Our Monthly Ride
Saturday, January 5 is going to be a great day for a bike ride. I’m excited to go with you to discover the Little Free Libraries of Wallingford. We’ll likely explore some poetry corners too as we bike about six miles around this literary neighborhood. You can bring a book or take a book–in a ziplock bag if it is raining!
Most of our ride will be along greenways (safe healthy streets) proposed by greenways groups in Wallingford and Fremont. While it is a short 5-mile ride, there are a few hills. 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!
Event pages for our January 5 Spokespeople Ride:
On our last Wallingford Spokespeople ride about 10 of us (children and adults) biked to Fremont Bridges and Books (the Library) but didn’t make it to the Brewery. We’ll save that for another month! Find photos from that ride on our Facebook page and Blog!
Our ride leaders for this January ride are Spokespeople and Cascade Bike Club Certified Ride Leaders Cathy Tuttle and Michael Snyder and Ride Leader in Training William Gerdes.
Spokespeople ride leaders met in December to plan rides for 2013.
We have some really exciting rides planned in Wallingford, NE Seattle, West Seattle, Ballard, and Queen Anne. Stay tuned and subscribe to our blog for exact dates and locations!
We’re planning amazing rides in 2013!
Little Free Libraries of Wallingford; Magnuson Park “Stonehenge”; Roses & Chocolate; Post-Valentine Jilted Chocolate-lovers ride; Bike Stores of Ballard; Bike Stores of Fremont, Bike Stores of NE Seattle, UW Welcomes Spring: Cherry Trees & Self Service Bike Stations, Let’s go Dutch: Cargo, Electric, and Conference Bikes, Let’s go to the Farmer’s Market!, Heritage Trees & Beautiful Views, Crown of the Queen, Tour de Gardens, Carkeek Summer Art, Lake Union Hookup with Citywide Spokespeople groups, Fisherman’s Terminal and a concert at Ballard Locks, Urban Farms By Cycle, History Ride: Bungled Bungalows & Craftsman Houses of Ravenna Park, History Ride: Bridges & the Burke, Public Art: Oh Henry!, Public Art: Unexpected Treasures, Sleepless in Seattle Houseboats, Liquifaction Zones and Landslides, Ride to Lake Forest Park- Bakeries, Shops, and More!
Nuts and Bolts on Spokespeople Rides
You can see photos of past rides on Facebook.
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 rides 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 (now on the Cascade Bike Club Board!)
- Michael Herschensohn (206)412-0702 mh982501[at]gmail.com (Queen Anne Magnolia Spokespeople)
- Stu Hennessey (206)938-3322 alkistu[at]hotmail.com (West Seattle Spokespeople)
- Al Miller NE Spokespeople (206)697-4603 amiller7x7[at]comcast.net
And our other leaders Lee LeCroix, Denny Kerr, Jim Mathieu, Sander Lazar (Ravenna Bryant Spokespeople) and more people like Andrew, John, David, Cindy, Robin, Erika 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 19 super-active Greenways groups around Seattle.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways met and exceeded their first ever $10,000 end of year challenge grant! Thanks to all who gave financial gifts!
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways received the 2012 Sustainable Seattle Award for Livable Urban Communities. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways started in August 2011 with three neighborhood groups in Beacon Hill, Bryant, and Wallingford, all with people eager to reclaim local streets as safe and healthy community places. There are now 19 community groups.
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways identifies, advocates for, and activates safe healthy residential streets for people of all ages. Greenways are generally one off of commercial streets and have low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds so that people feel safer when they walk and ride bicycles.
What makes a great Greenway? Five items: slow cars, few cars, easy crossings, useful signage, controlled intersections. Read more.
Advocacy Alert: This is the final month to make comments on the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Update. Comment on this interactive map or by email before January 31 to bmpupdate[at]seattle.gov
We support five fundamentals, along with Cascade Bicycle Club and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:
- Network of safe healthy streets
- 200 miles of world class bikeways
- Integration w Transit and Pedestrian Plans
- 95% of us should be within 1/4 mile of world-class bikeways (including greenways)
- Support encouragement programs for all!
See our calendar for more details on these January events.
- Jan 1: Kidical Mass Ride Ballard to MOHAI South Lake Union 9:30a-12pm.
- Jan 2: Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
- Jan 3: Family Biking for Beginners. Bike Works Columbia City 5:30-8pm.
- Jan 5: Spokespeople Rides Little Free Libraries of Wallingford 2pm.
- Jan 6: Bike Riding for Big Kids. Bike Works Columbia City 10am-1pm.
- Jan 9: Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
- Jan 9: Maple Leaf Greenways Monthly meeting Maple Leaf Grill 7:30pm.
- Jan 10: Safe Routes to School Free Webinar 11am-12pm.
- Jan 13: BYOB Bike Works Columbia City 1-4pm.
- Jan 15: West Seattle Greenways SDOT Public Meeting #2. 6:30-8:30pm.
