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Pronto members will give bikes inaugural ride Monday + Cascade offers beginners class for Pronto users

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 12.47.32 PMBike share really is coming to Seattle, and it’s happening in less than a week. The Pronto bikes are gonna be introduced in style Monday, with members biking them out to docks around the city.

The launch will kick-off with an event in Occidental Park at 11 a.m., then members who signed up for a chance to give bikes their first rides will hop on a Pronto bike and take it to a dock. So I don’t know what you’re planning to do to celebrate Seattle’s first official Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but biking around Prontos sounds like a lot of fun (I’m in St. Louis, so I’ll miss it, sadly).

In other Pronto news, the organization announced via Twitter that crews have installed all 50 stations already, and they are working to get the bikes ready to roll out. This is really happening, Seattle is only five days away from being the first big Pacific Northwest city to have a public bikes system.

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Free Pronto Street Skills class

Are you interested in Pronto, but don’t feel confident that you know how to bike safely on busy downtown streets? You can do it! Take the lane and, if there is no bike lane, bike like you are driving a car.

But if some simple words of encouragement on a blog are not enough to instill confidence, then Cascade Bicycle Club has just the class for you: Pronto Street Skills. This free class will get you out on a bike and will teach you how to safely navigate streets that do not yet have good bike lanes so you can get where you need to go.

Details from Cascade:

Geared towards new riders and new users of Pronto Cycle Share, this class covers bicycling basics and will answer any other questions you have about bicycling.

We will answer these common questions:

  • How do I choose a route when biking?
  • How do I safely ride with vehicle traffic?
  • Can I ride on the sidewalk? What about pedestrians?
  • There are so many lanes! How do I pick the right one?
  • How can I avoid a pothole or other obstacles?
  • How do I fit my helmet properly?

This class is free and open to the public. No registration required – just come to one of the offerings listed below!

Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Children’s Hospital (Laurelhurst)
11 a.m. – Noon 4800 Sand Point Way NE
River Entrance, River 3905 (right inside entrance to bldg)

Wednesday, Oct 22 at Idea Space (International District/Chinatown)
Noon – 1 p.m. 409 Maynard Ave S, Suite P8 (between S Jackson St & S King St)
Legacy Community Hall Conference Room

Wednesday, Oct. 29 at PATH (South Lake Union)
Noon – 1 p.m.
2201 Westlake Ave. Suite 200 Room 220

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16 responses to “Pronto members will give bikes inaugural ride Monday + Cascade offers beginners class for Pronto users”

  1. Southeasterner

    Still nothing on the bike blog or in the news on the big accident at Second & Union this morning.

    Apparently a vehicle took a left turn on red and hit a cyclist. The bike was completely destroyed the and cyclist was taken away in an ambulance.

    8:13 AM – Seattle 911 report:


    1. Alex

      Yikes, this is the first I’ve heard of this. Now that 2nd has been changed are we just supposed to ignore any further accidents on it?

      I’d like to see red light cameras at all the intersections. Think of all the tickets from people running the lights!

      1. Cheif

        It’s true, the number of people who treat the No Left On Red like a green, or at best a flashing yellow, arrow is absurd. Are there that many people who simply refuse to follow the laws when behind the wheel of a car? When I ride north up the cycle track (several times daily) I see this at roughly half the intersections that I cross.

        However the people going into and out of the parking garages are the worst. They don’t have a signed control device, we just have to hope they’re not going to barge across two lanes of traffic without looking (as seems to be the case here). Something really needs to be done about this.

    2. Mark

      Only info I could find was posted on the Seattle Times Blog, and even then it was vague. A poster in the comments calling themselves Runner77 recounted first hand the “horrific accident”, with the rider being taken away in a stretcher and leaving behind a “pool of blood on the ground she was lifted from”. If there’s ever a time I’d support red light cameras it’d be on 2nd ave.


      1. Runner77

        The accident was bad. The car was turning left into a parking garage, so there was no turn signal being ignored. From my coworker’s first account as she was walking right up to it, the car turned, the cyclist screaming for it to stop. The car hit the cyclist, the cyclist hit the windshield, rolled down the hood of the car, and the car continued to roll on top of her. By the time we were watching from the windows, the cyclist was face down, not moving, on the concrete. She was very carefully moved, and taken away via ambulance. It would be a miracle if she had no major injuries. I looked all day to see if there was an article saying whether the cyclist was OK, and found nothing except that vague post from the times blog. Is there a way to find out??

      2. stardent

        I hope she survives and makes it OK and when she recovers, sues the city for millions. SDOT needs to be reformed upside down. It’s one of the worst run departments in the city and the city’s approach of putting quantity before quality and safety ought to be done away with. I personally would not be riding alongside car traffic anywhere for any extended length because I value my life and consider it an unnecessary risk.

