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Happy Bike to Work Day, Seattle! – UPDATED

Why can’t every day be Bike to Work Day? Oh, wait, it can be! We just proved it.

The day is not over yet, so we’ll have more as it goes on. Remember, there’s a street party in Ballard from 4-7 p.m. at Bergen Place Park.

Anything interesting happen on your ride? Who hit up the most commute stations? Which downtown street should get a cycle track first?

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UPDATE 5:30pm: Wow. The number of people riding today appear to be off the charts. Though Bike to Work Day counts are hardly scientific, it appears 43 percent more people rode this year than last. The I-90 bridge station saw a whopping 67 percent increase.

At the Bike to Work Rally, Cascade’s John Mauro said there has been a roughly 40 percent increase in riders downtown in just the past three years.

From Cascade:

Our Bike to Work Day Commute Stations are reporting a preliminary total of 19,404 people (a 43% increase over the 13,568 counted in 2010), and Bike to School estimate is 3,300. That’s an estimated grand total of 22,704!

The University of Washington Commute Station at Rainier Vista was the busiest spot, with 1,769 cyclists passing through. The Fremont Bridge was close behind at 1,749. The Snohomish County station reported an impressive 1,029 cyclists, double what they saw last year.

If you’re a numbers junkie, you might also check out the stats on the Group Health Commute Challenge. The miles ridden and calories burned ticks upward with just about every screen refresh.

Riders actively logging trips: 8,709 with 10,311 registered

Total teams: 1321

Total miles logged since May 1: 866,190

CO2 saved from the air (lb.): 848,866

Calories burned: 42,443,317

Looks like this guy’s philosophy is getting more popular:

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22 responses to “Happy Bike to Work Day, Seattle! – UPDATED”

  1. daisy

    The first cycle track should be Westlake after that it’s a toss Pike/Pine or 2nd st.

    Actually if sdot did anything at all this year there’s that sidewalk ramp at the end of lake union, the one with the Portugese Laurel hiding peds/cycles from cars trying to leave the parking lot and enter onto Fairview ave. The one with the misaligned power pole and the fire hydrant. How about spending the settlement money that someones family will get when someone finally gets seriously hurt and straighten that little mess out.

  2. daisy

    Oops forgot to say, see everyone on bike to work monday….. tuesday….. wednesday…

  3. Today I broke not one but two spokes on the way in. I have not broken this many in the last ten years. Seattle roads SUCK for biking.

    1. Jeremy

      Well, most non-arterial roads haven’t seen maintenance since the mid-90s (you can see where they plonked asphalt down over bricks in some neighborhoods, e.g. various locations in Eastlake though the gaping potholes), and I doubt funding for those roads will magically appear.

      A network of greenbelts would likely help, as those roads should see less fossil vehicle traffic, and therefore see less wear and tear beyond what Mother Nature will manage. Encouraging lighter vehicles would also help, but that would take a comprehensive policy of penalizing vehicles by weight, reducing speeds, increasing car driver training, and increasing penalties for negligent car driving so that people would feel safer in smaller and lighter vehicles.

      1. Two things about greenbelts… clearly Mother Nature can manage something, as tree roots have made a mess of certain stretches of the Burke. But that probably hasn’t been touched since it was opened in 1978, right?

        Second, does anyone know about good guidelines for greenbelt design, particuarly urban intersections? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a really good urban at-grade intersection between a bike trail and a major road. I’ve seen some decent suburban crossings or crossings of minor roads, but too often at major urban crossings the answer is, “Anyone not in a car goes two blocks out of their way down a sidewalk” (I’m thinking about Chicago here, the real alignment of the Lakefront trail at Illinois St., and how the Prairie Path works on the inbound side of the Tri-State).

      2. doug

        They recently re-did a stretch of the BG in Fremont that was particularly egregious. The roots started in on the new asphalt within a few weeks.

  4. biliruben

    There were some seriously wobbly folks out there today. Terrific to have them to dodge! Keeps me on my toes.

  5. Anthony

    I couldn’t help it, I had to let the staff know at one booth how much Group Health sucked, and I look forward to the day when they are no longer involved with Cascade.

    Otherwise I am glad to see people out there. I also agree with Daniel though to a certain extent the roads really, really suck!

    1. Damien

      Curious to know why you are so negative on Group Health?

    2. Chris

      Whether or not you like Group Health they have one of the better booths during bike to work day. Friendly people, good freebies.

  6. doug

    I had to be at work at 6 A.M. this morning, so all I saw was the same three people I always see on my way into work. Then I rode home at 3PM and saw quite a few more than normal, which was pretty cool.

