Spokespeople Rides Oct 5 to Craftsman Homes in Ravenna Park

Hello Spokespeople!

Our Monthly Ride

Be Super SafeSaturday, October 5, is going to be a great day for a ride! Don’t forget your sunscreen. We’ll meet on Densmore and 42nd in Wallingford and leave at 2 p.m. for a favorite ride!

Oct 5 Craftsman Homes of Ravenna Park. Join restoration architect Larry Johnson of TJP on a tour of historic homes. We’ll travel along Greenways in Wallingford and proposed Greenways in Northeast Seattle on an easy ride to the historic Ravenna Park neighborhood. Noted architectural historian, president of the Queen Anne Historical Society, and former MOHAI Director Michael Herschensohn will also join us and provide commentary.

Ride details on the Cascade website.

Nov 2 Oh Henry! Public Art you can see along the Burke Gilman Trail or nearby. From the Canal Street substation in Fremont to the Wall of Death in the U-District, we’ll show how public art is integrated into our daily lives and adds value without our necessarily knowing it is there. Architectural Historian Michael Herschensohn is developing the tour with staff from Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture.

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To see what our rides are like, photos of past rides are on Facebook or on www.spokespeople.us.

All Spokespeople rides meet at the south end of Wallingford Playfield at 42nd & Densmore and ride on greenways whenever possible to an adjacent urban center. New riders welcome! Please come by 1:45 if you are new to riding in groups or if you need help with adjusting your helmet or bike. All ages and skill levels welcome! All rides are on the road with traffic, and include expert commuters who accompany us to offer encouragement and model good road riding techniques.

Spokespeople is on Facebook and Twitter–please follow us! And check out and subscribe to our beautiful new website and blog: www.spokespeople.us.

I care about Cascade Bicycle Club and hope you do too. If you are a member of this organization, I wanted to let you know that online voting for the Cascade Bicycle Club Board of Directors closes at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8. As a local leader passionate about building safe, pleasant streets in Seattle, I want to share my recommendations because Cascade IS the big transportation powerhouse in Seattle. Who sits on the Cascade Board will influence how we will get investments in safer streets for people who bike over the next five years. There are eight candidates for six positions.

My three recommendations:

1. Daniel Weise is the current Cascade Board President. Daniel has been diligent in building a Board that supports local advocacy for safer streets and family-friendly biking. He has also been instrumental in building Cascade Bike Club as an organization that supports active transportation. Daniel’s support of local climate action groups wins my approval as well.

2. Merlin Rainwater is a new member of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, and a hardworking member of Central Seattle Greenways. Merlin has spearheaded citywide Greenways efforts in Safe Routes to Health, and has been a tireless advocate for bicycle parking and providing directions in online corporate websites in her “Transportation Nag” blog. She is outstanding to work with and will bring a great perspective to the Cascade Board.

3. Jessica Szelag is the new chair of the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, and the acting Executive Director of Commute Seattle. I’ve worked with Jessica on several projects, including the startup of Greenwood-Phinney Greenways, and she is always on-message, a good listener, and decisive. A great set of skills for being on the Cascade Board.

I’ve met and like others who are running for the Cascade Board, but I wanted to share my perspective on the people I know and have worked well with. You can get more information about voting for Cascade Bike Club Board members here.

Spokespeople Events October 2013

See our calendar for more details on these October events.

