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Seattle Bike Blog’s top stories of 2015

Launching the Let's Move Seattle campaign next to a timber-supported bridge that needs replacing, feet from where Brian Fairbrother died in 2011
Launching the Let’s Move Seattle campaign next to a timber-supported bridge that needs replacing, feet from where Brian Fairbrother died in 2011

In 2015, Seattle Bike Blog posted 359 stories, which is actually fewer than in 2014. But that doesn’t mean I worked less. Instead, I quietly allowed my personal rule of two posts per weekday to slip in order to give myself the freedom to focus more on bigger stories.

And I think it worked, since traffic to the site went up 25 percent even though the number of posts went down 18 percent. Lesson: Quality trumps quantity, even on the Internet.

So big thanks to all of you for reading! I am so lucky to have the greatest job in Seattle (the country?). Writing about biking in such a beautiful city simply never gets old, and my list of interesting things to write about keeps growing faster than I can write them. All you awesome biking activists and artists and event planners are just the best. Thanks for keeping me busy!

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2015 was a big year for biking in Seattle, even though relatively few big new bike lanes were built. Because 2015 was the year we finally took a big step towards filling the biggest piece missing from nearly every city’s safe streets plans: Funding.

Passing Move Seattle was very emotional for me because it wasn’t just a political campaign. It was the product of so many acts big and small by so many people over so many years. And as I wrote the day after it passed, the huge increases in safe streets funding came at an immense cost: The far too many people killed or seriously injured by traffic violence.

I sat down November 4 to write a victory lap post about passing Move Seattle, but instead I found myself in tears as all the memorials and conversations with victims’ friends and family over the past five and half years came back to me. Because that’s the real reason so many of you were so driven to spread the word and rearrange the way our city prioritizes transportation investment. We want safe and efficient streets for everyone, not bigger and meaner roads focused solely on cars. And a solid majority of Seattle voters agree. There’s no going back now.

So Move Seattle is obviously my pick for the biggest story of 2015, but not just because it delivers money or even because it was an election victory. It’s because essentially every other story we have written since this blog started came to a head in that one vote.

Here are our most-read posts in 2015:

  1. State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the environment – This 2013 post will not die. Every year, Reddit finds it and fails to read the date, so it goes around again. But this year, we had a productive update as Rep. Ed Orcutt helped host a congressional bike ride around Seattle.
  2. DUI suspect kills person biking in Ravenna – UPDATE: RIP Andres Hulslander – Sadly, our top 2015-written post was about a death. The person responsible, Lucas McQuinn, pleaded guilty to DUI vehicular homicide earlier this month. He will be sentenced in January.
  3. Rep. Orcutt says bicycle carbon emissions ‘not a point worthy of even mentioning’ – Again, read the date, Reddit.
  4. Your guide to biking naked in the 2015 Fremont Solstice Parade – The Fremont Solstice Parade just keeps getting more popular. It’s a really special part of the city.
  5. The legendary Fremont Solstice naked/painted bike ride is Saturday – Lesson learned: If I wait too long to post about the Solstice Parade, people will find last year’s post.
  6. Typo in law halts secret plan to give away half of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Huge story, dragged into the light by Ted Blaszak, President of the Tekoa Trestle and Trail Association.
  7. The Times is wrong. A megaproject won’t fix our traffic, we need Move Seattle – And the people of Seattle agree!
  8. The 35th Annual Seattle to Portland bike ride leaves UW Saturday – I guess when you have 10,000 (!) people looking for info, it’s easy to get a lot of hits.
  9. How to bike in the Seattle rain – This 2012 post gets rediscovered every fall. I reread it every year to see if there’s anything I want to update, but I don’t find much. I hope it leaves people new to rainy riding feeling empowered to figure it out and look for the positives.
  10. The magnificent new UW Burke-Gilman Trail opens – Can’t wait to see it in full action once the station and the full trail opens in 2016.
  11. Mercer Street: King of the Stroad – Can we get a mulligan on this one?
  12. City gives opposite tickets to people obeying the 2nd Ave traffic signals – Good work on the earned media, SDOT! Some people questioned why the city would “waste” money and staff time on this. Well, here it is at number 12 on this site. That’s your answer.
  13. Westlake lawsuit is over, bikeway set to open in the summer – Hooray!
  14. City proposes ‘massive’ Pronto Cycle Share expansion – Unfortunately, without TIGER money it’s going to be a lot less “massive”
  15. Kirkland’s new trail changes everything – Yep. And already, nearby cities are trying to figure out how they can get some of that sweet interim trail action. A railroad-grade, fully separated trail from Woodinville to Renton via downtown Bellevue? That really will change everything.

What were your favorite Seattle-area bike stories of 2015? What do you think the biggest stories of 2016 will be?

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8 responses to “Seattle Bike Blog’s top stories of 2015”

  1. PSJ

    Tom! Happy New Year to you; thanks for all you do. Here’s to a healthy and successful 2016! Things are getting better, thanks to smart and involved citizens like you.

  2. YochiZ

    Love the blog. Keep up the great work!

  3. merlin

    Your article about the levy was the best thing out there. You’re going to be busy in 2016 with all the levy money funding new projects! Love the blog, as always. Your fan Merlin

  4. Mark

    How did the subscriptions base compare to last year? While I understand the site traffic increase I understand why posts are down. The layout of the site isn’t suited for discussion between others, as compared to comments being made in a forum setting. I enjoy the content posted and appreciate Tom’s writing abilities keeping us, the reader, current with updates in our city and surrounding area. If anything I’d hope to see the site’s layout freshened up for the new year. Cheers to a safe 2016 for all bicyclists!

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Do you mean on mobile devices or in general? Because I am working on a new mobile version of the site. But shh! Don’t tell anyone. It’s top secret.

      1. XX

        Compare your page views to your contemporary site bikeportland.org and extrapolate your own data.

  5. Gary

    Yo Tom! I am so glad that you built this site to keep biking in Seattle in the news. Unfortunately this is a multi decade project to get the streets built out for us. But eyes on the prize ride on!

  6. Steve

    Thanks for the end of year recap. Have your advertisers grown? And would you ever consider a job postings section? This could be a cool service to the local bike economy.

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