Category Archives: traffic

UW Burke-Gilman Closure/Detour in mid December

Head’s up: Anne and I were out for ride with a neighbor on Wednesday and noticed an upcoming Burke-Gilman trail reroute.

Apparently a small portion the trail needs to be closed December 14 – January 3 to allow early prep work for the future University Link light rail station.

An easy detour is available on Mason Rd, the lightly-traveled access road which runs parallel and just above the trail grade.

More from Sound Transit:

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And I’d like that delivered, please….

Carfreedays Dry cleaning delivery service

carfreedays dry cleaning delivery service

our neighbors dry cleaning delivery

our neighbor's dry cleaning delivery service

How does everyone feel about delivery?

In these new fangled modern times you can have just about anything delivered: Thai food, Indian food, groceries, pet food and even dry cleaning. The possibilities are endless. Continue reading

Seattle Ride of Silence Deserves our Respect

Heading out with a small group on the 2009 Ride of Silence

Heading out with a small group on the 2009 Ride of Silence

As I mentioned, Wednesday was the 2009 Ride of Silence. Having been impressed by last year’s numbers  and the diversity of participants, I was really looking forward to paying my respects by riding with an even larger group this year.

Upon arriving at Gas Works Park, it was quickly apparent that I was a bit optimistic. In fact, riders were  so sparse, my first thought was that I missed the roll out and had showed up at a Cascade evening group ride.  Last year’s rider count was in the mid-hundreds (Wednesday’s ride leader mentioned “600″ in past years), this year I counted 43 or 44 riders TOTAL.

I’m just going to come right out and say I’m really disappointed by Seattle cyclists. While other cities had growing numbers of riders, Seattle fell flat (Portland drew about 75 for their 2009 ride). Continue reading

Times bike fee plan: Let’s get us some readers

By now, most of you have read the “bicycle licensing” nonsense in the Seattle Times by formerly ready-for-pasture James Vesley:

Seattle went through a lengthy process of enhancing the Burke-Gilman Trail through industrial Ballard. Among the pretzel routes, all were made to make cycling as easy as possible. Those costs, born by the industries of Ballard and the city, could be offset by a modest fee.

Pick your favorite James

Good James or Bad? Do you ride a bike or own a shopping mall?

Uh, you mean the trail project that voters levied themselves to pay for as part of  the Complete Streets/Bridging the Gap measures? Yeah, that one.

In the past couple days I’ve read a number of the comments in response to the editorial and for the most part they are fairly civil, reasoned, and lacking in the hate that the PI Soundoff seems to generate. Frankly, most people are shocked that Vesley could put forth such a stupid idea.

Personally, I don’t think the guy is stupid.

Instead, I see his tirade as a well-planned effort to show that even the aging dean of the newsroom can still can bring in the readers. Newspaper budgets are shrinking, after all. You’ve got to demonstrate your worth to the advertising machine, and Vesley did just that.

Of course, as a long-time crony of Kemper Freeman and the Bellevue pavement brigade, it’s not like he had to stretch to play the part. (Side note: Kemper Freeman doesn’t have a Wikipedia entry. Interesting….)

All this allowed James to score points with the pro-development community just when they were stinging from their election losses, while shoring up his big man on campus reputation with those whipper-snapper Gen-Y kids in the Times analytics department. Well played, James.

Never mind that some will use his pathetic ideas as an excuse to validate their hatred toward cyclists.

It’s just business, right?

– Tim

Video of Toronto’s Scramble intersection

Scramble from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

I saw this on Streetsblog this morning—it’s a great time-lapse video of Toronto’s first Scramble intersection. Yes, truly mesmerizing.

I’ve always admired these intersections in the financial district of San Francisco. The concept is so basic. All pedestrians traveling all directions cross at the same time. These intersections ease frustration for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike. I bet the number of injuries caused by angry motorists sneaking right turns through pedestrian laden crosswalks are greatly reduced.

