Our Monthly Ride
Saturday, April 6 is going to be a great day for a bike ride. Please join us for an extraordinary opportunity to learn about what is going on as the UW plans new bicycle facilities: bike self-repair stations, creative bike parking, new lanes, and future campus plans for the Burke-Gilman Trail.
UW Transportation Analyst David Amiton will join us for this highly educational and fun ride. We’ll also stop and enjoy a snack at the cherry blossoms at the UW at the peak of their beauty! More ride details here.
We’ll cancel the ride only in heavy rain, but not in the blustery weather that is predicted for Saturday. We hope you can join us!
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Other Spokespeople rides we’ll be leading in April are an Earth Day Green Ride and a Kidical Mass Earth Day Ride in Ballard on April 21.
- Spokespeople West Seattle will be headed to Interbay P-patch on April 7 at 11am from Jack Block Park on Alki. Ride Leader Stu Hennessy says, “Following the Sustainable West Seattle theme of “Successful Gardening with Nature,” the April ride goes to one of the oldest food gardens in Seattle. I have always been inspired visiting this site. This 20 mile flat and easy ride will take us around the Elliot Bay using mostly traffic free corridors.”
- Spokespeople NE plans a ride to UW Bike Facilities on April 20.
Our ride leaders for our April 6 ride are Spokespeople and Cascade Bike Club Certified Ride Leaders Cathy Tuttle and Madi Carlson.
Nuts and Bolts
Spokespeople Wallingford begins at the south end of Wallingford Playfield at 42nd and Densmore at 2 p.m. PLEASE come 15 minutes early if you are new to riding on the road, new to riding in groups, or if you need any help with adjusting your helmet or bike.
New riders are welcome–in fact, getting new riders comfortable with riding on the road is the reason we do our rides! Please also call a day in advance if you’d like to buy a good quality helmet from us for $15 and we’ll bring our sack of helmets. Helmets are required on all of our rides. If there is heavy rain, we won’t do the ride.
What if it rains?
Only heavy rain will cancel Spokespeople rides. We’ll decide two hours prior on the day of the ride. Give a call if you plan to come, it is drizzly, and you aren’t sure if the ride is on. Likely we will ride!
Expert commuters, please join us. We need you! As our rides grow larger, we welcome good bicyclists like you who can offer encouragement and model good road riding techniques for new, returning and reluctant cyclists. This is a Bike Smart Seattle ride. All ages and skill levels are welcome. All Spokespeople rides are led by Cascade Bicycle Club certified ride leaders.
If you want more information about this ride or about Spokespeople, please contact us!
Keep happy and keep pedaling!
Our Fantastic Spokespeople Ride Leaders:
- Cathy Tuttle (206) 547-9569/(206) 713-6269 cathy.tuttle[at]gmail.com (Wallingford Spokespeople)
- Michael Snyder (206) 781-7221 msnyder[at]zserf.com (Ballard Spokespeople and the Cascade Bike Club Board)
- Madi Carlson (206) 612-4970 madidotcom[at]gmail.com
- Michael Herschensohn (206) 412-0702 mh982501[at]gmail.com (Queen Anne Spokespeople)
- Stu Hennessey (206) 938-3322 alkistu[at]hotmail.com (West Seattle Spokespeople)
- Al Miller (206) 697-4603 amiller7x7[at]comcast.net (NE Spokespeople)
And our other leaders Cindy Riskin, Lee LeCroix, William Gerdes, Denny Kerr, Jim Mathieu, Norm Tjaden, Robin Randels, Mark Davison, Sander Lazar (Ravenna Bryant Spokespeople), Scott, Bill, and even more people who help out whenever you can. Thank you.
You can now easily join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways on-line. Sign up today and find out if you live in one of the 21 super-active Greenways groups around Seattle.
A terrible tragedy took the lives of a family crossing NE 75th St a few weeks ago. An open letter from SvR consultant Brice Merryman deconstructs why the news media labels this kind of incident as an “accident,” an oft-used but imprecise word that unintentionally adds insult to the injury that our community has already endured. “This was a collision, with actors, causality and agency; it was a collision that we can learn from and prevent.”
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways organized a Memorial Walk one week after the collision with the victims’ family, local community, advocacy groups, and the City.
