UW Burke-Gilman detour updates

Stay updated on detours via the UW website.

Stay updated on detours via the UW website.

As I’m sure regular Burke-Gilman Trail users have noticed, Seattle City Light has wrapped up its work between the UW and the power station under I-5.

“City Light appreciates customers’ patience leading up to this important milestone,” City Light said in a statement. “The infrastructure improvement reflects City Light’s strategic plan adopted in 2012. At a later date, new electrical cable will be pulled through the conduit to complete the project.”

The detour was pretty rough for everyone, but City Light deserves credit for taking their original plan back to the drawing board. While the detour was plagued with concerns about poor sight lines and long crossing distances, the original plan would have detoured people on the trail into often-busy traffic lanes. This might have worked fine for confident riders, but the Burke-Gilman draws people of all levels of confidence, many drawn to the trail specifically because they do not feel comfortable biking in traffic.

Meanwhile, the UW detours will continue for a while as work on the Montlake Triangle project gets closer and closer to completion. You can stay updated on UW detours on the project website.

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Bike News Roundup: In 2003, Saturn made a really great ad about how much space cars take up

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! I’m headed to New York City for my first time ever. I am crazy excited. I’ll keep posting while I’m out of town for the next week, but things might be a little slower than usual. And of course, email tom@seattlebikeblog.com if you see anything I should know about.

First up, Charles Mudede posted this 2003 Saturn commercial I had completely forgotten about. It’s a great visual for how much space cars take up in our cities.

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South Park trail celebration is Saturday

WDT_Celebration_FinalAs we reported previously, the South Park neighborhood now has a way better connection to the Duwamish Trail.

You can join community members, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and other city officials for an opening celebration Saturday. Meet 10 a.m. at the super cool little park at S Portland Street and 8th Ave S.

Cascade Bicycle Club will lead an inaugural bike ride, so bring your wheels.

The trail is relatively short, but it makes an important connection between the neighborhood and the regional trail system, and it sets the stage for more neighborhood biking and walking improvements. South Park has largely been neglected when it comes to biking and walking investments, but the new South Park Bridge and this new trail segment are good signs that the city is trying to correct that.

The trail is also notable for how many different agencies and needs combined to make it happen. It helped industry in the area by repaving what was one of the worst-paved streets in the entire city. It helped walking and biking by creating a new trail separated from that truck traffic. It helped increase access to the awesome little park on the corner of S Portland and 8th Ave S, which overlooks areas of the Duwamish River that is finally getting much-needed environmental cleanup work. Continue reading

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Construction displaces #5 most popular Pronto station + #WomenWhoBike ride today

Image from Pronto

Image from Pronto

Construction at 7th and Pine has displaced Pronto Cycle Share’s fifth most popular station. You can now find it at 7th and Union in front of ACT Theatre.

While this move does put the station a little closer to the convention center, it moves it two blocks further from Westlake Station. Previously, it was the closest Pronto station to Westlake.

A month ago, Pronto moved Sher Kung Memorial Station at 2nd and University to 2nd and Spring at request of the Garden of Remembrance Board. This move added two extra blocks of walking from University Street Station.

While both of these moves have legitimate reasons, the city and Pronto need to make sure these major transit connections are as strong as possible. That’s why this tweet from Seattle Transit Blog is spot on: Continue reading

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Seattle’s plummeting bike collision rate may have stalled

As more people bike in a city, the total number of bicycle-involved collisions often remains flat. Sometimes it rises a little, and sometimes it falls. But the “safety in numbers” bike safety phenomenon is surprisingly consistent: The more people bike, the further the collision rate falls.

Seattle appeared to be the poster child for this. Between 2005 and 2012, problematic* (see below) Census surveys show that the total number of Seattle residents bike commuting increased 116 percent. During the same time period, the total number of bike collisions only increased 31 percent, meaning the bike collision rate per commuter was in free fall.

But collision data from 2013 and preliminary data from 2014 shows that this bike collision rate free fall has stalled. King 5 reported on the problem earlier this week. We obtained the same data set from SDOT, who stressed that the numbers won’t be finalized until this summer as more data comes in from the state.

2014 saw a fairly significant increase in the total number of collisions involving people on bikes, continuing an upward trend from 2013: Continue reading

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Will Cascade ditch election advocacy? Members and the Board will decide this month

Cascade Bicycle Club members will gather twice in the next week to discuss a proposal from the Board of Directors to end direct candidate election advocacy.

As we have reported previously, the club is considering moving to a non-profit charity model, which prohibits them from directly funding or assisting political candidates (Full disclosure: My fiancé Kelli works for Cascade’s Advocacy Department).

Some members even started a Save Cascade petition to lobby the Board against making this change and to organize other concerned members. As of press time, the petition had 155 signatures. Former Cascade Executive Director Chuck Ayers (who had some high-profile clashes with the Board at the end of his time) was among the first signers.

There are two member meetings in the next week to discuss the changes, the first of which is today:

The Board will vote on the issue at their March 18 meeting (despite reports in the Stranger that the vote will be delayed until late 2015, Cascade Executive Director Elizabeth Kiker said there will be a vote on March 18).

The Save Cascade petition calls for the following: Continue reading

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After taking stolen bike report, SPD officer spots it with man outside precinct

Seattle Police Officer Mark Vwich has a very good memory.

A week after he took a report from someone who had their bike stolen from a downtown garage, Vwich spotted the wheels in the hands of a guy hanging around the West Precinct.

He approached the man and inspected the bike, discovering the serial number did, indeed, match the one stolen, according to SPD:

Officer Mark Vwich was pulling his patrol car in front of the West Precinct last Thursday when something caught his eye.

About a week earlier, on February 18th, Officer Vwich had been called to a downtown parking garage after a reported burglary and theft of a high-end bike.

When he pulled in front of the station Thursday, he saw the same burgled bike, now in the clutches of a man wearing cycling gloves.

Officer Vwich walked up to the man—who was standing with a group of people outside a convenience store—and asked him where he’d gotten the bike. The man replied he’d bought the $2,000 Ridley bicycle for $50 from a “friend’s friend.”

The serial number on the bike matched up with the one Officer Vwich had taken a report on a week earlier, confirming it was indeed the same stolen cycle, so he arrested the man.

When police searched the suspect, they found two suspected meth pipes, a stolen bank card, and a receipt showing someone had used the stolen card to buy $300 worth of new shoes and “lounge pants.”

Officers booked the man into the King County Jail for possession of stolen property.

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