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​

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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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The community-advised Missing Link design keeps getting better for everyone

The project includes a bunch of new and upgraded traffic signals, which help everyone.

The Ballard Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail has been debated and challenged in court for two decades, and sometimes it’s hard in such a long, frustrating process to remember what this thing is really about.

On average, about two people crash badly enough every month along the Missing Link that they need emergency medical help. And this will not stop until the trail is complete. If work goes smoothly and legal challenges fail (the weeklong hearing is scheduled to begin November 27), construction will break ground in May 2018, and the final section of the Burke-Gilman Trail will open in May 2019, 41 years after the first section opened between Gas Works Park and Kenmore.

The Burke-Gilman Trail is a gem of our city and carries a major transportation load for the region. Some stretches move as many people during peak rush hour as a lane of a major freeway. And it does it with healthy, fun and safe biking and walking. It’s a beautiful success story we should never forget to celebrate and work to repeat and grow.

Plans for the Missing Link have reached 60 percent design (see updated designs in this PDF slideshow presented to the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board), developed through an intense stakeholder process where nearby businesses and people who live and work in the area have scoured every inch of the trail route to make sure business needs are addressed and safety is a priority.

Below is a look at the latest version of the trail plans, starting at the Locks and heading east: Continue reading

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Learn how to become a leader in the safe streets movement in 2 weekends

OK, maybe you won’t be able to learn everything you need to know to become a safe streets leader in just two weekends, but you’ll get a jump start.

Cascade Bicycle Club’s free Advocacy Leadership Institute is an innovative program that teaches community members how to organize around an issue, work with the media and craft their own personal stories to highlight a community need.

Alumni of the program have gone on to become leaders of all kinds of local efforts, some of which have nothing to do with Cascade at all. Kelli Refer, Statewide Engagement Director for Cascade (and, full disclosure, also my awesome and inspiring spouse) interviewed four graduates for a recent blog post.

I love this program because biking and safe streets are the perfect issues to cut your teeth as a community advocate or organizer. And the more new voices there are, the stronger and more complete the movement will be. So if you’ve been itching to get more involved, but don’t know where to start, you should apply. No previous experience of any kind is required.

The deadline to apply is Friday for the late October/early November program. You can find more details and the sign up form on Cascade’s websiteContinue reading

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It’s getting dark earlier, so let’s talk about bike lights

Biking at night is one of my favorite things to do. As we wrote in our 2013 bike light story, “a nighttime bike ride can turn a simple errand into an existential experience.”

It’s true. The pace of the city slows way down at night. All the wooded areas come alive. The magnificent vistas transform. The experience forces meditation and self-reflection, a vital part of a healthy life that is so easy to neglect in a busy city.

But you gotta have lights on your bike to ride at night. The law requires a headlight and a rear reflector, but a rear taillight is highly recommended.

Unfortunately, bikes in our country don’t just come standard with proper lights, and there are a huge array of confusing bike light options available out there. This is a frustrating legacy of the U.S. bike industry treating bikes as recreational sports equipment rather than practical transportation machines. Most people just want whatever lights they need to be safe and legal, and then they never want to think about their bike lights ever again. Can you imagine if cars were sold without lights? Of course not.

Here is Seattle Bike Blog’s advice for buying and using bike lights: Continue reading

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Friends on Bikes Seattle launches Saturday with brunch and bike overnight

SJ moved to Seattle via Boston and Montreal, and has been involved in the bike industry now on both coasts. And they have seen a persistent problem.

“Certain cultures and certain genders aren’t associated with bicycling even though all those people do bicycle,” they said. One example of how this problem manifests is in people’s experiences in many bike shops.

“A lot of women, especially women of color, would go into bike shops and have a bad experience,” they said. And that bad experience means even though someone might bike to get around, a bad bike shop experience might dissuade them from learning more.

So SJ started looking for ways to create a bike community where women/trans/femme/non-binary people of color come together and have fun on bikes. They found Friends on Bikes down in Portland, joined a bike overnight with the group down there and was inspired to start a Seattle chapter.

SJ said they were listening to the podcast Hella Black Hella Seattle, and loved an idea brought up about “curated space.” That’s how SJ sees Friends on Bikes. It’s a chance for people to come together and talk about what kind of biking they like to do, and share that with others.

SJ said the group is “a safe space for people out there who ride bikes or want to ride bikes.” And as they note, women are biggest untapped market for cycling growth in our city and country. Indeed, a huge percentage of Seattle’s newest bike commuters are women, Seattle Bike Blog found after crunching 2015 Census data. But there is still a ton of room for that to grow.

SJ is hosting a brunch Saturday at the Swift Industries headquarters in Pioneer Square to kick off the group. Interested people are also invited to join a relatively easy (optional) bike camping overnight trip afterwards.

“Everybody bikes differently,” they said. “Brunch can be a relaxed forum where lots of people can come forward and say, this is the kind of biking I do.”

