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Bike News Roundup: ‘When I’m in my car, I have a different set of values’

It’s time for the (once again overdue) Bike News Roundup! This is an open thread.

First up, Louis C.K. on how he can do and say unconscionable things when he is behind the wheel.

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Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! Cycling in Amsterdam with former mayor Job Cohen:

Cycling with Job from Paddy Cahill on Vimeo.

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12 responses to “Bike News Roundup: ‘When I’m in my car, I have a different set of values’”

  1. JetCityCobra

    What, if anything is happening with SODO and the dangerousness of the area? Not all bike commuters live in Fremont and Ballard and it would be really nice of the city to follow up on this in a visible way for those of us in West Seattle. Also, when taking the West Seattle Bridge trail back to W. Seattle, you have to cross exit lanes for semi trucks going to Harbor Island. The bushes next to the road obscure any view of oncoming traffic making these crossings very dangerous. Most cyclists just hope down onto the road and go straight across to the Swing Bridge. Unfortunately, this too isn’t very safe.

  2. Chuck

    That Louis CK video is spot on. Funny and sad all at the same time.

  3. sean sheldrake

    Sounds like a far far better way to be spending that ramp money going into the BGT this month in Fremont JetCityCobra. (I don’t know about others, but I have slipped on the yellow bumpy thing-ies, and find them to be a safety downgrade, which is why you don’t see Pdx retrofitting ramps like Seattle tends to do.) I live in Ballard and I agree more money needs to be spent on those Harbor Island exits–it’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt there too: sightlines, potholes, uneven pavement section joins all make getting to SouthPark, West Seattle, and SODO pretty treacherous (and hey, no army of lawyers needed to do west seattle trail maintenance vs. those much needed Ballard Bridge fixes as others have pointed out). Those tractor/trailers can’t stop on a dime–why should trail conditions be so deplorable when the crossings in this area have more challenges-relatively speaking– than other places in the city?

  4. A

    Agreed, I’m not sure who decided that the yellow bumpy pads were ever a good idea, any time it rains they become slippery to the point of being a major hazard. I’d rather ride between the trolley tracks on westlake than over those horrible yellow bumpy ramp things. Who do they benefit, other than the person who owns the company that makes them? Awful addition to infrastructure.

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Sometimes the bumps are embedded in the cement. Does anyone know if that is still allowed under ADA rules? Or are the rubber mats the only allowed tool? I am not well-versed in ADA requirements.

      That said, the bumps are important for accessibility, and I am a very strong supporter of ADA improvements. There must be some solution that addresses the accessibility issues but is not slippery for bike tires.

      1. jeff

        All of the new sidewalks in DC seem to have the bumps in the cement. Based on this I would guess that either way is ADA compliant.

  5. Matthew

    It looks like the Burke-Gilman trail just west of the UW is about to reopen, after having been closed for about three months for a redesign. It looks tantalizingly close to being finished, but the detour signs are still up.

    The biggest change (at least from what I can see as I ride by) is an attempt at grade separation of cyclist and pedestrian traffic. The bicycle part of the path is a little bit lower than the pedestrian sidewalk running on the north side of the path. It’s hard to tell the exact height difference, but it appears to be just 2-3 inches or so (but don’t quote me on that). I’m curious if that will work to keep pedestrians and cyclists mostly separated. In most other sections of the trail where there are only visual, painted cues to pedestrians and cyclists about where to position themselves, those cues are frequently ignored. Hopefully this treatment will work better.

    There’s at least one additional change, which is striped pavement (alternating asphalt and concrete, I think) as you approach a specific intersection within the rebuilt section of trail. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s probably not ideal to have inconsistent visual cues on different infrastructure in the city. Is this going to be the new standard? Or is it just a cue that’s used in this specific spot?

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Stay tuned! I have a post on the UW’s trail plans coming soon.

      But in short, yes, this is something of a test piece for a trail design the University hopes will someday be consistent across the whole campus. The intersection treatment is meant to give a queue to all users that it’s a shared space, and to slow down and yield accordingly. They also hope to have landing areas for people on foot so that when they enter the trail, they don’t step right into the path of a bike but, instead, have a little space to safely look to bikes and for bike to see them.

      See, now you’ve got me spilling all the beans on the story. Soon!

    2. There was a link in a comment a while back to the UW’s plans for the corridor; plans are for “mixing zones” at every intersection on the trail, with the striped pavement you talk about leading up to the intersection as a cue for bikes to slow down. Also, in addition to the height difference, bikes are supposed to get asphalt while peds get concrete.

      The redesign will span from 7th to just past Pend Oreille; UW says that topographical limitations prevent them from extending the bike/ped limitation further west, but it isn’t really that far to the end of the theoretical bike/ped separation (with peds on the Pacific St sidewalk) that spans most of Wallingford east of Gasworks. I’d like to have seen the UW work something out with the city for that stretch, even if it meant rebuilding the bridge over 6th or forcing peds to cross 6th at grade at 40th.

      1. Orv

        That sounds backwards to me; joggers will all want to run on the cycle track, because asphalt is easier on their feet.

  6. I visited the new 65th/Magnuson Park cycle track last week. I know people here were complaining about the lack of bicycle facilities on 65th east of Sand Point Way, but I honestly think it’s intended to connect with the little path that weaves a short distance south of 65th and eventually intersects with it perpendicularly to it at one of the avenues.

  7. Adam

    How is posting this video productive? All it does is add to an “us vs. them” mentality between cyclists and motorists. Not all drivers are blatant a**holes just like not all cyclists are smug, red-light running pricks.

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