- Jan 16: Best Practices in Pedestrian Wayfinding webinar ($) 12-1pm.
- Jan 16: PSRC Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Board. Downtown 1-3pm.
- Jan 16: ITE Lunch Presentation on Greenways. Shoreline ($) 12-1pm.
- Jan 16: Fremont Greenways Meeting at Wine-Tea-Chocolate 7:30pm.
- Jan 16: Lake City Greenways Community Meeting 6-8pm.
- Jan 17: Portland Bureau of Transportation brown bag on Seattle Greenways Portland 12-1:30pm.
- Jan 17: Ballard Greenways Monthly Meeting. Miro Tea 7:30pm.
- Jan 19: Kidical Mass Ride. Bike Works Columbia City 11am.
- Jan 19: Spokespeople Rides to Magnusson Park 1pm.
- Jan 22: Safe Routes to School Free Webinar 10-11am.
- Jan 23: Family Biking Seminar. Mt. Baker 5:30-8pm.
- Jan 24: Dow Constantine Lecture on Making Things Right in the Physical World. UW 6:30-8pm.
- Jan 24: Queen Anne Stairways Lecture. 7-8:30pm.
- Jan 25: Feet First Fundraiser. Lake City 7-10pm.
- Jan 28: Crown Hill Council discusses Greenways 7pm.
- Jan 31: Transportation Partnerships. U-District 5:30-7:30pm.
- Jan 31: Last day to comment on Seattle Bike Master Plan Update.
- Feb 2: Spokespeople Rides to Roses & Chocolate.
- Feb 4: Dutch Street Infrastructure Meetup w Fred Young, Steve Durrant. Wallingford 6:30-8:30pm.
- Feb 12: Transportation Advocacy Day. Olympia.
There is much more at www.SeattleGreenways.org!
Note: We’ve had a huge amount of success getting greenways projects off the ground in neighborhoods all over Seattle in 2012 with funds from Neighborhood Street Funds, Neighborhood Matching Fund, Safe Routes to School, King County In Motion, Neighborhood Project Funds, Bridging the Gap, Climate Action Now, National Park Service. 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 Free Daily Rides. Search for “Easy” or “Leisurely” rides.
- Check out Totcycle for Family Rides and Bike Works for even more Easy and Family Rides!
- NE Seattle Spokespeople Rides to “Stonehenge” in Magnusson Park 1/19/13 1pm
- Kidical Mass Ride Bike Works Columbia City 1/9/13 11am
Policy events for safer walking and biking are listed on the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways calendar as well as lots of fun walks and rides.
If you’d like to lead your own bike ride or walk on safe healthy streets, here is a great how-to guide by Ballard Greenways.
You and Your Bike
Kids and Families and Biking
- FamilyRide blogger Madi wrote a great post about why Family Biking is Safe.
- Happy New Year video from FamilyRide!
- WalkBikeSchools visited Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Banda. You can too. Here is what they learned.
- Cargo Bikes are the greenest way to carry shopping–they run on bananas and flapjacks. In Britain, as the boom in cycling gathers pace and petrol prices make short journeys by car less practical, shops are reporting a big increase in the sales of cargo bikes, putting more pressure on the Government to make the roads safer for cyclists.
- Riding bikes in the winter is FUN! especially for kids.
- Almost all Portland Public Schools have excellent Family-Friendly maps.
- Really practical advice for men and women riding in Seattle rain from Seattle Bike Blog. I still want to know how to keep kids dry in bucket bike carriers.
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
- Take a look at great on-going bike week wrap-ups at Seattle Bike Blog.
- Think about the Bike Master Plan Update as two kinds of streets: All Ages and Expert/Black Diamond and then Comment on this interactive map from SDOT before January 31
- How cities all over the world have transformed into safe healthy places with Cycling for Everyone–John Pucher.
- Beacon BIKES, Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Wallingford Greenways, West Seattle Greenways were all recently awarded Neighborhood Project Fund grants for safe streets improvements. Many Greenways groups received Safe Routes to School funding too!
- Very sensible reasons to bike–but please don’t ride your bike like the model in the article unless you are an acrobat!
- Imagine a place where business owners bicycle to meetings, employees commute by bike and customers receive a discount for riding to their favorite shops. A Bicycle-Friendly Business District (BFBD) is such a place.
- Cathy Tuttle, Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, speaks with Diane Horn about Seattle’s neighborhood greenways on a half-hour segment of KEXP Mind Over Matters–dedicated residential streets where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors’ safety are given priority.
- Follow what is happening on your Safe Healthy Streets with Seattle Police Department’s Tweet by Beat.
Reclaiming our Streets as Green and Thriving Places for People
- Great places are created with investments in Great Streets says the Project for Public Places. Strong networks of streets and destinations that foster human interaction, economic opportunities, social networks build great cities.
