Be a part of Seattle’s first ever Cargo Bike Festival, a celebration of the life-altering power of cargo bikes! This event features family friendly activities and the chance to ride the best cargo bikes in the world…
This celebration is a part of the Phinney Pride Rainbow Hop, a family-focused neighborhood LGBTQ Pride event, and the whole business district is hosting fun activities.
When: Saturday, June 1 from noon – 4 p.m. Where: Marrow Lane between Greenwood Ave N and Palatine What: Celebrate the joy, fun and transformational power of cargo bikes with test rides, kids activities, food, games and more!
(Full Disclosure: My spouse Kelli helped organize this event, and G&O is a Seattle Bike Blog sponsor)
Morgan Scherer hauls herself, six bikes and a passenger on her electric-assisted trike in 2012.
It is hard to think of any other person who has done more for family biking in Seattle than Morgan Scherer. She has been out on our streets leading by example and sharing her experience since at least 2007, when she founded Familybike Seattle.
Hauling a fleet of different kid-hauling cargo bikes all over town, Scherer has been providing people with life-changing opportunities to experience family life on a bike. Taking a spin on a cargo bike is not just fun, it’s a chance to imagine your life without (or with much less) driving.
When Scherer started, cargo bikes in America were largely a DIY or small-scale fabrication activity because very few companies were producing purposeful kid-hauling cargo bikes for sale in the U.S. market. So people converted old road bikes into Xtracycles or attached after-market electric motors to make climbing big hills with ever-growing kids on board a more easily-achievable daily way to get around. Just a decade later, you can get fully-designed family bikes off the sales floor of several shops. It’s an unbelievable shift, and Scherer has done an enormous amount of work to help grow the number of people looking to make biking a central part of their families’ lives.
But it’s not just about equipment. It’s also about parenting. Familybike Seattle and events like Kidical Mass provide a space for parents to share tips about, well, basically everything you might encounter raising a kid on a bike. More and more kids are growing up with biking as their primary way to get around, and this movement will continue to change the way Seattle thinks about transportation. Family biking is the heart of mainstream bike advocacy in Seattle now.
Scherer is stepping down to “focus more energy on balancing family life, disability justice, and (of course) bicycle advocacy,” according to a press release from Familybike Seattle. The organization is also seeking more members to “fill our working board with dynamic directors.”
This is a big moment for any organization. Trying to find footing without the original founder is tough, but it’s the only way to become an institution. We wish them the best. If you are inspired to help, see their press release for details for getting involved either as a Board member or volunteer: Continue reading →
Calling all bikey-people! Join us as we throw our annual bike party at the end of Bike Month. Check out local vendors, win great raffle items, enjoy live music, and raise a glass as $1/pint goes to Washington Bikes!
Friday 5/31 at Peddler Brewing Company
4 – 8pm: Check out local bike-related makers and nonprofits (listed below)
7:30pm: Raffle drawing! 1 ticket per pint purchased, must be present to win
7:30-10pm: Live music by Left Turn on Blue
Food Truck: Cycle Dogs
With plenty of bike parking for all, we encourage riders of all ages, abilities and styles to come out to this celebration of biking in Seattle. Everyone’s welcome, Peddler is all ages.
From the 108th Ave NE Demo Bikeway Assessment (PDF)
The City of Bellevue may have just conducted the most thorough study of a bike lane pilot project ever. The 31-page report (PDF) about the 108th Ave NE bike lane in the Eastside city’s downtown core found that bicycling increased 32%, sidewalk biking rate was reduced by more than 60% and zero collisions involving people biking have been reported.
And these results come from a bike lane design that is not even fully protected. Some sections only have paint, and one pinch point section even requires mixing with general traffic. So these results still have room to improve.
The Bellevue City Council voted last week to keep the pilot bike lane. But the city is also learning from what they observed and from survey results to make it better. And the city is also looking at how to best create an east-west protected bike lane connection, likely on Main Street. Cascade Bicycle Club has a handy online form so you can let Bellevue know you support their bike lane work and would like to see it grow to Main.
Protected bike lanes work best, say people … driving?
Seattle’s City Council is facing its biggest shakeup since, well, the last time the seven district-based seats were up for a vote.
An unprecedented 56 candidates are running for the City Council seats, and only three incumbents are seeking another term (Crosscut put together a handy candidate guide). So we are guaranteed at least four new members on the Council, one seat away from a voting majority (the two at-large Council seats, held by Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena Gonzáles, are not up for election until 2021 along with the mayor).
