Action Alerts

SB 5656: Strengthening Washington’s Distracted Driving Laws

By request of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Senator Ann Rivers (R-La Center) introduced legislation today to strengthen our state’s distracted driving laws. SB 5656 will help to protect those that walk and bike from preventable injuries and deaths caused by texting and talking while driving.

largenocellphones-png-mdPop Quiz I: What increases a driver’s crash risk by 23 times?

Answer: Texting while driving.

Pop quiz II: What increases a driver’s crash risk by four times?

Answer: Simply talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device.

Since 2010, when Washington Bikes helped lead the successful lobbying to start to reduce distracted driving, it’s even more obvious that distracted driving affects all of us. Distraction contributes to 26% of fatal crashes in Washington state.  SB 5656 will work to close loopholes and stiffen penalties to reduce this growing concern, especially as smart phones become more and more central to people’s lives. This legislation is a priority in the Washington Bikes 2015 Legislative Agenda.

It’s no surprise to most of us to learn that electronic distraction when driving is growing. A recent study by Harborview’s Dr. Beth Ebel shows that nearly one out of every ten Washington state drivers is engaged with a handheld device at any moment.

Senator Ann Rivers (R - La Center) is sponsoring a bill to strengthen distracted driving laws in Washington.

Senator Ann Rivers (R – La Center) is sponsoring a bill to strengthen distracted driving laws in Washington.

Like all traffic injuries and deaths, distracted driving is a preventable problem.

Reducing distracted driving helps create a culture of safety for drivers and the most vulnerable roads users – children, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The risks around distraction can be more intense because bicyclists and pedestrians – including children – are less visible and more prone to go unnoticed by distracted drivers, with tragic consequences.

SB 5656 improves upon the current law by broadening the definition so that any person (with much narrower exceptions) operating a motor vehicle while holding a personal wireless communications device is guilty of a traffic infraction. It closes loopholes such as being able to use one’s phone while stopped at an intersection or stoplight (currently legal), it also expands the definitions of handheld uses to ban texting and email use on smart phones. Additional violations receive twice the penalty, plus violations go on one’s driver record for insurance purposes. Finally, distracted driving would be included in Department of Licensing exams (currently they are not).

These are common sense fixes that provide law enforcement more tools to stop distracted driving and to stiffen consequences.

It’s now time to improve Washington state’s distracted driving laws. Keep in touch with us by signing-up to Washington Bikes’ alerts to help us pass this important safety legislation.

[Tweet “Thx @Senator_Rivers for making distracted driving laws stronger. I’m w/@WAbikes on this. #WAleg

————————————————————————————————————————-

Care about better bicycling in Washington? When you join others like you by making your tax-deductible donation you help us keep working for you.

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Funding/Policy, Issues & Advocacy, Legislature, News | Leave a comment

Scofflaw Biking Survey (Yeah, We Said It)

bicycle traffic signal greenWe’re not fans of the term “scofflaw” as applied to people on bicycles. It implies that riding a bike is associated with breaking the law more than people who drive. In fact, a 2013 study by Portland State University professor Chris Monsere found just the opposite.

So it caught our eye when the Washington Post Wonkblog ran a Jan. 9 piece called “Let’s talk seriously about why cyclists break traffic laws,” with a link to a Scofflaw Biking Survey. Reporter Emily Badger wrote,

“Most of us, whatever mode we travel, break the law at some point, Marshall points out, whether we’re driving five miles over the speed limit, or crossing the street against the crosswalk. And yet, we tend not to treat lead-footed drivers with the same disapproval as cyclists who ride through stop signs, even though the former behavior is potentially more publicly harmful than the latter. Which raises another question: Are cyclists really more prolific scofflaws than drivers anyway?

Prof. Wesley Marshall of University of Colorado Denver, one of the researchers leading the study, sees the word quite differently. When we asked why the survey wasn’t labeled something neutral that didn’t load the dice with presuppositions, he wrote,

“In terms of using the word ‘scofflaw,’ it was very intentional. If I had called it something more general like a ‘transportation behavior survey there is no way I’d have gotten even a fraction of the respondents that we have already.  It’s a long survey, and we don’t have funding to pay people to take it — so we had to rely on a somewhat provocative title to garner a strong reaction and some online attention.

