After pushback, city will complete Columbian Way bike lane at Beacon Ave

Top-down design concept showing the bike lane extending all the way to the intersection.

From SDOT.

Photo looking east from the newly-constructed bike lane on Columbian Way. The lane disappears for half a block before the intersection.

Photo taken May 31 shows that the bike lane ends before the intersection.

Here’s some great news for southend bike riders: SDOT has decided to complete the westbound S Columbian Way bike lane at Beacon Ave after all.

As we reported in June, neighbors of the major Columbian Way repaving project were surprised to see that the brand new protected bike lane ended about a half block early, leaving an uncomfortable uphill gap used by people driving turning right on to Beacon Ave. The bike lane, the biggest bike infrastructure improvement in southeast Seattle this year, was supposed to be a complete connection all the way to 15th Ave S, serving Mercer Middle School and Jefferson Park. There was no mention on the project website that the bike lane had been cut back half a block, and advocates were caught unaware. Even some SDOT staffers didn’t seem aware of the change.

Needless to say, people were pretty upset, yours truly included. As I wrote:

“A bike route is only as comfortable as its least comfortable section. A missing gap like this is likely the difference between whether a family will use the lane with their kids or not, for example. This is the route from Columbia City to Jefferson Park and Mercer Middle School, for example. So eleven-year-olds are now supposed to just merge with car traffic every day while biking up a major hill to school?”

Well, SDOT listened, and they are fixing it. Right now. Continue reading

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As traffic deaths and injuries increase, Mayor will reduce speed limits to 25, add red light and speed cameras, and give walk signals a head start

Mayor Jenny Durkan made her boldest safe streets stand yet when she unveiled a 25 mph speed limit sign on Rainier Ave S, the first of several thousand sign changes coming in the next year and a half. But that’s just part of her effort to get Vision Zero back on track in the second half of her term.

The city will also add more red light cameras, add speed zone cameras to five more school zones and have SPD conduct more crosswalk yielding enforcement. A new Major Crash Review Task Force “will convene a panel of experts to analyze every serious and fatal collision in our City and provide recommendations to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” according to an SDOT Blog post. It’s rather amazing such an effort doesn’t already exist, so this is a welcome effort. It could be especially effective if the task force is empowered to direct major street safety changes.

And one of the biggest improvements may be among the most difficult to see: A major increase in the number of traffic signals across the city that give people walking a short head start. In fact, the city has already been quietly implementing these “leading pedestrian intervals,” which are very easy and cheap to do. Essentially, you simply program the signal to show the walk sign a few seconds before the green light. That way people on foot are well-established and visible before people turning their cars start to move. This StreetFilms video explains the concept well:

Seattle has dramatically increased the number of these walking head starts in the past couple years, going from just a couple a few years ago to 125 today. And the city now plans to double that total by the end of 2020.

Graph shwoing the number of LPI signals in Seattle by year. The line increases in 2017 and steeply climbs to 125 by 2019. A dotted line shows the projection for 2020 doubling the total.

From SDOT (UPDATED 12/11 to add the 2020 projection).

Continue reading

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I’m writing a book! + Help me double reader support, starting at $5/mo

Photo of Tom holding his toddler daughter on the deck of a ferry with water and land in the background.

In addition to writing, I also take care of this incredible kiddo.

The contract is signed, so it’s official: I’m writing a book about Seattle bike culture and politics for University of Washington Press.

Tentatively titled “Biking Uphill In the Rain” and code-named (by me) “Seattle Bike Book,” the book will take a big step back from the daily news grind and look at what has been happening in this town. What has worked? What failed? And what does it take to build a movement to challenge an entrenched and dangerous car culture?

The book will give me a chance to conduct some long-form interviews and go deeper than I can go in my near-daily posts on this site. With the advantage of hindsight, I will highlight some unsung heroes and reflect on the styles of advocacy that has proven effective in the long-run. It won’t see a bookshelf until at least 2022, since UW Press has a lengthy peer-review process. But I’m excited that the scale and timeline of release will allow me to get some distance from current-day city politics.

