Seattle is making 20 miles of ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ permanent

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 8th, 2020 at 10:05 am

Seattle Times coverage.

While Portland basks in the glow of finally launching a transportation-related response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seattle has taken theirs up a notch. The city announced yesterday that 20 miles of their pilot network of traffic-calmed streets with reduced access for drivers will become permanent.

“We are in a marathon and not a sprint in our fight against COVID-19,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a blog post from her department of transportation. “As we assess how to make the changes that have kept us safe and healthy sustainable for the long term, we must ensure Seattle is rebuilding better than before. Stay Healthy Streets are an important tool for families in our neighborhoods to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather. Over the long term, these streets will become treasured assets in our neighborhoods.”[Read more…]

As dockless bike share booms in Seattle, Portland stands pat (for now)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on July 28th, 2017 at 10:22 am

Seattle’s orange bikes seemingly came out of nowhere and have quickly saturated the city. What would happen if they launched in Portland?
(Images: Spin Seattle)

Is there room for another bike share system in Portland?

A company called Spin that just launched in Seattle thinks so. Spin is a start-up fueled by venture capitalists and founded by Derrick Ko, a former product manager at Lyft who’s now Spin’s CEO.
[Read more…]

Seattle’s new traffic garden is the perfect place to learn the rules of the road

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on October 3rd, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Aerial view of the new traffic garden in south Seattle.(Photos: King County Parks)

Aerial view of the new traffic garden in south Seattle.
(Photos: King County Parks)

If we ever want bicycling to become mainstream, we must find a way to educate more people on the right way to ride in traffic. It can be tough though, because our streets make most people so stressed out that they adopt bad habits just to stay alive.

That’s where a traffic garden can come in: A place that mimics real-life street conditions and that’s out of harms way. These facilities have been used in northern Europe for many years (we reported on one in Utrecht in 2009); but the United States hasn’t fully adopted the concept.

Until now.
[Read more…]

Seattle just passed a citywide 20 mph speed limit, and Portland could be next

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 27th, 2016 at 10:50 am

Seattle-area activists were key in pushing for this change.(Photo: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

Seattle-area activists were key in pushing for this change.
(Photo: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

Seattle transportation reform advocates are celebrating a major milestone this morning: last night Seattle City Council unanimously approved a measure that sets a default speed limit on some central city arterials of 25 miles per hour (instead of 30) and 20 miles per hour on all residential streets (instead of 25).

This is a big deal. Joshua Cohen reports on Next City that the new policy will effect a whopping 2,400 miles of neighborhood streets.
[Read more…]

Woman dies after crashing near streetcar tracks in Seattle

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 25th, 2016 at 11:33 am

Screenshot from Capitol Hill Seattle.

Screenshot from Capitol Hill Seattle.

27-year old Seattle resident Desiree McCloud died yesterday from injuries she sustained from a crash on May 13th. According to reports she was biking with friends near streetcar tracks on E Yesler and 13th when she lost control and went down.

The incident highlights a major problem that has plagued both Seattle and Portland for years: Both cities have busy urban neighborhoods where streetcar tracks and unprotected bikeways mix and both cities have countless crash victims because of it. Track crashes are so rampant here in Portland that there’s an assumption among daily riders that it’s a matter of when not if you’ll go down on them.

Not only do these exposed tracks cause many broken bones and bodies every year, they are also just one more thing that scares some people away from cycling.[Read more…]

Riding Seattle’s first Emerald City ride: new Hwy 520 floating bridge, express lanes

Avatar by on April 8th, 2016 at 9:01 am

Friend @kitchen and I took the train to Seattle for the first annual Emerald City ride. CBC puts on good events, and getting the opportunity to ride the new SR520 floating bridge and the I-5 Express Lanes was pretty special.

Here’s a short “highlights” video:[Read more…]

Could it work here? How Seattle’s big new housing compromise came together

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 15th, 2016 at 9:44 am

separate signal phases bidirectional 2nd seattle

Seattle’s recent housing breakthrough may have lessons for keeping bikeable parts of Portland affordable.
(Photo: Adam Coppola)

Here’s one way to think about the political battle over housing in growing cities, spelled out Monday at an Oregon Active Transportation Summit panel: it’s got three main interest groups.

One group is social-justice advocates and tenants. These people are generally interested in keeping prices lower one way or another, especially for the lowest-income people.

One group is environmentalists, businesses and the development industry. These people are (for various reasons) generally interested in increasing the number of people living in the city.

The third group is a highly active subset of single-family homeowners. These people are generally interested in maintaining or increasing the value of their property, especially while keeping things the way they were when they bought it.

[Read more…]

Could Pronto’s problems come to Portland? Here’s what experts say

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 1st, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Pronto bikeshare @king st station

Not ridden enough, but why?
(Photo: Diane Yee)

As we mentioned in this week’s news roundup, Seattle’s 16-month-old bike sharing system is in a very tight spot.

With the Pronto system taking in only 68 percent of the money required to meet its operating costs last year and the city considering taking it over in order to bail it out, many Portlanders are rightly wondering whether the upcoming Biketown system (which will be operated by the same company, Motivate) could face similar problems.

We talked to some of the country’s leading independent bike-share experts today to get their take. Here’s what we heard.

[Read more…]

Seattle’s antidote to aggressive driving on neighborhood greenways

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on May 22nd, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Screenshot 2015-05-22 at 2.42.03 PM

It works.

I’m in Seattle today joining the second leg of a study tour for a group from Indianapolis that’s visiting Portland and Seattle to study neighborhood greenways, the relatively low-cost, low-controversy bike infrastructure Portland imported from Vancouver BC and has built into a pretty solid network on its eastside grid.

[Read more…]

5 lessons for Portland in Seattle’s big bike-friendly ballot issue

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 19th, 2015 at 9:23 am


A few miles up the road, Portland’s big-sister city is doing something Portland hasn’t yet: charting a viable path to paying for its transportation goals.

The nine-year, $900 million “Move Seattle” property tax levy proposed Wednesday by Mayor Ed Murray would include (among many other things) 50 miles of protected bike lanes and 60 miles of neighborhood greenways over nine years. That’s about half of the projects that Seattle’s 20-year bike plan refers to as parts of the “citywide network.”

For comparison’s sake, Portland’s “paused” street fund proposal included, at one point, an estimated 14-20 miles of protected bike lanes and 40-50 miles of greenways over 10 years. But the possible lessons here for Portland aren’t just about scale (Seattle is bigger by most measures, after all) and the story here isn’t just that Seattle is succeeding where we aren’t (Seattle has a long way to go, after all).

[Read more…]