“Also, I am using the word ‘scofflaw’ in homage to its origins with the bootlegging that occurred during Prohibition (the word “scofflaw” emerged from a 1924 contest held by the Boston Herald trying to come up with a term to describe somebody who flagrantly disobeyed the Prohibition law). The intent is to reference the fact that while some people were in fact breaking the law, social norms didn’t view these people as criminals. Same goes with scofflaw cyclist…. yes, they are breaking the law — but many people (including myself in many instances) don’t also see them as criminals (similarly to how society looks at someone that goes a few miles an hour over the speed limit).”

So are you a “scofflaw” or someone exercising judgment while negotiating a system not designed for bicycles? Take the study and invite non-bicycling friends to take it too; it includes questions about driving behavior.

The survey will take about 10 or 15 minutes to complete. It asks questions about respondents’ travel patterns and experiences as bicyclists under various situations, with photos to illustrate some situations.

The survey is part of a larger study intending to better understand our transportation system and what factors might correlate with different behavior patterns. The researchers say in the survey introduction, “Findings from the study could help create streets that serve many users comfortably, safely, and efficiently.”

Important note about device differences:

  • On the desktop the survey taker will have a comment box available with each question.
  • Mobile device users get a comment box only at the end. If you take the survey on a mobile device, we suggest making notes for your comments as you go.

Take the survey now!

traffic signal showing red lightTraffic Signals and Bike Detection

Speaking of laws that don’t accommodate people on bicycles, we’re working on a bill that addresses faulty traffic signals (meaning those that don’t detect bicycles the way they should under a law we got passed in 2009).

While we have you thinking about bike laws…

Sign up for our e-news and request your copy of our pocket guide to Washington state bike laws, “Drive Aware” brochure to share with your favorite driver who doesn’t understand why we sometimes control the lane, and other materials to help us all ride heads-up.

First
Last
By filling out this form, you opt in to receive email updates about bicycling events and issues in Washington State.
Share WA bike news!
Posted in Alert, Attitudes, Bike Culture, Issues & Advocacy, Legal, News, Research, Safety, Transportation | 1 Comment

Representative Rick Larsen Champions Biking and Walking Safety

Thanks to Representative Rick Larsen’s leadership, we’re about to learn more about the trends and causes of collisions involving pedestrians and bicycles and to make recommendations about improving safety on our streets.

Rep Larsen PhotoWhile most transportation fatalities and serious injuries in Washington state have been on the decline, our most vulnerable road users — those who walk and bike — have not been enjoying this safety dividend. In some cases fatalities are up. From 2009-2011 15.5% of all transportation-related deaths and 16.7% of all transportation-related serious injuries in Washington state come from those who walk and bike.

As most who walk and bike can attest, many streets and roads can be unfriendly places. It’s a reason that new design guides and innovative best practices around street engineering are beginning to take hold. Still, the majority of new street and road designs in Washington state take a conventional engineering approach, which leads to unsafe vehicle speeds and numerous biking and walking safety and mobility problems.

To begin to get to the bottom of these issues, Washington Bikes thanks Representative Rick Larsen (2-Washington) for spearheading a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and supported by Representatives Norton (Washington DC) and DeFazio (4-Oregon).

“The safety of everyone on the road should be our top priority. Thanks to coordinated efforts, motor vehicle accident deaths are declining. But the same is not true for the most vulnerable people on our roadways – pedestrians and bicyclists. The GAO can give us a better idea of the reasons behind why pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are going up. We want to know what more Congress can do to ensure the highest level of safety for all of those using our roads,” said Larsen, DeFazio and Norton.

GAO will now conduct research to examine:

  • trends in pedestrian and cyclist crashes (including causes of such crashes), fatalities, and injuries in the last decade;
  • challenges that states face in improving pedestrian and cyclist safety (including roadway design speeds and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidelines for road design), and the initiatives states have undertaken to address this issue — with a focus on the effects of the common road engineering standard that sets speed limits at the rate 85% of drivers use under regular conditions;
  • the extent that federal initiatives and funds have been made available to assist states in improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, and additional federal actions that may be needed.