  • Oct 1: October is Walk to Work and School Month.
  • Oct 2: Transportation Choices Coalition Summit. Downtown 2-4pm.
  • Oct 2: Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
  • Oct 3: Making Density Palatable. Downtown 4-6pm.
  • Oct 3: Parks Legacy Committee. Belltown 6-8pm.
  • Oct 5: Spokespeople Wallingford Rides Historic Ravenna 2-4pm.
  • Oct 5: Start of Coffeeneuring weekend java rides.
  • Oct 7: Hot Ideas to Cool Seattle. City Hall 5:30-8pm.
  • Oct 8: Cascade Bike Club Annual Meeting. REI 6-8pm.
  • Oct 9: International Walk to School Day
  • Oct 9: Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board. City Hall 6-8pm.
  • Oct 9: Maple Leaf Greenways Community meeting 7:30pm.
  • Oct 13: Take a Walk on the West Side of Queen Anne. 2-4pm.
  • Oct 14: WA State Senate Transportation listening session. Downtown 6-9pm.
  • Oct 17: Ballard Greenways Community meeting. 7:30pm.
  • Oct 17: Ballard Greenways Community meeting. 7:30pm.
  • Oct 19: How to Train Your Bike Train. Magnusson Park 10a-12p.
  • Oct 20-23: Rail-Volution. Downtown.
  • Oct 22: Queen Anne Greenways Community meeting 6:30pm.
  • Oct 23: Regional Bike/Ped Advisory Committee. Downtown 10a-12p.
  • Oct 23: 21st Century Cities: Building Sustainable Futures. Town Hall 7:30pm.
  • Oct 24: City Budget Public Hearing. Garfield High School. 6-8pm.
  • Oct 25: Applications due to SDOT for $1000 Safe Schools grants.
  • Oct 31: Trick or Treat on your Greenway!

Spokespeople News September 2013

Bikes are the new sexy. Check out the seriously lovely photos with this essay about how young people are abandoning soul-deadening suburbs to enjoy car-free lives in the city. The auto-industry has made embarrassing attempts to brand transit and bikes as uncool. Such attempts have predictably back-fired. It’s not just that cars aren’t cool any more. Bikes are the new sexy.

Local news

Ballard Greenway Opens. Last month’s Spokespeople ride to the Grand Opening of Ballard Greenway brought out a dozen Spokespeople and Kidical Mass brought almost 50 riders!! Ballard Neighborhood Greenway bike counts skyrocketed after greenway opened! The Mayor cut the ribbon. Traffic Engineer Dongho made smoothies! What a fantastic day!

14th Ave NW will be a new street for people as it crosses the Ballard Greenway.

Lake City Greenways work party brought out 60 people and 25 goats, who turned tail and didn’t want to Join the herd. Kids (of the human variety) who had come to see goats had fun playing in the dirt and helping out with the work. The sun came out! S dependable goat rental concern will help at future work parties.

Queen Anne Greenways plans opening party for a new traffic signal! It links up a safe route around the Crown of Queen Anne.

Michael Herschensohn wrote a little poem:

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

Can you believe it?
Maybe it pays to ride in the rain!
Six days until flashing yellow goes away and light is operative. Just waiting for stop line halfway down the block.
Installers complained about the dangers of working at the intersection! Everyone is happy.

Fund started for 15-year-old Trevon Crease-Holden. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways held a Vigil Walk in August with his family, community & Bike Works. Trevon was the victim of a tragic hit and run pedestrian incident on MLK in SE Seattle in July and is still recovering from critical injuries. The family has set up a fund to help with Trevon’s medical care and their family needs. Our thoughts are with Trevon, his mother Quianna, and all who love and care for this family at this difficult time. Thank you to all of you for caring about SE Seattle and working toward safer, healthier streets for everyone.

Rainier Ave S tops the sad list of residential/commercial streets with traffic fatalities in Seattle.

Safe Routes to School Mini Grant Program APPLY 10/25 Among other things, this grant can fund a biking or walking train, Undriving Station, crossing flags, repainting a crosswalk, or (news to us) creating a walk/bike to school map through school community meetings. Local Schools can fund small safety improvement programs or very small infrastructure improvements. The grant is quick, easy, nearly always successful in getting funding, and does not require a match. More importantly, even this small grant can make a big impact helping children safely walk and bike to school. Your group can do this!

Madison Park held a Vigil Walk for a man walking injured by another man riding a bike. The news media turned out and work is starting for a new crosswalk!

Bike & Truck Safety Fair. The Port and Puget Sound Regional Council held a morning hands-on workshop for people driving trucks see from a bike rider’s perspective and bike riders to experience how hard it is to stop and see from a big rig. Video.

Beacon BIKES has a survey for kids/parents who travel on Beacon Hill.
Know any? Ask them to test their street knowledge on this 7-question survey!

Vulnerable User Law passed in Washington State in 2011 after 3 years of hard work by Bicycle Alliance and Cascade Bike Club.

Unfortunately, enforcing it is still not happening.

