What’s next for Seattle’s new era floating bike shares

It’s a bit of a chaotic test. They get dropped almost everywhere — some literally dropped, for real — and by the end of January, the first electric-assist versions will be on the streets of Seattle. With the city allowing the multi-colored “floating” companies to operate during a Wild West trial period, It’s not a question of whether Seattle will continue to have a bike share program, it’s just a question of what the final rules will be.

“I cannot see a world where Seattle does not have a bike share system,” said Mafara Hobson of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Jasmine Marwaha from City Council member Mike O’Brien’s office agreed. O’Brien chairs the council’s transportation committee, and be turning the cranks on what the final program looks like. Marwaha said that while there have been some concerns about parking the bikes, there has not been anything severe enough to merit ending the program.

Seattle had first tried owning its own bike share system using docking stations similar to those found in some other cities. But the system ended up failing to attract enough riders to make it viable. In July, the city embarked on a new system of dockless bikes. Three different companies — LimeBike, Spin, and Ofo — began scattering brightly colored bikes around town to be rented by the minute. Continue reading

Wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit filed over First Hill Streetcar bike crashes

The family of Desiree McCloud, who died in 2016 after crashing her bike on a track of the First Hill Streetcar, and a rider who survived her crash a year later at the same E Yesler trackway are joining forces to sue the City of Seattle.

“The Defendant City knew there were other bicycle crashes occurring when bike tire were caught in streetcar rail grooves before DESIREE’s injuries and death and SUZANNE GREENBERG’s injuries,” the lawsuit filed just before Christmas reads.

Suzanne Greenberg was injured when she crashed her bike near the spot at 13th and Yesler where McCloud had fallen a year after the deadly incident.

McCloud, 27, died following her May 2016 crash that led to calls for safety improvements near Seattle’s streetcar tracks. The city’s investigation was unable to determine if the First Hill Streetcar tracks had caused the fatal crash.

Their joint lawsuit reads like a project list any street, bicycling, and pedestrian planner would be familiar with in Seattle. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is now open

From Good Weather

Good Weather started in 2016 as a quirky second story shop above Purr is expanding into the heart of the Chop House Row. They’re serving simple food, beer, and wine while continuing to build and fix bicycles for people in Seattle. With a love for beautiful, long-lasting frames and the desire to make a place where people can share a slow moment, they’re excited to add something different to the ground floor.

Good Weather Bicycle & Cafe is now open at 1424 11th Ave in the back of The Chophouse Row.  Hours are 11-9:30 (Sundays till 7), Not Open Tuesdays.

It’s a collaboration between original owners Jason Marqusee & Brandon Waterman and Danielle Hammer is running the food side of things.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Bike Lane Installations on Pike-Pine Corridors Begin September 22-25

From the Seattle Department of Transportation

SDOT advises travelers that crews have begun prep work to install new bike lanes on Pike St and Pine St between 2nd Ave and 8th Ave for the Pike-Pine Mobility Improvementsproject. This work is weather dependent and subject to change.

On Pike St and Pine St between 2nd Ave and 8th Ave, travelers can expect:

  • Prep work from September 18 – 22
    • Prepping signal upgrades and parking changes
    • Marking locations of new protected bike lanes and posts
    • Installation notices posted along Pike and Pine streets
  • Installation from September 22 – 25
    • Removal of old pavement markings
    • Striping lanes and adding posts
    • Directing traffic with flaggers and police
    • Keeping access to driveways and alleys maintained
  • Late October
    • Install planter boxes

The new street design on Pike St and Pine St between 2nd Ave and 8th Ave will include:

  • New left-side protected bike lanes on most blocks
  • Paint lines and delineator posts with addition of planter boxes later
  • Removal of a travel lane on most blocks
  • Maintenance of transit lanes and all transit stops
  • Some left turns will be prohibited
  • Addition of two left-turn arrow signals at intersections
  • No changes to Westlake Park pavers

For more information please visit the Pike-Pine Mobility Improvements page.

Capitol Hill Community Post | Your Voice, Your Choice Results — Four District 3 Projects

From SDOT

We’ve counted each vote and checked it twice! And, now is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the announcement of vote results for Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Streets!

