THE R E I R U O C E CA S CA D CREAT G IN L C Y IC B H G U O R H T Y IT N ING A BETTER COMMU WWW.CASCADE.ORG DECEMBER 2013 // Vol. 43, No. 12 A downtown network of bike lanes by Jeff Aken, Principal Planner In September, Cascade installed a temporary protected bike lane* on 2nd Avenue for Park(ing) Day. Instantly creating a place where you could feel safe riding a bike, no matter what your age or ability, and showing that we can connect downtown with safe, protected bike lanes. As people rode through, their faces were glowing with smiles. Besides the joy and health benefits of bicycling, businesses are also pushing for protected bike lanes to help attract top talent. Amazon will build a protected bike lane in front of their new campus in the Denny Triangle. Even Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has said he’s building out Chicago’s bike infrastructure in order to steal the top tech talent from Seattle. Now the Seattle City Council is moving one giant step closer to CASCADE BICYCLE CLUB by Robbie Phillips, Contractor ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 101S Seattle, WA 98115 www.cascade.org HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM Bikes in Parks PRSRT STD US Postage Paid Seattle, WA PERMIT No. 2172 TIME DATED MATERIAL making downtown streets like 2nd Avenue and 4th Avenue great places to ride a bike. The City Council is currently in its final days of adopting the 2014 city budget. Mayor Mike McGinn proposed $10.5 million for bicycle infrastructure, which was less than in 2013 but much higher than previous years. It’s a long ways from where we need to go, but it’s also a good start. So Cascade asked Seattle City Councilmembers --- what’s one project you’d like to see added to the budget? The resounding answer was downtown protected bike lanes. The proposed 2014 budget funds full design of a downtown network We wish you smooth roads of protected bike lanes by the end of 2014. The City Council has moved and safe journeys in 2014! to expedite funds to advance design and development of the downtown cycle track (protected bike lanes) network in 2014, speeding implementation of the Seattle Bicycle tor vehicle traffic by a barrier that Master Plan. This would be a huge To be assured the downtown can be planters, a curb or parked win. By expending the design of the protected bike lanes make it cars. Protected bike lanes can eiprotected bike lanes downtown, 2nd through this process, we still ther be designed for one-way or and 4th avenues could be built out need to let the City Council two-way bike traffic. This type of in 2015, revolutionizing the downknow that we support facility makes our streets safer for town experience and making our making downtown Seattle everyone, including drivers who will streets safer for everyone who wants better for bicyclists. know where cyclists are likely to be to safely bike to work, school, and riding and will have visual clues and shops downtown. clear sight lines at intersections. A Let’s not get ahead of ourselves how excited you are. though. This isn’t a done deal. So, * A protected bike lane, or cycle Montreal study found that protected please contact our Seattle City track, is a bike lane fully separated bike infrastructure reduced injury Councilmembers to let them know from the sidewalk and from mo- rates by 28 percent. « I am a year-round bike commuter. I really enjoy urban riding and using my bicycle for daily transportation needs. But my heart belongs to the dirt. When the wheels of my mountain bike make contact with sweet singletrack trail, my spirit soars. Riding through the woods, I am completely present in the moment. I love the smell of damp leaves in the fall, the texture of the moss clinging to ancient trees, the feeling of connection to the earth, the JOY. It’s my church. It’s my play. It’s my place. But from my Ballard home it takes nearly an hour to get to most of the region’s trails built for mountain biking. And I need a car to transport my bike. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the chance to experience riding singletrack in the city of Seattle? How cool would it be if local families could set out from their houses and go only as far as the neighborhood park to have this same experience? SUPER COOL! And our city agrees that the time is now. The city of Seattle Board of Park Commissioners understands that people want to bike on trails. They’ve watched as Duthie Hill Park and St. Edwards State Park have successfully accommodated mountain bikes into their user mix. On Thursday, Jan. 9, the Commissioners will decide whether to recommend an update to the Bicycle Policy for use of bicycles in parks recognizing mountain biking as a “legitimate recreational use” and adopting the International Mountain Bicycling Associations trail building standards. This will allow sustainably built trails to our city parks, trails designed to be in balance with and even restore our natural environment. Then, if the Parks Superintendent approves the policy as recommended, the Parks and Recreation department will need help to make new trails a reality; their resources are limited and focused on maintenance of existing trails. Prior to opening any new parks or trails to bicycle use, the Superintendent will notify the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, the Seattle area mountain bike clubs and interested community groups. It’s up to us, community volunteers, to partner with our city and establish new trails. Cascade will follow the story of this amazing opportunity, so stay tuned for more information about how you can help. The work of our advocacy team is made possible through your support to the education foundation. Please return the enclosed envelope with your year-end gift today or give online at: www.cascade.org/donate.