Rapha Seattle opens on Capitol Hill this week

In October of 2013, neighbors enjoyed one final night at Bauhaus inside its original Melrose and Pine location. The only activity at the corner since has involved hard hats and construction crews building the eight-story, preservation incentive-boosted Excelsior Apartments above the old block formerly home to the cafe and a collection of independent shops and a small handful of apartments.

That will change this week as global cycling brand Rapha is ready to debut its latest “clubhouse” retail and cafe concept on the corner:

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of Rapha Seattle on Wednesday, March 22nd at 8AM. Rapha Seattle will offer the latest Rapha products, host events and exhibitions, serve the finest coffee as well as screen live road racing throughout the year. We hope to see you soon.
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SDOT plans changes to improve safety on Broadway — including an ‘all way walk’ at Denny

Some wanted an all-walk intersection, which would only let pedestrians through and then only allow motorists to go, at Broadway/John/E Olive Way, but they’re not getting one — at least not there.

Instead, after analyzing the intersection, Seattle Department of Transportation plans to give pedestrians an advance walk signal before concurrent drivers get a green light, put in left turn lanes on John and E Olive, and turn the intersection at Broadway and E Denny Way, a festival street, one block south into an all-walk.

The announcements are wins for organizations like Seattle Central Greenways and the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce who have been pushing SDOT to do more to address safety issues around Broadway’s increasingly busy core.

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E Pine’s PUBLIC Bikes shop announces plans to close

PUBLIC Bikes shop will close its Capitol Hill store and exit Seattle at the end of March, just a few days short of two years after expanding to the city.

“The beauty of our space, our product and our service ethos resulted in creating an inclusive, welcoming bike shop on Capitol Hill,” the announcement of the closure plans reads. “All of us walk away proud, grateful and thankful to those whom we’ve met and helped get back on a bike.” Continue reading

Another Capitol Hill crossbike to be installed on E Pine

Capitol Hill’s already colorful pavement is about to get a few more markings on E Pine near Broadway. The Seattle Department of Transportation says the intersection of Pine and Nagle will be the next on the Hill to get the “crossbike” treatment:

We use bright green paint to make crosswalk-like stripes at intersections where bicyclists and drivers have come into conflict. Some people call these striped lanes a “crossbike.” Think of it as a crosswalk for people biking.

The city says a crossbike can help raise “awareness for both bicyclists and motorists to potential conflict areas” and “makes bicycle movements more predictable,” among other benefits. During last September’s Park(ing) Day street park pop-ups around the city, the Cascade Bicycle Club’s installation created a semi-separated bikeway along the same stretch’s also conflict-creating eastbound lane. Continue reading

Safe streets advocate challenges Mayor Murray

(Image: Andres Salomon for Mayor)

(Image: Andres Salomon for Mayor)

At least one person in Seattle will pose a challenge to the incumbent.

Mayor Ed Murray is, of course, running to keep his office in City Hall and already has $100,000 in funding on hand. So far his only real challenger out of the four candidates who have declared so far seems to be Andres Salomon, an Ecuadorian immigrant whose family gets around the city by biking, walking, taking public transit — they don’t own a car.

The 36 year old has been working on safe streets advocacy for about five years. He first got into it because he wants his son, Atom, to be able to walk and bike safely.

“I’d hoped we’d make better progress by now and yet every week it seems somebody’s hit crossing 65th,” Salomon told CHS. “… We’re not there yet. I think that becoming mayor is the quickest path to getting the safe streets that I would really like for myself and my family.” Continue reading

Mayor kills Seattle’s public bike share

By the end of March, Seattle will no longer have a public bike share system. Mayor Ed Murray announced Friday night the city will take $3 million set aside to replace its struggling Pronto system and instead put the money to work making bicycling and pedestrian improvements across Seattle. The $4.4 million budget required to start the system in 2014 and the $1.4 million approved last March to keep the system afloat? Poof.

