Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition hosts Council candidate forums, D6 is Tuesday

Screenshot of the event listing for the District 6 Candidate Forum on Transportation, Housing and Sustainability. Header image is of a Metro trolley bus with a bike on the front rack. May 21. Hosted by Seattle Transit Riders Union and 14 others.

Screenshot from the first forum: District 6.

Seattle’s City Council is facing its biggest shakeup since, well, the last time the seven district-based seats were up for a vote.

An unprecedented 56 candidates are running for the City Council seats, and only three incumbents are seeking another term (Crosscut put together a handy candidate guide). So we are guaranteed at least four new members on the Council, one seat away from a voting majority (the two at-large Council seats, held by Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena Gonzáles, are not up for election until 2021 along with the mayor).

You can hear candidates talk about transportation, housing and sustainability at a series of forums over the next couple weeks that members of the Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition have organized:

If you don’t know your district, enter your address on this page to find out. The primary is not until August 6, but don’t wait to register. If you are new to King County, we vote by mail here, which is wonderful. Register now to avoid any hassles getting your ballot. Since primary votes happen in the middle of summer, it’s easy to get distracted or busy and miss deadlines. Voter turnout is much lower in the August primary than in the November general election, which means your vote is especially important.

The MASS coalition is not currently planning primary forums for Districts 1 or 5. Only three people are running in District 1 including incumbent Lisa Herbold, and two of them will make it through the primary. So West Seattle has the easiest job for the next couple months. Six people are running in District 5, the same number as District 3. But neither of those has as many candidates as the open seats in 2, 4, 6 and 7. District 6 takes the cake with a stunning 14 candidates for Mike O’Brien’s spot.

The big business lobby has said they will spend big this year to try to win a majority they see as favorable to their interests. Meanwhile, the democracy voucher system has empowered more grassroots-level candidates than ever before. Sprinkle some candidates with disturbing and dehumanizing ideas about homeless people into the mix, and we have the makings for one of the toughest Council campaigns in recent memory. It will be a true test of the city’s values. Continue reading

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With the paint barely dry on bike-lane-free 35th Ave NE, person driving strikes and injures someone on a bike

Just hours after a video of dangerous conditions for people biking on the new 35th Ave NE gained a lot of traction on social media, someone driving struck and injured a person biking on the street near the intersection with NE 70th Street.

News about the injury was posted to the Safe 35th Ave NE facebook page this afternoon, and Seattle Bike Blog confirmed the details with Seattle Police.

Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, someone driving collided with someone on a bike. The person biking was transported to the hospital by ambulance with a knee injury, according to SPD. The person driving was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

As is typical for traffic incidents, the details of the collision are not yet available pending investigation. As such, it’s not clear whether the scrapped bike lanes would have prevented it.

Sending my best wishes to the person injured.

But news of the collision certainly adds to growing concerns about the safety of the newly redesigned 35th Ave NE. The street was planned, designed and contracted to include bike lanes, but Mayor Jenny Durkan removed them at the last minute due to opposition from some project neighbors.

Comparison of design diagrams for 35th Ave NE. On the left, the original design has two bike lanes, two general purpose lane and a parking lane. On the right, the mayor's design has two general purpose lanes, a center turn lane and a parking lane.

Design concepts for this stretch of 35th Ave NE from SDOT.

Her decision to remove the bike lanes drew strong criticism from people concerned about bike safety and the mayor’s commitment to its bicycle, Vision Zero and climate plans. People also voiced serious concerns about the city’s planned street design, which includes problems like wide travel lanes known to encourage speeding.

The decision to remove the bike lanes was due to politics, not best practices for designing safe streets. It went against the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and against the original design created and approved by SDOT traffic engineers after years of planning and public outreach. I hope nobody else is injured here, but hope alone is not enough to stop traffic injuries.

