2011 was a strange year for biking in Seattle. Biking is going through the roof as more and more people use bikes for everyday tasks. A US Census survey showed a one-year increase in full-time bike commuting of 22 percent, making Seattle the large American city with the second highest bicycle mode share among commuters (#1 for cities over 600,000, which is another way of saying that Portland is #1).
The city has taken steps to move toward next generation bike facilities. The new Dexter is just a taste of what a street that takes all road user’s needs into account can be like. The city is also continuing the slow and expensive fight to complete trail projects, like the legally-embattled Burke-Gilman Missing Link. They finished an expensive section of the Ship Canal after over a decade of work and planning that finally provides a safe walking and biking route between Magnolia and the Fremont Bridge.
In the meantime, the people of Seattle are taking it upon themselves to make their city safer. Groups pushing for neighborhood greenways have popped up in almost every corner of the city, demanding family-safe walking and biking routes where they live. The results of this work can already be seen in Wallingford and Beacon Hill.
But, the year also saw a string of tragedies. Three people died while biking in Seattle, and more died around the region (including two people in Kirkland). One person died while biking in Seattle in all of 2010, so to have three people die in just over a month shook everybody. One is too many, and three is overwhelming. It lead to the city leadership calling for Seattle’s first Road Safety Summit, which concluded earlier in December.
Here’s a look at the most-read and most-commented stories on Seattle Bike Blog in 2011. Thanks for reading and being a part of the community discussion here. I look forward to all your insights, stories and tips in 2012!
- Incredible video: Person biking hit by car near SLU Park lands on his feet – 9,926 (Story got picked up internationally. To date, David Behroozi’s video has been viewed over 312,000 times on YouTube)
- Burke-Gilman detour alternatives (that don’t include driving) – UPDATED – 3,777
- Large Burke-Gilman closure starts June 15, county and state say take a bus or drive – UPDATED – 3,772
- Long-time Vivace general manager seriously injured in bicycle crash – UPDATED – 3,633
- Census: Seattle bike commuting rises 22% in 1 year, city claims #2 spot in US – 3,357
- Spot with most bike-involved collisions gets new bike lane – 3,016
- Man biking crashes on Capitol Hill after car pulls in front of him, driver flees – 2,949
- People walking bear disproportionate number of traffic deaths and tickets – 2,756
- King County releases official Burke-Gilman detour – 2,747
- Robert Townsend, killed in U District, was fastest delivery person on staff – 2,552
- Incredible video: Person biking hit by car near SLU Park lands on his feet – 124
- Spot with most bike-involved collisions gets new bike lane – 76
- Using example of Wang’s death, Economist argues for protected bikeways – 57
- With bike share on the horizon, it’s time to rethink King County’s adult helmet law – 49
- Person biking dies after colliding with car on the Ave – UPDATED – 47
- Man biking crashes on Capitol Hill after car pulls in front of him, driver flees – 44
- Dexter is a next generation Seattle bike facility (VIDEO) – 43
- Blinded by mayoral vendetta, the Weekly wildly misses the point of the NE 125th project – 40
- Changes to NE 125th create a better neighborhood street for all – 39
- Robert Townsend, killed in U District, was fastest delivery person on staff – 37