Don’t worry, Seattle Bike Blog isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I will need your support more than ever if I am going to pull this off. The book advance is enough to replace my tired 2010 Macbook Pro, which I’ve used to type nearly every word on this site, but not too much else.

More than 90 readers pitch in a combined $600 every month as Seattle Bike Blog Supporters, and a handful of great local businesses invest in advertisements. Through this income, I have been able to provide truly independent reporting about biking and transportation in Seattle since 2010. I am not beholden to any politician, organization or company, and I intend to write an honest account of our city’s bike movement, warts and all.

But I won’t be able to do it without you. That’s why I’m also launching my second-ever supporter drive. My goal is to double the site’s monthly reader support by the end of January. So I’m hoping to get to $1,200 per month, which would be 180 people at our current average contribution rate of $6.60. I’m also urging current supporters to consider increasing your contribution if you can to help me reach this goal.

Anyone who has contributed for at least one year will have the option to be acknowledged in print when the book is published. And, of course, you will know that you are supporting Seattle Bike Blog’s continued and effective work.

You no longer need a Paypal account to sign up, though that is an option. Any credit or debit card should work:






If you would like to arrange payment via check, email tom@seattlebikeblog.com.

Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: Ding dong the Viaduct is dead!

I have some pretty exciting personal news to announce, but I’m holding it until Monday. OMG, that’s so mean. Why would I do that? I’m building hype. It’s part of a very loud whisper campaign. Am I doing this right? You’ll just have to check back Monday morning to find out…

But it’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Here’s a look at some stuff going around the web lately that caught our eye.

First up, it is still so satisfying to watch the final pieces of the Alaskan Way Viaduct disappear. Good riddance!

Pacific Northwest News Continue reading

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December bike stuff to do: Family biking advocacy workshop, Basic Bike Network ride + more

Photo of the new bike lane on S Main Street looking east across 4th Ave S.

It’s real! Let’s ride on it together.

Sure, it’s December and the winter solstice is just around the corner, but don’t let anyone tell you to put your bike in the garage until spring. Seattle is a year-round biking town, and there’s still so much biking to do before the year is over.

Of course there are fundraisers. The Transit Riders Union are hosting a happy hour fundraiser 5:30–7:30 p.m. this evening at the Flatiron School. And Transportation Choices Coalition is hosting a happy hour fundraiser December 10.

And the US Cyclocross National Championship is in Lakewood December 10–15. We don’t usually write about racing events, but it’s not often that we get a national championship nearby.

And Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has all this planned:

Tour of the Basic Bike Network. Saturday, Dec 7th. 10:00 AM -12:00. Starting at Lake Union Park. Tour the Basic Bike Network and celebrate the three major pieces that were completed this year, and see what remains to be done. RSVP on Facebook or to Clara@seattlegreenways.org (NOTE: This is planned along with Cascade Bicycle Club.)

Intro to Family Biking Advocacy. Sunday, Dec 8th. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Cal Anderson Park Shelter House (Capitol Hill). Come learn about how to get involved with local advocacy as a family biker! Getting involved in local advocacy as a parent can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be difficult! Join us for this fun, family-friendly event to learn how to use your personal experiences and stories to help create the city you want to see. RSVP on Facebook or to or to info@seattlegreenways.org.

Kidical Mass – Parade of Boats with FamilyBike Seattle. Friday, Dec 13. 7:00 PM – 10:00 Ride with your family along the Burke Gilman Trail and watch the holiday Parade Of Boats. Learn more and RSVP or RSVP on Facebook.

Dongho’s Favorite Things of 2019. Sunday, Dec 15th.11 AM – 1 PM. A walking tour of notable projects completed in 2019 with the City’s chief traffic engineer Dongho Chang. Featuring a new woonerf, an infamous bus lane, and perhaps Seattle’s coolest traffic signal. RSVP on Facebook or to info@seattlegreenways.org

Is there a December biking event you want folks to know about? Add it to our events calendar. Also check out Everyday Rides, a new biking events calendar in town.