Here’s the video posted about 12 hours before the collision that called attention to how unsafe the new street design feels to someone on a bike:

UPDATE 5/20: A reader who did not wish to be identified reached out to say that they were waiting at the light at 35th Ave NE and NE 70th Street on a bike Sunday afternoon when someone driving sidewiped them while trying to make a right turn on red. The reader was not injured, but read this story and wanted to share:

Hey Tom – I just wanted to let you know that I was also hit by a car at 35th NE and 70th, while standing at a red light; the car attempted a right on red around me and bumped/hit me with its mirror. I wasn’t hurt, but still not ideal. The driver stopped and was apologetic, so i chose not to pursue it further. For a variety of reasons I don’t want to post this on twitter publicly, but please feel free to mention it in any articles.

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Tour de Pints 2019 is Saturday

Poster text: Tour de Pints. 5-18-2019. Peddler Brewing 11:30AM. Flying Bike Co-op 1:15PM. Burke-Gilman Brewing 2:30 PM. Floating Bridge Brewing 3:15PM. Rooftop Brew Co 3:45PM.You know what would be a great way to wash down all those donuts tomorrow (Saturday)? Beer.

The annual Tour de Pints starts 11 a.m. at Peddler Brewing. The Beer Week event is a casual tide to five north Seattle breweries throughout the afternoon. And it’s free to join (obviously, the beer costs money).

Details from the event page:

For the 11th Year in a row Tour de Pints will be visiting some of the best breweries and pubs around town in celebration of Seattle Beer Week! TdP is a free, open-to-everyone and ride-at-your-own-risk event. Enter or exit the ride at any point you like. We’ll be posting online and in person when making the last departure out of each stop.

The Tour begins at Peddler
Peddler 11:30AM – Extra long stop here to gather people to start the ride. We leave at 1pm!
Ride 20 min -Up the only major hill on the route
Flying Bike Coop ~1:15PM
Ride 30 min – Nice ride down past the lake and through Ravenna
Burke Gilman ~2:30PM
Ride 15 min to Floating Bridge, 30 to Rooftop
Floating Bridge ~3:15PM – Optional detour. Leave BG early to do The Feat of Strength, up a hill for an extra beer then get to Rooftop late
Ride 15 min – Across the Fremont Bridge and down the Ship canal trail!
Rooftop – ~3:45PM our final stop! Though I can’t stop you from going further! Maybe… Dirty Couch Brewing??

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Bicycle Benefits launches Bike Bingo today, hosts Tour de Donut Saturday

Photo of the Bike Bingo card. Businesses listed: Recycled Cycles, Peloton, Ride Bicycle Bike Shop, School of Bike, Seven Market & Cafe, Mighty-O Donuts, Full Tilt (Capitol Hill), Kaffeeklatsch, Machine House Brewing, Greenwood Hardware, Bike Works, Ian's Pizza on the Hill, Madrona Grocery Outlet, W. Seattle Farmer's Market, Nielsen's Pastries, Street Bean Roasters, Walnut Street Coffee, Peddler Brewing, The Bikery, Freerange Cycles, Swanson's Shoe Repair, Theo Chocolate and Conduit Coffee Roasters.

Get your 2019 Bike Bingo card for $3 at any of the businesses listed or at Friday’s launch party at Conduit Coffee.

You already bike to local businesses all the time, so why not make a game of it? Bicycle Benefits is launching their annual Bike Bingo today, a challenge to bike to local businesses and fill your bingo card by June 30. You get prizes for each row you complete plus even bigger prizes if you fill the whole card.

Bicycle Benefits is hosting a Bike Bingo kick-off party 5 to 9 p.m. today (Friday) at Conduit Coffee on Westlake Ave a couple blocks south of the Fremont Bridge.

Bicycle Benefits is on a mission to encourage more people to bike by partnering with local businesses to provide year-round discounts to anyone who bikes there and has a Bicycle Benefits sticker. You can buy a sticker for $5 at participating businesses, of which there are many. Check out the map.

The organization also hosts special events, like Bike Bingo and the Mighty-O Tour de Donut. Speaking of which….

Tour de Donut is Saturday

Poster text: Mighty-O Tour de Donut. Eat my crumbs. May 18th. Logos: Mighty-O Donuts, Cascade Bicycle Club and Bike WorksThe 2019 Mighty-O Tour de Donut starts at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at the Ballard Mighty-O location.

