Go

I was a very bad bike news cowboy this past month. I’ve been letting bike news acquire for far too long without rounding it up for you all. So that means today’s post is cosmic in scale. Refill your coffee mug.

First up! A crowd-sourced feature-length documentary about cargo and family biking:

Continue reading

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Buses get cut, but bike share is on track: System sponsor list keeps growing

Concept image of bike share in South Lake Union, from a 2013 PSBS presentation

Concept image of bike share in South Lake Union, from a 2013 PSBS presentation

If you’re as bummed as I am about the likely rejection of Prop 1 to save Metro funding, put down that morning beer. There is some good transportation news today.

Puget Sound Bike Share announced today that the list of sponsors continues to grow and now includes an impressive list of companies and organizations in central Seattle: Group Health, Vulcan, REI, Fred Hutchison and Spectrum Development Solutions have joined Seattle Children’s to sponsor docking stations for the initial launch of the Seattle-based public bike system.

As we reported earlier this month, Puget Sound Bike Share will pioneer a new supply chain for Alta Bicycle Share after the bankruptcy of their previous (and undependable) supplier BIXI. The look and name of the Seattle-based system will be announced in May. Continue reading

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40% of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions are from road transportation, and 41% of trips are under 3 miles

1517604_612553912161205_2575425194520475295_n10153988_612556208827642_6050182324643513913_nOne problem with Earth Day and many conversations about climate change is that by putting the issue on a global scale, the problem can become overwhelming. You read about ever-increasing global temperatures and our still-increasing global carbon emissions, and your personal impact feels so insignificant that hopelessness sets in.

There are lots and lots of causes of climate change that are beyond my expertise and the scope of this blog. But transportation makes up a huge percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways posted two graphs today that help to shrink the scale of the problem to a still-large, but more manageable level.

In Seattle, 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from road transportation (“non-road transportation” emits another 22 percent). Walking and biking can’t reasonably offset the entire 40 percent, but it can easily and quickly reduce it.

For example, 41 percent of all trips made in Seattle are three miles or less. Most people are physically able to bike three miles with ease, and many of the trips are an easy walk. Half of trips in Seattle are fewer than five miles. These trips are the lowest-hanging fruit in reducing carbon-emitting transportation choices.

Continue reading

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Traffic violence is not a war, it’s a horrifying disease

Screenshot from a Q13 report on a memorial for Lincoln Person (click to watch)

Screenshot from a Q13 report on a memorial for Lincoln Person (click to watch)

Sometimes, the immense scale of traffic violence overwhelms me. Every single death or life-long injury that happens on our streets happens to somebody’s neighbor, somebody’s friend, somebody’s family member. And every once in a while, it strikes close to our own homes.

During a well-attended community workshop during the early stages of the city’s Road Safety Summit a few years ago, somebody asked the packed room of people in City Hall to raise their hand if they, a close friend or family member had ever been in a serious traffic collision. Nearly every hand in the room went up.

The death and destruction wrought by traffic violence comes in many forms, but most of it is preventable. Poor decisions made by reasonable and mostly responsible people are amplified through the roof by dangerous streets that encourage casual speeding and a lack of concern and awareness of others, whether they are driving, biking or walking. What was a simple drive to the grocery store or to work can turn into a gory, terrifying scene. The result can devastate an entire family and community.

More than 32,000 people die every year in traffic collisions in the United States. This makes traffic violence a leading cause of death. Serious, often life-long injuries are much more common than deaths. If there really were a “war” on the roads, as sensationalizing reporters love to phrase it, the number of annual US casualties would be measured in the hundreds of thousands.

But there is no war. A war requires opposing sides and at least some kind of endgame. Traffic violence is much more like a disease than a war. Though it does affect elderly, young and low-income populations disproportionately, nobody is immune.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Like many diseases, we have treatments and cures. We have an obligation as a society to implement known solutions and to continue researching and trying new treatments. What could be more important than protecting the lives of our neighbors? Continue reading

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Times: Seattle is second safest big US city for walking and biking

As you sprint across a highway-style four-lane street through the heart of your neighborhood, it’s probably hard to believe that Seattle may be the second safest big city in the US for people walking and biking. But that’s what the data suggests, according to the 2014 Alliance for Biking & Walking Benchmarking report and the Seattle Times’ Gene Balk.

When walking and biking commute rates per capita are compared to reported fatalities, Seattle places second in walking safety and eighth in biking safety. In fact, Seattle is one of only four cities that makes the top-ten list for both biking and walking safety. When Balk combined the two measures, he determined that Seattle places second overall. Only Boston is safer.

First, some caveats to the data: Because the walking and biking rate information comes from Census surveys, people who mix walking or biking with public transit are likely not counted in the walking and biking columns. Neither are people who walk or bike to work some days, but not always. And, of course, only work trips are counted. So a retired person walking to the grocery store would not be counted, either. Continue reading

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KOMO: Police seek assailant who attacked man with car in Wallingford

Screenshot from KOMO report. Watch below.

Screenshot from KOMO report. Watch below.

Police are seeking a man who they say assaulted Neal DeWitt in Wallingford Monday.

DeWitt was biking to work on Wallingford Ave near N 40th Street when a person driving a Subaru Impreza struck him on purpose and fled the scene, DeWitt told KOMO.

He was left with a broken arm and intense bruises on his face.

Police say the suspect is wanted for investigation of hit and run and felony vehicular assault. He and his family urge the person responsible to turn himself in.

Watch the KOMO report: Continue reading

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