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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:

The Seattle Basic Bike Network (Image: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

The effort has been adopted by and entangled in City Hall’s downtown transportation planning process. And now, under Mayor Jenny Durkan, advocates say the plan is being pushed aside:

But when the new Durkan administration came to power, they pushed aside the One Center City community stakeholder committee, ditched the compromise, delayed the bike lanes, and watered down the transit improvements. So we rallied caring community members who were fed up with all the delays and sent hundreds of emails to elected leaders and testified at City Council meetings. While we haven’t won yet, our elected leaders are listening now. Help us keep the momentum going.

For Hill cyclists looking for a reason to ride to City Hall Friday, the “Basic Network” hinges on bike lanes on Pike and Pine. The public benefits package approved as part of the expansion of the downtown convention center includes millions for the Pike and Pine lanes that would connect to “the existing bike lanes on Broadway and 2nd” and form “the spine of an all ages and abilities bicycle network.”

The weekend, meanwhile, brings more celebration of things involving pedals and two wheels. Sunday, the state is hosting a grand opening of the 520 Trail. CHS was there in December when the trail alongside the new 520 bridge opened to people walking, skating, and, yes, biking across Lake Washington.

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17 thoughts on “Seattle Bike Everywhere Day includes City Hall rally for safer routes to downtown

  1. This is so desperately needed. In places where there’s good bike infrastructure along routes people actually need to go, the bike lanes are super busy now!

    But it’s still pretty harrowing to get to downtown or SLU from the hill.

    I’ll be there

  2. I really really want better bikeability across the City.

    12 million dollars a mile is not a reasonable price point though. We need to understand if other costs are being folded in inappropriately (ie, it’s fine to fix sewer lines while we have the street torn up, but let’s not take that from the ‘bike lane’ budget) or something else is happening.

    • Yeah, you could build 0.012 miles of tunnel with that money instead! Bike lanes are so wasteful, why are we building 166 miles of bike lanes when we could spend $2 billion on a 2 mile tunnel instead… oh wait, Seattle is building a $2 billion tunnel, and 0 miles of bike lanes – someone sure made the wrong decision there!

      Let me see if I have this right – spending extravagant amounts of money on cars = perfectly ok! Spending significantly smaller amounts to alleviate the danger bike riders face riding on the same streets as all those cars… not ok!

      • Look at the cost per daily user per mile: WSDOT 2016 traffic volume for the south end of the viaduct was 69,000 daily average. At $1B per mile, this is just shy of $15k per person per mile. 2nd ave PBL is averaging 857 counts per day. At $12m per mile, this comes out to $14k per person per mile.

        Neither are cheap, but one of these has steadily increasing ridership (1500 yesterday) and won’t be tolled.

      • I didn’t say bike lanes were wasteful, I said we appear to be getting ripped off or mislead as to what the money goes for.

        This is a chronic problem in US infrastructure – why does it cost so much more to build a subway tunnel in NYC than Paris?

        If we could get a handle on costs we could build more desperately needed infrastructure!!! 3x the bike lanes!

      • The big flaw in that argument is that the tunnel is going to move a lot more than people — it’s infrastructure for the flow of trucks (and goods from the port, etc) from the city.

  3. PS, I feel like SDOT is setting itself up for another PR disaster with the Burke-gilman completion in ballard, which is budgeted at $26m for 1.4 miles. I don’t get it.

  4. The map shows the proposed bike lane on 4th Avenue, and it exactly parallels the existing bike lane on 2nd Avenue. Why is the 4th Avenue lane needed? It seems like a duplication and a waste of money.

      • Also, theres a hill between 2nd and 4th. People aren’t going to drop down to 2nd and then back up to 4th; they’ll just take 4th (whether it’s safe or not).

        So make it safe.

  5. I think the cyclists might find people more sympathetic to their needs if they were to follow the laws they demand everyone else follow. It’s difficult to take seriously a group who screams ‘share the road’ but is unwilling to adhere to the rules required to use said roads, and the excuse every time is ‘But…cars…’

    • You’re accusing the entire group of people who ride bikes with being unwilling to follow the laws, neglecting what fraction of bikers vs drivers follow the laws and the consequences of a biker vs a driver breaking a traffic law.