  7. I’m so used to my bike commute being a solitary experience, especially in the darker winter months, by contrast this week has been a joy. This morning I made a point to head over to City Hall on my way to work, and as I headed south on 5th Avenue, joined up with a small bike “mob,” which grew at every cross street. We rode in twos, and the pace of traffic was perfect even with the slight incline. Turning at James Street I noticed Chuck Ayers was cruising along with us. Perfect! Nice day all around.

  8. M.J.

    I had a fantastic day! I had the pleasure of riding the long way home from downtown, through Myrtle Edwards with smile-inspiring views of the Olympics over the Sound. And yes, the roads are getting to be horrendous. I can’t wait for Ravenna Blvd to be repaved… I don’t ride it at all anymore because I’m afraid of going down in a new pothole. Many side streets are getting horribly beat up, too. As much as I’m comfortable and confident riding roads, I’ll take longer trail routes to avoid them due to surface quality these days.

  9. Merlin

    I hate to be a curmudgeon, but somebody has to do it. Seattle’s transportation goal set in the last century was to achieve 5% bicycle mode share by 2000, and 9% by 2010. According to a January 2011 Publicola post (http://publicola.com/2011/01/19/city-traffic-stats-less-driving-fewer-accidents/) , in 2009 approximately 900,000 cars/day entered the city of Seattle. 22,000 bicycles – on Bike to Work Day mind you – is still barely 2.5% mode share. It’s more than last year – but this year we were graced with PERFECT weather; last year it was raining steadily on Bike to Work Day. The great majority of the cyclists I saw passing through the Fremont station appeared to be well-accustomed to cycling – Men far outnumbered women, and I didn’t see anyone with a kid in tow on the way to daycare or elementary school. It’s fine to celebrate a lovely ride, nice numbers and a beautiful day – but we have a LOOOONG way to go, folks, just to catch up to our city’s fantasies from the last century.

    1. biliruben

      If you build it, they will come.

      Until you provide safe flat, routes, separated from cars, you aren’t going to move the meter above 5%.

      I’m looking at you, Eastlake, Valley and Westlake.

      I’m looking at you, Alaskan Way.

      As a captain of a newly formed team this year, I am now intimately acquainted with the main reason even young, fit folks are hesitant to get in the saddle. Safety, both perceived and real.

      People don’t want to mix it up with 2-tons of steal.

      1. I just returned from a trip to Amsterdam and London. While we all know about the cycling culture in Amsterdam, and I assure you it is breathtakingly impressive to witness, London was a bit of a shock. While they have added sharrows, bike boxes at intersections, bike signals, and even a few bike lanes, for the most part I saw cyclists just riding in traffic. I lived in London back in 2000 and must say that I don’t recall many cyclists back then. While I suspect London’s bike mode share is still relatively low, compared to Public transportation at around 90%, there are an impressive number of folks willing to “mix it up” with not only 2 tons of steel but buses and trucks as well. I’m comfortable riding in traffic here but the idea of riding on the wrong side of the road in Central London traffic scared me silly and I wasn’t interested in attempting it. I guess it’s all what you’re used to.

      2. Tom Fucoloro

        Are handlebars in London on the wrong side, too?… ;-)

      3. Merlin

        Yup. I captained a team for the first time too, and heard the same reason, even from fit young people who like to cycle for recreation.

  10. Melinda

    Don’t you guys remember the last bike to work day? I got HAILED ON coming home from the Ballard party in the afternoon. Of course more people turned out for this one!

  11. Kevin in Ballard

    Happy to report a new record at the BikeSport-Friends of Burke-Gilman Trail station @ the BGT and Hale’s — we counted +/- 921 bikers/walkers between about 5:50am and 9am. Earliest folks were heading to Redmond! Renton! Lots of women, lots of ‘regular clothes’ and at least three or four clusters of kiddos off to school, with parents in tow.
    Famous persons spotted going by….Rayburn Lewis (CEO of Swedish Ballard), Lisa Quinn (Exec. Director of Feet First), Julian Davies (pediatrician and TotCycle-Kidical Mass provocateur). It was a great day!

  12. Chris

    I live in Fremont and bike everyday to the Redmond area. I usually go in late to work so I can ride around Lake Union and hit all the BTWD stations at the Fremont Bridge, S. Lake U and BGT stops. I was disappointed this year that Smartwool didn’t team with REI again to sponsor their tent on Eastlake. Getting the free socks at that stop was one of my favorite goodies.

    I also thought the free stuff available at the Fremont Bridge stop wasn’t as good as last year where I got a Pedro’s gear bag previously. That said, lots of people out and about. Friendly people at the Group Health tent on South Lake U and I have a months supply now of energy bars.

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