County will start paving north section of East Lake Sammamish Trail next week

ELST_ConstMailer_North_030414_spreads-mapKing County Parks is ready to start work to reconstruct and pave the north section of the East Lake Sammamish Trail. During construction, the existing soft surface trail will be closed.

Work begins April 21 and is expected to last a year.

When fully complete, the trail will create a paved and separated bike route all the way from the Burke-Gilman Trial in Seattle to Isaaquah.

Details from King County Parks: Continue reading

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Think the UW Burke-Gilman detour is big now? It’s just getting started


The Montlake Triangle detour trail

The Montlake Triangle detour trail

Today, the Burke-Gilman detour around the UW’s Montlake Triangle construction site is pretty big, but comfortable. Just few minutes around the construction zone on a newly-paved path and you’re back on your way.

But the current detour is just a taste of things to come. By summer, a much larger detour will be in place that sends trail users up through UW campus and on the newly redesigned NE 40th Street.

Access to the Montlake Bridge is already a headache, and the new detour certainly will not make things any better. Sidewalks in the area are always busy, and the streets are wide and unfriendly.

When completed, a section of the trail will be wider and there will be a new connection to the UW Link Light Rail Station and the Montlake Bridge.

You can learn more about the detour at an information session Thursday, 4 – 6 p.m. at the Gould Hall Atrium. UPDATE: For more information on the planned detours, see the UW project webpage.

Details from UW: Continue reading

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Bicycle Pull-Apart owner: ‘I have always followed the letter of the law’

Eric Patchen. Screenshot from 2010 CityStream episode (watch below)

Eric Patchen. Screenshot from 2010 CityStream episode (watch below)

Eric Patchen didn’t build up credit, and he didn’t inherit a lot of money. So when he wanted to start a bike shop in Belltown, he did it without loans.

“I did it on my own,” Patchen said. “I put my heart and soul into this thing … I thought anyone who had a dream and a desire to own a business could be here.”

But as we reported yesterday, Patchen and his Belltown bike shop Bicycle Pull-Apart are now the subject of a police investigation linking the shop to more than $10,000 worth of stolen bikes. Police say they spent months investigating BPA and Patchen after receiving tips that the shop was trafficking stolen bikes, but Patchen says he has always followed laws governing resale and pawn shops.

He said police are under pressure to stem the bike theft “epidemic,” but arresting the actual thieves is a lot harder than arresting a shop owner.

“They [SPD] want to pin it on somebody who opens his doors every day and stands there and says, ‘Here I am,’ said Patchen. “I’m an easy target.”

Patchen was arrested March 13 and was released on his own recognizance. At a hearing a few days later, he was told that no charges would be filed immediately, but that he could still be charged at a later date. He went back to work and continued running his shop. Last week, police served a warrant and recovered three stolen bikes from the shop floor. Police outlined their investigation Monday on the SPD Blotter. The investigation is ongoing, and the shop remains open for business. Continue reading

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City Council will vote on Bike Master Plan + Next step: How to realize its vision

UPDATE: The Council passed the bike plan unanimously.


Supporters of the plan donned green at the City Council meeting

Supporters of the plan donned green at the City Council meeting

On the way to City Hall, I caught up with Davey Oil, Madi Carlson and their children. To get downtown from Capitol Hill, we biked down busy Broadway, and it was safe and comfortable.

And that’s the whole point of this Bike Master Plan. This is a good thing, and it should happen more often in more places around town. If a street is not comfortable and safe for Seattle families, then Seattle needs to fix it. This plan is a good start.

Original story:

The proposed bike facilities map

The proposed bike facilities map

The Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on final approval of the Bike Master Plan Monday, two years after work on the plan remake began. The vote will come during the afternoon meeting, which begins at 2 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

After years of work and many, many hours of public outreach, the plan flew through a December public hearing in the City Council Chambers, and the Transportation Committee last week gave it unanimous approval.

For a look at the plan’s long slog to this point, our coverage is divided into two phases:

  • Creating the first draft mostly involved gathering all ideas for where bike facilities could use improvements and gathering ideas for education and outreach.
  • The second draft was more about making sure the changes are realistic, working to figure out modal conflicts and developing a connected city-wide network of bike routes that aim to be comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to use.

Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and other organizations that have worked to develop the plan are hoping to pack the Council meeting with plan supporters. It’s well past time to pass the plan so the city transportation staff can get to work on a project prioritization plan, and leaders can get to work on figuring out how we are going to realize the vision.


Continue reading

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SPD: Owner of Belltown’s Bicycle Pull-Apart arrested in chop shop investigation

UPDATE: Read our follow-up story, including an interview with Bicycle Pull-Apart Owner Eric Patchen.

Seattle Police arrested the owner of Bicycle Pull-Apart at 3rd and Battery in Belltown in March and today released an outline of their investigation into the shop.

Their investigation led police to search the property and found thousands of dollars worth of bikes that were reported stolen in recent years. Police say they are working to get those bikes back to their owners.

Details from the SPD Blotter:

Seattle police believe the owner of a Belltown bicycle shop has been wheeling and dealing with convicted felons to traffic thousands of dollars worth of stolen bikes through his store.

For months, detectives have been investigating Bicycle Pull-Apart, located near 3rd Avenue and Battery Street, after receiving tips that the shop was buying, rebuilding and reselling stolen bikes.

In March, detectives tied the owner of the shop to the suspicious sale of a $4,000 bike stolen from a Belltown apartment building in June 2013. In March of this year, police found records that showed the bike was sold to Pull-Apart within days of the theft. Continue reading

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Seattle Bike Style Updates: Iva Jean launches new line + Model Citizen adds women’s t-shirt

If you want stylish threads that stay that way even as you slog up a hill or pedal through a downpour, then perhaps it only makes sense that you should be looking to Seattle.

Right now, there are (at least) two Seattle-based designers working on lines of clothes that look good on and off the bike. Check them out:

Iva Jean launches new leggings, trousers and tops

575588278ce88f9afda957ad602b6a16_largeWe have written about Iva Jean before, but after receiving all kinds of good press following her 2012 line, Ann DeOtte Kaufman is back with another line and another Kickstarter. This one’s got a big goal of $50,000, so she’s really stepping things up for this line.

Over the last year, my team and I have been working to expand our line. Using the same principles we always have, our new collection goes beyond the bike. We’ve developed two pants that are both tailored, minimal, comfortable, and durable. Our tops are both luxurious and practical, perfect for any situation.

Our garments use high quality performance fabrics, feature feminine cuts and modern details, and will be made in Seattle, Washington.

Continue reading

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Work on Hwy 99 tunnel ramps will close Dexter bike lanes + Is this a chance to extend the redesign?


Map of construction zone (does not show exact closure info, just where to expect delays or bike lane closures)

The state is set to start utility relocation work to prepare the area between South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne for the Highway 99 tunnel’s new on and off ramps. That means crews need to dig up parts of Dexter Ave between Mercer and Thomas Streets starting next week.

“A bicycle lane will be maintained in both directions on Dexter Avenue North during peak commute hours,” according to an email from WSDOT’s Alaskan Way Viaduct Project spokesperson Laura Newborn. “Bicyclists may have to merge with traffic during off-peak hours.”

But this work is just a taste of what’s to come. While these are short closures to do preliminary work, “there will be some longer-term lane-narrowing on Dexter Ave N. north of Mercer St. later this spring, lasting into summer,” Newborn said in an email.

Dexter is an absolutely vital part of the city’s bike network. It sounds like WSDOT will try to keep bike lanes open in each direction when they can, and I hope they take that goal seriously.

I also hope there are plans in the works to take advantage of the WSDOT work as an opportunity to redesign the south segment of Dexter. As we reported in 2011, the city widened the bike lane buffer space following the tragic death of Mike Wang at Thomas St. But that was not enough to prevent more collisions, and there was a clear call for more significant changes, like protected bike lanes and a center turn lane.

The city said in August that it will evaluate the street for more changes in 2014, but there was no indication of when work on any changes might begin. Continue reading

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