Central District e-bike showroom Electric Lady shutting down

Alex Kostelnik is getting out of the e-bike biz

One of the more future-looking retail ventures in the area is calling it quits. Here is why Electric Lady, the Central District e-bike shop in a building part of the wave of new development at 23rd and Union, is going out of business.

“(T)he business is doing well financially, but he is not enjoying the work needed to navigate what he sees as an unreliable industry where companies start up, go under, fire staff and get bought constantly,” the Seattle Bike Blog writes aboutowner Alex Kostelnik’s decision.

But Kostelnik tells SBB he was also having trouble connecting with his customers:

“They’re first time riders, but they’re not first time riders that are stepping up to the plate to hear about the community or join the community. They’re sort of strange outsider, know-it-all lonely people who aren’t really part of our community, and I don’t know where to begin with them.”

It’s not all sour grapes. Kostelnik will continue to run 20/20 Cycles just up the E Union hill and plans to include some electric bike models in his inventory. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Metier has new partner in Homegrown for cycling, coffee, sandwiches — and beer

(Image: Metier)

As a global brand stumbles with as much focus on fashion as cycling, Capitol Hill’s Metier is setting its own pace with a new partner on E Union.

Metier’s Todd Herriott tells CHS the decision to link up with Seattle “sustainable” sandwich shop concern Homegrown was a natural combination and will help keep the food and drink in Metier’s “Coffee and Racing” concept.

“We learned a lot,” Herriott said of Metier’s three years in the food and drink business after it opened its new headquarters combining a cafe, bike gym, and training center on E Union in late 2015. One of the lessons, Herriott said, was to find a partner to put Metier’s space more fully to use with good food connected to the space’s cycling culture. Continue reading

Seattle Parks ready to cut ribbon on new Interlaken staircase and bike runnel

Seattle has found it a major challenge to create much of its planned bike infrastructure but one important new feature for riders headed for Capitol Hill via Interlaken Blvd will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting Saturday.

The celebration for the newly completed Interlaken Park Path and Stair Upgrade will begin this Saturday at 9:30 AM (PDF) at the corner of Boyer and Howe. Continue reading

Capitol Hill gunpoint robbery suspects reportedly use bike share as getaway ride

A couple of Capitol Hill armed robbery suspects put Seattle’s robust bike share system to use for their getaway in at least one of two early morning gunpoint hold-ups reported over the weekend.

According to East Precinct radio broadcasts, a man was held up by a suspect brandishing a black handgun just after 5:30 AM Saturday morning near the QFC at Pike and Broadway. The suspect described as a white male in his 20s, around 5’7″, with a thin build, and wearing a black hat, black coat, and ripped blue jeans reportedly left the scene along with an accomplice riding Lime bikes.

The male and female duo were last seen headed west on Pike on the bikes. They were not wearing helmets. Continue reading

Uber, Lyft joining Lime as Seattle bike share providers

Seattle’s next era of bike share is about to begin and it will be powered, oddly enough, by competition between the two largest providers of motor vehicle “share” services.

Uber and Lyft will join existing vendor Lime with bikes for rent on the streets of Seattle with the fleets expected to ramp up by spring 2019, the Seattle Department of Transportation announced. Continue reading

Pike/Pine protected bike lanes? Take the survey to help reshape the ride up and down Capitol Hill

(Images: Alex Garland/Capitol Hill Housing)

Quick, before the Seattle urbanists muck it up. Capitol Hill Housing is proclaiming the first big community workshop on shaping protected Pike/Pine bike lanes a big success and organizers are collecting feedback on some of the design questions and opportunities that emerged in the October session.

CHS reported here on the effort to bring biking advocates, urbanists, neighbors, and business representatives together for a planning session to set the early tone and framework for a much needed effort to create safe cycling infrastructure between Broadway and downtown. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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