Bike Happy: Winter is coming, so go bike and drink wine in Eastern WA

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks again to Brock Howell of Bike Happy for putting together this comprehensive weekly newsletter.

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO THIS WEEK

1. Election

You already know that Jenny Durkan will be Seattle’s next mayor, Teresa Mosqueda will be on council, and Lorena Gonzalez will stay on council. Also, Zachary DeWolf won his seat on the Seattle Public School District Board.

As Lorena said of Teresa at their joint victory party, “she gets shit done!” And that applies really well to all three women, which why that although nearly all bike-related organizations supported Cary Moon instead of Jenny Durkan, almost everyone is optimistic about having a strong, smart leader in the mayor’s office and great women on city council. Tom Fucoloro wrote an excellent post here on Seattle Bike Blog that sums up the path forward. Key takeaway: giver her some time before rushing to judgment and hope she provides more political cover for SDOT to be bolder.

Elsewhere, Mukilteo is passing a ballot measure that’ll provide $435,000 annually for biking, transit, and walking improvements over seven years.

2. Escape the Winter Rain and Drink Wine

Both the Seattle Times and the Seattle PI’s Velocity blog have good articles about cycling in the Yakima Valley and in Walla Walla.  I grew up in the Lower Yakima Valley and can attest there are many wonderful rides to be had.

3. Horses versus Mountain Bikes

There’s a fight over whether to allow new mountain bike trails in Snohomish County’s Lord Hill Park.

4. New 21-Mile Trail

Checkout this preview of a new regional trail connecting Puyallup to Buckley by the end of the year. Continue reading

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SPD: Police recover 2 stolen mountain bikes for sale on eBay

Photos from the SPD Blotter.

Seattle Police recovered a couple high-end mountain bikes that were stolen in South Seattle recently. The owner spotted them for sale on eBay, and SPD filed warrants to find the seller.

This news comes as the City Council debates adding $10,000 to the SPD budget to help coordinate bike theft reduction efforts (see the budget “green sheet” in this PDF). That effort did not make it into the most recent version of the budget, though.

More details on the eBay bust, from the SPD Blotter:

Police recovered a pair of high-end bicycles this week after a theft victim found his bikes listed on eBay.

The bikes, worth about $13,000, went missing from the victim’s South Seattle home late last month, on October 20th. The bikes had been locked up on a rack in his garage. Continue reading

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Congratulations Mayor-Elect Jenny Durkan

Photo from Jenny Durkan’s campaign.

Congratulations to Teresa Mosqueda on joining the City Council and Lorena González on retaining your Council seat. Their elections further bolster the already strong support on Council for bold action to improve biking and walking access and safety in our city. Seattle’s City Council is in a very strong position to do great things.

Seattle voters made clear in the primary that an attitude of fighting change, whether that’s about building more housing or prioritizing biking, walking and transit, will get crushed at the polls. That continued into the general election, especially shown in González’s landslide win over Pat Murakami.

Congratulations also to Jenny Durkan. Barring an unprecedented vote swing in late ballot counts, she will be Seattle’s next mayor and the first woman to hold the office since the 1920s (as of press time, the Seattle Times has called the race, but Cary Moon has not conceded. UPDATE: Moon has conceded.). Women now hold six of nine City Council seats.

Seattle Bike Blog endorsed Durkan’s opponent Cary Moon. Moon has a very strong understanding of our city’s multimodal transportation needs and was passionate about focusing on these needs. Durkan also speaks generally in favor of multimodal transportation and the need for a network of downtown bike lanes, but she never made it a central issue for her campaign. She was also non-committal on specific issues, like completing the Burke-Gilman Trail. That just means all our city’s amazing safe streets advocates and community organizers gotta keep at it.

I am hopeful that Durkan will continue SDOT’s multimodal goals as established by existing plans (like the Bike Master Plan) and as funded by the Move Seattle Levy. SDOT’s problems in recent years haven’t come from the department’s high-level goals, they have come from a lack of follow-through. There are many great public servants at SDOT, but department needs clear leadership and political cover from the Mayor’s Office directing them to take the bold action needed to truly prioritize walking, biking and transit. That’s our only path out of endless car traffic and all the public health, economic and environmental problems that traffic causes. Continue reading

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#BikeTheVote + A procrastinator’s guide to last-minute voting, even if you don’t have your ballot

Save a stamp and take your ballot to one of these drop boxes.