Kirkland Greenways kicked off this spring with meetings, rides, and a meeting with the Kirkland Mayor. Local TV covered this new group, too.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways hosted Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) Signals Manager Peter Koonce. We love that Portland has a Transportation Mode Hierarchy that starts with people who walk and bike! Peter Koonce’s talk is recorded on YouTube:
Peter Koonce recommended a short video that spoofs Traffic Engineers.
Greenways are a great place to calm down and can cure “brain fatigue.”
See our Greenways calendar for more details on these April events.
- April 1: 30 Days of Biking Kickoff. All over. Register @ www.30daysofbiking.com
- April 1: Memorial Walk for pedestrian fatalities in Wedgwood 4-5pm.
- April 2: U-District Urban Design Open House. 6:30-8:30pm.
- April 2: Ravenna-Bryant Safety Meeting. 7-9pm.
- April 3: National Walking Day.
- April 3: Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
- April 4: Safe Routes to School Advocacy Free Webinar 11-12.
- April 4: Seattle EcoDistrict Bike Tour + Happy Hour. Capitol Hill 4-6:30pm.
- April 5: Urbanism Without Effort lecture. Downtown 12-1:30.
- April 6: City Hall Open House. Downtown 10a-6p.
- April 6: Spokespeople to UW Bike Infrastructure & Cherry Trees. Wallingford 2-4pm.
- April 7: Spokespeople West Seattle to Interbay. 11a-3p.
- April 7: Bike Training for School Bike Trains. Magnusson Park 1:30-4:30pm.
- April 8: Measuring Greenways Performance meeting. Ballard 6:30-8:30pm.
- April 9: Queen Anne Greenways Stairway Audit. 6:30-9pm.
- April 9: Lake City Access & Transportation. 6:30-8:30pm.
- April 10: Walking & Biking in Small Rural Communities free webinar 9-10am.
- April 10: Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
- April 10: Maple Leaf Greenways monthly meeting 7:30pm.
- April 11: Ballard Greenways SDOT Open House. 6-8:30pm.
- April 17: Economic Benefits of Walkable and Bike Friendly Communities. $ webinar 12-1pm.
- April 17: Bicycle Inspiration HUB Seattle. Pioneer Square 6-9pm.
- April 18: Safe Routes to School free webinar. 11a-12p.
- April 18: Ballard Greenways monthly meeting. 7:30pm.
- April 20: Spokespeople Rides to UW Bike Infrastructure. Wedgwood 1pm.
- April 20-21: Pedaler’s Fair. Belltown.
- April 21: Earth Day Green Ride. Ballard 12-2pm.
- April 21: Kidical Mass Earth Day Green Ride. Ballard 2-4pm.
- April 23: Walk Bike School Library Open House. NE Seattle 2:30-7:30pm.
- April 23: Queen Anne Greenways monthly meeting. 6-7:30pm.
- April 24: Greenways Technical Reading Group. Wallingford 7-9pm.
- April 25: PSRC Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Board. Downtown 10a-12p.
- April 27: Bike Training for School Bike Trains. Columbia City 1:30-4:30pm.
- April 27: African American Community Walks. Central 5-7pm.
- May 1: Rainier Valley Greenways meeting. Columbia City 6:30-8:30pm.
- May 1: May is Bike to Work / Bike to School Month.
You can support our good work through our fiscal sponsor Seattle Parks Foundation when you specify “Seattle Neighborhood Greenways”.
Other Easy Rides We Recommend
- Cascade Daily Rides. Search for “Easy” or “Leisurely” rides.
- Check out Totcycle for Family Rides and Bike Works for even more Easy and Family Rides!
- Spokespeople West Seattle rides downtown 3/3/13 at 11am
- Spokespeople West Seattle rides to Interbay P-Patch April 7 at 11am
- Kidical Mass/Spokespeople Earth Day Ride to Rainwise Gardens and SolarizeNW Homes along Sustainable Ballard Greenways 4/21 2-4pm
You and Your Bike
Kids and Families and Everyday Biking
- Portland must be doing something right: 42% of PDX kids walk/bike to school! The US average is 12%.