Basically a self-guided, non-competitive alleycat race, the Tour de Donuts will send people on a biking tour of Mighty-O locations. It’s a great excuse to bike with friends, eat donuts, drink coffee and support a good cause.

You can register online for $20. Proceeds will go to Bike Works.

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Bike Everywhere Day 2019 is Friday + Map of morning ‘celebration stations’ across the region

Bike Everywhere Day 2019 (formerly known as “Bike to Work Day”) is Friday, and there will be 113 celebration stations spread throughout the region to provide encouragement, smiles and maybe some coffee or donuts for folks biking to work or wherever.

Cascade Bicycle Club’s main station is at the south end of the Fremont Bridge near the Nickerson St Saloon from 7 to 9 a.m. There is no City Hall rally planned this year, as had become a tradition in recent years.

The stations are staffed by various groups and businesses all over the region as a fun way of celebrating a day when a lot of new or occasional bike riders give biking a try. Most stations are open from 7 to 9 in the morning, though there are a handful of all-day or afternoon stations, too. You can check out the official map via Google Maps.

Bike Everywhere Day is a wonderful glimpse into the near future, giving an idea of what the city would be like with a healthy boost in the number of people biking to get around. I definitely suggest starting your day early so you have time to hit up as many stations as you can.

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‘Extreme disappointment’: Bike Advisory Board letter seeks big improvements to Mayor’s bike plan

Screenshot of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board letter. The full text is copied below in this post.The same week the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee wrote a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the City Council and SDOT calling foul on the mayor’s “disproportionately large” bike plan cuts, the volunteer Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board penned a similar letter “expressing our extreme disappointment” with the draft short term bike plan.

But unlike the oversight committee’s letter, which gave high-level advice, the SBAB letter includes several pages of specific needs that would go unmet in the draft plan. Their letter could be read as an olive branch to the Mayor’s Office and SDOT leaders, providing a possible path to regaining the public’s trust in their ability and willingness to deliver on the city’s bike safety and mobility.

Rather than going through the highlights, below is the full text of the SBAB letter to Mayor Durkan, the City Council and SDOT (PDF). Skip to the bulleted list for their specific recommendations: Continue reading

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Oversight Committee raises flag on mayor’s ‘disproportionately large’ bike plan cuts

A screenshot of the letter. You can read the text in the body of this post.The committee tasked with watchdogging the city’s delivery of the $930 million voters approved through the 2015 Move Seattle levy has written a strong letter of concern about the lack of bicycle network progress and SDOT’s big cuts to the bike plan for the duration of the levy.

“We respectfully request the Mayor and City Council seek to deliver the bike facilities contained in the 2015 Levy by assigning additional, non-Levy funds to the bike safety program and giving higher priority to bicycle use of street space,” the committee wrote in a letter last week to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the City Council and SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe.

This is a big deal. This committee was created by voters as part of the levy vote to make sure the city was spending this money for the voter-approved purposes. And the committee sees the mayor’s bike plan cuts as “a disproportionately large reduction” to the bicycle safety program.

The levy was approved 59–41, and the bicycle plan goals were very clear. Under the mayor’s new, massively-cut plan, only 60% of the levy’s bike program promises would be fulfilled assuming every mile included in her plan is constructed.

There is room here to talk about mileage vs impact, and the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (“SBAB”) has been open to missing the mileage goals if needed in order to fully complete difficult and more expensive connections instead (like downtown, SODO and major SE Seattle projects). But the mayor’s plan cuts mileage while also shying away from many of the most difficult and impactful connections, and the city oversight and advisory boards are calling foul.

SDOT and the Mayor’s Office has touted their slashed bike plan as only a draft with a final version due to the City Council in the coming weeks. This is the first short-term bike plan annual update produced under Mayor Durkan after her administration failed to deliver a 2018 short-term plan (I have requested a copy of the never-released 2018 plan, but have not yet received it). The feedback has been clear: The next version of it needs to be much more bold than the first draft. Advocacy organizations and SBAB have even suggested big projects she could restore or add to show she’s serious about making progress on bike safety and mobility. The ball is in her court.