You can hear candidates talk about transportation, housing and sustainability at a series of forums over the next couple weeks that members of the Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition have organized:
If you don’t know your district, enter your address on this page to find out. The primary is not until August 6, but don’t wait to register. If you are new to King County, we vote by mail here, which is wonderful. Register now to avoid any hassles getting your ballot. Since primary votes happen in the middle of summer, it’s easy to get distracted or busy and miss deadlines. Voter turnout is much lower in the August primary than in the November general election, which means your vote is especially important.
The MASS coalition is not currently planning primary forums for Districts 1 or 5. Only three people are running in District 1 including incumbent Lisa Herbold, and two of them will make it through the primary. So West Seattle has the easiest job for the next couple months. Six people are running in District 5, the same number as District 3. But neither of those has as many candidates as the open seats in 2, 4, 6 and 7. District 6 takes the cake with a stunning 14 candidates for Mike O’Brien’s spot.
The big business lobby has said they will spend big this year to try to win a majority they see as favorable to their interests. Meanwhile, the democracy voucher system has empowered more grassroots-level candidates than ever before. Sprinkle some candidates with disturbing and dehumanizing ideas about homeless people into the mix, and we have the makings for one of the toughest Council campaigns in recent memory. It will be a true test of the city’s values. Continue reading →
Just hours after a video of dangerous conditions for people biking on the new 35th Ave NE gained a lot of traction on social media, someone driving struck and injured a person biking on the street near the intersection with NE 70th Street.
Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday night, someone driving collided with someone on a bike. The person biking was transported to the hospital by ambulance with a knee injury, according to SPD. The person driving was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
As is typical for traffic incidents, the details of the collision are not yet available pending investigation. As such, it’s not clear whether the scrapped bike lanes would have prevented it.
Sending my best wishes to the person injured.
But news of the collision certainly adds to growing concerns about the safety of the newly redesigned 35th Ave NE. The street was planned, designed and contracted to include bike lanes, but Mayor Jenny Durkan removed them at the last minute due to opposition from some project neighbors.
Design concepts for this stretch of 35th Ave NE from SDOT.
Her decision to remove the bike lanes drew strong criticism from people concerned about bike safety and the mayor’s commitment to its bicycle, Vision Zero and climate plans. People also voiced serious concerns about the city’s planned street design, which includes problems like wide travel lanes known to encourage speeding.
The decision to remove the bike lanes was due to politics, not best practices for designing safe streets. It went against the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and against the original design created and approved by SDOT traffic engineers after years of planning and public outreach. I hope nobody else is injured here, but hope alone is not enough to stop traffic injuries.
Here’s the video posted about 12 hours before the collision that called attention to how unsafe the new street design feels to someone on a bike:
First morning riding 35th since the redesign, already seeing dangerous passes. First car passing while a bike was turning left ahead. When there is a car waiting to turn left after, a car also tried to pass me, then backed off. Of course I catch up to them all at the light pic.twitter.com/Nr75tKeEQD
UPDATE 5/20: A reader who did not wish to be identified reached out to say that they were waiting at the light at 35th Ave NE and NE 70th Street on a bike Sunday afternoon when someone driving sidewiped them while trying to make a right turn on red. The reader was not injured, but read this story and wanted to share:
Hey Tom – I just wanted to let you know that I was also hit by a car at 35th NE and 70th, while standing at a red light; the car attempted a right on red around me and bumped/hit me with its mirror. I wasn’t hurt, but still not ideal. The driver stopped and was apologetic, so i chose not to pursue it further. For a variety of reasons I don’t want to post this on twitter publicly, but please feel free to mention it in any articles.
You know what would be a great way to wash down all those donuts tomorrow (Saturday)? Beer.
The annual Tour de Pints starts 11 a.m. at Peddler Brewing. The Beer Week event is a casual tide to five north Seattle breweries throughout the afternoon. And it’s free to join (obviously, the beer costs money).
For the 11th Year in a row Tour de Pints will be visiting some of the best breweries and pubs around town in celebration of Seattle Beer Week! TdP is a free, open-to-everyone and ride-at-your-own-risk event. Enter or exit the ride at any point you like. We’ll be posting online and in person when making the last departure out of each stop.
The Tour begins at Peddler
Peddler 11:30AM – Extra long stop here to gather people to start the ride. We leave at 1pm!
Ride 20 min -Up the only major hill on the route
Flying Bike Coop ~1:15PM
Ride 30 min – Nice ride down past the lake and through Ravenna
Burke Gilman ~2:30PM
Ride 15 min to Floating Bridge, 30 to Rooftop
Floating Bridge ~3:15PM – Optional detour. Leave BG early to do The Feat of Strength, up a hill for an extra beer then get to Rooftop late
Ride 15 min – Across the Fremont Bridge and down the Ship canal trail!