This GAO report will help inform US Department of Transportation and FHWA as recommendations and policy are developed as part of the “Safer Streets, Safer People” initiative.

Washington Bikes looks forward to the results of this GAO study also informing next steps for the Washington State Department of Transportation (particularly its Highway Safety Improvement Program) and Washington Traffic Safety Commission (and its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Target Zero) as both agencies seek to become more multimodal and grow their focus on protecting the most vulnerable on Washington state’s streets and roads.

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Alert, Complete Streets, Federal, Funding/Policy, Issues & Advocacy, News, Politics, Safety | 1 Comment

We Did It! A Federal Safety Performance Measure for Biking & Walking to be Developed

Despite the drama surrounding the FY 2015 Omnibus, or “CRomnibus,” biking and walking just got a big win thanks to Washington state’s own Senator Patty Murray.

ty_patty_murray_12-15Tell Senator Murray thanks for her leadership in advocating for a non-motorized safety performance measure.

The win addresses the growing and persistent problem for the safety of everyone that walks and bikes. As most transportation fatalities and serious injuries in Washington state have been on the decline, our most vulnerable road users – those that walk and bike – have not seen a similar decline. From 2009-2011 15.5% of all transportation-related deaths and 16.7% of all transportation-related serious injuries in Washington state come from those that walk and bike.

During the development of the 2015 budget, Washington Bikes and the League of American Bicyclists worked with Senator Murray’s office to include a directive for the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to develop a safety performance measure. This push for inclusion in the appropriations bill represents a continuation of an earlier push to pass legislation in both the US House of Representatives and Senate to require USDOT to establish a non-motorized performance measure.

The now final budget, specifically under the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations, passed by Congress on Saturday includes a directive (see page 17) to the US Department of Transportation from Congress to “…to establish separate, non-motorized safety performance measures for the highway safety improvement program, define performance measures for fatalities and serious injuries from pedestrian and bicycle crashes, and publish its final rule on safety performance measures no later than September 30, 2015.”

What can we expect from this important advance for non-motorized safety? For one, this directive will require states to set a goal of reducing biking and walking fatalities in their state, and report back on their progress.

Additionally, the directive speaks directly to the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). While some HSIP projects in Washington state have included walking and biking improvements, they have also included other traditional street design considerations that make it challenging to comfortably walk and bike. Furthermore, HSIP in Washington state hasn’t had an explicit tie to walking and biking as its primary purpose is to address top-tier priority safety areas in the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Target Zero, and not overtly on walking and biking. This new directive’s rulemaking and reporting requirements will precipitate more accountability as to determine whether HSIP investments actually improve safety for those that walk and bike.

In the current Congress Senator Murray holds a leadership position in the Senate on transportation funding issues and advocated for the inclusion of this directive to make our streets safer for everyone. We at Washington Bikes can’t thank her enough for her leadership.

Please join Washington Bikes and thank Senator Murray for her invaluable help in making this significant change happen for everyone that bikes and walks. Thank her today.

league-logoWashingtonBikes_GBS_stack

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Federal, Funding/Policy, Issues & Advocacy, News, Politics, Safety, Transportation | 2 Comments

Washington Bikes 2015 Legislative Agenda: Health, Safety, Transportation & Strong Economies

As the dust settles on the 2014 elections, activity for legislative action in 2015 grows. The slim Democrat House majority (now at 51 seats compared to 47 for the Republican minority) and the Senate Republican majority (25 with 1 Democrat caucusing with the Republican majority compared to a 23 seat Democrat minority) face a challenging legislative session with budget realities that fail to match up with expected revenues. High priority issues will include meeting State Supreme Court decrees on education funding, addressing ongoing structural funding burdens, and determining next steps in upkeep of a heavily bonded transportation system.

Mom Tonya shared this with us, saying, "Kids out of school, cold & rainy, time to ride!"

Mom Tonya shared this with us, saying, “Kids out of school, cold & rainy, time to ride!”