Here’s the text of the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee letter (you can also see the official PDF): Continue reading

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The first Bicycle Sunday of 2019 is this weekend

Map of the Bicycle Sunday route, which travels along Lake Washington Boulevard from Mount Baker beach to Seward Park. Text: Fun for the entire family.It’s time for the first Bicycle Sunday of the year!

The classic car-free event will follow its usual route on Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Beach and Seward Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Familybike Seattle is hosting a Cyclofemme Kidical Mass ride starting 11 a.m. at the Mount Baker Park playground.

As we reported earlier this week, Outdoors For All will be in Seward Park for some of the Bicycle Sunday dates offering free adaptive cycle rentals as part of a partnership with SDOT paid for using bike share fees. Take note that the first such event is not until June 16.

More Bicycle Sunday details from Seattle Parks:

On scheduled Sundays from May to September, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation invites everyone in the community to bike, jog or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during these times.

The 2019 event dates are

  • May 12, 19, 26
  • June 16, 23
  • July7, 14
  • August 11, 18
  • September 1, 8, 15
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City and Commute Seattle want you to bike to bakeries

In case you were looking for an excuse to hit up a bakery, Commute Seattle and SDOT have got you covered. They have a Bikes and Bakeries challenge going all May.

All you have to do is bike there and then scan a QR code at the register. If you visit four during the month, you’ll be entered to win unspecified “amazing bike-related prizes.” As though a bike ride, a fresh-baked good or cup of coffee wasn’t already a good enough prize…

Details from SDOT:

May is #BikeMonth, and we’ve got just the sweet treat for you to get riding! Join Commute Seattle’s Bikes and Bakeries Challenge, where you can win amazing bike-related prizes just for riding your bike and supporting bakeries across the city!

Participating is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Ride a bike to one of the participating bakeries.
  2. Scan the QR code at checkout and let Commute Seattle know which bakery you visited. Forgot to scan the code? Click here to submit your entry.
  3. Visit four bakeries during the month of May and be entered to win amazing bike-related prizes from local bike shops! Each additional bakery gives you another chance to win.

List of participating bakeries:

Continue reading

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SDOT partners with Outdoors For All to offer free adaptive bike rentals all summer

Photo of three people. One is riding a hand cycle trike, a d the other two are on a four-wheeled tandem bike.

Photo from Sofie’s story on the Outdoors For All blog.

Bike share is amazing. Just beep a bike with your phone, and you’re riding wherever you want to go for a few nickels per minute. That is, of course, if you are physically able to operate the app and ride a two-wheeled sit-up style pedal bike.

That’s why Seattle is using part of the permit fees collected from bike share companies to fun an all-summer partnership with Outdoors For All to provide free adaptive cycle rentals. People can rent bike between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. any day May through September from the OFA Cycling Center in Magnusson Park. They will also bring cycles to a handful of community events, including many Bicycle Sunday events at Seward Park and the White Center Bicycle Playground.

OFA has an incredible selection of cycles that help people with a wide range of disabilities get out on a bike. The organization is home to one of the largest fleets of adaptive cycles anywhere, including handcycles, trikes, and various styles of tandem bikes with lots of fitting capabilities. They also have knowledgeable staff who can help people find a cycle that will work for them and get the bikes adjusted and ready to go. They also offer standard pedal bikes so able-bodied caregivers can ride along.

Details from SDOT: Continue reading

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Cascade’s annual Bike Everywhere Breakfast is Tuesday

Bike Everywhere Breakfast promotional image. Text: Kaiser Permanente Bike Everywhere Breakfast benefitting Cascade Bicycle Club. Tuesday May 7 7 am to 9 am Bell Harbor International Conference Center.Hey, did you know May is Bike Month? I know, I know, every month is bike month in Seattle. I hear you.

May is filled with events and organizational efforts to help get more people on bikes heading into summer. As we see from Seattle’s bike counter data, bike trips spike in the summer as expected. But higher summer use turns into higher winter use as a lot of people who take up biking when it’s nice out get in the habit and continue year-round. That’s why many people find WA Bikes’ annual May Bike Everywhere Challenge effective: It keeps them honest for a month, helping them to build a habit. We may be a week in, but you can still sign up.