Happy Election Day, fellow procrastinators!

As I type this, my ballot is still sitting on the table next to me. Why haven’t I turned it in yet? I don’t know! Maybe the same reason I’m always running late. Which is another reason I bike everywhere: I’m lazy, and by the time I’m running out the door I very likely missed all my bus options, anyway.

Will my ballot make it into the drop box by 8 p.m.? The suspense is palpable.

Oh, you just realized you have no idea where your ballot went? You can fill out your ballot online and print it out! Here’s the King County website that will walk you through how to do it.

Not sure who to vote for? Here’s some help:

#BikeTheVote

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SDOT begins installing locally-made side guards on city trucks

Photo from Walker Blocker.

Trucks are big, make wide turns and have nasty blind spots. So while they are vital for making the city function, they can also be very dangerous for people walking and biking.

In a recent five-year period, USDOT found that at least 556 people walking and biking were killed in collisions specifically with the sides of trucks. What makes side impacts particularly dangerous is that they can easily become fatal or very serious even at low speeds because the high point of contact on the truck or trailer can easily knock people down, putting them in the path of truck wheels. It’s a nightmare scenario that is sadly far too common.

While one vital part of the solution is safe street design, there is another surprisingly easy step that has been proven to dramatically reduce the seriousness of these side-impact collisions with trucks: Side guards. By attaching a guard that runs along any gaps in the side of the truck or trailer body, anyone hit has a better chance of being pushed out of the way of the following wheels. The impact can still be bad, of course, but the odds of survival are much higher. A study in the UK found that such side guards reduced fatalities by 61 percent for people biking and 20 percent for people walking, according to USDOT.

We have reported on side guard before. UW installed them on campus vehicles a few years ago, for example. Other cities, like Boston, have even required side guards on all trucks operated by companies that contract with the city. We have argued that Seattle should pursue a similar rule.

But first, SDOT needs to get its own house in order. And they are. The department has started installing side guards on its fleet of trucks. And what’s even better: The guards are manufactured right here at Allied Body near South Park under the company’s new side guard brand Walker Blocker. A local business making safety devices for local freight, I love it. Continue reading

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Cranksgiving Seattle 2017 is November 18

A food drive scavenger hunt by bike, Cranksgiving riders bike to a secret list of unique food sellers around Seattle buying food to donate to Rainier Valley Food Bank. For the eighth year, Seattle’s Cranksgiving is hosted by Seattle Bike Blog.

The 2017 ride is Saturday, November 18, starting behind Swift Industries (Occidental Ave near the CenturyLink Field parking lot). Register at 10:30 a.m. Hunt starts at 11 and ends back at the start by 2.

Invite all your friends via Facebook! The more the merrier.

You will get a list of needed food items and places to shop. You can go solo or as a small team (four adults max per team). The more you buy and the more places you buy from, the more points you get. There are also photo challenges and more.

All skill levels welcome! Anyone can win a prize!

Free to enter, but expect to spend at least $20 buying groceries (more is welcome, of course). Bring a pen and a way to carry groceries.

Party at Swift Industries after the ride.

Last year, more than 90 riders hauled an incredible 1,132 pounds of food to Rainier Valley Food Bank. Come have fun and spread the love.

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Trail Alert 11/6-8: Burke-Gilman Trail detour on UW campus

Note that this work could get pushed back depending on weather. We will update when/if we learn of changes to the schedule.

Details from the University of Washington:

The University of Washington is scheduled to perform surface maintenance on the Burke-Gilman Trail from the early morning of Monday, November 6 through the evening of Wednesday, November 8. This construction activity is part of the UW’s ongoing trail maintenance program and will require a complete closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail in the construction zone between Pend Oreille Road NE and Rainier Vista. This work will include removing sections of the trail with severe bumps and upheavals, reducing or eliminating the causes, and then repaving over them. This work has been scheduled to occur all at once to minimize the total amount of time the trail is closed. However, please note that three consecutive days of relatively dry weather are required to complete the project, so the scheduled timeline may shift. Continue reading

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Bike Happy: Set your clocks to vote

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks again to Brock Howell of Bike Happy for putting together this amazing weekly email newsletter.