DISTRICT 3  

  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at I-5 Exit on to Olive Way (Cost: $75,000, Total Votes: 240)
  • Central District: Traffic Calming on 17th Ave S between E Yesler Way & S Jackson St (Cost: $15,000, Total Votes: 200)
  • Judkins Park: Improved Connections to Judkins Park from S. Dearborn St (Cost: $90,000, Total Votes: 173)
  • Capitol Hill: Crossing Improvements at 19th Ave E & E Denny Way (Cost: $83,000, Total Votes:  171) 

As a bonus, while Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reviewed ideas submitted by Your Voice, Your Choice participants, it ran the projects through its program priorities and was able to fund additional traffic calming and pedestrian improvement projects in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City. SDOT will work with communities to announce, design, and implement these projects in the upcoming year.

To provide some context to the results above, with $2 million to spend on park and street improvements, we allotted a maximum of $285,000 per City Council District. After the top projects in each district were selected by voters, there was $233,019 remaining in the budget. These dollars were used to fund one additional project in the three districts with the highest voter participation (Districts 1, 2, and 5).

You will also note that the number of funded projects varies per district. This is because the fund allotment is based strictly on overall cost and not the number of projects. The funding for these projects will be included as part of the Mayor’s 2018 Proposed Budget, and the work will begin in 2018.

This is the second year we have asked residents to weigh in on how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. Last year the focus was on youth, and this year anyone over the age of 11 could participate.  We are blown away by the response with 7,737 community members voting for projects in their neighborhoods! We are so grateful to everyone who participated:

  • The community members who kicked things off in February by submitting 900 ideas for projects.
  • The community members who participated on the Project Development Teams.
  • The Vote Champions who mobilized their communities.
  • The educators in Seattle Public Schools who made sure students’ voices were heard.
  • Our Community Liaisons who were out in force with translated ballots in Arabic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
  • The amazing City staff at libraries and community centers who facilitated in-person voting.
  • And, of course, you the voters!

After plan went ‘sideways,’ SDOT says will find a way to build E Union protected bike lanes

Protected bike lanes on E Union won’t fall through the cracks. Seattle Department of Transportation officials say they are working on a plan for adding a protected area on the busy street for riders after the upgrade dropped out of the Madison Bus Rapid Transit plan and was also left off the drawing board for the city’s Bike Master Plan “five-year” projects.

The plan for E Union’s protected bike lane addition “very plainly went sideways,” SDOT chief of staff Genesee Adkins said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee as she introduced a session reviewing the department’s bike plan projects (PDF). Continue reading

Them’s the brakes: Drivers celebrate removal of public bike share from their Seattle streets with jubilant parking

Capitol Hill commuters took their final rides until who knows when on a Seattle public bike share Friday. The city’s Pronto system will shutter at midnight. Don’t forget to dock your bike.

The shutdown comes after two and a half years of service following the system’s October 2014 launch. Back then, around a third of Capitol Hill-identifying respondents told CHS they planned to use the share at least monthly. That might have marked peak enthusiasm for the troubled, limited, and ultimately uncharacteristically underused system. Continue reading

Learn how to advocate for Capitol Hill street safety on Sunday

(Image: Capitol Hill Ecodistrict)

(Image: Capitol Hill Ecodistrict)

Capitol Hill residents interested in making Seattle safer for bicyclists and pedestrians can learn how to advocate for safety improvements on Sunday at Street Safety & Transportation Action Day.

Advocacy training will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. at 12th Ave Arts. After that, attendees will get to put their training to use doing business outreach in the area for two hours.

Alex Brennan said the idea for the event came from issues identified by Capitol Hill Renters Initiative members.

“One thing that’s come up is traffic safety — safe walking and biking, so we’ve been thinking about what’s a good way to get renters plugged into those issues locally,” he said. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Rapha Seattle debuts with grueling E Pine hill stage

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A new addition to Pike/Pine’s retail landscape had better get used to starting its events with a hillclimb. Rapha Seattle debuted last week at Melrose and Pine. Saturday morning, the international cycling brand’s shop held its inaugural group ride — a two hour or so tour to Mercer Island beginning with the notoriously exhausting E Pine hill stage. Continue reading