Cascade Bicycle Club’s annual Bike Everywhere Breakfast is tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the downtown waterfront. It’s free, but there’s a fairly spicy $175 suggested minimum donation.

Peter Walker, author of How Cycling Can Save the World, is the keynote speaker this year. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will also speak. You can register online or just show up and register at the door. Doors open at 7, program starts at 7:30. Will be done by 9. More details from Cascade:

“Around the globe this most benign of swarms is here. On their own, each cyclist is just flesh, blood and a machine of such beguiling simplicity and perfection that its fundamentals have stayed roughly the same for 140 years. But together, like the fireflies, they are a powerful indicator of the vitality and livability of the city’s streets. Together they can save the world.” Peter Walker, How Cycling Can Save the World

Throughout the morning you will also hear from our 2019 Doug Walker Award recipient, Barb Chamberlain, Director, Active Transportation Division, WSDOT and Seattle City Council member, Teresa Mosqueda.

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Bike share parking still an accessibility issue, but it’s getting better

Next to Alki Beach, a new bike rack and designated bike parking area includes a line of Lime bikes all inside the designated white lines.

New Alki bike parking. Photo from SDOT.

In June 2018, 4% of bike share bikes were parked in a way that impeded a walkway or curb ramp. Today, that figure is fewer than 2%, according to the latest SDOT bike share audit, the Seattle Times reports.

Bikes impeding on the safety and accessibility of our sidewalks is a problem. Yes, people do far worse with cars all the time (and cars are a lot harder to move out of the way than bikes), but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for bikes to also block sidewalks or cause tripping hazards or obstructions for our neighbors with disabilities.

But in recent reporting, I feel like it is important to note that not only are there solutions in the works, but bike parking habits are improving fairly significantly. The improvement is likely due to a variety of factors:

  • There is more bike parking now, including some SDOT experiments with lower-cost painted bike parking spaces in congested areas.
  • Users are likely much better educated about parking rules now, since the companies and the city have been spreading the word for nearly two years now.
  • The bikes have better kickstands now. First generation LimeBikes and Spin bikes had faulty or unreliable kickstands that were prone to break, making them nearly impossible to park correctly. Those have all been replaced at this point.
  • ofo left town (and the continent). Though I don’t have data to back this up, ofo seemed to be less concerned with maintaining order with their bike fleet.

Continue reading

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Trail Alert 5/6: Burke-Gilman detour near Seattle city limit

Map showing the Burke-Gilman Trail closure between about 40th Ave NE to 42nd Pl NE.

Trail closure map from King County Parks.

The Burke-Gilman Trail will be closed for a stretch May 6 around Seattle’s border with Lake Forest Park so King County Parks can remove six hazardous trees.

The good news is that this stretch parallels Riviera Pl NE, which should be an easy detour route.

Details from King County Parks:

Trail closed between 42nd Pl NE and 40th Ave NE

A contractor working with King County Parks will be removing six hazardous trees leaning  out along the trail. The project is expected to take one full day to complete and will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 6, 2019 and be complete by 7 p.m.

Trail users may opt to use Riviera Place NE as a bypass for the duration of the closure. We ask that all trail users please obey all posted trail closure signs as the trail is narrow and the edge drops off quickly around the work site.

Please call 206-477-4527 or email parksinfo@kingcounty.gov with any questions or concerns.

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New Roosevelt-to-Downtown Bike Train starts service Friday

Seattle’s newest bike train will begin service from the future Roosevelt light rail station, serving Ravenna, the U District, Wallingford, Fremont and Queen Anne en route to South Lake Union and downtown.

Started by Nick van den Heuvel, the route meets 7:30 a.m. Friday at Broadcast Coffee on Roosevelt Way just north of NE 65th Street. The ride starts at 8 and will arrive downtown by 9. The plan is to host the bike train every Friday morning.