To pass a state budget, most observers expect the 2015 legislature to go well beyond the scheduled 105-day “long” session. For as long as it takes this year, Washington Bikes will be in Olympia to help grow bicycling statewide. We look forward to working the issues, rallying supporters to write legislators, and advocating for better bicycling in Washington state.

Keep in touch by signing up to our email list and follow our blog, Facebook, and Twitter for action alerts and additional legislative news.

The 2015 Legislative Agenda

Washington Bikes Board of Directors and its Legislative and Statewide Issues Committee set a 2015 agenda to improve safety and health through smart investments and legislative improvements, highlight the benefits of efficient transportation investments, and grow the state’s economy via bicycle travel and tourism.

Investments that Get Washingtonians Where They Want to Go

Washington state continues to slip behind other states in making investments to grow biking and make safer streets. As the Governor and Legislature begin another round of discussions to pass a multi-year transportation-spending package, and as funding for school safety improvements are in doubt, it’s even more important that Washingtonians get the right investments for biking, walking, and making streets work for everyone.

In 2015 Washington Bikes will advocate to (1) Grow and stabilize state funding for the Safe Routes to School Grant Program; (2) ensure that biking, walking and complete streets projects are a component in any transportation revenue package; and (3) support the $97 million Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program Grant request.

US Bicycle Route 10 crosses the state and brings "wallets on wheels" to businesses statewide.

US Bicycle Route 10 crosses the state and brings “wallets on wheels” to businesses statewide.

Growing the Multimillion Dollar Bicycle Travel & Tourism Industry

Bicycle travel and tourism is big business. Annually Oregon receives $400 million in direct economic impact from bicycle travel and tourism. An improved understanding of bike travel and tourism in Washington state is needed to make smart choices for growth statewide, particularly in rural areas and in communities seeking to recover their economies after natural disasters, like SR 530.

Washington Bikes will be seeking state investments in a similar study to help quantify the industry and improve strategies to grow our state’s economy.

Updating State Law to Accommodate for Faulty Traffic Signal Detection

Riders in Spokane

Riders in Spokane

In 2014 state law was improved to allow for motorcycles to stop and proceed or make left-hand turns through traffic control signals that do not detect motorcycles or bicycles under certain very limited conditions with a specific protocol that is clear and understood by law enforcement.

Because this same issue affects bicycles and the 2014 law did not include bicycles, Washington Bikes will seek similar legislation would improve the 2014 law’s uniformity by including bicycles and providing a clear protocol for how to safely and legally make a left turn and a non-functioning signal.

Strengthen Washington State’s Distracted Driving Laws

Following Washington Bikes successful lobbying in 2010 to pass Washington’s distracted driving legislation, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission is expected to make agency request legislation improves upon the current law. Work is still being conducted to refine the legislative proposal to help address the crisis of one in every ten Washington state drivers driving distracted.

Washington Bikes will be supporting this agency request legislation to help protect bicycle riders on our streets and roads.

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Complete Streets, Economic Impact, Education, Funding/Policy, Health, Infrastructure, Issues & Advocacy, News, Politics, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Tourism, Trails, Transportation, Travel, WSDOT | 2 Comments

Tell Them Washington Bikes: Take the Voice of Washington State Survey Today

Think Washington state doesn’t pay enough attention to biking and walking? Now’s your chance to let them know you want better and more investments in biking.

Make sure Washington state leaders know bicycling matters.

Make sure Washington state leaders know bicycling matters.

The Washington State Transportation Commission is out in the field with its Voice of Washington State survey panel. The purpose? To understand Washingtonians’ perspectives on transportation issues that impact their daily lives. The results of the survey are presented to transportation decision makers, including the legislature and Governor.

For perhaps the first time in the survey’s existence, the Washington State Transportation Commission asks a range of questions about biking and walking.

Washington Bikes has had concerns about the survey in the past, but with its noticeable focus on biking and walking this go-around, please take the estimated 12 minutes to provide your input about how much you bike, and why you want the state to make more investments in biking.

Join the Voice of Washington State panel today to let them know Washington Bikes!

Petition for Better Bicycling

While you’re at it, sign the Washington Bikes petition to ask the Governor and state legislature to make safer bicycling a top priority and to invest in more bike lanes and trails and improved road designs to create a complete network of bicycle connections.

