Category: Bicycling

City Council Committee Passes Bike Network Resolution

Councilmember Mike O’Brien introduced Resolution #312826 and his committee, the Sustainability and Transportation Committee, passed it 5-0 yesterday.

“With Wednesday’s committee meeting, we’re reaffirming our commitment to establishing a connected, protected bicycle lane network in downtown Seattle,” said O’Brien in a press release. “We’re also committing Seattle to achieving zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Given what’s at stake, it’s too expensive not to make more investments in completing the network for all to utilize and enjoy.”

(image courtesy of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Clup helped organized a big turnout at Wednesday’s hearing. Joel Sisolak from the EcoDistrict testified on behalf of the Resolution and specifically the connection of downtown to Capitol Hill via a protected bike lane in Pike-Pine.

“In the past 18 months, I’ve been in two separate bike accidents commuting to Capitol Hill,” Sisolak said. “I’m deeply invested in Vision Zero and seeing the bike network completed on the Hill.”

Sisolak also noted that as sustainability advocates for Capitol Hill and as a member of the Community Package Coalition that helped negotiate community benefits from the Washington State Convention Center expansion, the EcoDistrict is a staunch advocate of well designed bike infrastructure for Pike Pine.

Bike lanes need to work for all stakeholders, including people who would choose to bike if it were safer. Capitol Hill Housing and the EcoDistrict are committed to working with SDOT, Central Seattle Greenways and other community interests to ensure that our business community and all users of the Pike-Pine corridor have a say in how these lanes are designed so that their implementation is successful and the lanes are well and safely used.

(image courtesy of City of Seattle)

O’Brien was joined in passing the Resolution by Councilmembers Johnson, Sawant, Bagshaw and Gonzalez. A vote of the full Council is expected July 30th.





Vision Zero by 2030 (in case I live that long)

Last December, an idiot sideswiped me when he cut into the southbound bike lane to park his car by Seattle U. The accident cost me a concussion and scars on my nose and leg.

Last night, another idiot, this one on a bicycle, pulled a Jersey left at the intersection of 12th with Union and Madison. Again, I was traveling south on 12th on my way home from work. Both of us ended up sprawled on the street just a couple of blocks from the site of my December accident. No major injuries this time, thank God. My bike took some damage, but mostly just cosmetic. Steel frames are amazing.

I’m not damaged, but it may be a while again before I bike to work. Before December, I rode pretty religiously 3-5 times per week. After the concussion, it was about 3 months before I got back in the saddle and then it was only for the occasional sunny day ride. My bike commuting went from 3-5 times per week to 3-5 times per month. Last night was one of those rare rides.

It’s a little ironic, at least Alanis Morisette ironic, that as I walked my bike out of the office yesterday, I mentioned to a co-worker that I don’t ride as much as I used to since my December crash. She wished me a safe ride home.

It’s the good advice that I just didn’t take

Who would’ve thought, it figures.

Before gearing up for my ride home, I spent some time with a different co-worker checking out a new collision reporting web site. Tim Ganter does a nice job ranking and mapping auto collisions (car on car, car on pedestrian, car on bike) in Seattle since 2006. Turns out that Capitol Hill is a popular spot for ramming people and parked cars. In the past 12 months, we rank third in number of collisions (508), first in collision-related serious injuries (10), and first in collisions with possible injuries (59). We rank first in number of parked cars hit (97), second in DUI cases (20), second in number of pedestrians struck (37) and first in number of cyclists struck (23).

WTF, Capitol Hill drivers?

For the record, that last number is low. I looked at Ganter’s map and my December run-in with the sideswiper didn’t get counted. Also not counted are collisions between two or more bicycles, or collisions of bicycles with pedestrians, or pedestrians with pedestrians, or pedestrians with parked cars.

Ganter is pulling data from SDOT, and I suppose a focus on collisions involving cars (weighing 4000+ pounds) are the ones most concerning. I can attest that colliding with another bicycle sucks and cyclists can be fucking IDIOTS (I’m talking about you, Katherine A!). But a car crash can kill you. Seven people have died in Capitol Hill car collisions in just the past six months. We can and must do better.

In 2015, the City of Seattle “launched” (their word, I wonder how one launches a vision) Vision Zero setting a goal of zero car crash fatalities or serious injury related accidents by 2030. Clearly, we have a long way to go in Capitol Hill and across the City, especially in Seattle’s denser urban villages where 80 percent of pedestrian-impacted collisions occur and where crashes with pedestrians and bicycles most frequently happen during commute hours.

It’s no wonder people are afraid to bike to work, or even walk through certain intersections on Capitol Hill. If we’re to achieve zero fatalities or serious injury accidents by 2030 (and preferably before then), even as more people move into the neighborhood, there are a few things we need to prioritize:

    1. Slower speeds
    2. Safer separation for pedestrians and cyclists
    3. Better crossings for pedestrians and cyclists
    4. Better enforcement of traffic and parking laws
    5. Fewer idiots

Okay, it’s hard to control for number 5, so can we please hurry up with 1-4?

May is Bike Month!

May is National Bike Month. The EcoDistrict supports active transportation that leads to a healthier and happier community, so let’s get riding! There is a LOT going on–here’s a look at the month ahead:

MAY 2nd:

Bike Month Kick-off Party, Cascade Bicycle Club, 7787 62nd Ave NW, 11am-2pm

Start Bike Month off with a BAM! There will be free repairs, activities, snacks and much more.

Pedaler’s Fair, Russian Community Center, 704 19th Ave E, 10am-5pm

The Pedaler’s Fair is an annual marketplace for Washington based, bicycle-inspired small businesses to exhibit their goods. In addition to exhibitor booths we have live music, workshops and presentations.


MAY 6th: National Bike to School Day

Part of Bike to School Month, more information and resources from Cascade Bicycle Club.

MAY 7th: Bike Everywhere Breakfast, Sheraton Downtown 7–9 a.m.

Join Cascade Bicycle Club for a morning of fun, laughter and inspiration. Proceeds benefit Cascade Education Foundation’s efforts to get more people on bikes with safer places to ride.

MAY 8th: Ride to the Movies, meet at Roanoke Park Place Tavern 2409 10th Ave E, 5:45pm

Cascade Bicycle Club invites you on a ride to Central Cinema for a screening of the Triplets of Belleville. You can buy your ticket before the event here

MAY 10th: Seattle CycloFemme, *Capitol Hill option: Meet at Cal Anderson Park, 3:15pm

Celebrate Global Women’s Cycling Day with Seattle Critical Lass! Multiple rides from North Seattle and South Seattle will meet at Lake Union Park for a picnic at 4pm. Just bring yourself, we’ll bring the food! 

MAY 15th: Bike to Work Day *Capitol Hill option: 12th & Pine station 6:30-9:30am

Commute stations will be popping up all over to provide treats for our awesome bike commuters. Keep your eyes open for an extra special station at 12th & Pine co-hosted by the EcoDistrict and Sustainable Capitol Hill! See map of all stations

MAY 21st: Bike Happy Hour, Elysian Brewing, 1221 E. Pike St,  5:30-7pm

Join our Education team as we celebrate our Bike to School Supporters.

MAY 24th-MAY 31st: Shop by Bike Week, all participating stores

Support your local economy by biking to your nearby grocery store or other shops. Check out the bicycle benefits here and see some participating Capitol Hill businesses below:

bike benefits

And there’s more!

Check out all the action at Cascade Bicycle Club and the Seattle Bike Blog