This is the third bike train route, inspired by southend neighbors who earlier this year started bike trains from Othello to downtown via Beacon Hill and Columbia City to downtown via Mount Baker. The whole idea was inspired by bike trains in other cities, especially New York City, and by West Seattle neighbors who organized group rides ahead of the Viaduct shutdown.

Want to help start a bike train serving your neighborhood? Check out this FAQ and email info@seattlebiketrain.com for some help getting started. And, of course, let Seattle Bike Blog know so I can help spread the word. Feel free to use the comments below to get organized.

More details on the Roosevelt Line from Seattle Bike Train: Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: NYC’s misguided crackdown on workers using e-bikes

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Here’s a look at some stuff going around the ol’ web lately. This is an open thread.

First up, New York City continues its misguided crackdown on delivery workers using e-bikes. A short documentary by Jing Wang shows how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy hurts immigrant workers in the city:

Pacific Northwest News Continue reading

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Seattle needs a Car Master Plan

Photo of N 50th Street. Cars drive in all four lanes, some are waiting for a stop light, and one person on a bike is squeezed to the side of the street.

Cover image for the Seattle Car Master Plan, I assume.

Seattle has a Bicycle Master Plan, a Pedestrian Master Plan, a Transit Master Plan and a Freight Master Plan. It’s well past time our city give the same treatment to the many people who drive cars in our city by creating the first ever Seattle Car Master Plan.

I am only sort of joking.

Without a Car Master Plan, many of Seattle’s biggest transportation investments are being spent without a clear focus on how these public projects will help us reach our major climate change, race and social justice, public health, housing growth, and high-level transportation goals. All of the other modal master plans take these issues seriously, but those master plan projects are the exception to the rule at SDOT. The default mode of operation is that every inch of road space should go to cars unless an existing master plan says otherwise. And even then, those plans are only considered suggestions that can be ignored.

But more road space is not better for people in cars, either, though it sure seems like the mayor and SDOT’s leadership has forgotten that. Building a safe bike lane on a street increases safety for all road users, including people in cars. It’s not a zero-sum game. We are all in this together, and we all need to get where we’re going safely.

Like the other modal plans, the Car Master Plan could study best practices for designing roads to reduce injuries and deaths for people inside and outside of cars and make recommendations for how to most safely keep cars moving on our streets. After all, getting to your destination without injuring yourself or others is undeniably the most important priority of a car trip.

Some see a bike plan, others see a no-bikes plan

Continue reading

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Last push to get block-the-box and bus lane enforcement bill through the Senate

Screenshot of the TCC website, including a photo of two people on wheelchairs who are trying to access a crosswalk that is blocked by a bus. Click to access the TCC page to send a note to your Senator.

Screenshot of the TCC web tool to tell your Senator you support the bill.

The Washington State legislature initially failed this session to pass a law to allow cities to use automated camera enforcement to keep bus lanes and intersections clear. But thanks to some great, persistent advocacy from organizations like Transportation Choices Coalition and Rooted In Rights, the bill is back as a part of the state budget.

HB 1793 has already passed the full House and the Senate Transportation Committee. Now it has a handful of days to get a vote on the Senate floor, and you can help.

TCC put out this call for help and a handy online tool to help you quickly send a message to your Senator:

HB 1793 passed the House floor and Senate Transportation Committee! Now it’s headed to the Senate Rules Committee and — with your help — the Senate floor for a final vote.

TCC has been working with Representative Fitzgibbon, Senator Saldaña, and Senator Nguyen, as well as partners Rooted in Rights and the City of Seattle to pass the “block the box” legislation, which would allow Seattle to use automated traffic camera enforcement to keep people safe and transit moving. Continue reading

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Padelford: Let’s build a better bike movement

EDITOR’S NOTE: With Mayor Jenny Durkan delaying or cancelling so many bike route plans, Gordon Padelford and I had a conversation wondering how the movement for safe streets and better bike routes should evolve from here. Padelford, Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, then reached out with this open letter to people who bike in the Seattle area community. 