First
Last
(Optional) Providing your street address lets us identify your legislative district and send you information about issues and votes in which your state legislators play a key role when they come up.

 

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Accessibility, Alert, Attitudes, Funding/Policy, Legislature | Leave a comment

Tell the Washington State Transportation Commission that Washington Bikes and Walks

Comment now on the Washington State Transportation Plan to tell decision makers that Washington bikes and walks

What are state plans for? Every four years the Washington State Transportation Commission has the job of developing an update to channel the priorities of the legislature and executive branch, in conjunction with applicable state laws to chart a 20-year vision for Washington state’s transportation future.

WA Bikes member Allan Ohlsen.

WA Bikes member Allan Ohlsen.

The Transportation Commission’s latest planning effort, WTP 2035, is now out for public comment. Washington Bikes has been following the planning process for over a year by working with Transportation Commission staff and other partners to provide input that reflects the growing interests from visitors and residents who bicycle.

The Plan is a start, but needs your help and input to ensure the state emphasizes walking and biking safety, mobility, and investments for the future. Now it’s your chance to provide comments to help the plan better reflect your priorities as Washingtonians that support safer transportation options, healthier places and people, great places to travel on your bike (and to support businesses statewide), and more investments that get people where they want to go easily and affordably.

How to Comment

Written comment Let the Commissioners know by emailing them at Transc@wstc.wa.gov, or by commenting online. Comments are due by September 25, 2014.

Meetings There are a few remaining in-person opportunities to comment:

Bellevue Bellevue Regional Library, Room 1 1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA  98004 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Richland Ben Franklin Transit Center, Board Room 1000 Columbia Park Trail, Richland, WA  99352 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bremerton Norm Dicks Government Center 345 6th Street, Bremerton, WA  98337 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 11, 2014

Webinars:

  • Wednesday, September 17 | 1pm – 2pm
  • Thursday, September 25 | 11 am – noon

For either webinar, RSVP to admin@berkconsulting.com and GoToMeeting login information will be sent out the day before. The format will be a short (20 minute) presentation on WTP 2035 followed by Q&A

Wondering what to say? Washington Bikes has a few high level recommendations included below.

Washington Bikes Recommendations

WTP 2035 should include proposals more robust planning and data collection for non-motorized transportation. Washington Bikes recommends (1) updating the state bike/ped plan; and (2) creating a robust data collection framework for biking and walking to better understand and assess relative safety in Washington’s transportation system.

Background: Washington state agencies focus resources and staffing to calculate vehicle crash rates by exposure (vehicle miles traveled), while injury and fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians are compared to the population (deaths/injuries per 100,000 population). The lack of comparable denominator data is troubling for public health and safety, as it prevents a valid comparison of the risk of bicycling, walking, and driving. Data suggest a dire need to address this problem: estimates suggest the US has a cyclist injury rate twenty times that of Denmark and The Netherlands and seven times Germany’s. Similarly, WTP uses seven-year-old data from the outdated Washington State Bike/Ped Plan that fails to reflect the huge changes in best practices and increased demand (and cost for system build out) for biking and walking facilities that we now see in 2014.

Washington’s Transportation Plan needs to plan for all trips, not just commute trips. Washington Bike recommends expanding the concept of what trips matter and evaluating the potential to support and plan for non-commute trips in transportation planning.

Background: Researchers have tracked falling Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in recent years. While only 27% of VMT are commute-related, commutes are typically what is addressed in transportation surveys. Without knowing how (and why) people travel, it is difficult to appropriately fund an effective or efficient transportation system. Similarly, small trips of under 3 miles – ones that are ideal for walking and biking – comprise approximately 40% of trips but are often not commute trips.

Student transportation needs recognition in the WTP. Washington Bikes recommends including planning for student transportation and Safe Routes to School in WTP 2035.IMG_5118

Background: Pupil transportation of our state’s approximately one million children from kindergarten to 12th grade links to several state-level priorities. Student transportation issues factor in around highway safety (on the state highway system, almost 90 percent of all pedestrian and bicycle collisions occur within one mile of a school and 21 percent of those involve children ages 5 to 18), congestion (nationally, 10-14% of peak hour congestion is related to drop-offs and pick-ups of children), and the state’s general fund obligations for McCleary (annually state and local school districts spend almost $500 million annually on pupil transportation).

