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Seattle Bike Blog is back! What did we miss?

I left my laptop at home, but I brought my bike (of course)
I left my laptop at home, but I brought my bike (of course)

I’m back!

After six years of reporting bike news, I took my first sabbatical from Seattle Bike Blog for the past three weeks. I left my laptop in my Central District home and did not buy an international data plan.

No Twitter. No email alerts. No phone calls. No reading Seattle Times commenter bike hate. It was amazing.

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But I hear that even though I was not here, bike stuff continued to happen. So, what did I miss? What are the top issues you all want updates about? Help me out by commenting below.

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26 responses to “Seattle Bike Blog is back! What did we miss?”

  1. Joseph Singer

    Glad you had some good time away. Now, get back to work :)

  2. Eli

    I think Portland did some good stuff while you were gone. I’ll go there this weekend and check it out.

  3. jonathan

    We missed you Tom! Vacations are good though. Not much happens in August anyway. Except:

    Pronto membership still declining; all-electric system being considered.

    (soft paywall)

  4. AW

    Despite promising that the BG trail wouldn’t be closed under the Aurora bridge, it was. The detour is no big deal for me and I’m more upset at the broken promise and having people on bicycles treated as second class road users. It is especially galling to me that at one of the missing link EIS meetings I heard Kubly promise that a solution was found to keep the trail open but that is obviously not true.

    1. AW

      And welcome back Tom, you were missed.

  5. Merlin Rainwater

    Welcome back, Tom! While you were gone, we completed the all ages and abilities bike network; eliminated traffic deaths, injuries, and crashes into buildings; tore down the Viaduct; and expanded Pronto to a station every 3 blocks throughout the city. Sorry, you’ll have to find another job!

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      3 blocks is too many. Still work to be done ;-)

      1. Breadbaker

        Fun anecdote. My dentist is by Children’s, so I took Link to the UW Hospital Pronto station and then biked to the Children’s Hospital (essentially a straight shot on the Burke) and walked two blocks. When I mentioned this to the receptionist, she had two questions: “What is Link? What is Pronto?”

  6. The East-West greenway along Columbia is under construction through the CD. It was a surprise to see it one day, they totally snuck it in.

    1. The E-W Greenway is under construction? Wow.

      1. Nick

        Yeah! I live next to Columbia St, it is exciting to see bike symbols spraypainted on the road in preparation!

    2. dave

      I thought that was just the few blocks between 22nd and 25th?

      1. Nick

        Broadway to 29th

  7. This is not Seattle but still a totally cool project of making home made bicycle seismographs to measure bumpy streets http://katihyyppa.com/bicycle-seismographs/

  8. Andres Salomon

    Welcome back!

    Nicole Freedman is heading back to Boston. Well, Newton specifically.

    SDOT continued to frustrate:

    And traffic fatalities in WA state rose by 25% in 2015. https://twitter.com/NEGreenways/status/770403175434063872
    For 2016 we’re on track to the most road deaths in Seattle in a decade:

    Fremont finally got its 2-way PBL: https://twitter.com/PeddlerBrewing/status/769369577742409728

    One of our PARK(ing) Day Plus installations from last year turned into a (surprise) permanent install: http://seattlegreenways.org/blog/2016/08/25/6436/

    Our “progressive” city is actively creating new drive-thru businesses: https://thecisforcrank.com/2016/08/25/amazon-drive-thru-conflicts-with-citys-sustainability-goals-requires-no-public-process/

    Burgess is potentially promising lower speed limits. My fingers are crossed. https://twitter.com/CouncilmanTim/status/768610606664470529

    Seattle still continued to park vehicles in its protected bike lanes:

    1. CapHillster

      In other unrelated news, active transportation in Newton, MA started a downward spiral of nice-sounding rhetoric and inaction beginning September, 2016.

  9. Frederico Chamois

    The Lander Street Bridge project is about to get underway in SODO, which is all fine and good, it’s a cluster down there. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/lander_bridge.htm

    The bike angle is, what’ll happen to the SODO bike trail if Lander (which is perpendicular to the trail) turns into a freeway? Will there be good bikc connections b/w the SODO Trail and 1st Ave?

    The SODO trail is the only NS bike route through the northern half of SODO. It would be nice if they would complete the trail to Georgetown but, dream on, right? #SouthSeattleBikeWasteland

    1. I’ve read that they’re currently planning to put an MUP-width sidewalk on the north side of Lander and no sidewalk on the south side. If you’re only going to have a sidewalk on one side I guess it should be the north side (because that’s where the light-rail station is), but… the issue here is basic connectivity more than large volumes of ped/bike traffic, so normal-width sidewalks on both sides would seem preferable. This would be sort of like the West Seattle Bridge, but in a context more like that of the Argo (Airport Way) Bridge or the Rizal (12th Ave) Bridge — I think I’d prefer that kind of design. The plan is sort of similar to the overpass on Royal Brougham Way — but the wide sidewalk there is needed for light-rail-to-baseball crowds, and the Royal Brougham Way overpass has bike lanes!

      SDOT says they’re extending the SODO Trail as far as Spokane Street this year and improving connections at the north and south ends in 2018… but have apparently punted the rest of the Airport Way stuff past 2020, which is a real disappointment.

  10. Maggie Stapleton
    1. Clark in Vancouver

      Very cool.

  11. Vondy

    SDOT is doing work on S. Spokane Street that has turned cycling from W. Seattle to downtown an “obstacle course.” The information on what they are doing where as the project unfolds has been scarce and spartan. I’d call their PR on this project “opaque.” Its a bit like a warren and every day is a little different.

    1. Vondy

      This week, however, has been a little bit better as the description of work actually tells us where the reroute for cyclists is. Previous weeks didn’t spell it out.


  12. Urban Villager

    King County’s combined sewer overflow project along the ship canal in lower/west Fremont caused a chaotic detour of the Burke-Gilman Trail during the evening peak on a Tuesday in late August. I believe a crane was being assembled. The project website said that contractors would safely guide cyclists through detour around the project, for a couple of hours during the assembly (or something like that). What happened instead was that a flagger was standing there yelling at people on the trail “The trail is closed!” When people stopped and asked where to go she pointed and gave the name of one of the streets to go on. You would go that way and intuitively see that you would need to turn left on the tiny sidewalk on 36th (or Leary, whatever it’s called there) and turn left again after a couple of blocks. This detour was terrible because there were people biking and walking in both directions on a tiny sidewalk along the south side of 36th (or Leary), trying not to run into each other. There was no signage anywhere – not warning signage before it, right at the project location, where the detour was.

  13. Eli

    Also, there’s Sounder weekend service on 9/17 and 9/24 for the State Fair.

    Great opportunity for people in Seattle to take the train to Puyallup and bike the Foothills trail to South Prairie.

    No extra charge if you have an unlimited ORCA that includes Sounder (at least, that was the case last year.)

    1. Eli

      P.S. This is probably actually worth a real mention – holler if I can get you more info, if you agree.

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