“This shift in funding priorities allows us to make critical bicycle and pedestrian improvements — especially for students walking and biking to school,” Murray said in a statement. “While I remain optimistic about the future of bike share in Seattle, today we are focusing on a set of existing projects that will help build a safe, world-class bicycle and pedestrian network.” Continue reading

Silhouettes to mark deadly crash locations across Capitol Hill, Seattle

Seattle is marking the World Day of Remembrance with a citywide effort to remember pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers who have died or been injured on the city’s streets.

Volunteers and friends and family who want to remember the loved ones lost will gather at the E Pike Victrola on Sunday before heading out across Capitol Hill and the Central District to mark the places in our neighborhoods where people have died in traffic collisions in the decade past.

Since 2006, 234 people have been killed and around 2,400 have been seriously injured in traffic crashes, the SNG group says. Nearly 30 collisions occur on Seattle’s streets daily.

Sunday, SNG says families and groups plan to distribute 234 white silhouettes to place at crash locations around the city. The Capitol Hill group will meet Sunday at noon at Victrola E Pike before heading out to place three silhouettes. Other silhouettes will be placed between now and then so that they’re in place by Sunday, organizers said. Continue reading

Seattle gearing up to take bike share all-electric, to Central District in 2017

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Bewegen electric assist bikes could be rolling out in Seattle by April 2017. (Image: Bewegen)

The City of Seattle is planning to say goodbye to bike share operator Motivate and bonjour to Bewegen. The young Quebec-based company was ranked the highest among six companies seeking to operate a new bike share system in Seattle. Motivate came in second.

While the deal is not finalized, Seattle Department of Transportation has entered negotiations with Bewegen to completely replace the current city-owned Pronto system. The move would prove an expensive mistake in Seattle’s first attempt to create a successful share but also clear the road for faster progress in giving people a simple alternative for getting around the city quickly and safely.

With plans to bring 1,200 electric assist bicycles and 100 stations with 2,400 total docking points, Bewegen says it could make the transition in 16 weeks and be operational by April 2017. Several new stations along 23rd Ave would push the Capitol Hill coverage area eastward, allowing the electric bikes to be put to full use traversing the backside of Capitol Hill. UPDATE: We confused the service proposal’s plans for the eastern Capitol Hill, Central District area. The proposal from Bewegen would utilize 19th Ave to serve the 23rd Ave corridor. The stations proposed would not be located on 23rd Ave. Sorry for the confusion. UPDATE x2: Or maybe not. Here’s where station planning stands according to SDOT:

“The locations on the map are approximate – blocks and streets for the station locations have not yet been defined. Bewegen’s intent was to show general city coverage with its proposed service area and station density. Service area and station siting is a task for the City and Bewegen to complete collaboratively after a contract is signed.”

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City convenes task force to improve bike safety along streetcar tracks

screen-shot-2016-01-27-at-4-24-07-pmStreetcar tracks, especially wet ones, are notorious hazard for cyclists. Westlake Ave is a perennial problem for biking along the South Lake Union Streetcar line and one young woman’s fatal crash along the First Hill Streetcar in May prompted calls for safer street designs.

A group of mobility advocates and members of the Bicycle Advisory Board are now being tasked with finding ways to improve bike safety around the next leg of Seattle’s streetcar system.

The Center City Connector will connect the First Hill and Westlake lines by 2019, and with this group’s help, could also include some much-needed bike infrastructure downtown. Officials say the streetcar design group for the Center City line will also look at how to make existing lines safer — including the First Hill Streetcar. Continue reading

Investigators unable to determine if First Hill Streetcar tracks caused fatal bike crash

In the moments before Desiree McCloud fatally crashed her bike near 13th and Yesler, she crossed in between the tracks of the First Hill Streetcar to pass a friend. After a police investigation, it remains unclear if it was the track that ultimately caused McCloud to flip over her handle bar and land headfirst on to the street.

“That question appears impossible to resolve,” said a SPD investigation report obtained by CHS.

According to investigators, all signs point to “operator error” in McCloud’s May 13th crash which led to her death a week later. Security camera video obtained by police show McCloud passing her friend while riding in between the tracks, but does not show the actual crash. McCloud was riding westbound on Yesler when she crashed shortly after passing through the 14th Ave intersection. Continue reading