- FamilyRide’s Madi Carlson writes oh-so-charming stories of huffing up and down hills with her two children behind her, squabbling, barking and experiencing the world in living color. She kicked off her 30 days of biking with the Memorial Walk, and a first ride on the 39th Ave NE Greenway where she saw “a girl riding a kick scooter and a cat being walked on a leash, both on the Neighborhood Greenway Checklist in my mind.”
- Nicholas Richter of Central Seattle Greenways led the effort to produce a City of Tacoma “Childrens’ Guide to Complete Streets.” Nice work!
- We’ve been thinking a lot about the “Chalk-Trail Attachment for Bikes” for our events.
- Kidical Mass in Washington DC made a survey including thoughtful comments about family biking. “I wish there were more family bikes found in more shops. I want them affordable but I also want people to recognize that they aren’t a toy and aren’t cheap for a reason. People are willing to spend hundreds (or thousands) on a single car repair but gasp at $1500 for a family bike that can last them more than a decade and give them freedom, exercise, joy and save them thousands over that time. The industry needs to grow and change but so do peoples understanding of what cycling is and is worth.” Complete survey results.
- An after-school bicycle club starts up in Ballard. So much to love about the “Loyal Heights Urban Cycling Club”!
- Bike Training for Bike Trains. A Safe Routes to School mini-grant funds great instructors to teach how to run a Bike Train to School April 7 and April 27.
Use City Bikes as Transportation
Safety for People Who Walk & Bike
Be Super Safe Campaign happening during the dark Seattle winter.
Advocating for Safe Healthy Streets
- After 14 years of building a powerful organization, Chuck Ayers resigned as head of Cascade Bicycle Club. Thank you Chuck!
- The Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill (HB 1045) is getting closer to a vote on the Senate floor. As you meet and/or communicate with senators, please ask them for their support. This bill does not lower speed limits by itself; it simply gives cities and towns the option to lower speed limits to 20 miles per hour on nonarterial streets without the current requirement for conducting a traffic and engineering study. HB 1045 cuts red tape and saves cities money. Contact Blake Trask, Statewide Policy Director Bicycle Alliance of Washington if you have additional questions.
- Seattle Department of Transportation presented prioritization metrics to the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board at their April 3 public meeting. These metrics will soon be on line for public review here.
- If 47% of Seattle residents walk-bike-ride, could 47% of our transportation funding be spent on safe streets for people?
- Guerrilla road safety group politely installs illegal bike lane protectors. Excellent public action. Excellent public response. Now needed: excellent leadership for safe streets asap!
- What are your Critical Crossings? Call them out! Councilmember Nick Licata has a website dedicated to raising awareness of pedestrian safety in Seattle by publishing images of traffic intersections and crosswalks submitted by citizens who believe intersections are critical to their safety.
- Critical Lass Seattle went to the Bike Expo Fashion Show. Some of our riders even starred in this Hub & Bespoke extravaganza!
- Master of Public Health student projects supported by Rainier Valley Greenways and Lake City Greenways found that: 1. Pedestrians in Ballard have as much as twice as much time cross streets at traffic signals on Market Street as they do along Rainier Avenue South. 2. The people who live in Little Brook in Lake City are concerned about their safety and connection to the larger community. See the evocative “Map of Fear and Comfort” on page 24 of this student report.
- Follow bike news at the Cascade Bike Club Blog.
- Take a look at great on-going bike week wrap-ups at Seattle Bike Blog.
- And the Pedestrian “walk around the news” at Feet First.
Reclaiming our Streets as Green and Thriving Places for People
- We won’t get more women on bikes until we have environments that cater to them: Women want things like more, better cycling infrastructure, supportive communities of cyclists that look like them, and for cycling for transportation overall to be a safer, more convenient experience.
Safe Streets Education, Encouragement, and Enforcement
- Are you taking the pledge this year? @30DaysofBiking (it is okay to start a little late;-) Step 1: Ride your bike every day in April. Step 2: Share your adventures with #30daysofbiking. A worldwide community of joyful cyclists, founded in Minneapolis.
- “Sex, Neuroscience and Walkable Urbanism”: Jeffrey Tumlin’s lecture on happiness, public health, and new research on safe healthy streets.
- Do we need to change how we enforce laws for safe streets for people–or do we need new laws?