Why aren’t these types of intersections standard in all busy downtown cores?

– Anne

Pacific NW Per-Capita Gas Use Down to 1966 Levels

Gas Consumption is DownAccording to the Sightline institute, gas consumption is down in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and Idaho. For more stats and details, read the full report.)  In terms of weekly gasoline consumption per person, Oregon and Washington are in the top 10 least consuming states (Washington D.C. actually leads the pack.)

This is good news–way to go northwesterners, but don’t go celebrating just yet.

Our total consumption, keeping pace with population growth, has not dropped. Per-captia we still consume more gas than a handful of states including New York, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Alaska, Utah, Illinois and Pennsylvania. And compared against the world, the report reminds us we still have a long way to go:

Despite recent reductions, northwesterners still consume prodigious amounts of gasoline. Daily consumption in the Northwest states remains nearly twice as high as the global average for high-income countries. 

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Life Lessons from a Preschooler

Ghost Bike at Eastlake and Fuhrman
The four-year-old and I journeyed over the University Bridge to pick up some ski helmets we scored on Craigslist. We pulled into the Red Robin parking lot a few minutes early and waited for our helmet connection to show. While we were waiting, the little guy noticed the Bryce Lewis ghost bike memorial on the corner of Fuhrman and Eastlake. Continue reading

Seattle One Less Car Challenge

Tim and I are taking the One Less Car Challenge sponsored by the City of Seattle. We originally applied back in November when we sold our Saab but had some trouble with our contract being received.  It’s all good now and we’re set up with the program. We agree not to replace the car for a year. I really doubt we’ll ever replace it so it’s not super challenging for us. But we’ll take it anyway. Continue reading

Why Do You Bike Commute? Why Don’t You Bike Commute?

The pile at the door before work

We often get asked why we ride and we occasionally ask others why they do or don’t. Other than the usual (“it’s great exercise!”or “the weather sucks”), our insight into the matter has been lean. One thing I sort of remember from grad school (way back in 2007) is that sample size and makeup play heavily into the data returned by these adhoc surveys. To get better results, we’d need to reach beyond our little-ol’ personal network.

Luckily for us, superstar local bike blogger Kent Peterson has done just that. He invited his rather large readership to answer the why questions, going so far as dedicating a separate post for each. Continue reading

Candy Will Keep Them Awake

We went to dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s house on Saturday night. They live about five miles from us. In the “old days” we would have driven over there. Although I never considered driving this time, the decision to ride did give me pause: it’s a little farther than we normally go with the kids after dark. I wondered how they would do on the back of the bike on the way home. Darkness and kids with full tummies at bedtime is a recipe for some nodding off. But it wasn’t enough to make me take the car.

As we hit the section of the Burke Gilman that passes the dreaded Montlake traffic, we were feeling smug about our decision to ride. We breezed by on our bikes passing all of the cars sitting in traffic. Right on.

Montlake Traffic

We had a lovely time at dinner. And as I predicted, we stayed a little past the kids bedtime. It’s hard to get us out the door when we’re having a good time. To to keep the kids from falling asleep, we fed them sour patch kids all the way home. It turns out candy does serve a purpose.sour-patch-kids-blog.jpg Since the four year old isn’t as skilled as his sister at riding no handed, he and Tim worked out a candy-eating-system. Tim gave the little guy some warning, then he opened his mouth like a baby bird and received his sugar bomb. The seven year old, ever so grown up and composed, casually sat behind me no-handed and fed herself. It worked like a charm – they got just enough of a sugar rush to keep them awake but not too much to keep them from going to sleep once we got home.

We really enjoyed the ride home – there’s something about riding at night that makes me feel extra free. Plus the kids get really excited when they are out after dark, they think they are getting away with something. We even saw a few raccoons peeking out from some shrubs: no big deal to us, but thrilling to kids who usually go to bed soon after the sun goes down. Ah the little things!

– Anne