The first answer is pretty straightforward: More connected and complete bike routes that are comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. The more places people can get to without feeling stressed or in danger, the more trips people will choose to bike.
The second answer is just as important, but perhaps less talked about: People need bikes versatile enough to accomplish all life tasks. For families, that means Seattle needs access to cargo bikes.
Two Seattle Bike Blog advertisers sell family bikes (Ride Bicycles and G&O Family Cyclery). KUOW chats with Davey Oil of G&O, who explains the need his shop is trying to meet. From KUOW:
“Women are expected to pick up the children, pick up the groceries,” Oil said. “And it’s going to be a lot harder to do that kind of trip chaining on typical commuter bikes.”
G&O tries to solve that problem by building the kind of bikes you can really haul stuff with. Oil shows off his own bike, a customized extra-cycle edge runner nicknamed “Blue-y.” It has a cushioned bench on the back that kids can straddle. That bench is surrounded with a myriad of special doodads, like wraparound handlebars, running boards and cargo bags. And, of course, a bell.
All that customization means that Oil’s kids can ride hands free. They can eat a sandwich, blow bubbles or even take a nap. “It gives the whole thing,” he said, “more of the backseat experience. But like a really rad backseat.”
Blue-y also has four cargo bags on the back wheel and a basket in the front. And, if hauling kids and groceries up Seattle’s hills sounds like a slog, G&O can even install an electric assist motor.