Rooftop – ~3:45PM our final stop! Though I can’t stop you from going further! Maybe… Dirty Couch Brewing??
Get your 2019 Bike Bingo card for $3 at any of the businesses listed or at Friday’s launch party at Conduit Coffee.
You already bike to local businesses all the time, so why not make a game of it? Bicycle Benefits is launching their annual Bike Bingo today, a challenge to bike to local businesses and fill your bingo card by June 30. You get prizes for each row you complete plus even bigger prizes if you fill the whole card.
Bicycle Benefits is on a mission to encourage more people to bike by partnering with local businesses to provide year-round discounts to anyone who bikes there and has a Bicycle Benefits sticker. You can buy a sticker for $5 at participating businesses, of which there are many. Check out the map.
The organization also hosts special events, like Bike Bingo and the Mighty-O Tour de Donut. Speaking of which….
Tour de Donut is Saturday
The 2019 Mighty-O Tour de Donut starts at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) at the Ballard Mighty-O location.
Basically a self-guided, non-competitive alleycat race, the Tour de Donuts will send people on a biking tour of Mighty-O locations. It’s a great excuse to bike with friends, eat donuts, drink coffee and support a good cause.
Bike Everywhere Day 2019 (formerly known as “Bike to Work Day”) is Friday, and there will be 113 celebration stations spread throughout the region to provide encouragement, smiles and maybe some coffee or donuts for folks biking to work or wherever.
Cascade Bicycle Club’s main station is at the south end of the Fremont Bridge near the Nickerson St Saloon from 7 to 9 a.m. There is no City Hall rally planned this year, as had become a tradition in recent years.
The stations are staffed by various groups and businesses all over the region as a fun way of celebrating a day when a lot of new or occasional bike riders give biking a try. Most stations are open from 7 to 9 in the morning, though there are a handful of all-day or afternoon stations, too. You can check out the official map via Google Maps.
Bike Everywhere Day is a wonderful glimpse into the near future, giving an idea of what the city would be like with a healthy boost in the number of people biking to get around. I definitely suggest starting your day early so you have time to hit up as many stations as you can.
The same week the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee wrote a letter to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the City Council and SDOT calling foul on the mayor’s “disproportionately large” bike plan cuts, the volunteer Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board penned a similar letter “expressing our extreme disappointment” with the draft short term bike plan.
But unlike the oversight committee’s letter, which gave high-level advice, the SBAB letter includes several pages of specific needs that would go unmet in the draft plan. Their letter could be read as an olive branch to the Mayor’s Office and SDOT leaders, providing a possible path to regaining the public’s trust in their ability and willingness to deliver on the city’s bike safety and mobility.
Rather than going through the highlights, below is the full text of the SBAB letter to Mayor Durkan, the City Council and SDOT (PDF). Skip to the bulleted list for their specific recommendations: Continue reading →
The committee tasked with watchdogging the city’s delivery of the $930 million voters approved through the 2015 Move Seattle levy has written a strong letter of concern about the lack of bicycle network progress and SDOT’s big cuts to the bike plan for the duration of the levy.
“We respectfully request the Mayor and City Council seek to deliver the bike facilities contained in the 2015 Levy by assigning additional, non-Levy funds to the bike safety program and giving higher priority to bicycle use of street space,” the committee wrote in a letter last week to Mayor Jenny Durkan, the City Council and SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe.
This is a big deal. This committee was created by voters as part of the levy vote to make sure the city was spending this money for the voter-approved purposes. And the committee sees the mayor’s bike plan cuts as “a disproportionately large reduction” to the bicycle safety program.
The levy was approved 59–41, and the bicycle plan goals were very clear. Under the mayor’s new, massively-cut plan, only 60% of the levy’s bike program promises would be fulfilled assuming every mile included in her plan is constructed.
There is room here to talk about mileage vs impact, and the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (“SBAB”) has been open to missing the mileage goals if needed in order to fully complete difficult and more expensive connections instead (like downtown, SODO and major SE Seattle projects). But the mayor’s plan cuts mileage while also shying away from many of the most difficult and impactful connections, and the city oversight and advisory boards are calling foul.