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO THIS WEEK

1. VOTE

You know what’s worse than not voting? Having Donald Trump for president.  Are you having troubles figuring out who to vote for? Here’s who Washington Bikes, Seattle Bike Blog, The Urbanist, Seattle Subway, Seattle Transit Blog, and Sierra Club agree on, with additional footnotes provided:

Seattle Mayor: Cary Moon

*While the six above listed organizations endorsed Moon, Transportation For Washington endorsed Durkan.

Seattle City Council, Position 8: Teresa Mosqueda

*Transportation For Washington also endorsed Mosqueda while the Seattle Bike Blog stayed out of this race. Vote Mosqueda.

Seattle City Council, Position 9: Lorena Gonzalez

*Everyone endorsed Gonzalez. Vote Gonzalez.

Plus One More:

Seattle Public School Board, Dist. 5: Zachary DeWolf

No organization that focuses on bicycling, transit, or urbanism issues endorsed in this race.  However, I’m giving my Bike Happy endorsement to Zachary DeWolf, who is committed to the intersectionality of quality public education and safe streets.  He wants to help continue a conversation on the role that the school district can have in supporting greater bicycle education in schools, traffic calming around schools, and installing more school zone enforcement cameras. Vote Zachary DeWolf. Continue reading

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What City of Kent candidates say about biking and safe streets

EDITOR’S NOTE: Frank Boosman is a resident of Kent who was curious where candidates for Mayor and City Council stood on biking and safe streets issues (Boosman is also a member of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Board, but he stressed that this effort was in his capacity as a Kent resident, not as a Board member). After searching for their stances and coming up short, Frank took it upon himself to reach out to all the candidates and ask them a few questions. He compiled their responses and asked Seattle Bike Blog if we would like to publish them. Of course I said yes! Thanks for doing this, Frank. I hope it is helpful to any Kent readers out there looking for city leaders who will make streets safer.

Kent Mayor

Suzette Cooke is not seeking a fourth term as Mayor of Kent, so the position is open for the first time in nearly a decade.

While most candidates responded in writing, mayoral candidate Jim Berrios preferred to speak with Boosman on the phone. The following paragraph is a summary of the whole conversation and was later approved by the candidate, Boosman said.

Jim Berrios: I believe that we should be more bicycle-friendly, but it has to be practical. If we build infrastructure that isn’t practical, it sends the wrong message to taxpayers. I’m totally open to having continued discussions on cycling. I know that we’ve made every effort to address North-South routes. As far as an East-West connector, I think that we need to come together and come up with a real, practical solution. Whatever we do has to make sense to taxpayers. I’d love to sit down with cycling advocates, look at routes, drive them, and figure out what makes sense.

Boosman: What is your opinion of complete streets, the idea that streets “be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation”? Do you agree with this approach to street design and think it should be adopted universally within Kent?

Dana Ralph: I have consistently supported the implementation of a complete streets plan in Kent. We are currently applying this standard to all new construction in Kent. Making Kent bikeable and walkable has to be a priority.

Boosman: Cycling infrastructure—especially protected bike lanes and separated paths—has been shown to improve community health, reduce pollution, and create other benefits that far outweigh the initial investment. What is your approach to expanding bike lanes and paths throughout the city of Kent? Continue reading

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Support budgets for a Georgetown/South Park trail, SDOT Equity Program, Summer Parkways + more

It is long past time to build a comfortable and safe biking and walking connection between Georgetown and South Park. These communities are so close, yet the most direct way to walk between them involves a dirt path running behind an active rail line. Biking between the communities requires biking on skinny paint-only bike lanes on a truck-heavy stretch of E Marginal Way.

Councilmember Bruce Harrell (D2) has proposed a $600,000 addition to the city budget to fund design and outreach work for the trail connection, which has a new head of steam thanks to community-led efforts and the city’s in-process Georgetown Mobility Study.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has created a handy online form to help you easily tell the City Council you support this trail funding. They are also asking people show up at City Hall tonight (Wednesday) to express your support during the Council’s Budget Hearing.

More details from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways: Continue reading

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Ride in the Rain Challenge starts Wednesday, are you signed up?

Registration for the annual November Ride in the Rain Challenge is open and begins Wednesday.

Much like the Bike Month Challenge, Ride in the Rain is a team-based, online trip-tracking event meant to help encourage people to keep biking even as the weather turns wetter and chillier. Teams of people help encourage each other and compete with other teams to log the most trips throughout November.

