Our Monthly Ride
Saturday, September 7, 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 the Grand Opening of the Ballard Greenway!
AND, we’ll be meeting up with Madi Carlson and her Kidical Mass group who also going to the Grand Opening of the Ballard Greenway. Madi’s shorter ride leaves at 1 p.m. from the new Ballard Library.
- Helen sells lemonade on the Ballard Greenway!
- Invitation to the Ballard Greenway Opening Party Saturday Sept 7 2-5pm. Dutch Conference Bike, smoothies with a bicycle blender, and the Undriver Licensing™ Station.
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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.
See our calendar for more details on these September events.
- Sept 1: Bicycle Sundays Lake Washington Blvd. 10a-6pm.
- Sept 4: Seattle Police SDOT Traffic training. NE Public Library 6:30-7:30pm.
- Sept 7: Kidical Mass Ride to Ballard Greenway Opening. 1-4pm.
- Sept 7: Ballard Greenway Grand Opening. 2-5pm.
- Sept 7: Spokespeople Wallingford Rides Ballard Greenways Grand Opening 2-4pm.
- Sept 11: Maple Leaf Greenways monthly meeting 7:30pm.
- Sept 14: Ride Seattle Center to South Park Fiestas Patrias w the Mayor. 8:30a-3p.
- Sept 14: Walk2More Tours. Various Beacon/Rainier Valley. 10a-12p.
- Sept 14: Kirkland Greenways Bike Tour. 1-3pm.
- Sept 15: Bicycle Sundays Lake Washington Blvd. 10a-6p.
- Sept 17: Rainier Valley Greenways Community Meeting. Bike Works Columbia City 6:30-8pm.
- Sept 18: Walk & Roll. Seward Park 10-11am.
- Sept 20: Park(ing) Day. Citywide exhibit/events. 9a-3p.
- Sept 21: Lake City Greenways park restoration w goats. 10a-4p.
- Sept 22: Designing for community health lecture. Downtown 10a-1p.
- Sept 22: Bicycle Sundays Lake Washington Blvd. 10a-6p.
- Sept 24: Queen Anne Greenways monthly meeting. 6:30-7:45pm.
- Sept 25: Rainier Valley Greenways Community Ride audit. Columbia City 6-8pm.
- Sept 26: Mayoral Forum on Public Space & Parks. Downtown 5:30-8pm.
- Oct 1: October is Walk to Work and School Month.
October and November’s Spokespeople rides are so exciting! You need to get them on your calendar now!
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.
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.
Spokespeople News September 2013
Many of the bits and pieces of news clips in this month’s newsletter are about how people around the world, in cities around the US, and in Seattle are waking up to the possibility of using streets as our largest and most flexible public space. People are beginning to question why we have given over 25 to 35% of every city to moving and parking cars, not people.
I believe strongly in the possibility of a city, indeed in the possibility of a world, filled with streets that are safe and pleasant for people happening soon.
Greenwood-Phinney Pop-Up Greenway is a creative way to try out greenways in your neighborhood
Bicycle improvements are happening quickly in Seattle!
- Seattle’s $14.8M in speed camera fines next to schools are going to pedestrian safety projects around schools. We are thrilled!
- YES we can! NE 75th Road Diet is done! Quick, cheap, effective, this change will save lives. Road rechannelization on NE 75th has taken four ambiguous, too-fast and unsafe travel lanes that led up to the site of a horrific pedestrian fatality in late March and turned them into a three-lane fully predictable collector arterial. Five months after the fatalities! Good work community, Mayor McGinn, NE Seattle Greenways, SDOT. We need this treatment ALL over Seattle.
- There is a new bike/pedestrian crossing with a dedicated bike signal at Broadway and Yesler!
- Improvements to Renton Ave S & 43rd Ave S will be constructed this month, weather permitting.
- City Council unanimously approves bike share ordinances, launch on track for Spring 2014
- A pedestrian activated signal is being installed at Queen Anne Avenue North and Highland Drive. “It means that after one hundred and two years the Queen Anne Boulevard is now a safe circle. Three cheers for all the good work: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Queen Anne Greenways, and Seattle Department of Transportation.”
- Neighborhood Greenways: Creating a Safer Seattle for Pedestrians and Cyclists Local 17 union members at the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) are helping to implement neighborhood greenways as part of a plan for safe and efficient transportation throughout the city.
- Green Lake’s new street mural shows off the state insect of Washington. One of Seattle’s most popular neighborhood’s has a new attraction: a giant dragonfly in the middle of a road in Green Lake. The idea behind the artwork is to build a sense of community by painting a giant mural. The result is a gigantic green darner dragonfly painted onto the intersection of 4th and 60th Avenue Northeast.
- “Reclaiming streets for people, making them beautiful so the journey is just as pleasant as getting to your final destination.”
- Biking in Seattle: Infographic by the numbers. Hopeful.
- Amazon is investing in both protected bike lanes (cycle tracks) and improved bike parking.
We’re looking forward to a productive partnership with Cascade Bicycle Club’s new Executive Director Elizabeth Kiker! Thanks Joe Platzner, interim ED for your great support for bike advocacy!
Mt Baker stairway walk featured 8/30 Friday 6:35 & 8:35 AM on @KPLU 88.1 FM “Tourist in Your Own Town” segment. And did you know Seattle is blessed with over 650 stairways?