More details from the kickoff brunch event listing: Continue reading

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By adding bike share, the Transit App just became the ultimate Seattle car-free mobility tool

I’m trying to get from here to there, and all I have with me is my ORCA card, my phone and my feet. What’s the best way?

The Transit App knows.

The app for Android and iOS works in cities all over the world, pulling all transit agency schedules, whatever real-time transit data exists, car share locations, walking and biking all into one convenient and easy-to-use place.

It was already my favorite app for navigating the city on transit, but today the app added private bike share data and blew me away.

For the first time you can see all the available bikes near you from ofo, Spin or LimeBike in one spot.

But that’s not even the best part. If you use the app’s routing feature (drag the screen around until the purple dot is on your destination, then tap the arrow in the top corner), the app will calculate your best real-time transit options as well as how long it would take to bike share there, walking time included. Continue reading

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Scenes from our move by bike

Photos and video in this post by Brock Howell, Editor of Bike Happy and Founder of Bicycle Security Advisors. Thanks, Brock!

A couple weeks ago, my spouse Kelli and I moved from the Central District to the Wallingford/U District area. And with the help of nearly 20 amazing friends — old and new — we did it by bike.

I have moved big items before, like dressers and mattresses for friends or random office stuff for Cascade Bicycle Club. But I had never tried to move my whole house of stuff in a big bike parade. It was a beautiful showcasing of the power of people working together. It was awesome.

Since writing about our plans to move by bike a month ago, I’ve received several questions from people interested in the idea who asked for advice. I don’t know if there is universal advice to give, but here’s what we did. Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: The Classic American Road Diet

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Here’s some interesting stuff floating around the web lately.

First up, here’s a pretty good explanation of one way to redesign a four-lane street to be safer and more efficient. Seattle has so many streets that need this:

Continue reading

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New Pike/Pine bike lanes give a taste of their potential, but have been cut too short

For four glorious blocks between 2nd and 6th Avenues, Seattle’s new bike lane on Pike Street is a strong demonstration of how a connected network of bike lanes would dramatically increase the comfort and appeal of biking downtown. You can now bike from Pioneer Square to Westlake Park and major retail destinations along 5th Ave entirely within bike lanes separated from car traffic. The left-side bike lane, where it exists, is comfortable and intuitive to use, and major bus routes still maintain priority on the right side of the street.

And as the Urbanist points out, the biggest winner from the project might be people on foot, who are put in fewer situations where they are trying to cross busy streets while someone driving is trying to turn.

And SDOT designed and constructed it quickly using low-cost materials. It went from idea to reality in less than a year, which is light speed for city transportation projects.

The four good blocks of the new Pike Street show off a vision of downtown streets that prioritizes biking, walking and transit — modes that need space to grow in order to absorb the city and region’s steady growth — while still maintaining access for people driving and making deliveries. This is what it looks like when the city redesigns our existing streets to be safer and more efficient.

The problem is that the redesign ends before making a useful bike connection. So until it is extended to at least 8th Ave (preferably all the way to Broadway), it will remain only a demonstration of the future potential of a bike network. Until then, people are dumped out into mixed traffic halfway between 6th and 7th Avenues, and left to find their way through downtown traffic like before. Continue reading

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There’s nobody like Derek Blaylock, 1966-2016

Derek and his sons Ben and Geoff at the Tour de France in the summer of 2016. Photo courtesy of Jane.

Jane met Derek in the circulation department of the Seattle Times in 1988, and he wooed her by drawing silly cartoons for her. She still has some of those cartoons, and included a couple in the booklet for his funeral. They are nestled in right next to photos of a scruffy man, his wife and the two school-age sons he loved.

Derek Blaylock was killed one year ago while biking home from the Northgate Transit Center. The man who allegedly killed him has been charged with vehicular homicide and hit and run. If guilty, Blaylock would be the second person Kevin Brewer has killed while driving. He was arraigned in King County Superior Court today and released on $100,000 bail with the condition that he not drive.

But this story isn’t about Brewer or that awful day, September 21, 2016. This story is about a funny, reserved man who graced this region for half a century, from his childhood in Lynnwood with a bedroom wall fully dedicated to the band Kiss to his life as a husband and father in Seattle.

“He was completely charming,” his wife Jane told Seattle Bike Blog outside a Phinney Ridge coffee shop recently. He chose his words carefully, and that included his jokes.

“He had one-liners that would leave people on the floor,” said Jane.

Derek was “a major health nut,” and he could cook like no other. He drank a kale and flaxseed smoothie every morning (she grimaced at the thought of the drink, which she described as “gray”) and enjoyed a Gibson martini every Friday (gin and vermouth with a pickled onion). Continue reading

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WA Bikes endorses Moon for Mayor + more across the region and state

WA Bikes has endorsed Cary Moon for Seattle Mayor.

The politically-active sibling organization to Cascade Bicycle Club released its latest round of 2017 endorsements Tuesday, and Senior Policy Director Blake Trask said the organization will be writing more about their choices over the next week.