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Bikes will be kicked off light rail downtown during early 2020 crush + 5¢ per hour bike lockers coming to more transit stations

Construction work to connect the existing light rail tracks to the new East Link tracks will require a very tough couple months in January, February and March 2020. Dubbed “Connect 2020,” train frequency will be dramatically reduced, and every passenger will need to switch from one train to another by crossing a new temporary center platform in Pioneer Square Station.

Imagine two crush-capacity trains unloading every passenger across a single center platform at the same time. Here’s a video explaining how it will work:

Trains will only run every 12 minutes all-day, compared to every 4–6 minutes during rush hour currently. Every trains will be full-size four-car trains, but this still means they will significantly more crowded (assuming people don’t divert to other modes, like buses, biking or driving).

Understandably, Sound Transit staff is concerned about how crammed that center platform will be during the transition, and they have decided that trying to bring a bike through the crowd won’t work and could even be a safety hazard. So people with bikes will be asked to exit at University Street and International District Stations.

Diagram showing the no-bikes zone between University Street and International District Stations. The bike detour follows 2nd Ave, South Main Street and 5th Avenue South.

Continue reading

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Other 49 states still seemingly uninterested in being more bike friendly than WA

Screenshot of the report card: Washington received check marks for having a complete street law, safe passing law, spending 2% or more federal funds on biking and walking and having a bicycle safety emphasis area. Ranked 9th in ridership, 11th in safety and 29th in spending.

From the League of American Bicyclists’ report card (PDF).

After Washington won the top spot in the League of American Bicyclists’ bike friendly state list for a decade straight from 2008-17, the League took a different tactic in 2018, providing each state with a report card to show how they have improved (or not) over time.

But the rankings are back for 2019 and, sure enough, no other state has put any effort real effort into taking the top spot from Washington. So hip hip hooray, we’re number 1 again, I guess.

Look, Washington is not a cycling utopia. Out state still dramatically under-invests in safe streets and non-motorized transportation. Traffic deaths and serious injuries for people biking and walking are going up, not down. The statewide bike commute rate (according to a flawed annual Census survey) is hardly budging from 1%, where it has been for the last decade. The only thing we really have going for us is that the other 49 states are terrible at walking and biking safety, too.

Yes, some WSDOT staffers are truly great and the state legislature does some good things. But come on, are we going to go another decade at number 1 just because no other state feels like lifting a finger to give it a try?

OK, yes, many states have people or maybe even a small staff of people working hard to improve cycling. But no state genuinely makes walking and biking access and safety a top priority. No state invests actual money in it, just the budget scraps they find in the rotunda couch cushions. A single freeway interchange “upgrade” project can cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and states build those all the time. And traffic still sucks after they are complete. Imagine if a state decided that just one of their mega-projects was going to be a statewide bikeways initiative, spending hundreds of millions to build safe bike lanes and trails along state highways that cut through communities. Give that state an award.

I would like this League ranking to be something states need to actually compete for. I want to see states get into an annual bikeways, crosswalks and trails construction race. Because what I really want to see more than anything is our injury and death totals trending down toward zero. Then we can think about pouring a few glasses of champagne.

Below are more details from the report card: Continue reading

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Watch: Cranksgiving riders biked a literal metric tonne of food to Rainier Valley Food Bank

2,223 pounds. That’s 1.1 tons or 1 metric tonne. All by bike. All donated to the community.

I already wrote about how amazing the 2019 Seattle Cranksgiving was over the weekend, but this number is so big that I felt the need to give it its own post.

The 190 people who rode in Seattle’s 10th Cranksgiving all pitched in to purchase and pedal about 12 pounds of food each to donate to Rainier Valley Food Bank. And when you add the food in every rider’s backpacks and panniers together, you get a literal metric tonne. This is the weight of some small cars.

And this is only counting the Cranksgiving Seattle Bike Blog organized with The Bikery and Swift Industries. West Seattle Bike Connections hosted their first West Seattle Cranksgiving a week prior, and they had 35 people haul a reported 1,195 pounds of food to West Seattle Food Bank.

Nationwide, there were a record 109 Cranksgivings this year, which is just astounding. That’s a lot of people biking food for their communities.