Video: Apu Mishra and Tamara Schmautz shredding Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, Bicycle Master Plan, Complete Streets Policy, and Vision Zero Plan, symbolizing the disregard the mayor places on these plans and goals.

Dear Seattle bike movement,

Apu and Tamara’s symbolic shredding of the city’s climate and transportation plans represents what a lot of us have been feeling: What good are plans if the mayor turns around and ignores them when the going gets tough? We have all learned the hard way from the cancellation of long-planned bike lanes on 35th Ave NE and N 40th St that political pressure matters most in this mayor’s decision making — more than our city’s shared values and goals for health, safety, climate, fiscal responsibility, and accessibility.

So, what should the bike movement do in an era when raw politics matters most? By “the bike movement,” I mean the people and organizations who care about making our city a great place for everyone of all ages, abilities, walks of life, and backgrounds to cycle for their everyday needs.

Let’s build a bigger and better bike movement that is politically powerful enough to hold our elected leaders to Seattle’s values and goals, especially when there are loud voices trying to drag them back towards a 1950s vision for our streets. Let’s deepen and broaden our relationships and the base of people involved, and recognize that the “bike movement” is only one piece of a much larger effort — advocacy for housing, affordability, transit, disability rights, climate, community-building, walking, safety, police reform, public health, and more — to make a better city for everybody. And let’s redouble our efforts to out-organize and out-mobilize those who would oppose basic safety changes to our streets.

Where We’ve Been

Continue reading

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Trail Alert: Chief Sealth Trail detour at S Graham St

The Chief Sealth Trail will be detoured for about two blocks along S Graham St and 31st Ave S starting today (April 22) and lasting up to one month.

The closure is for a project to make crossing improvements where the trail route crosses Graham, so that’s the good news. The bad news is that we confirmed with the project team there will be no temporary bike lane or trail for users on S Graham Street during this work.

More details from SDOT:

To complete the work safely and efficiently, we will close 30th Ave S on the south side of S Graham St as soon as Tuesday, April 23 for up to 1 month. To maintain access to the Chief Sealth Trail, we will place a detour for people walking and biking along 31st Ave NE for up to 1 month. This is shown on the attached detour map.

Those biking and walking northbound along the Chief Sealth Trail will join 31st Ave NE and proceed north to S Graham St, where they will cross to the north side. They will then continue westbound to 30th Ave S, where they will head north to connect to Chief Sealth Trail. Similarly, those biking and walking southbound will head south on 30th Ave S to S Graham St, where they will head east to 31st Ave S and then cross S Graham St heading south. They will continue along 31st Ave S to the connection to Chief Sealth Trail at just before S Morgan St.

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West Seattle community group responds to bike plan cuts + Cascade, SNG outline their priorities

Bike plan map modified by West Seattle Bike Connections.

Neighborhoods all over Seattle have been hit hard by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s proposed bike plan cuts. And as is depressingly typical, West Seattle got hit especially hard. They already had lackluster improvements in the previous version of the bike plan, but the latest version cuts the remaining big improvements, like vital Fauntleroy Way and Roxbury St bike lanes.

West Seattle Bike Connections, the same community group that did amazing work to help their neighbors get around by bike during the Viaduct shutdown earlier this year, is sounding the alarm about the cuts to improvements their neighborhood needs to keep people safe and encourage more people to get around by bike.

From WSBC:

We need safe bike routes on East Marginal, Avalon, Fauntleroy, Delridge, Sylvan/Orchard/Dumar and Roxbury.

Let’s tell SDOT to stop backpedaling. We voted for, we are paying for, and we all need safe streets now. Essential for safety, connectivity, equity, and for Seattle to meet it’s Climate Action Plan and Vision Zero goals.

Unable to attend a meeting? Send comments to CCBike@Seattle.gov by April 30, 2019.

The Mayor didn’t like what she heard from the Bicycle Advisory Board (“find funds and build it”) or what she heard from the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee (“find funds and build it”), so now she and SDOT are side-stepping the process mandated by City Council, hoping to get the answer they want from the rest of us. Please let them know how you feel.

You can attend an upcoming SDOT open house to push back against the proposed cuts: Continue reading

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