SDOT and the Mayor’s Office has touted their slashed bike plan as only a draft with a final version due to the City Council in the coming weeks. This is the first short-term bike plan annual update produced under Mayor Durkan after her administration failed to deliver a 2018 short-term plan (I have requested a copy of the never-released 2018 plan, but have not yet received it). The feedback has been clear: The next version of it needs to be much more bold than the first draft. Advocacy organizations and SBAB have even suggested big projects she could restore or add to show she’s serious about making progress on bike safety and mobility. The ball is in her court.
As we reported earlier this week, Outdoors For All will be in Seward Park for some of the Bicycle Sunday dates offering free adaptive cycle rentals as part of a partnership with SDOT paid for using bike share fees. Take note that the first such event is not until June 16.
On scheduled Sundays from May to September, a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard will be closed to motorized vehicles from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Seattle Parks and Recreation invites everyone in the community to bike, jog or stroll along the boulevard between the Seward Park entrance and Mount Baker Park’s beach during these times.
In case you were looking for an excuse to hit up a bakery, Commute Seattle and SDOT have got you covered. They have a Bikes and Bakeries challenge going all May.
All you have to do is bike there and then scan a QR code at the register. If you visit four during the month, you’ll be entered to win unspecified “amazing bike-related prizes.” As though a bike ride, a fresh-baked good or cup of coffee wasn’t already a good enough prize…
May is #BikeMonth, and we’ve got just the sweet treat for you to get riding! Join Commute Seattle’s Bikes and Bakeries Challenge, where you can win amazing bike-related prizes just for riding your bike and supporting bakeries across the city!
Bike share is amazing. Just beep a bike with your phone, and you’re riding wherever you want to go for a few nickels per minute. That is, of course, if you are physically able to operate the app and ride a two-wheeled sit-up style pedal bike.
That’s why Seattle is using part of the permit fees collected from bike share companies to fun an all-summer partnership with Outdoors For All to provide free adaptive cycle rentals. People can rent bike between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. any day May through September from the OFA Cycling Center in Magnusson Park. They will also bring cycles to a handful of community events, including many Bicycle Sunday events at Seward Park and the White Center Bicycle Playground.
OFA has an incredible selection of cycles that help people with a wide range of disabilities get out on a bike. The organization is home to one of the largest fleets of adaptive cycles anywhere, including handcycles, trikes, and various styles of tandem bikes with lots of fitting capabilities. They also have knowledgeable staff who can help people find a cycle that will work for them and get the bikes adjusted and ready to go. They also offer standard pedal bikes so able-bodied caregivers can ride along.
Hey, did you know May is Bike Month? I know, I know, every month is bike month in Seattle. I hear you.
May is filled with events and organizational efforts to help get more people on bikes heading into summer. As we see from Seattle’s bike counter data, bike trips spike in the summer as expected. But higher summer use turns into higher winter use as a lot of people who take up biking when it’s nice out get in the habit and continue year-round. That’s why many people find WA Bikes’ annual May Bike Everywhere Challenge effective: It keeps them honest for a month, helping them to build a habit. We may be a week in, but you can still sign up.
Cascade Bicycle Club’s annual Bike Everywhere Breakfast is tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the downtown waterfront. It’s free, but there’s a fairly spicy $175 suggested minimum donation.
Peter Walker, author of How Cycling Can Save the World, is the keynote speaker this year. Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will also speak. You can register online or just show up and register at the door. Doors open at 7, program starts at 7:30. Will be done by 9. More details from Cascade:
“Around the globe this most benign of swarms is here. On their own, each cyclist is just flesh, blood and a machine of such beguiling simplicity and perfection that its fundamentals have stayed roughly the same for 140 years. But together, like the fireflies, they are a powerful indicator of the vitality and livability of the city’s streets. Together they can save the world.” Peter Walker, How Cycling Can Save the World
Throughout the morning you will also hear from our 2019 Doug Walker Award recipient, Barb Chamberlain, Director, Active Transportation Division, WSDOT and Seattle City Council member, Teresa Mosqueda.
In June 2018, 4% of bike share bikes were parked in a way that impeded a walkway or curb ramp. Today, that figure is fewer than 2%, according to the latest SDOT bike share audit, the Seattle Times reports.
Bikes impeding on the safety and accessibility of our sidewalks is a problem. Yes, people do far worse with cars all the time (and cars are a lot harder to move out of the way than bikes), but that doesn’t mean it’s OK for bikes to also block sidewalks or cause tripping hazards or obstructions for our neighbors with disabilities.
But in recent reporting, I feel like it is important to note that not only are there solutions in the works, but bike parking habits are improving fairly significantly. The improvement is likely due to a variety of factors:
There is more bike parking now, including some SDOT experiments with lower-cost painted bike parking spaces in congested areas.