And since November is statistically the rainiest month of the year in Seattle, if you can make it through this month you can bike all year. That’s a very empowering experience if you haven’t done it yet.

If you want to make the leap from fair-weather-only biking to year-round biking, check out our guide to biking in Seattle rain. And if you need to invest in better rain gear, just think about all the money you will save by biking.

More details from WA Bikes: Continue reading

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Cascade: Your E Lake Sammamish Trail comments ‘didn’t count’

The legal battle to complete the E Lake Sammamish Trail between Redmond and Issaquah continues, heading to the City of Sammamish Hearing Examiner next week.

The majority of the 800+ comments received about the trail project were supportive of King County’s plans for the regional rail trail, but Cascade Bicycle Club and the Friends of the E Lake Sammamish Trail sounded the alarm this week after noticing these comments were missing from the City of Sammamish’s summary of public comment.

To ensure that the Hearing Examiner hears from trail supporters in addition to opponents, the two groups are urging people to head to Sammamish City Hall at 1 p.m. November 3 to sign up to give public comment in person. You can also RSVP online to let Cascade know you’re coming.

The final 3.5 miles of the trail are designed, funded and ready to break ground. The county just needs a construction permit from the City of Sammamish without restrictions that would make the trail less safe.

More details from Cascade: Continue reading

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Bike Happy: Spooky Edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks again to Brock Howell of Bike Happy for putting together this amazing weekly email newsletter.

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO THIS WEEK

1. Seattle Joins Global Cities on Climate Change Action
Mayor Tim Burgess joined the mayors from Aukland, Barcelona, Cape Town, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Milan, Paris, Quito, and Vancouver to make major areas in our cities free of fossil fuel emissions by 2030.  One way Seattle might achieve a zero carbon transportation network is by charging a congestion price, and several city councilmembers have proposed including funding in the city’s 2018 budget to study it.

2. East Lake Sammamish Trail Project Running into Troubles
Cascade Bicycle Club reports that hundreds of public comments that their supporters sent to the City of Sammamish regarding completing the final phase of the East Lake Sammamish Trail were not included or mentioned in a staff report.  With the project pending before the city’s hearings examiner, Cascade asks people to attend a hearing next Friday.

3. Halloween Events: Critical Mass & Play Streets
Halloween is already the best holiday for folks who love placemaking and building a sense of community, and SDOT is making it even better by allowing neighbors to close down their streets to cars and let their children run free through the agency’s “Play Streets” program.  Are you older than twelve but want to still celebrate Halloween in the streets? Then join the Halloween-themed Critical Mass ride tomorrow — the last Friday of October.

4. Commute Seattle’s Annual “Light Up Your Ride” event is next Thursday
Get bike lights, bagels, and other goodies next Thursday, 7-9am. Continue reading

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For 10th year in a row, 49 states somehow fail to be more bike-friendly than WA

Washington State has some great public servants and advocates working hard to make our state safer and more inviting for people riding bikes. But try biking across almost any state highway, and you’ll be confronted with scary off-ramps and skinny or missing sidewalks. And there will almost certainly be no bike lane in sight. Getting around or across state highways and freeways is the biggest barrier for people biking in a huge number of communities in our state.

So when I see that, for a decade straight, Washington State has been selected as the League of American Bicyclists’ most bike-friendly state (PDF), all I can think is, Wow, every other state, you must really not be trying.

I don’t mean disparage the work of great public servants, like WSDOT Active Transportation Director Barb Chamberlain (former ED of WA Bikes), or the current WA Bikes statewide advocacy staffers like Alex Alston and Kelli Refer (who also happens to be my incredible spouse). They are doing great work.

But the vast, vast majority of the state’s transportation money still goes to freeway projects — including a downtown Seattle car tunnel — while major safety problems persist on existing WSDOT highways and their access points in communities across the state with no relief in sight. Try crossing I-5 south of I-90 in south Seattle, then tell me how bike-friendly Washington is.  Continue reading

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Last chance to weigh in on the visionary Pike Pine Renaissance plan

Today (Tuesday) is that last day to weigh in on the Pike Pine Renaissance through the partnership-designed project’s online open house.

The vision has been developed over years by Waterfront Seattle, the City of Seattle and the Downtown Seattle Association. The planned project will be funded by a combination of donations, a local improvement district, and government funding. The city has already started testing some of the elements of the plan, including protected bike lanes and expanded public space in front of the 3rd/Pine entrance to Westlake Station.