- “Bicycling advocates now have a seat at the table, so instead of convincing people that they need that seat, now they need to sit down and start working together on solutions.” A consultant advises advocates to tone down the rhetoric, put down the hammers, and build positive coalitions with unlikely allies.
- Good ideas on encouraging a wide diversity of people to embrace biking: encourage ‘mama-biking’. Survey workers: “A lot of service workers are on bikes and they tend to be minorities.”
Engineering Safe Healthy Streets
- Safe Healthy Streets include “concrete refuge areas that physically protect pedestrians, shorten crossing distances and force trucks to make slower, more careful turns.” Similar redesigns on avenues in Lower Manhattan have substantially reduced motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities.
- 13 smart steps to making bicycling irresistible: #1: Dedicate space for low-stress bicycling. To make bicycling a way of life for a large share of the population—not just committed cyclists—it’s crucial to offer riders a sense of protection from traffic on busy streets … Commuter bicycling in NYC more than doubled between 2006 and 2010 while crash rates have decreased on the re-engineered roadways.
- In Tulsa they’re spending $30 million to widen one mile of Yale Avenue. “With that $30 million, what could they have bought? Six hundred miles of bike lane, 100 miles of sidewalk, 300 miles of buffered bike lanes, 120 miles of bicycle boulevards, 30 miles of first-rate bike trails, 20 miles of really elite physically separated cycle tracks, or 2,000 rapid flashing beacons for pedestrian safety.” Does this sound familiar?
- Woonerfs are a Dutch word for “Living Streets” for people, streets that slow traffic speeds to walking speed. Santa Monica, CA is experimenting with this relatively low cost option ($427,000) to developing safe healthy streets without sidewalks.
- Aspen, CO is exploring residential speed zones of 14 mph. Might this be a solution for the 30%+ of Seattle communities without sidewalks?
- London’s Mayor pledges to invest $1.3 BILLION to build cycletracks & “Quietways” to connect suburban and central London neighborhoods. The Quietways turn out to be Greenways based on the Portland Greenway model. According to PBOT Greenway Planner Greg Raisman writes, “A couple of years ago, two friends from London visited. Brian Deegan and Steve Cardno each work for the City of London on active transportation. While they were here, they rode our Neighborhood Greenways and decided they could be a core element of London’s future bike network. Well, it happened. Brian helped write the Mayor’s bike plan for London from last week. They are going to build a citywide network of ‘Quietways’ that are modeled directly after Portland’s Neighborhood Greenway program. How cool is that?!”
Safe Routes to Transit
Sound Transit is building a regional transit network that pays comparatively little attention to safe access for people who walk or bike. In Europe, in Asia, and some North American cities, transit system providers make bicycle and “pedestrian connections that are convenient, comfortable, safe, easily navigable, continuous and barrier-free and that lead directly to transit.” Here are Ottawa’s Transit System Access Guidelines.
- Seattle Planning Commission is working on a new report to guide land use within 10 minutes of Transit called Seattle Transit Communities: A Citywide Strategy to Integrate Neighborhoods with Transit. We are excited to hear that in Seattle bicycle travel has already been addressed as well as racial disparities. “New citywide planning goals have been established to provide more housing opportunities, become a carbon neutral city, eliminate racial disparities, and create the most pedestrian and bicycle friendly city in the country.”
Safe Routes to Health
A recent Bay Area study quantifies public health benefits of active transportation choices at billions per a year! The massive savings annually in California come from reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions such as obesity.
Safe Routes to Business
Here is a perfect way to get people to the few retail categories that are thriving in the age of mail-order everything: bars, restaurants and personal services. “In Portland, where an early investment in basic bikeways has made bikes a popular way to run errands, retailers are responding by snapping up strorefronts with good bike exposure.”
What’s the best way to improve safety for people who walk & bike?
“Motor vehicles impose the most serious traffic dangers to cyclists,” explains Pucher.
“You’ve got to reduce motor vehicles speeds on shared roadways and provide physical separation of cyclists from motor vehicle traffic on arterials. You also have to restrict car use by implementing car-free zones, traffic-calmed residential neighborhoods, and lowering car speeds on city streets. This is crucial to increasing both cyclist and pedestrian safety.”
And a final note…
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.