Users are likely much better educated about parking rules now, since the companies and the city have been spreading the word for nearly two years now.
The bikes have better kickstands now. First generation LimeBikes and Spin bikes had faulty or unreliable kickstands that were prone to break, making them nearly impossible to park correctly. Those have all been replaced at this point.
ofo left town (and the continent). Though I don’t have data to back this up, ofo seemed to be less concerned with maintaining order with their bike fleet.
A contractor working with King County Parks will be removing six hazardous trees leaning out along the trail. The project is expected to take one full day to complete and will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 6, 2019 and be complete by 7 p.m.
Trail users may opt to use Riviera Place NE as a bypass for the duration of the closure. We ask that all trail users please obey all posted trail closure signs as the trail is narrow and the edge drops off quickly around the work site.
Seattle’s newest bike train will begin service from the future Roosevelt light rail station, serving Ravenna, the U District, Wallingford, Fremont and Queen Anne en route to South Lake Union and downtown.
Started by Nick van den Heuvel, the route meets 7:30 a.m. Friday at Broadcast Coffee on Roosevelt Way just north of NE 65th Street. The ride starts at 8 and will arrive downtown by 9. The plan is to host the bike train every Friday morning.
I'm leading a new @Sea_BikeTrain line this Friday and every Friday after that! Start at Broadcast Coffee meet at 7:30 AM, leave at 8:00 AM. We will be riding via Fremont in case you want to join there. Click the link for more info and to RSVP! https://t.co/K4XeTZxU2O#SEABikes
Want to help start a bike train serving your neighborhood? Check out this FAQ and email firstname.lastname@example.org for some help getting started. And, of course, let Seattle Bike Blog know so I can help spread the word. Feel free to use the comments below to get organized.
It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Here’s a look at some stuff going around the ol’ web lately. This is an open thread.
First up, New York City continues its misguided crackdown on delivery workers using e-bikes. A short documentary by Jing Wang shows how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy hurts immigrant workers in the city:
Cover image for the Seattle Car Master Plan, I assume.
Seattle has a Bicycle Master Plan, a Pedestrian Master Plan, a Transit Master Plan and a Freight Master Plan. It’s well past time our city give the same treatment to the many people who drive cars in our city by creating the first ever Seattle Car Master Plan.
I am only sort of joking.
Without a Car Master Plan, many of Seattle’s biggest transportation investments are being spent without a clear focus on how these public projects will help us reach our major climate change, race and social justice, public health, housing growth, and high-level transportation goals. All of the other modal master plans take these issues seriously, but those master plan projects are the exception to the rule at SDOT. The default mode of operation is that every inch of road space should go to cars unless an existing master plan says otherwise. And even then, those plans are only considered suggestions that can be ignored.
But more road space is not better for people in cars, either, though it sure seems like the mayor and SDOT’s leadership has forgotten that. Building a safe bike lane on a street increases safety for all road users, including people in cars. It’s not a zero-sum game. We are all in this together, and we all need to get where we’re going safely.
Like the other modal plans, the Car Master Plan could study best practices for designing roads to reduce injuries and deaths for people inside and outside of cars and make recommendations for how to most safely keep cars moving on our streets. After all, getting to your destination without injuring yourself or others is undeniably the most important priority of a car trip.
Join us for the Ballard-Fremont Summer Greenway Ride! Rendezvous Time: 6:00 pm at Hale’s Ales Ride Start: 6:15 pm Distance: 10.5 miles Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30392421 This ride is a chance to follow the proposed 6th Ave greenway and also survey recently … Continue reading →
Every THIRD Wednesday of the month from 6 – 9 PM, we’re hosting a Volunteer Repair Party (VRP)/Open Shop specifically for folks who identify as women, trans, or gender non-binary to come together in an inclusive space to repair bikes … Continue reading →
Queen Anne Greenways (QAG), a community organization that advocates for safe and healthy streets, is putting on their annual Playstreets event on Thursday, July 18 on 1st Ave W between Crockett St & Howe St.. It starts at 4pm. QAG … Continue reading →
Join us for the annual Play Street in the heart of Upper Queen Anne. Enjoy live music, local artists, a kids climbing wall and lots of games. Located next to the farmers market, it’s the perfect summer evening for adults … Continue reading →
Details: Volunteer Repair Parties (VRP) are drop-in, weekly bike repair parties for adults (age 18 and up). You do not need to be a skilled bike mechanic to help out. This is how most volunteers with Bike Works get their … Continue reading →
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