There is so much power in people coming together. If many hands make light work, many hands on handlebars can replace a semi truck. And this event costs almost nothing to organize. The only cash that changes hands is between riders and the people selling groceries around town. And riders keep inviting more friends to join, resulting in consistent growth (with weather playing a factor year-to-year).

Graph of Cranksgiving donation weights by year. The amount grows from 350 pounds in 2010 to 2,223 pounds in 2019.So big thank you to everyone who has ever ridden or sponsored the ride. And if you are inspired to start a Cranksgiving ride in your town or neighborhood, you should! Check out the how-to guide at cranksgiving.org to get started or email tom@seattlebikeblog.com.

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Eyman writes sloppy garbage initiatives, but we also need to find a path to statewide carbon-reduction votes

Excerpt from the court decision (not readable by screen readers). Excerpt: Ordered, adjudged, and decreed that plaintiffs' motion for a prelminary injunction is granted. it is further ordered, adjudged, and decreed that the effective date of I-976 is stayed pending further order of this court. While this stay is in effect, Defendant State of Washington, its officials, employees, agents, and all persons in active concert or participation with defendant, are enjoined from implementing or enforcing I-976. Defendent shall continue to collect all fees, taxes, and other charges that would be subject to or impacted by I-976 were it not stayed...

Excerpt from the court’s decision (PDF).

When news broke this morning that the court had granted an injunction delaying the effects of I-976 pending a final ruling on the initiative, there was a clear sense of relief among transportation advocates. Without an injunction, transportation agencies across the state would need to slash collection of vehicle license fees and motor vehicle excise taxes (“MVET”) starting December 5. That would have forced them to make massive decisions about their budgets in a very short period of time, a recipe for disaster.

But the final decision is still very unknown. Maybe the initiative is defeated in court and no budget changes will be necessary. Or maybe this injunction will simply be a short window of delay, and any qualifying fees collected will need to be refunded once the courts approve them.

Tim Eyman is sloppy and consistently writes misleading and shoddy initiatives that are illegal under the state’s constitution. I am no lawyer and have no special insight into the planned legal strategy beyond what has been reported elsewhere, but this initiative sure seems to break some of the laws regarding initiatives. For example, capping vehicle license fees and redefining how MVET should be calculated sure seem like two different things to me. It seems likely that many people (especially in Snohomish, Pierce and King Counties) voted for it because they were upset about Sound Transit’s car valuation calculations, but didn’t intend to also decimate transportation departments across the state that rely on the totally unrelated vehicle license fees. This is one reason why multiple-issue initiatives are and should be illegal. If it weren’t, an initiative writer could just package enough ideas together that most people will find at least something to vote for, resulting in a bunch of unpopular changes all becoming law together.

Others may have been mislead by the title into thinking the initiative would preserve any fees previously approved by voters, an argument the court found very compelling when granting the injunction: Continue reading

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Council passes budget with vital South Seattle investments, leaves I-976 cuts for later if they lose in court — UPDATE: Injunction granted!

Aerial photo of a wide street with an arrow pointing to the Duwamish Longhouse. Text: Located on West Marginal Way SW in a heavy industrial area the Longhouse is hardly accessible.

Screen capture from a Duwamish Tribe video describing the need for better and safer access to the Longhouse. Funding for this project was added to Seattle’s 2020-21 budget.

The City Council passed the 2020-21 budget Monday, including some vital investments in transportation safety and equity.

The wins are big and worth celebrating, though they are also uncertain due to the looming threat of I-976. If the initiative makes it through a court challenge from various cities, counties and organizations (including Seattle and King County), the Council will need to make some deep and devastating transportation budget cuts this winter.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways highlighted some of the wins in a recent post, including:

