Pronto at the 2014 Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park earlier this month (Images: CHS)
On a big day for Seattle bikes, here are a few pedal-focused news notes for Capitol Hill and the multi-modal streets beyond.
- Pronto’s first big hill climb: The first public bike system in the Pacific Northwest faces a major test Monday as memberships for Seattle’s Pronto bicycle share go on sale starting at noon.
Customers will have the option of signing up for two levels of “founding memberships” —
It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for! On Monday, August 25, be one of the first 600 to sign up for an annual membership online at pronto cycleshare.com and receive the coveted status of a Pronto Founding Member. Besides bragging rights and all the street cred that comes with being part of Seattle history, Founding Members will receive an exclusive, limited-edition blue key to access the system. It’s no secret that these are going to sell out fast (Citibike’s 5,000 founding memberships sold out in just 30 hours!), so mark your calendars for noon on August 25th and secure yours before it’s too late!
The new system will begin with 500 bikes serving the city with Capitol Hill, First Hill, the U-District, Eastlake, South Lake Union, Belltown, downtown, Pioneer Square and International District stations . Each station will have docks for 12 to 20 bikes and will feature a kiosk where non-members can sign up for 24-hour, or multiday passes, and or access bikes using a code. Those who pay $85 for an annual membership will be able to bypass the kiosk and check bikes out directly from their docks. Continue reading
Monday, the Seattle City Council approved a 2014 budget with several line items that will change, grow and re-shape Capitol Hill. CHS outlined the list here including money to help overhaul the Egyptian Theatre, funds to assist local homeless shelters and re-focusing of the Seattle Police budget in an attempt to better address central Seattle’s public safety needs.
Plans for the city’s Transportation Benefit District spending were also approved including more than $1 million for two projects important to Capitol Hill public transit:
- $175,000 for TC367240 Broadway Streetcar Extension (PDF) “provides funding to complete formation activities for a Local Improvement District (LID).” CHS reported on the planning for the streetcar’s push for Volunteer Park here.
- TC367480 Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit’s $1 million “funds preliminary engineering and environmental analysis. Would enable the project to be grant ready in 2015. You can read more about Madison BRT from the Central District News.
We are also getting the benefit of a spiffy new $225,000 street sweeper the Seattle Department of Transportation is acquiring to help keep the Broadway Bikeway and Seattle’s growing network of cycle tracks open and safe. With Seattle in the market for a a machine for the job, Portland’s RAVO 5-Series –like the one pictured above — is Netherlands-made and “is the absolute top in street sweeping machines and worldwide the best sold sweeper,” the manufacturer says.
We should see something like it plying Broadway by mid-2014.
“No Parking signs are popping up all over Seattle’s Capitol Hill leaving many frustrated drivers wondering what’s going on…”
Thanks to Lauren for being an excellent neighborhood spokesperson: “I don’t think we need to be accommodating cars necessarily…”
A separated cycle track that will accompany the First Hill streetcar route along the street, the Broadway bikeway between Madison and the Denny Way terminus is slated to be ready for its first riders “in weeks,” according to a SDOT representative. The southern portion is planned to open before the end of the year. No word, yet, on any opening ceremonies but CHS has already started riding the route just to warm it up.
The bikeway will eventually extend all the way up to north Broadway when the streetcar route is extended toward Volunteer Park. The route will be part of the city’s metered bike counter system. Meanwhile, drivers, bikers, walkers, bus riders, etc. will find some “traffic revisions” on the Hill this weekend as streetcar construction continues.