The choice of Moon for Mayor puts WA Bikes at odds with Transportation for Washington, who endorsed Jenny Durkan. TFW is the politically-active sibling to Transportation Choices Coalition. TFW is focused primarily on transit, but also includes biking and walking in their mission. The organization had endorsed Jessyn Farrell in the primary. TFW and WA Bikes are on the same page on most their choices, so the Mayor disagreement is notable.

Seattle Subway, which has endorsed Moon, expressed surprise at the TFW endorsement of Durkan, since their transit-loving members strongly favor Moon.

In Seattle, WA Bikes had already endorsed Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena González for their City Council Positions during the primary and continue to support them in the general election.

Seattle Bike Blog has not yet endorsed a candidate for Mayor or City Council Position 8 (of course you should vote for Lorena Gonzalez for Position 9). Let us know what questions you want Seattle Bike Blog to ask Moon, Durkan, Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda in the comments below.

You can also see Moon and Durkan debate their visions for a livable Seattle at the Mayoral Forum on Arts and the Environment noon Monday at KEXP.

The deadline to register to vote online is October 9. Ballots will be mailed October 18. The election is November 7.

Here is the cheat sheet for the rest of the WA Bikes endorsements:

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Missing Link community design reaches major milestone + Public workshop Thursday

The latest designs include new and upgraded traffic signals to help everyone, whether biking, walking, driving a car or driving a truck.

The design for the Ballard Missing Link continues to move forward, reaching a major milestone that puts it on track for construction starting in winter 2018.

You can check out the latest design details and weigh in at a design workshop 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ballard Eagleson VFW.

Of course, the design work is all contingent on a good outcome from an ongoing lawsuit once again trying to delay or derail the project that has reached two decades of debate and legal battles. The lawsuit has already added another truckload to the Missing Link document mountain (this must be the most-documented 1.4 miles of trail in the world). A hearing is currently scheduled for October 16. A pre-hearing conference is scheduled for Friday.

Former Mayor Ed Murray announced the trail compromise in February flanked by local industry representatives and trail supporters, saying, “Today’s major announcement ends 20 years of lawsuits, studies and counter studies.” Seattle Bike Blog asked whether the compromise included a promise not to sue, and Murray said, “I feel pretty good that we have a track record [of getting lawsuits dropped].” So much for that.

Now it falls to Mayor Tim Burgess and Seattle’s next mayor to carry this compromise forward to the end and finish it. I hope they learn from Mayor Murray’s experience and realize that trail appellants won’t stop suing even if you agree to a compromise.

Yet the compromising continues despite the lawsuit. That’s above and beyond what trail supporters and SDOT need to do if the courts are going to decide it all anyway. Dropping the lawsuit probably should have been a condition of compromising. But the city has been actively courting the opinions and needs of appellants, anyway. And that’s the best the city can do at this point: Bring as many people as possible into the design process, address as many concerns as possible, and then build it.

Details of the community design should help ease many trail opponents’ worries about the project. The number of parking spaces removed has been greatly reduced in the latest design. While original estimates from the environmental mega study put the parking space removal count at 344, the design team was able to squeeze in 186 more spots. So the trail will now displace fewer than half as many parking spots as originally announced.  Continue reading

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City will build a few blocks of very needed Pike/Pine bike lanes this weekend

SDOT crews will install five blocks of protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine Streets downtown this weekend, making a vital connection to the under-construction 2nd Ave bike lane in the heart of the downtown retail core.

If the weather holds out and work goes smoothly, the bike lanes should be open Monday. Once completed, the bike lanes will be the most significant bike improvement downtown since 2014, when the initial section of the 2nd Ave bike lanes opened.

Since it is a significant change in a busy area, volunteers from Cascade Bicycle Club and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will be on the ground during the morning and afternoon commutes to help educate folks about the changes. If you want to help (especially for the afternoon shift), sign up online. (Full Disclosure: My wonderful spouse Kelli is one of the organizers.)

As we reported last month, the plans fall just short of making a complete connection either to Capitol Hill or to South Lake Union via 8th Ave. At least for a while, there will be a gap after 6th Ave on Pike Street where the bike lane disappears. Heading west on Pine, people will also need to shift from the right side of Pine Street to the new left-hand bike lane at 8th Ave, which could be confusing and disjointed.

Several readers were upset after reading my August post because they felt I was praising SDOT too much for a project that actually falls short. While it is certainly frustrating that this project will not actually connect to any other bike lanes, don’t overlook how big a deal even this short stretch is. I believe you can simultaneously be disappointed by a project’s shortcomings and excited about the parts that are included.

I mean, just look at this new connection to Westlake Station. A protected bike lane will pass in front of the entrance, and the area left of the bike lane is planned as future TBD people-focused space (See also: Pike Pine Renaissance). This is genuinely awesome and exactly what the space outside this popular transit station needs:

Continue reading

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