  • $10.35 million increase for the Georgetown to South Park Trail, the Beacon Ave Trail or a Martin Luther King Jr. Way South protected bike lane. This isn’t complete funding for these three projects, but it’s a big start.
  • $4 million increase for sidewalk construction and $7 million for accessibility improvements. Again, nowhere close to meeting the city’s need, but it’s significant.
  • $3.76 million increase to build out a people-centered Thomas Street between South Lake Union and Seattle Center, a vital investment for taking advantage of the reconnected street grid as part of the state’s SR 99 Viaduct Replacement Project.
  • Funding a full-time Active Transportation Coordinator for Seattle Public Schools. It’s wild that the district did not already have someone tasked with encouraging kids to walk and bike to school and improving safety for those who do.
  • $300,000 increase for SDOT’s Transportation Equity Program, “helping to identify and address systemic and structural equity issues.”
  • $500,000 for the Duwamish Longhouse crossing. Considering our city is on indigenous land, the absolute least the city can do is heed the tribe’s request for a safe way to cross the busy and industrial W Marginal Way SW to get to the Longhouse. (If you want to go beyond this bare minimum, check out Real Rent Duwamish)
  • $350,000 for a “home zone” concept focused on ways to improve safety and walkability in neighborhoods without sidewalks. Building sidewalks will require a lot more funding and time, so we need to find solutions that can work for people in the meantime.
  • It’s not funded, but the budget requires SDOT to come up with a bike route maintenance plan and report back to Council.

So, yeah. This is exciting and vital work. But it and a lot of other vital work will but up the air if I-976 goes into effect. Continue reading

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Seattle’s 10th Cranksgiving smashes the attendance record + Photos UPDATE: More than 1 ton donated!

Photo of woman standing outside addressing a large crowd of people with bikes.

Rainier Valley Food Bank’s Tara Migliore tells the crowd about the organization’s mission.

I thought it was a bit strange that the line for the two sign-up clipboards was so long. I had used the same forms for nine Cranksgivings before, and the line to sign in was never that long before. So it was a good thing that I made so many extra spoke cards … except then those ran out, too.

An astounding 190 people rode Seattle’s 10th Annual Cranksgiving Saturday, far beyond our all-time attendance record set in 2016 at 160. I am just floored by all of you who came out to ride bikes and buy some food to support your community. Thank you.

I do not yet have a final weight total, but the record was set in 2018 when 150 people hauled 1,713 pounds to Rainier Valley Food Bank. So there’s a good chance we topped 2,000 pounds this year. That’s a ton … literally. All by bike.

UPDATE: The official count was 2,223 pounds of food donated. This is the first time riders have topped the one-ton mark. Good work, everyone!

Big thanks to co-presenters The Bikery and Swift Industries. Once again, Swift hosted the afterparty in their store and workshop in Pioneer Square and donated prizes. Other after party and prize sponsors included Cascade Designs, Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, Kelli Refer and Rainier Brewing.

Swift also hosted a warm clothing and gear drive to benefit Facing Homelessness.

There was an incident that forced RVFB to close Saturday, but they were able to open today to get the donation out the door and onto tables throughout the community.

Here are some great scenes from the day posted to #CranksgivingSEA: Continue reading

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Alert: Some UW Station bike racks will be replaced with lockers starting Monday, so careful where you lock up

Sound Transit is moving and replacing some bike racks near UW Station to install new on-demand secure bike lockers starting next week, so be extra careful about which racks you use. Look around for a “Rider Alert” sign before locking your ride.

The total number of bike parking spaces should remain essentially the same. Today there are 286 open air bike parking spaces. After the lockers are installed, there will be 228 rack spaces and 60 locker spaces (288 total).

Sound Transit started installing on-demand BikeLink lockers just this year, though King County Metro has been using them for a few years now. They are not free like the open air racks and they require you to sign up for an account in advance, but I’m sure there are people out there willing to pay a few cents an hour for extra bike security.

Here’s a tweet from Sound Transit showing the kind of sign to look out for:

 

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Regional trails get a new brand: The Leafline Trail Network

The three Leafline logo options.

Logo options.

Puget Sound counties have selected one trail brand to rule them all: Leafline.

The new name will describe “a network of over 400 miles of wide paved trails connecting communities throughout Snohomish, Kitsap, King and Pierce Counties,” according to King County Parks.

The newly-created Regional Trails Coalition is creating this unified regional branding effort for trails, which could do a couple things. Most obviously, it could create some continuity for trails that cross county borders. That alone is probably worth the effort.