- The Center for Disease Control has a Surgeon General’s report that is “a call to action on walking.” “You don’t have to have a national park,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin says. “You just need to have your street outside your house. We have to stop telling people what they can’t do or what they can’t eat. We have to tell them what they can do. They can go out for walks. They can go out with their friends.”
- Reliable transit and safe healthy streets give a boost to business according to the latest research in American cities.
- A wonderful discussion of how people move around in cities.
- For all businesses except grocery stores, bikers out-consumed drivers over the course of a month. True, they often spent less per visit. But cyclists and pedestrians in particular made more frequent trips (by their own estimation) to these restaurants, bars and convenience stores, and those receipts added up.
- 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.
- The City of Seattle recommends planting trees along streets as part of their Urban Forest Management Plan, now open for public review. Researchers have found trees increase the livability and local economy of cities.
Engineering Safe Healthy Streets in Seattle
- Most of Seattle think tank’s Sightline top 2012 stories were on getting around cities with love, safety, & fun.
- Cycle tracks are being built quickly and inexpensively in Chicago. They can be in Seattle too!
- The “Transportation Nag” writes about everyday cycling and recently had a thoughtful post about the challenges of pushing her mother around Seattle in a wheelchair.
- Streets are places for people. Here is Seattle Neighborhood Greenways presentation to Seattle Department of Transportation.
- Biking and walking statistics are included in this year’s WA State Transportation Attainment Report for the first time. However, we wonder why this study only looks at commute to work trips that are 15% of travel trips as opposed to getting to school, stores, and recreation.
Engineering Safe Healthy Streets in other cities
- Chicago Mayor Emanuel “I want them to be envious because I expect not only to take all of their [Seattle & Portland] bikers but I also want all the jobs that come with this.”
- LA Mayor Villaraigosa wants to see every crosswalk in the city replaced (no ped left behind) but for now announced a plan to replace 53 crosswalks by the end of March. The replacement areas were selected based on traffic safety, with the fifty most dangerous intersections getting priority. The other three high-danger crossings are in Council Districts that are fortunate enough to have no crossings on the “top fifty” list.
- The biggest mistake cities make is to allow themselves to be designed by director of Public Works, says planner Jeff Speck. The director of public works, he or she is making decisions every single day about the width of streets, the presence of parking, the question of bike lanes. And he’s doing it in response to the complaints he’s hearing. But if you satisfy those complaints you wreck the city. A typical public works director doesn’t think about “What kind of city do we want to be?” They think about what people complain about, and it’s almost always traffic and parking. “I started working with a lot of mayors. The best contributor to a thriving place was street life: walkability. The one thing we’ve learned without any doubt, is the more room you give the car the more room they will take and that will wreck cities. Optimizing any of these practical considerations — sewers, parking, vehicle capacity — almost always makes a city less walkable. In more effective cities there’s a mayor who sees she’s more or less the chief designer of the city. Charleston’s mayor, Joseph Riley, woke up one morning, slapped his head and said, “Oh my God, I am the chief designer of my city. I need to start making decisions that make my city more beautiful and functional in a more holistic way.”
- Terrific interview with Portland’s Bicycle coordinator Roger Geller “political support is everything.”
- Dutch street planning truly empowers people of all ages and abilities.
- How the percentage of commute trips changed between 2006 to 2011 in cities all over America on this highly-interactive map graphic.
- A great deal of funding for walking and biking improvements comes from US Department of Transportation. Codes, budgets, and laws are difficult to interpret. Here are interpretations by AmericaBikes.
- What is the best way to find out what sorts of streets bikers really want? Maybe ask them to make crowd-sourced Greenway maps?
- Protected Bikeways are far safer than just paint. Even little white posts make a big difference.
- Portland leads the way in taking the risk out of cycling. Greg Raisman on protected bikeways: “The white stripes that delineate a five-foot-wide biking corridor … remain mere suggestions as motorists slash across them to park, double park, or make right turns.”
- Streetfilms partnered with Vancouver, BC to produce this video about Vancouver’s investment in bicycling and their 2030 plan Cycling Vision that includes developing new bicycle and greenway networks, building ample bicycle parking, making access to transit easier, prioritizing cycling education and promotion, and creating a friendlier pedestrian environment with more livable neighborhoods. The end result is a city where cycling is safe, convenient, comfortable, and fun for people of all ages and abilities.
- Portland has lowered the speed on 70 miles of their residential greenways to 20 mph, a safe speed for people who walk, bike, and drive in the same shared roadway. We’re planning to do the same in Washington State (and Seattle) soon as well!
What’s the best way to improve safety for people who walk & bike?
A surprisingly simple solution according to noted Active Transporation Professor John Pucher:
- “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.”
Way To Go Walk Bike Ride. The City of Seattle is eager to have you participate in their contest to reduce drive alone car trips and walk, bike, and ride transit more often. Learn more and sign up for prizes here. (We’re excited about WBR pedestrian walking maps too!)
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.