Community group, SDOT in 2019 push to make Pike/Pine a safer route for bikes

(Image: CHS)

A missing east-west connection in Seattle’s bike infrastructure could open next year. Or it might not happen until 2021. Either way, bike lanes along the Pike/Pine corridor, connecting Broadway to 2nd Ave are coming.

Bike advocates are hoping that linking these two existing corridors will help increase bike usage overall. By linking the two north-south routes, it creates a network for bikers to ride safely around town.

“The real problem is we don’t have connected infrastructure,” said Brie Gyncild, who is working on the project with Central Seattle Greenways. “We expect to see more use of the Broadway bike lanes after the connection.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | David Schomer’s Urban Cycling

(Image: CHS)

From David Schomer, Espresso Vivace

Nothing beats a bicycle for urban transportation.  A bike is fast and small, never boxed in, and you park it right in front of wherever it is you were going.  You smell the air and feel the weather, lungs and legs pumping. It is blissfully quiet and ultra-cheap to own and operate. But mixed in with trucks, buses and angry car-commuters it can be dangerous.

Since my discharge from the Air Force in 1978 I have ridden about 100 miles per week in and around Seattle.  This experience includes 30 years of commuting from Fremont to Capitol Hill. Add it up…that’s over 200,000 miles, so I would like to share some of my experience with you and hopefully make you a safer rider.

Ride your bike with courteous authority.  Perhaps no activity demonstrates the benefits of empathy and kindness towards each other (the components of courtesy) than the sharing of urban roads to move around.  And a lack of courtesy, or simple mistake, can lead to a situation where a driver is deliberately threatening your life. We are generally a passive, polite bunch in Seattle, but on the road acts of rudeness can carry a potentially lethal response from another person.  The reckless disregard for life shown by frustrated drivers is beyond belief sometimes… Continue reading

Seattle’s floating bike shares: Most are parked just fine, thanks, and pretty much nobody is wearing a helmet

Standoff on the Green

There are 10,000 orange, green, and yellow bikes available for rent on the streets of Seattle — and, the city says, around 7,000 of them are parked without blocking the sidewalk, presumably upright, and not underwater.

The City of Seattle’s chaotic but kinda fun test of floating bike shares is ready for its next step — regulations to help the clearly popular but still a work in progress component of the city’s transit system work even better. It’s one urbanist adventure where Seattle is firmly in the lead over many other big cities in U.S.

CHS looked at many of the options on the table including designated parking areas here in January. Tuesday, the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee heard an update on program and the next steps on forming new permitting requirements for providers like Limebike, Ofo, and Spin. The full presentation from the meeting is below. Continue reading

Seattle Bike Everywhere Day includes City Hall rally for safer routes to downtown

It’s not Bike to Work Day any longer. Friday brings brings Bike Everywhere Day to Seattle and bicycling advocates are marking the day with a rally at City Hall:

Friday, May 18 is Bike Everywhere Day. This year people on bikes will ride together, demonstrating demand for a safe and protected network of places to bike in Seattle. At 8:00 a.m., they’ll meet up at Seattle City Hall to rally for a completed Seattle Basic Bike Network, and to hear from an all-female slate of community leaders – from both inside and outside City Hall – about why Seattle needs a Basic Bike Network by 2019.

What is the Seattle Basic Bike Network? Riders and transportation planners have been advocating for a connected system of bike-safe and traffic-safe infrastructure throughout the central core of the city: Continue reading

Seattle looks at insurance on Downtown Transit Tunnel traffic in Convention Center expansion deal

The future of Boren at Olive

The $83 million “community package” of public benefits including cash for affordable housing, bike infrastructure improvements, and Freeway Park enhancement will go in front of the Seattle City Council Monday afternoon for final approval in a move that should clear the way for the vacation of city right of way needed to construct the $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center expansion in downtown Seattle at the foot of Capitol Hill.

There is, however, one small point to consider on the vote necessary to allow the project to begin construction of the expansion later this year with a goal of opening the new 1.2 million-square-foot structure in 2020. The City Council will consider an insurance plan of sorts on the the traffic impact from moving buses out of the downtown transit tunnel. “If the WSCC sends a request to King County to close the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) to buses in March 2019, the WSCC shall provide $50,000 to SDOT when the closure request is sent to King County,” the proposed substitute version of the bill up for vote Monday reads. “SDOT shall use the funds to analyze the impacts of closing the DSTT on transit service on 2rd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues between Jackson and Stewart Streets.” Continue reading

Metier Brewing Co., a short four-hour loop ride from E Union

Capitol Hill’s craft beer scene is growing — you just need to add a four-hour loop to your ride.

E Union’s Metier headquarters will be joined by a new venture a short, 21-mile bike ride away in Woodinville where Metier Brewing Co. is being planned to open this spring:

MBC is a bike-friendly destination in the heart of Woodinville, featuring our distinctive award-winning beers, simple eats, and locally produced wine.

Continue reading

Seattle’s bid to cut emissions and traffic includes downtown tolling by 2021, Pike and Pine protected bike lanes ‘ASAP’

City Hall is putting together a plan to toll downtown Seattle streets before the end of her first term in 2021, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, City Council transportation committee head Mike O’Brien is pushing for a more immediate effort to complete new protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine with money from the Washington State Convention Center expansion.

Both efforts come as Seattle seeks to ease congestion in its core and cut the some 6 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions created every year in the city. Continue reading

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