The vision for the stretches of Pike and Pine from 2nd Ave to Melrose includes a big increase in the number of trees and other greenery along the corridor, much wider sidewalks, bus lanes and protected bike lanes.

This plan is pretty incredible. It is an immense reimagining of these special Seattle streets as places for people, not just pipes for moving cars like they can feel today.

The plan should develop a better solution for people biking through the brick-paved section of Pine between 5th and 4th Avenues. The city’s pilot bike lane is currently testing whether the bike lane and general traffic can safety and comfortably merge into this mixed space, and it’s not working. There needs to be some kind of separation between people biking and people driving cars and buses. Or the plan could make this block car-free. The brick paving does not magically make mixing people biking and busy traffic a comfortable experience. Continue reading

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Endorsement: Cary Moon for Mayor

If you are registered to vote in King County, your ballot is in the mail. New voters have until October 30 to register in-person. Ballots are due November 7. See this story for more election coverage, including the WA Bikes endorsements.

Photo from Cary Moon for Mayor.

Cary Moon has a bold vision for a more affordable Seattle that is easier and safer to get around by walking, biking and taking transit.

And while her transportation platform is among the most ambitious in recent Seattle history, it is also grounded in reality. She’s a professional urban planner, and she has a strong understanding of what other cities around the world have successfully accomplished and what can work in Seattle.

When Moon believes in an idea, she doesn’t mince words about her support for it. Protected bike lanes downtown (specifically, lanes on 4th Ave, 7th Ave, 8th Ave, Pike St and Pine St as shown in a recent One Center City document)?

“Yes,” Moon said in response to a Seattle Bike Blog questionnaire. “I was on the One Center City advisory committee, and am committed to bold solutions that increase mobility by making walking, biking, and transit more convenient, fast, and safe downtown. More safe routes downtown, connected into a full network of protected bike lanes, is an essential part of this short term and long term solution.”

Her opponent, Jenny Durkan, has also voiced general support for downtown bike lanes (SBB asked her campaign specifically about the streets above, but they missed our deadline to respond. UPDATE 10/23: The Durkan campaign responded. See her answers at the bottom of this post.). And I think that’s important to note because, for supporters of safe streets, that’s a victory in itself. Neither mayoral candidate is campaigning against bike lanes downtown or on Rainier Ave. It is politically unviable to run an openly anti-bike mayoral campaign in Seattle, and that’s awesome.

So when figuring out which candidate will be best for transportation, you can’t just create a checklist of issues. You have to determine who will be most likely to get the work done and provide political leadership for projects in the face of pushback.

Seattle Bike Blog believes Cary Moon not only has a strong grasp of transportation issues, but she has also shown the most decisiveness in backing up her stances. That’s why Seattle Bike Blog is endorsing her. Continue reading

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Bike Happy: Introducing the weekly newsletter to Seattle Bike Blog

EDITOR’S NOTE: The weekly Bike Happy newsletter is a huge dump of local bike events and advocacy news curated by Founder Brock Howell. Brock reached out and suggested the newsletter could be a great addition to Seattle Bike Blog. I agree! You can sign up to receive the newsletter on the Bike Happy website.

Note that this newsletter includes Bike Happy’s opinions on the upcoming election. Seattle Bike Blog has not yet released endorsements. Stay tuned for our mayoral endorsement tomorrow.

TOP THINGS TO KNOW & DO THIS WEEK

1. Elections! Elections!

Last year taught us all that elections matter.  You should be receiving your ballots today or tomorrow, and you need to return them by Tuesday, November 7.  Washington Bikes, The Urbanist, Seattle Subway, and Seattle Transit Blog all endorse the same three awesome people to represent you at the City of Seattle:

— Cary Moon for Mayor
— Teresa Mosqueda for Council District 8
— Lorena Gonzalez for Council District 9

2. Construction on 2nd Ave Protected Bikeway Extension Starts on Monday

The two-way 2nd Avenue Protected Bikeway will be extended from Pike Street to Blanchard, with construction starting on Monday and last four weeks. Like the existing 2-way protected bikeway on 2nd Avenue from Pike Street to S Washington Street, the extension will be on the east side and every intersection with have “no turn on red” restrictions” for drivers. An added feature is the buffer will be a concrete curb with concrete planters.