But a larger, less concrete effect of talking about regional trails as part of the same network could be that people start thinking about them all as part of something bigger. After all, an investment in a trail builds on investments in nearby counties, too. And county lines are irrelevant to someone just trying to bike around.

So a new logo isn’t exactly the most exciting thing on its own, but the sentiment behind it is pretty great.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post referred to a survey, which has since closed.

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Why Elizabeth Warren decrying ‘traffic violence’ is what America needs

On World Day of Remembrance Sunday, Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted:

She didn’t say, “traffic accidents,” she said “traffic violence.” It’s a statement that shouldn’t be notable. More than 35,000 people are killed in traffic collisions nationwide every year, and many times that are seriously injured. And it doesn’t need to be this way. Of course we need to “end traffic violence,” and of course candidates for President should talk about it.

But that’s the thing: They almost never do. All this death and carnage on our roads is never a topic in TV debates. It is practically never mentioned in presidential stump speeches. And policy platforms practically never include a plan for making our roadways safer (beyond things like fixing bridges and highways). So reading Warren’s tweet Sunday was very exciting. Do we finally have a national leader who wants to actually do something about the preventable traffic deaths happening every 15 minutes somewhere in our country? We spend a lot of time here talking about how Seattle can make our streets safer, but that does little for the rest of the country. This problem desperately needs national leadership.

OK, so Warren’s statement plays well with Seattle Bike Blog, but what about middle America? Well, the origins for my interest in traffic safety began in a suburban red district in a Midwest swing state. And it’s a story that may as well have happened anywhere in this country, red or blue. Continue reading

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I guess I need to take back some of the nice things I said about the Neighborhood Street Fund… UPDATED

UPDATE: Be sure to read to the bottom of this post for an update from SDOT. This specific Neighborhood Street Fund project is dead, but the department has not abandoned this intersection, a spokesperson said.

2016 top-down concept of the winning 15th and Columbian redesign, including shorter crosswalks and a pedestrian plaza.

What could have been at 15th and Columbian Way S. Concept from the 2016 Neighborhood Street Fund selection announcement.

Yesterday’s post was supposed to be about a neighbor-led SDOT program focused on investing significantly into ideas generated from the community rather than from within SDOT. But then just when it went live, The Urbanist reported some very depressing news about a 2016 Neighborhood Street Fund safety project on Beacon Hill. SDOT has officially cancelled the long-delayed intersection redesign and public plaza at 15th and Columbian Way S for purely political reasons.

So an intersection near a middle school will remain dangerous because people who didn’t want it to change got organized, and city leaders buckled.

“After extensive design and coordination with the community, we were unable to reach a consensus on a design that could be supported by the community as a neighborhood proposed NSF project,” SDOT Spokesperson Ethan Bergerson told the Urbanist.

Consensus? If we suddenly need neighborhood consensus to make changes to our city, then we will never change anything ever again. This is an absurd and dangerous requirement, and it cannot become the new standard for NSF projects. The process is already grueling for the volunteers who propose ideas, and the result is an idea that is generated from community members and design by SDOT’s professional engineers. There will always be people who don’t want change. Always and forever. True leadership means doing the right thing, anyway. Trading away safety for middle schoolers because some adults wanted it to be a little bit easier to drive and park cars is very poor leadership.

This project was not cancelled because of further study. There was no professional report that found it would be unsafe or cause problems for neighbors or businesses. It was rejected because some neighbors just didn’t like it.

This intersection is dangerous today, and it will be dangerous tomorrow and every day until we do something to make it safer. As the Urbanist’s Ryan Packer reported: Continue reading

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15 neighbor-led projects SDOT will build in the next couple years

Map overview of the 51st and Renton project, which includes bike lane and crosswalk improvements.

One of 15 projects moving forward through the Neighborhood Street Fund.

When voters approved the 2015 Move Seattle Levy, they created a specific fund dedicated to building projects that came from neighbors. The process to get a project completed can be long and somewhat grueling for those to volunteer their time to propose and support them, but it’s pretty cool that the city will invest significantly into ideas that come from outside the department itself.

