Bike News Roundup: Want to see what happens when you actually prioritize walking and biking?

Hi, everybody! It’s that time again… time for the Bike News Roundup!

Imagine if we truly and completely prioritized walking and biking in our city. What would that look like? Would the city be able to function?

Behold:

Groningen: The World’s Cycling City from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! Tom Vanderbilt gives a talk about Traffic, why it happens and why most people simply do not understand it:

National & Global News

As always, this is an open thread.

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9 Responses to Bike News Roundup: Want to see what happens when you actually prioritize walking and biking?

  1. sb says:

    The NE 65th Cycle Track SDOT open house was an odd experience. On one hand it was nice seeing democracy in action (or at least humans taking an interest in community activities). On the other hand it was frightening seeing the AARP anti-cycling crowd foaming at the mouth and cheering on Option D. Are there any recaps of it somewhere?

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      I haven’t seen any recaps. I wasn’t able to make it.

      And, for the record, the AARP is actually a huge proponent of complete streets. After all, they understand that elderly people are disproportionately killed in traffic.

      I think the Bike Master Plan is a limiting framework for discussing road changes for anyone who would not consider cycling an option for themselves. Any bikeway that is installed would also be designed so that walking is safer and more comfortable. But that message has not been very clear in the NE 65th Street discussions, and false information-fueled fear has run rampant. There are people spreading the idea that emergency access will be blocked and that parking will be removed so that loved ones can’t visit (I’m not joking). You can understand why those ideas might frighten people. But it’s not true.

      • sb says:

        Yeah, my AARP mention was just snark and not really accurate. There were definitely some older folks there who support cycle tracks ideas.

        But I had discussions there with a number of people who were full of false information and who couldn’t see the purpose of changing anything. To them, 75th has bike lanes, side streets near 65th are bikable, and cars need to be able to drive quickly on all of 65th. They want no changes at all.

      • Andres Salomon says:

        I went to the open house. There were some pretty hostile arguments going on between people at some of the voting posters, with finger pointing and “you’re a minority!” claims. I mostly ignored them, though.

        Instead, I found the format itself to be great, with lots of city folks present and accessible. Rebecca from the Mayor’s office, Dongho from SDOT (traffic engineer), Kevin & Sarah from SDOT (the BMP dynamic duo), Bill from Councilmember Rasmussen’s office, Dawn from SDOT, plus a host of local community members from the RBCA, Greenways, Ravennablog, and others. I didn’t even get the chance to play with the voting stickers, I was so busy chatting people up.

        This format was much more laid back, and rather than an aggressive back-and-forth of Q&A between the person holding a speaking stick and a city official, people could individually address their concerns to the relevant city officials.

  2. RTK says:

    I thought the SDOT/McGinn hosted Town Hall a couple months back was much more openly hostile. There were a lot of angry people not entirely sure what they were angry about.

    Sadly it seemed to me that almost all of the anti-cycling crowd just went over and stuck there #1 choice dot on option D. Just keep those cyclist off 65th!

  3. Gordon says:

    Why was option D even included as an alternative? It clearly doesn’t meet the criteria of being a usable route for accessing 65th. It’s a fun neighborhood back-route that we should build one day, but it’s not acceptable as a replacement.

  4. Eli says:

    I should call out: Groningen is not materially different from most other Dutch cities.

    Every scene, every amazing piece of infrastructure — you’ll find in dozens (if not hundreds) of Dutch cities and towns. The scale may be a bit lower, and perhaps you’ll only have 30% rather than 40% of trips on bikes, but it’s the same idea.

    Actually, here are some photos from my trip this summer to visit friends/family, with English explanation (and Dutch translations where needed):

    https://www.facebook.com/eli.goldberg/media_set?set=a.10102324110675478.1073741827.10737821&type=3

    • Tom R says:

      Regarding Groningen-envy, I write from Holland, about to return to Seattle.

      I have been walking a lot and riding trains everywhere.
      Not biking, not riding city teams or buses.

      Holland is FLAT, completely flat. Geographically
      it more resembles Chicago than Seattle. Riding a
      Dutch bike in Seattle makes no sense if you live
      on a hill. Oh, and no one is wearing a helmet:
      no one!

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