3. Activists Land $83 million for Bikes, Housing, Placemaking

As part of its expansion proposal, the Convention Center agreed to the investment requests of a coalition of neighborhood, bike, and housing activists, including $31.1 million for bicycle and pedestrian improvements and $29 million for affordable housing.

4. Activists Push SDOT’s Buttons

With a few cheeky stickers on crosswalk beg buttons, this week the City was on the defense of its crosswalks policies, writing a whopping three city blog posts (1, 2, 3). Receiving such a high level of response will surely encourage these anonymous “SDOTransformation” activists to ratchet things up further. For the City’s sake, hopefully SDOT’s good work on crossings to schools and community centers won’t go unnoticed.

5.  City Budget Season is Here

Today, city councilmembers will submit their proposals for amending the mayor’s proposed 2018 budget. Duwamish Valley Safe Streets is asking for funding to build a trail to connect Georgetown to South Park, and Bicycle Security Advisors is working for funding to register bikes and investigate bike theft.  Council committees will consider these changes over the next few weeks, and the full council will vote on the final budget in mid November.

SOCIAL, LIFESTYLE, & ADVENTURE

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES​

Continue reading

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Attorney seeks people who have had incidents at fatal Issaquah trail crossing

Photo of the intersection in question, from John Duggan.

Wayne Wagner was biking on the East Lake Sammamish Trail September 22 when a woman driving made a right turn into him at SE 56th Street and killed him, according to the Issaquah Reporter. Wagner was 69.

Our condolences to his friends and family.

The trail runs alongside East Lake Sammamish Parkway in this part of Issaquah. At the intersection with SE 56th Street, the trail crosses 56th Street as a crosswalk. People driving are allowed to turn right at the same time that the crosswalk has a “walk” signal, but signage clarifies that they are supposed to yield to people in the crosswalk.

The incident is still under investigation, so it’s not yet clear what (if any) charges will be filed.

Cycling attorney John Duggan (also a Seattle Bike Blog advertiser) is pursuing a wrongful death case, and is seeking anyone who has had incidents at this trail crossing. Get in touch by emailing john@dugganbikelaw.com.

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Aviva Stephens: How a bike saved my life

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m excited to feature this post by Aviva Stephens, a Seattle native and financial professional who discovered the benefits and joys of cycling on her challenging work commute between Ballard and the Eastside. Find more of her writing on Medium and follow her on Instagram at @avivarachelle.

I am a working stiff in the corporate rat race where I spend most days tethered to desks, meeting rooms, conference calls, cocktail bars, and motor vehicles: which means a lot of sitting. Early in my career I found that I could not sit for long periods of time so I learned to use a standing desk, take frequent breaks, and not work crazy hours, but I always struggled to incorporate sufficient exercise into my daily routine. Since I am in an occupation that’s known to be stressful (not sure which occupation is relaxing) I took up yoga and got really into it for some time. While yoga is a great all body workout and helped me stop smoking, it’s expensive and yoga studios have an ironically pretentious and cultish environment that I could never quite get with.

Bikes in Seattle

As a struggle to vinyasa some sun salutations into my daily routine, I saw that the bike community in Seattle had grown beyond bike messengers and white middle aged weekend carbon fiber road bike worriers (aka, Lance Armstrong drones). During this time, I moved into a sweet new pad and next door to Swift Industries (the most awesome bike bag company), and they inspired to hop on the bike!

Well … it didn’t happen overnight. While my friends at Swift were super inspiring, I was super intimidated to ride a bike in Seattle (hills, rain, hair, cold, traffic, sweat, apparel, can I even ride a bike?) and they were my neighbors for at least a year before I took the leap onto the peddles. Continue reading

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What can we learn from this scary close call video?

OK, Seattle, we need to talk about this close call video going around.

David Seater, who is the Chair of Seattle’s volunteer Pedestrian Advisory Board, was biking uphill on Pine Street on Capitol Hill earlier this week when someone driving a pickup chose to lay on the horn and make a purposeful, extremely close pass. Luck is the only reason the person driving didn’t hit Seater, causing serious injury or worse.

I am not posting this video to stoke anger. I also don’t want it to further scare people from biking, which is what the person driving here wants. But the video has ignited all kinds of bigger conversations, from questions about what constitutes a criminal threat when your weapon is a car to why someone biking might not always be in the bike lane. So if you’re feeling up to it (it’s troubling), give the short video a watch:

Continue reading

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