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In Washington state, two election results worth watching

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
ravenna_paving_event_32812 019
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, pictured here last year,
went down hard in Tuesday’s elections.
(Photo: Seattle DOT)

In Portland, voters mostly take odd-numbered years off. But two races to Portland’s north ended last night in interesting ways, for better or worse.

In Seattle, the deeply bike-friendly incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn lost in a 56-43 rout. And closer to home in Vancouver, Wash, the bike-and-transit-friendly but also Columbia River Crossing-supporting incumbent Mayor Tim Leavitt is headed to a second term.

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Census: Portland biking stalls for fifth year while other cities climb

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Source: Census American Community Survey. Image by BikePortland.

Portland’s hard-won status as “America’s bike capital” hasn’t looked less secure since it claimed the title in 2005.

The number of Portlanders who get to work primarily by bike was statistically unchanged in 2012, ticking from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent of the city’s working population. Across the whole Portland metro area, bike use held at 2.3 percent.

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Dispatch from Disaster Relief Trials in Seattle

Monday, June 24th, 2013
Portlander Mike Cobb competed at the
Seattle Disaster Relief Trials.
(Photo by Fred Bretsch – FEMA Region 10)

Seattle cargo bike advocates held their first Disaster Relief Trials event over the weekend. The event sprung up thanks to inspiration from Portland’s event of the same name that was held last year. Portlander Mike Cobb traveled north for the event and sent back a few photos and notes…

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Portland-based Alta wins Seattle bike share contract

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share has done it again. They’ve been chosen to operate a 500 bike, 50 station bike share system in Seattle. The announcement was made today by Puget Sound Bike Share (PSBS). According to a press release, Alta will work with PSBS to plan, launch and sustain a bike share network that will launch in Seattle by spring 2014 and then expand throughout the Puget Sound region.

PSBS Executive Director Holly Houser wrote on the company’s Facebook page today, “We have been and continue to be impressed with Alta’s approach to bike share and their ability to partner with cities and successfully deliver location-specific systems.” (more…)

Survey: Majority of Seattleites like bikes, ride bikes, want more bikes

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Scenes from the streets in Seattle-2.jpg
Seattle wants more of them.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

An ongoing “bike backlash” and “war on cars” pushed by the local media, biking as a wedge-issue in political campaigns, fear from politicians about doing “too much” for bikes — sounds like Portland right? Well, Seattle (not to mention New York City and many others) suffers from the same illusion. Now, a new survey commissioned by Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club could help tamp down this pervasive — yet false — narrative.

According to a memo (PDF) about the survey from public opinion research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, the results provide, “absolutely no evidence of widespread anti-cycling sentiment in Seattle.” The memo goes on to explain that (among other things) 78% of those surveyed ride a bike at least once a year, 45% ride monthly, and 60% say they’d like to ride more*.

While the perception of people who ride bikes has become the butt of jokes, the Seattle survey found that people, “overwhelmingly report positive feelings towards the City’s bicyclists.” 78% say they have a “favorable opinion” of people who ride bikes, including 38% who said “very favorable” (just 19% said their opinions of people who ride are “unfavorable”). (more…)

Streetcar/bikeway integration porn from Seattle

Friday, April 13th, 2012
A visualization of plans at Broadway and Marion streets in Seattle as part of their First Hill Streetcar project that breaks ground this month.
(Graphics: Alta Planning + Design and Fat Pencil Studio)

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Members hope to ‘rescue’ Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club

Thursday, November 11th, 2010
Pro Walk Pro Bike in Seattle - Weds-53.jpg
Cascade’s David Hiller with a
souvenir newspaper clipping from
a trail access battle.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The twists and turns to the bike advocacy drama up in Seattle just keep on coming. After Cascade Bicycle Club — a non-profit bike event and advocacy group with 13,000 members — abruptly fired its longtime leader Chuck Ayers back in October, it set off of a messy feud between the Board of Directors and the group’s membership base.

The firing, said the Board, was a result of Cascade wanting to take a different, less aggressive and confrontational tone in its advocacy work. Much of that tone was set by Ayers’ right hand man, advocacy director David Hiller. Hiller is a confident advocate who understands the trench warfare it takes to make change against the status quo. His style is self-assured and sometimes rough around the edges; but it’s effective. (more…)

Seattle has a Holgate bike lane situation of its own

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Up in Seattle, they’ve got a bike lane battle that has some striking similarities to our situation with the new bike lanes on SE Holgate Blvd.

As I’ve reported several times in the last few months, the City of Portland is facing considerable opposition from some people near the lanes on Holgate. They claim, and the City has admitted, that not enough warning was given prior to the lanes being installed. Some residents also say the bike lanes aren’t needed because no one’s using them and that they are making the street more congested.

The situation on Seattle’s NE 125th Street seems quite similar. The street currently has four standard vehicle lanes and not much room for bikes. SDOT wants to add a bike lane and remove one standard vehicle lane in each direction. According to an article in the Seattle Times, not everyone is happy about it. (more…)

In Seattle, bike crashes on streetcar tracks lead to lawsuit

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Bicycle Master Plan ride #3
Mixing with streetcar tracks
in Northwest Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports today that six people who crashed while biking across streetcar tracks are now suing the city for negligence because more was not done to make the tracks safe:

“Six cyclists who crashed while crossing the South Lake Union Streetcar tracks are suing the city of Seattle, claiming officials ignored hazards to pedal-power commuters.

All six were hurt when their tires got stuck in the flange way gap between the rail and street. They claim city officials were negligent in designing the tracks and knew of the risks but failed to post warning signs until after several people had been hurt, according to the lawsuit, filed last week in King County Superior Court.”

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Seattle launches campaign to fund active transportation

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Screenshot from StreetsforAllSeattle.org.

A major campaign has been launched in Seattle to raise money for biking, walking and transit projects. Streets for All Seattle is the result of a new and broad coalition of labor, transportation, and environmental advocacy groups that have come together to pressure city leaders to get serious about paying for multi-modal transportation infrastructure. (more…)

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