      Let me give my perspective. Bikers and drivers are both people, and both break laws. Bikers may actually break the law more often, but I doubt it. If you have data to cite, please do. The vast majority of drivers and bikers that I share the streets with follow the law all the time…we’re perfectly willing to follow it. The trouble is this:
      Biker breaks the law – worst case scenario is injury/death for the cyclist
      Driver breaks the law – worst case scenario is injury/death for the cyclist

      The reason some bikers are screaming (I literally and uncharacteristically did this in traffic yesterday when I was nearly killed) is that we are far more at risk from drivers’ inattention, carelessness, hurriedness, entitlement and flouting of the law than anyone is from ours.

    • In the absence of enforcement, I think many people generally obey the laws they think make sense, and don’t obey the ones they don’t.

      I’m not going to defend cyclists— I agree some of them should follow the laws more than they do. I also submit that motorists follow the same ethical standard cyclists do —stand at a stop sign and watch what percentage of cars come to a complete stop and then tell me with a straight face how law-abiding car drivers are.

      The problem, and the reason cyclists are so vocal, is with the asymmetric consequences — when car drivers break laws or make mistakes, someone can easily get killed. That’s much rarer in the case of cyclists and pedestrians (though not unheard of, to be sure).

    • Bullpucky…. I’m a rather law abiding road user whatever vehicle that I use and I can tell you for certain that even though I think neither should – cyclists don’t break the rules any more than drivers do… and are much less of a problem if they do.

      Until I see motorists stop speeding, rolling through stop signs and red lights, passing in stupid places and using their vehicles as a means of intimidating other road users I will have absolutely NO sympathy for you or anyone else who sputters but, but, but cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road. We barely even NEEDED rules of the road until the automobile… there were no stop signs or signal lights or speed limits until the automobile… As a cyclist and pedestrian, follow those rules because I know that if I behave in a predictable manner that keeps me safer and allows other road users to act predictably as well – but make no mistake – the road user with the *lethal* conveyance has the bigger responsibility.

      Cyclists generally understand that any boneheaded maneuver on their part will likely end with them being on the ground and hurt just as much as anyone else…. few cyclists are stupid enough to intentionally put themselves in that situation. Motorists understand that they won’t feel a GD thing if they hit a cyclist or pedestrian.

      A small but everpresent percentage of drivers feel like they are entitled to use that vehicle to terrorize anyone who they feel is ‘in their way’ – they push through intersections when you are still in the crosswalk, just about on your heels – drive directly at you when they should be waiting behind a stop sign – speed up rather than slowing when you try to cross a street at anywhere that doesn’t have a stop sign or light… pass cyclists leaving inches, sometime even swerve at you intentionally – honk, swear, scream unintelligible crap at you out of their window, because they feel like they feel that a few seconds of their time (that will likely just be spent sitting at the next red light) is sooooooo much more important than your entire life and welfare. Clue for you – you do about 15mph in city traffic all told. So do I… I will likely catch up to you at that next light.

      An unfortunate larger percentage can’t focus long enough to drive safely…. You wouldn’t believe the numbers of people that I *still* see using cell phones in their cars – I see bozos (yes multiple..) watching television or browsing freaking facebook on phones stuck to their windshields… A shockingly small percentage understand what stopped really means or how to legally make a right on red. Some look right through you as they turn in front of you, pass then slam on the brakes – because they cannot judge your speed. Many have zero awareness of the size of their vehicle… they pass to closely and/or move over into your space before they are actually all the way beyond you…

      Look it up someday – how many people (pedestrians, cyclists, other motorists) are killed by cyclists on the roads every year… Oh, right it’s so infinitesimally insignificant that no records are even kept… No go and look up how many people are killed by motorists. Who needs to take the larger responsibility here? It’s pretty clear to me…..