SDOT recently released its list of 15 projects that the department plans to build through its Neighborhood Street Fund, including improvements spread out among every Council district. Individual projects can cost between $100,000 and $1 million. This is a totally different program from the city’s Your Voice Your Choice Parks & Street program, which is for smaller neighborhood-generated project ideas.

All of the projects are focused on safety, especially for people walking and biking. Many are intersection and crosswalk improvements, a few are new or improved sidewalks and a couple would redesign intersections to improve bike lane connections.

Below is the 2019–21 project list with links to sign up for email updates: Continue reading

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King County Parks receives permit for final stretch of E Lake Sammamish Trail

Map of the trail with the final section highlighted. The East Lake Sammamish Trail is likely the second-most litigated stretch of trail around following the Ballard Missing Link. But the final stretch of the trail got one big step closer to construction as the City of Sammamish issued King County a permit to finally finish the key link between Redmond and Issaquah.

Sections of the rail trail have been completed for years, but the final piece has been held up by legal actions from some trailside neighbors in one of the wealthiest parts of the region.

The work is largely funded through the King County Parks levy voters approved in August. The final section is right in the middle, flanked on both the north and the south by completed trails into Redmond and Issaquah.

With the permit in hand, King County Parks plans to begin work in 2020 and construct the trail in 2021. That’s, of course, assuming opponents don’t find another legal maneuver to delay it or somehow convince the US Supreme Court to take up their case (yes, they are actually trying that)…

UPDATE: I missed the news that the US Supreme Court declined to take up their case. So in theory, there is nowhere else to file an appeal. I think it is worth noting here how seriously messed up and shameful it was for opponents to put rail-trails across the entire nation at risk just to stop a parks investment near their homes. That required a shameful level of selfishness, and I’m very glad they lost. Imagine if they invested those resources into something good for the world instead.

Cascade Bicycle Club has declared victory:

We’re in it for the long haul to see a safe East Lake Sammamish Trail built to regional trail standards. And we’ve been there—together—every step of the way so far.

For Cascade Bicycle Club, the East Lake Sammamish Trail is a project that has spanned two decades of work and hundreds of volunteer and staff hours. Once it’s complete, the trail will carry an estimated 5-7,000 people per day by foot and by bike.

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6 out of 7 Council wins ain’t bad, but Scott’s narrow loss was a heartbreaker we could have won

Screenshot of the Seattle City Council District 4 election results. Alex Pedersen 16,776. 52.12% Shaun Scott 15,304. 47.54%

D4 results as of the November 12 count. See updated results here.

Continue reading

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Seattle’s 10th Annual Cranksgiving is November 23

Seattle Cranksgiving 2019 poster. Details in the post.

Poster design by Jordan Sampson and Renate Loomis.

That’s right, this will be the tenth (!!!!) Cranksgiving Seattle Bike Blog has organized. I have had to do the math a bunch of times because I find it hard to believe, but it’s true.

So this will be the tenth year people from all over the region will get together the Saturday before Thanksgiving to bike around town buying groceries to donate to Rainier Valley Food Bank. I don’t have the exact totals from all the years, but people have donated something like five or six tons on food since the first Seattle Cranksgiving in 2010.

Thank you to everybody who has participated or sponsored the event in the past decade, especially longtime sponsor and afterparty host Swift Industries. And big thank you to Rainier Valley Food Bank for all you do for the community all year round.

Seattle Cranksgiving 2019 is November 23, and it’s starting an hour earlier than in previous years. So meet on Occidental Ave near the Centurylink Field north lot at 9:30 a.m. to get ready for a 10 a.m. start. The hunt ends by 1 back at the start. Invite your friends via Facebook.

A food drive scavenger hunt by bike, 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.

Continue reading

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Bike News Roundup: Vancouver BC is removing their freeway viaducts, no tunnels included

It’s time for the Bike News Roundup! Do you need something to read while nervously waiting for the King County ballot drops this afternoon (4 p.m.) and evening (8 p.m.)? Well, Seattle Bike Blog has got you covered.

First up! Here’s why Vancouver is getting rid of some of the only small pieces of freeway it ever constructed. And no, they aren’t digging a highway tunnel to replace them.

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