Biking and walking occurs statewide. Washington Bikes Recommends ensuring that biking and walking planning and resources are considered viable transportation solutions statewide and not just limited to large urban metropolitan areas.

 

Bicycle riders on the bike/pedestrian bridge that connects East Wenatchee to Wenatchee at Pybus Market.

Riders on the bike/pedestrian bridge that connects East Wenatchee to Wenatchee at Pybus Market.

Background: Think Seattle has the highest share of biking commuters in Washington state? Wrong. That designation goes to Ellensburg. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. Biking and walking occur outside of large urban metropolitan areas, but WTP 2035 implies this is not the case. 3- and 5-year ACS data illustrate this in Ellensburg (22.9% walked and biked), Port Angeles (8.8% walked and biked), Bellingham (11.8% walked and biked), Colville (12% walked and biked), Pullman (24% walked and biked) and Walla Walla (13.1% walked and biked). These numbers often exceed the large metro areas in Washington state. WTP 2035 needs to recognize this fact.

Safety for those that bike and walk needs to be prioritized in Washington state. Washington Bikes Recommends that state transportation planning and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Target Zero plan need to reprioritize bicycle and pedestrian safety to effectively implement Governor Inslee’s Results Washington goal of achieving zero pedestrian and bicycle deaths by 2030.

Background: The emerging issue around safety in Washington state continues to be addressing the shortfalls a transportation system that does not accommodate those that walk and bike, thus creating safety and mobility concerns. Nationally, since 2009, fatalities have been increasing for those that walk and bike. In 2012, over 16% of all traffic-related fatalities were people on bike and foot. More biking and walking can lead to conflicts with other modes, but it also creates “safety in numbers”, which leads to more awareness of those that bike and walk and, ultimately, increased safety.

Remember, let the Commissioners know via email, meeting, or webinar by September 25, 2014.

2-sunrise

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Funding/Policy, Infrastructure, Issues & Advocacy, Kids, Legislature, Rural, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Tourism, Trails, Transportation, Travel, WSDOT | 2 Comments

Tell the Washington Legislature: Focus on Safety and Complete Connections

Gigantic-Bicycle-Festival_08-23-14_forwebGoing into the 2015 legislative session — an important budget-writing year that sets the two-year transportation budget — we hope to build on our success in 2013 in getting an all-time record investment of over $40 million in biking/walking projects. We’ll be working for a forward-looking approach to transportation funding that recognizes how people want to move.

As the recent poll on kids and safe biking and walking showed, Washingtonians overwhelmingly want the legislature and their local leaders to invest in safer connections. Add your voice with our petition that asks the legislature for two fundamental things: making safety a top priority and funding complete bike connections.

Washington State Capitol - courtesy of  Cacophony

Washington State Capitol – courtesy of Cacophony

Petition for Better Bicycling

Getting more people on bikes is good for our personal health, local businesses, our towns, our economy, and the air we breathe.

That’s why we call on the governor and the state legislature to make safer bicycling a top priority and to invest in more bike lanes and trails and improved road designs to create a complete network of bicycle connections.

First
Last
(Optional) Providing your street address lets us identify your legislative district and send you information about issues and votes in which your state legislators play a key role when they come up.
Share WA bike news!
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Issues & Advocacy, Legislature, News | 3 Comments

Snohomish County Bikes: WSDOT Advisory – Stay Safe SR 530

Snohomish County Bikes: an ongoing series highlighting great Snohomish County bike rides and issues.

Snohomish County offers numerous great riding opportunities – from trails to country rides. One highlight includes enjoying SR 530 up the Stillaguamish Valley to Darrington and beyond.

SR 530

WSDOT is working hard to reconstruct SR 530. In the meantime, no stopping or pulling over. Photo courtesy of WSDOT, some rights reserved.