Local Money & Politics

City Budget Season. If you plan to testify, make sure you let Seattle City Council know you support greenways that link us to places we want to go! Give Council specific examples of how streets you know could be safer places for people who walk and bike, as well as healthy places in your community. We’ve put the City Transportation budget on our website for your easy access. You can send written comments to Council@Seattle.gov, or go to the Public Hearing on October 24 6pm at Garfield HS.

Safety. Is it time for us to have an honest conversation about using our phones while we drive?

Seattle passes Urban Forestry Stewardship Plan. It is time to Green some Greenways.

In the war on cars in Seattle, bikes and pedestrians are winning as Seattle has become one of only five major cities in the nation where more than 50 percent of the commuters don’t drive solo to work. So how are Seattle workers getting there? The real sea change in commute patterns around here is in, believe it or not, bicycling to work (up 152 percent since 2000, to 15,000), working at home (up 76 percent, to 26,000) and old-fashioned hoofing it (up 56 percent, to 36,000). City leaders haven’t been obsessed with bikes or pedestrians enough.

New projects funded in Seattle for pedestrian & safe streets improvement projects with Bridging the Gap money.

Mayor McGinn proposes even more money–$14 million!–for safer streets!

Local Sightline guru Alan Durning is passionate about too much parking. He studies why we devote so much public space to car storage.

Great street ideas

Aging on Greenways. People who want to age in place need to easily travel without a car within a 10-block radius of their dwelling. Greenways and safe street crossings are needed!

Low cost + significant impact are the buzzwords for how we want to invest in our infrastructure. How do we set realistic priorities? In medicine, we vaccinate people for pennies and we end up not having to pay later to treat them for a terrible virus. Easy money. Streets can be easy to build and cost little to maintain as well. “We need to make these decisions at a level of community where people know their neighbor and have to look each other in the eye.”

McKinsey Global Consultants have similar advice for Mayors to “Achieve smart growth–Do more with less–Win support for change.” Video

We are committed to a 1950′s approach to transportation which we fund with 1990′s wishful thinking. We won’t get the economic results we want from our transportation investments unless we start asking a different set of questions. The toughest among them, and perhaps most critical, will be deciding what parts of our current system are no longer worth maintaining.

Lessons for leaders with EcoDensity and active transporation. Brent Toderian shows off Vancouver to Helsinki.

Put people first in Seattle with safe and frequent crosswalks for people walking and biking.

Urban thoroughfares can now have safer 10 or 11-foot lanes. That keeps cars moving slower than in traditional 12 to 14-foot lanes. NACTO & ITE/CNU guides were approved by Federal government before it shut down.

Bicycle inspiration

Be Super SafeActive Ballard Greenways leader Bob Hall is ready for cool weather commuting with new bike coffee holder & rain basket.

The Dutch inspire us by carrying ladders, passengers, biking with dogs–on infrastructure that supports them.

Food & Wine magazine article on Bike Food Carts!

Spokespeople, Bike Blog, Pedal-Stretch-Breathe, and Greenways went out for PARK(ing) Day and visited about half of the 40 PARK(ing) spots in Seattle. Lots of fabulous places including paint your own art student, mini golf, a pop-up cycle track, and an urban forest walk. My personal highlight had to be meeting the Ballard muralist Henry on the street outside Seattle Art Museum.

A bike ride we can all drink to! Coffeeneuring Challenge starts Oct 5. It is perfect for dark wet Seattle weekends.

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.”

Thank you Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Cascade Bicycle Club for your work on statewide bicycle transportation issues.

And a final note…

Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.
-H.G. Wells

Nuts and Bolts for Spokespeople Rides

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.

Contact information

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 Herschensohn (206)412-0702 mh982501[at]gmail.com (Queen Anne 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
  • Merlin Rainwater (206) 769-6549 merlinrain[at]gmail.com
  • Stu Hennessey (206)938-3322 alkistu[at]hotmail.com (West Seattle Spokespeople)
  • Robin Randels (206) 446-7457 rkrandels[at]comcast.net
  • 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, Mark Davison, Sander Lazar (Ravenna Bryant Spokespeople), Scott, Bill, and even more people who help out whenever you can. Thank you.


Spokespeople rides on the 1st Saturday of every month (since March 2007) linking people through neighborhoods along secure bike routes. Article in Worldchanging on Spokespeople.

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