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Bike News Roundup: Seattle’s multimodal neighbor

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Here’s a taste of some of the sweet (and not-so-sweet) bike-related and bike-adjacent news floating around recently.

First up: StreetFilms visits Vancouver, BC, giving an overview of how Seattle’s neighbor to the north made itself into a truly multimodal city.

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Pacific Northwest News

Halftime show! SDOT Director went on an AARP-sponsored daytime talk show to discuss Vision Zero.

National & Global News

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7 responses to “Bike News Roundup: Seattle’s multimodal neighbor”

  1. R

    Re: eBikes on National Forest trails story

    See RCW 46.61.710, Mopeds, EPAMDs, electric-assisted bicycles, motorized foot scooters—General requirements and operation or WSP’s eBike FAQ.

    There are still lots of place in Seattle where people can’t legally operate an eBike because they are signed “No Motorized Vehicles” and they are completely prohibited from sidewalks statewide. This includes large segments of the BG Trail, the portion of the Elliot Bay Trail on Port property, and much of the Interurban Trail. I haven’t heard of any enforcement but this is another circumstance where technology has surpassed regulation.

    I’d like to see a way to have low power or moderate speed eBikes permitted but the rest of the state need regulatory action on the subject just as much as the US Forest Service.

    1. Nick

      ebikes are not bicycles. This distinction should be maintained.

      Making regulations that allow for low-powered, or pedal assist, electric motorcycles (a better term) on bike lanes, MUPs, and other city infrastructure is a great idea. Allowing them on non-motorized dirt trails in city, county, and state parks, National Forest, DNR, or any other jurisdiction where bikes, hikers, and possibly equestrians mix is a horrible idea.

      Facilities already exist for motorized recreation vehicles. Electric motorbikes can use these facilities. “[Opening] recreational opportunities to more people” in this case would essentially be creating a new class of users in protected areas with **no practical ability** to enforce power restrictions. We need to stand strongly with the USFS on this issue – it has many long term ramifications those outside the environmental and mountain bike community are not aware of.

      Human powered vs. non-human powered, that’s where the line is drawn and that’s where it should remain. There should be no compromise.

  2. Andy

    Those bike lane separators in the link near the bottom look ridiculously unsafe. I baffled as to why they are being promoted besides “they’re cheap”. A paint-only lane would be safer than using those.

    1. Josh

      Agree, those little lumps appear to pose a significant diversion crash hazard, especially when used on a curved approach as shown in the PFB article.

      At least they’re white, not pavement-colored, but they’re not reflectorized, and are low enough to be invisible to a following rider. (And how well does white work for conspicuity in places where there’s snow or heavy frost?)

      Perhaps they’d be safe if you stuck a reboundable delineator post on top of each one, tall enough to be visible through other riders and over other vehicles, but as-is, they clearly aren’t crash-safe and don’t meet FHWA safety guidelines for raised dividers.

  3. William

    “After investing millions to improve traffic flow, Seattle’s ‘Mercer Mess’ improves by 2 seconds – Puget Sound Business Journal”

    Fair enough but “After investing billions in light rail, how much have/will average commute times improve throughout the region for transit and or car drivers”? Of course we are told that it is reliability and not commute times that matter when considering light rail so lets apply the same standard to the Mercer revamp.

    1. (Another) Tom

      I keep seeing this headline pop up and it is perfectly illustrative of the poor reporting/understanding traffic congestion receives. The distortion only increases when you add cycling/transit to the discussion. (This is also a perfect example of induced demand: capacity increased and demand increased accordingly.)

      Yes, travel times only improved two seconds but capacity on the corridor went way, way up. From an earlier article with the same deceptive headline but more facts:

      “The corridor has an average of 30,000 more cars a day than it did two years ago.”

      Well if you increase capacity by 30k and manage to reduce throughput time to boot that is a slam dunk. Why is this being reported on as a failure?

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