  2. RTK

    I have serious concerns about the Pronto station on northbound Dexter just north of
    Aloha. It has been placed immediately after you are funneled behind the bus stop island.

    Anyone bringing a bike back to this station will be coming to a stop right at the end of the funnel blocking northbound riders.

    Or, anyone trying to figure out how to get a bike into the station slot or pulling it out will completely block the bike lane. And people coming out of the funnel don’t have the ability to get a good sight line back to see vehicles heading northbound because their view is blocked by the bus shelter. So it will be tough to swing out and around the blocked lane.

    The slots should be angled and the station farther north, or preferably the station should be located on Aloha just off Dexter.

    Seems like anybody that actual rides Dexter would have understood that this was about the worst spot to install the station. Makes me wonder about the decision making process.

    1. Alkibkr

      RTK, since you are familiar with this area, and foresee problems with the siting, I suggest you forward your concerns directly to the bike share people. If you contact them at their email address for questions, [email protected], they can probably forward your concern to the right people to address it.

    2. Kara Sweidel

      Yes, I noticed that as well. It also looks like the bikes might stick out into the bike lane a tiny bit when they are docked. If not, it’s really close, and you are completely correct about the bus bulb being in the way of sight lines to get around it. It always seems like the people who build bike infrastructure here (and, honestly, everywhere I’ve lived) don’t actually ride bikes. How do we get real cyclists onto planning committees?

    3. Kara Sweidel

      I emailed Pronto asking about the placement of this station and what type of planning went in to station placement, and I want to publicly post the response:

      Thank you for expressing your comments. We worked very closely with SDOT to identify station locations that met a long list of siting criteria, and we will monitor the performance of stations as we go. In this case, users may have to turn the wheel of the bike as they are removing it to stay within the footprint of the station, and we’ll likely provide some instruction on that. If specific station locations prove to be problematic, we can move them – they are not permanent. This station location was previously a loading zone where trucks would regularly block the bike lane completely. We hope that users of both the station and the bike lane will be aware and that this situation will be much improved from what it was previously.

      As someone who often rides on Dexter, I never even knew that was a loading zone. To be fair, I didn’t ride it during “normal” commute times, so maybe that was when most of the loading was happening. I think the idea of “likely” providing instructions for turning the wheel seems subpar, and it’s good to know they will monitor the stations and move them if they’re a problem, though the cost of that seems unnecessary if you did proper planning in the first place.

  3. Aaron

    A quick note on Pronto stations: It seems the planned station at the Central Library downtown has mysteriously fallen through and has been removed from the official Pronto station map. Major bummer as it leaves a hole in downtown coverage (and it was the closest one to my work).
    Pronto replied to my tweet about it and said they are “working” on it. Let’s hope so.

  4. jon

    I just realized they don’t have any Pronto! system maps at the stations like all other bike share systems elsewhere that I’ve seen. Seems like a major missing item, these are really important to finding the station to want to ride your bike share bike to.

    1. jay

      There was a map on the helmet bin at one of the UW stations I rode by today.
      My guess is they planned to put the maps on the helmet vending machines http://www.helmet-hub.com/helmethub-kiosk so, maybe next winter?

    2. Alkibkr

      Works best with a smart phone and one of these apps: http://thetransitapp.com/
      or https://www.spotcycle.net/ Pronto will launch their own app tomorrow. This way you can tell how many bikes available and how many docking spaces available for each bike share station. By the way the bus arrival times on Transit App don’t seem to be as reliable as One Bus Away.

  5. jay

    So, who is going to be the first to complete the “Tour de Pronto”?
    see: https://denver.bcycle.com/About/TourdeBcycle.aspx

    It seems Denver B-cycle opened with about 50 stations and two people completed the tour on the first day! Denver’s B-cycle has since expanded and over 40 people have done the tour with 80 or more stations. As near as I can tell, Denver is pretty flat, but it is a mile high and 80 is a larger number than the 50 stations Pronto has.
    One hurdle, those people doing the tour de B-cycle got from 5:00am to 11:59pm to do it, but:
    “The launch will kick-off with an event in Occidental Park at 11 a.m., then members who signed up for a chance to give bikes their first rides will hop on a Pronto bike and take it to a dock. ”
    Sound more like a noon start for any first day tour riders in Seattle.
    Still, 50 stations in 12 hours (14.4 minutes per station), may be reasonably comparable to 80 in 19 hours (14.25 minutes per station)

    1. Alkibkr

      If you are planning an opening day Tour de Pronto, the official unlocking of the stations doesn’t happen until 1 PM. Only the stations involved in the noon rideout will be unlocked before then, according to the Pronto management team.

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