Since the tragic SR 530 landslide this spring, the state road – and WSDOT’s ongoing construction activities to rebuild the damaged roadway – travels directly through the landslide’s devastation. Unfortunately, WSDOT is receiving some reports that bicycle riders are stopping in locations that lack shoulders. WSDOT would like to remind all riders that without shoulders, the road isn’t wide enough for motor vehicles or bicycles to stop safely.

More from WSDOT:

State Route 530 between Oso and Darrington is a popular spot for summertime cycling, but with the highway reconstruction project in full swing, riders should be extra cautious. Please be aware that there are no shoulders through the slide area. For the safety of all roadway users, no stops are allowed unless directed by flaggers or law enforcement. Project information and upcoming traffic detours can be found on the WSDOT SR 530 project website. Please contact SR530SlideInfo@wsdot.wa.gov with any additional questions.

Keep on visiting the Stillaguamish Valley and be safe out there!

Sign Up to Receive Updates on Biking in Snohomish County

First
Last
Share WA bike news!
Posted in Accessibility, Adventure, Alert, Arlington, Darrington, Infrastructure, News, Oso, Safety, Share the Road, Snohomish County, WSDOT | Leave a comment

Help Replace Paul’s Stolen Bike

Paul Dannels Family_Spokane

Paul Dannels and family.

Over the weekend we read the Inlander story about a brash bike thief in Spokane. It’s not often a thief takes action right in front of a reporter who can capture his image, track down the owner of the stolen goods, and get more of the story, but that’s what happened this time.

So it’s thanks to Daniel Walters we know the stolen bike belongs to Paul Dannels: husband, father of 4, a hard-working guy who volunteers in the community, goes for family bike rides, and is trying to train for triathlons, riding 40-50 miles per week. It’s his one and only bike and the family budget doesn’t stretch to a replacement any time soon.

After talking with Paul and hearing his story for ourselves, we knew we wanted to help. We waited to hear whether the police might be able to recover his bike. It appears not; according to a follow-up story by Walters in the Inlander, they’ve caught the bike thief but the bike is nowhere to be found.

This leaves Paul without a bike.

So who is this guy we’d be helping? He’s the kind of person you want to help. He especially cares about helping children in need become better students. He’s been an AmeriCorps volunteer and coaches young children in baseball at the YMCA.

Paul says, “I live for my wife and children and being outside with them, doing anything fun and healthy, running, swimming and bicycling all the time as much as we can. That is where my family’s happiness is. Losing my bike has been difficult. The outreach and support has been incredible — I do not feel worthy and am very humbled.”

Paul isn’t used to asking for help for himself. When we talked about the possibility of a replacement he said, ”Any bike would be fine — used, really old, whatever,” he said.

We know lots of bikes get stolen and it’s not a problem we can solve, human nature being what it is. We can, however, help Paul get a bike.

Or rather, YOU can help Paul get a bike with your 100% tax-deductible donation. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. You give through WA Bikes so it’s tax-deductible for you.
  2. We coordinate with Paul and the bike shop of his choice.
  3. He gets a bike and equipment he needs to get rolling again.
Paul Dannels_Spokane

Paul works as a safety manager at Associated Painters in Airway Heights.

Our fundraising goal: $1,000. With this Paul will be able to get a replacement bike of comparable quality, bike seat for use with his children, seriously good bike lock, and other equipment such as a headlight and taillight, bike rack, etc.

Who’s already helping: North Division Bike Shop tells us they’ll donate $100 and would like to work with Paul. Other shops may also be able to help; we’ll update the post to list them here.

Bike Replacement Donation Form

What about your friend who had a bike stolen? We know that in doing this we may get similar requests. For now, we’re just trying to help Paul.

Depending on the community response, we’ll evaluate whether an ongoing bike replacement donation fund is something we can manage given our capacity constraints and the need to verify that a claim is valid so you can feel good about your donation.

What if people donate more than $1,000? We’ll update this post with progress reports so you know how much is still needed. When the donation form is gone it means we reached the goal and we thank you for your generosity. If we run a bit over $1,000, which could happen depending on the way the donations come in towards the end, the additional funds will go to support bike safety education and work with law enforcement in Spokane.

Thank you for helping Paul get back on two wheels with his family!

Share WA bike news!
Posted in Alert, Family biking, News, Spokane County | Leave a comment