MASS transit: Move All Seattle Sustainably coalition forms to push for faster, smarter street investments

A bike rider resorts to the sidewalk to navigate busy Boren (Images: CHS)

The community has taken the lead in shaping protected bike lanes on Pike and Pine — and a coalition of community groups is taking the lead in calling on Mayor Jenny Durkan to “transform” Seattle’s transportation system. Meet MASS — Move All Seattle Sustainably:

Seattle needs to dramatically transform its transportation system for multiple reasons— many of which are already reflected in Seattle’s adopted goals. Our Climate Action Plan calls for carbon neutrality by 2050, and transportation is 60% of our current emissions; the recent IPCC report reminds us of the catastrophe awaiting us if we do not act immediately to reduce carbon emissions. Vision Zero calls for zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2030. In addition, our streets in the urban core are already failing to move people and goods adequately, equity and access to jobs require lower-cost options for people to get around, and our city’s overall economic health depends on a safe, green, and equitable transportation system.

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Here’s your chance to help shape new Pike/Pine protected bike lanes

Planning is underway for new protected Pike/Pine bike lanes, and a community group wants to hear from residents about it.

The idea of protected bike lanes along Pike and Pine streets, connecting existing lanes on 2nd Ave and Broadway has long been in the city’s plans. Earlier this year, there had been some mixed messaging about how high a priority the lanes were, until the City Council in July voted to make them a priority.

The city is hoping that connecting these two sections will help increase bike ridership by forming a connected bike network throughout the core of Seattle.

The plan now is for the lanes to be operational, if not entirely permanent, by the end of 2019. The plan recognizes that there are some complications likely with the western portion of the lanes. Construction on major expansion of the convention center will begin relatively soon. And the “Pike Pine Renaissance” project will reshape the downtown portion of the corridor.

For those reasons, the city is hesitant to spend too much money on bike lanes west of the freeway, only to have them torn up during one of those projects. But there will be something, with plans for interim lanes generally between Bellevue and 2nd Ave.

The Capitol Hill portion of the lanes is likely to be a more permanent section, said Brie Gyncild, who is working on the project with Central Seattle Greenways. The group is sponsoring a workshop to discuss options for how the new lanes might be designed. Continue reading

Community groups begin education and outreach on Pike/Pine bike improvement plan

Neighborhood and Central Seattle Greenways activists volunteered their weekend to survey the merchant community along the Pike and Pine corridor from Broadway west toward Downtown. A $10 million protected bike lane route through the busy thoroughfare is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.

Brie Gyncild of Central Seattle Greenways says the outreach campaign is simple. “Our entire goal is to ensure that the design works for everyone, including businesses. Understanding their needs, whether they be loading or parking or pedestrian safety or even aesthetics, lets us advocate for a design that accommodates their needs,” Gyncild said. UPDATE: We have updated Gyncild’s comments and removed a quote that was mis-reported by CHS. We apologize for the error. Continue reading

Seven District 3 projects make final cut in citizen street and park work budgeting process

A $83,000 new marked crossing at 14th and Aloha made the cut — so did a $90,000 sidewalk project on Summit.

Results are in for the final vote on Seattle’s 2018 round of citizen budgeting process for street and park improvements.

Thanks to excellent marketing — proponents printed flyers and hung them from street signs at the crossing — the 14th and Aloha project had the highest level of support in the District 3 group, tallying nearly 300 votes.

The seven District 3 projects that garnered the most “Your Voice, Your Choice” votes are below: Continue reading

Police seek help identifying suspected Seattle bike share vandal

Police have surveillance video of a man suspected of sabotaging floating share bikes in SODO and are asking for the public’s help in identifying him as they investigate similar dangerous incidents across the city:

Seattle police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a man suspected of sabotaging brake lines on several bike-share bicycles in SODO.

Surveillance video shows the man walking up to several bikes parked at 4th Avenue and South Main Street around 11:45 PM on June 14th. He can be seen manipulating what appears to be a cutting tool around the bikes’ brakes before he walks out of frame.
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Seattle approves 18-month plan for downtown, Pike/Pine protected bike lanes — and a plan for 20K shared bikes to help fill them

Standoff on the Green

The Seattle City Council Monday approved legislation that will double the amount of shared bicycles on city streets to 20,000 and approved an 18-month timetable for creating “a connected, protected bicycle lane network” downtown that will include a Pike/Pine route to connect with Broadway.

“Ensuring that we are making our public right-of-way safe for pedestrians, for cyclists, and prioritizing transit, is an issue of environmental justice, economic justice, racial justice, and gender justice!,” Council member Teresa Mosquedasaid about the vote Monday for the resolution to put a timetable behind the downtown bike plan. Continue reading

City Council set to put a little muscle behind 2020 push for downtown bike plan

The City Council is set to put its support behind a plan for a Seattle Center City Bike Network and an 18-month implementation schedule to create “a connected, protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle by 2020.”

“With Wednesday’s committee meeting, we’re reaffirming our commitment to establishing a connected, protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle,” council member Mike O’Brien said Wednesday at a press conference before his committee meeting introducing the a resolution outlining the new push. Continue reading

Plan would double Seattle’s bike share fleet, add more designated bike parking

(Image: SDOT)

The city’s department of transportation is so tickled pink — and orange and yellow and lime green — with floating bike share in Seattle that it wants to double the number of rental bikes it allows in the city.

The Seattle City Council’s transportation committee is set to take up the proposal to double the number of bikes allowed in Seattle along with adding a new fourth provider to the mix Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading

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