- Warm welcome (and LIKE) to Edmonds Greenways!
- With staff support from Forterra NW, the Federal Way community members start up another new Greenway group!
- Rainier Valley Greenways has a new video and MindMixer site.
Seattle Help Wanted
- “Transportation Nag” calls “nice try” but asks SDOT to design new bike runnels over bridges that can accommodate panniers and family bikes.
- Seattle Neighborhood Greenways led a Vigil Walk to point out that Madison Park desperately needs safety improvements as do many intersections throughout Seattle. KIRO 7 reports on the situation.
- A man on a bike hits a man walking in Madison Park
- Ugly by Law A photo essay on parking requirements and the ugly buildings they produce.
- So why don’t developers/corporations pay fair costs for building great city infrastructure? Seattle doesn’t match up to other “world-class cities” yet because we haven’t asked our best-performing industries to invest in the public realm.
- Great interactive map of how our neighbor to the north is becoming the world’s Greenest City.
- Seattle Neighborhood Greenways visit Vancouver, gain a “u” in their name, get inspired by safe, green, healthy streets.
- Sometimes engineers might over think a simple solution to a problem. Locals make Dutch bike box parking work!
- Let’s hear it for the Bolivian Traffic Zebras! Love fun Latin American approach to traffic safety!
Riding a Bike
- Bike Commuting Stats by the numbers.
- The AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL Emily from Portland @1lessgmsuburban on a ride to raise money for ADHD writes: Before Sunday I had never biked more than 26 miles and never left the city of Portland except by plane. Haven’t seen the Pacific Ocean since I was 12. I’ve always wondered what my limits were, bikewise. Now I know: I can ride a 220 lb bike 63 miles a day and climb 3,000 feet. Not to brag or nuthin. Plus, I got to see the ocean! Yah, yah, I know… It’s a sound. Shaddup.
- Creative use of bicycle-powered elevator–heavy going up, fun going down!
- When a cyclist is hit by a car, a helmet may save their life BUT it’s not the helmet that causes the collision. Nor is it the LACK of a helmet that causes collisions when it happens to a cyclist without a helmet. The cause of the collision is usually the condition of the road and the actions or inattentiveness of the driver of the car. To even imply that the reason a cyclist who is HIT BY A CAR is hurt because they didn’t have a piece of plastic on their head is ABSURD. The issue here is the safety of our roads, NOT what we choose (or don’t choose) to wear.
- “Women on a Roll” Showcases Power & Potential of Female Bicyclists
- Widen Main Street? A community Had Other Ideas, and Thrived “If you build a place for cars, it will be a gathering place for cars. If it’s built for people, it will be a gathering place for people.”
- No new roads. No new car parking. No new public debt. What it means to STOP building and start healing. Any city that wants to be financially strong and healthy needs to stop making investments that cost more over the long term to service and maintain than they generate in wealth. They need to stop accepting grant funding or “donated” infrastructure that they ultimately will not be able to sustain.
- Take back your streets! @NACTO4cities Janette Sadik-Khan: Streets have been in suspended animation for 50 years. They haven’t changed because our streets have been seen as a way to get cars from point A to point B. Streets are cities most valuable resource. The NY City Transportation Department is the city’s largest real estate developer but we haven’t seen ourselves that way. The design guidance for cities is 50 years old, written for more rural America. The goal of cities is not about getting cars as fast as possible through the middle, it is to adapt to a complex series of ways of getting around A third of New Yorkers get around by walking, a third with transit, a third with cars, so we need a balanced approach to transportation. The new NACTO street design guide launching this September is a big permission slip for cities to use with their engineers to make changes they want to see but have not been formally written about.
- The Shortest Distance Between Two Points Should be the Bike Route. To encourage cycling, bicycle routes should be as short as possible. Shorter routes require less effort and make cycling competitive with driving for a greater number of trips. Exposure to rain, heat, snow and cold is also less for shorter trips. Direct routes that avoid turns are more obvious.
- Of course people want bike safety. But they want other things, too. When bike professionals make safety their only absolute value, they presume that physical safety is the most important value in people’s lives. And that assumption is demonstrably false. A restaurant doesn’t measure its success by the percentage of people who dine there without getting sick. It measures success by the number of people who come in the door, how much they pay and how often they return. A public transit line isn’t funded by the federal government based on its anticipated vehicle failure rate. It’s funded based on the number of people who are expected to use it. I’m not arguing that safety is unimportant. Obviously nonprofessionals are imperfect judges of whether a particular lane or intersection is safe, and cities must work carefully to design good, safe intersections with few bike-car conflicts.
Politics determines how investments are made in safe streets for people
- Mayoral race in NYC focuses on livable streets. People are voting with their feet, they’re voting with their pedals, and they’re voting with their dollars.
- Supporting Vancouver BC Mayor Gregor Robertson boasts of “an unprecedented positive shift to sustainable transportation” including many more women & girls on bikes!
- What rallied public to support bicycling? “Politicians need to see bike lanes are a win for them.”
Seattle is a leader in the Renaissance of family-biking
- Biking with kids interview with Madi Carlson. The AMAZING @FamilyRide “every little trip is an adventure” Madi!
- Spokespeople friend Julie, who shared wonderful insights on riding pregnant, now has a beautiful baby girl Maggie.
- Madi continues to write wonderful blog posts–now rushing from school to preschool.
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.
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.
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)
- 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.