Action Alerts

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!

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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!

Posted in Alert, Family biking, News, Spokane County | Leave a comment

Support Proposition 1 for Seattle Parks

ParksforAllSharethisSeattle needs stable, dedicated funding for the city’s beloved neighborhood parks, ballfields and community centers. Proposition 1 on the August primary ballot will provide that support, and Washington Bikes board of directors has voted to support it.

Washington Bikes joins dozens of other respected environmental, human services, labor and other organizations in enthusiastically supporting Proposition 1. Seattle parks are public facilities and should be accessible to all who live there. That means existing parks need access points that safely and easily bring citizens traveling by foot and bike into the parks. It also means that parks exist in all neighborhoods so anyone in Seattle can have easy access to a park facility for recreation.

Prop 1 will work to improve park access. Prop 1 will also deliver needed improvements, providing major maintenance at parks across the city, funds for community center staffing and programs for seniors and kids, as well as supporting the addition of new parkland in underserved areas and to meet increased demand.

Proposition 1 will replace an expiring levy, and this dedicated parks district funding will cost the owner of a typical $400,000 only about $4 a month more than what they are currently paying. A citizen-led committee recommended replacing the expiring levy with this lasting park district solution designed to address a $267 million maintenance backlog and meet the recreation needs of America’s fastest growing city.

If you live in Seattle, we urge you to support Prop 1.

Posted in Accessibility, Advocacy, Alert, Funding/Policy, News, Seattle | Leave a comment

Wanted: Awesome Organized Person to Join WA Bikes Team

You — the administrative support whiz looking for a part-time position working for something you can believe in. People describe you as:

  • Organized
  • Detail-oriented
  • A good communicator
  • Comfortable working in an open environment with a lot going on
  • Good at shifting between tasks quickly
  • Someone who makes others feel welcomed

Us — the statewide bike advocacy nonprofit in the nation’s #1 Bicycle Friendly State:

  • A great team of staff, board members, and volunteers and supporters who grow bicycling through education for school and family biking, information for local advocates and riders, promotion of bike travel/tourism, and effective public policy work to pass laws, support their implementation, and improve conditions on the ground.
  • A cool work space in the heart of Seattle’s Pioneer Square with easy bike and transit connections and indoor bike parking. (That is to say, we all bring our bikes inside.)
  • The organization working for the past 27 years to make bicycling accessible, convenient, safe, and fun.

You don’t need to be an expert on bike gear or a speedy high-mileage rider. You should be passionate about creating the conditions that enable people of all ages and abilities to ride bicycles.

IMG_3239 compressed web page

The Seattle-based team: Blake, Barb, El, Jack, Seth, and Louise.

You’re someone who can relate effectively to people who come in with diverse backgrounds and different levels of biking experience. They come to us seeking advice about bike travel, commuting, family biking, places to ride, and other information related to bicycling.

You’re the kind of person who welcomes the learning opportunities you’ll have in the position and the chance to own the smooth operational success of some of our programs, along with contributing to the success of others.

Sound perfect? Read the details in the Administrative Coordinator_2014_Job Description. Send a cover letter highlighting both your skills and your interest in our mission along with a resume and names/contact information for three references to office@WAbikes.org with the subject line “Administrative Coordinator application”.

Kate Johnston (left) from our Spokane office with Katie Ferris, a parent who cares about safe biking and walking.

Kate Johnston (left) from our Spokane office with Katie Ferris, a member of the Spokefest Association board in Spokane.

We’ll begin reviewing applications Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Position is open until filled.

CHANGE OF TIMELINE FROM ORIGINAL POSTING: We will conduct interviews around third or fourth week of August and anticipate having someone in the position by mid-September. Start date is somewhat flexible if the right person has special circumstances.

You’ll be right in the thick of things as we ramp up toward our big annual auction November 15 and beyond — the bike advocacy season runs all year long.

What are we really looking for? This slideshow should give you an idea.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Posted in Alert, News | Leave a comment

Last Week to Comment: Does Your Safety Count?

If they don’t count, it doesn’t count. Unfortunately in Washington state and on the federal level, no requirements exist to develop strong robust performance measures around non-motorized safety. Comment before June 30 to tell the US Department of Transportation that Safety Counts!

As cyclists, we know about safety. It’s a constant topic of conversation: how best to be seen, the best route to take, and words of concern (“bike safe!”) we often hear from friends and family before a ride.

Yet despite all the talk and worry about bicycling safety, there’s rarely accountability at the state and federal levels of government to find solutions to prevent bicycling injuries or deaths.

In Washington state, while serious injuries and deaths are on the decline for many motor-vehicle  incidents, we’re falling short of our state’s “Target Zero” goal of zero deaths and serious injuries by 2030 for those that walk and bike.

Their safety needs to count, too. pedbikeimages.org/M. Cynecki

Their safety needs to count, too. pedbikeimages.org/M. Cynecki

Now’s your last chance to begin to change this. The US Department of Transportation is now in its final week of accepting comments on its plan to measure whether or not the nation’s transportation system is working for all Americans.  Unfortunately, its first draft fails to include any goal, accountability, or requirements to reduce the 16% of all fatal crashes that include people who bike and walk.

Tell the US Department of Transportation  that safety counts and improving bicycling safety should count, too.

The US Department of Transportation needs to hear from you today. Let them know that safety for bicycling counts.

In addition to their helpful letter writing tool, the League of American Bicyclists has provided additional background on why we need to do better to count bicyclists and improve our transportation system for everyone.

Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Federal, Funding/Policy, Issues & Advocacy, News, Safety, Transportation | Leave a comment

Heads-up: Getting Your Bike Through Highway Construction in Snohomish County & Whatcom County

Give-em-a-Brake_Construction-Zone-SignsThe Washington State Department of Transportation currently has contractor crews paving four sections of SR 9 — three shorter ones in the Arlington area and one long section in Whatcom County. The work will continue through mid-August.

Much of the project has wide shoulders that will safely allow bicyclists to pass. But during the paving project, some sections of the work zone could be potentially hazardous for bicyclists or could create situations where bicycles would interact with motorized vehicles on the highway. These include

  • SR 9 Milepost 23.70 to Milepost 28.88 in the Arlington area
  • SR 9 Milepost 69.46 to Milepost 79.41 in Whatcom County

To safely get cyclists through these sections, the contractor has established signed bicycle staging areas at each end of the work zone. This will allow the contractor to safely ferry bicyclists through the work zone. The staging areas are located at locations with cell phone service. Either a project flagger will call for a truck to transport the bicyclists through the work zone, or there will be a phone number to call a construction supervisor, who will transport the bicyclists. Delays for bicyclists should be 20 minutes or less.

The bicycle staging areas will only operate during construction hours:

  • 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. near Arlington
  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Whatcom County

At other hours, bicyclists should proceed with caution because of loose gravel on the roadway.

For project updates, go WSDOT’s construction update pages for Snohomish and Whatcom counties:

Want to stay up on bike news around the state? Sign up for our e-news.

Your Turn

  • If you ride through this area let us know how it goes.

 

Posted in Alert, Arlington, Infrastructure, News, Snohomish County, Whatcom County, WSDOT | Leave a comment

Washington State Is America’s #1 Bicycle Friendly State 7th Year in a Row

Bicyclists of Washington, when someone asks you where you’re from, the answer is, “The #1 Bicycle-Friendly State in the whole country!”

Kicking off National Bike MoLeague of American Bicyclists logonth, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest ranking of Bicycle Friendly States. Washington once again achieved the #1 ranking nationally, making this the seventh straight year. We’ve held the top spot every year the League has issued its evaluation.

This top ranking reflects the hard work of many, many people and organizations and we’re so very proud of our state. Now we go to work to make Washington even BETTER for bicycling.

Where Washington State Scores Especially Well

  • 4 out of 5 points possible in legislation and enforcement
  • 4 out of 5 points in policies and programs
  • 5 in education and encouragement.

Building the full portfolio of what it takes to achieve these scores takes persistence across the board from advocates to agencies to elected officials who know how much bicycling contributes to stronger, healthier people, businesses, and communities.

That’s why Washington Bikes has led the charge for better bicycling and safer streets in the legislature for 27 years.

Where Washington Needs to Improve

  • 2 out of 5 points for infrastructure and funding. It’s critical for the legislature to invest in balanced transportation investments and to address the safety needs of all of us using the road.
  • 3 points in evaluation and planning. The state needs to collect better data about bicycle use, safety issues, and performance measures – a directive coming from the federal government as well.

Looking Ahead

We’re celebrating, but we don’t take our #1 spot for granted. For one thing, other states are chasing us. States that are investing more in bike infrastructure than Washington state know they’ll have a competitive advantage.

Our legislative advocacy and the work of partner groups around the state to enhance bicycling in our communities are both more critical than ever.

The Washington Bikes mission directly addresses the key indicators for the Bicycle Friendly States ranking. We work to:

  • increase infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities;
  • fund and provide education and encouragement programs that promote cycling;
  • work for passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.

What we’re working on to increase and improve bicycling even faster:

  • Creating information bike travelers need to plan fantastic vacations and day trips so they’ll ride — and spend — in Washington.
  • Mapping the US Bicycle Route System in Washington to provide complete cross-state routes and highlight the small towns along the way.
  • Identifying the businesses that want to attract biking customers: shops, restaurants, crafters of every fine beverage from cider to coffee to your-favorite-here, accommodations, markets, galleries, service providers, fun places, cultural attractions, and more.
  • Helping businesses connect with bicyclists who want to support the businesses that support them because bikes mean business.
  • Developing resources and toolkits individuals and groups can use to grow bicycling directly, whether it’s by starting up a bike train to your daughter’s school or showing up at your City Council when it’s time to testify.
  • And more ideas we have waiting their turn in the bike rack!

With your support we’ll celebrate again this time next year, but with more miles of lanes and trails built, better connections, safer streets, more kids learning to ride, more businesses competing to attract biking customers, and more elected officials saying they prioritize investing in bicycling because it’s the right thing to do: for you, for your town, for the state.

More Information

Spread the word to help celebrate National Bike Month and our 7 years in a row as the #1 Bicycle-Friendly State!

Send this post to your biking friends. Encourage them to sign up for our e-news so they hear about milestones like this one along with events, local advocacy efforts, and and our work with agencies and in the legislature on behalf of better bicycling for everyone.

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Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Education, Encouragement, Funding/Policy, Infrastructure, Issues & Advocacy, Legislature, News, Safety, Tourism, Travel, USBRS | 2 Comments

Build a Better Burke-Gilman Trail NOW!

The University of Washington is applying for a TIGER 2014 grant from USDOT to improve the entire portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail that runs through campus (1.7 miles, from near University Village to near the I-5 bridge). Less roots. More safety. Better trailbed. Your voice counts! Project support is one of the criteria USDOT will consider when taking the University’s application into consideration. Make your voice heard today! Click here to add your name to the list of project supporters.
 
To find out more about the proposed improvements and grant application, visit uw.edu/burke-gilman.
Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Funding/Policy, Seattle, Trails | 6 Comments

Vote: Save King County Metro and Roads Today

A special April election will determine whether King County faces huges cuts to Metro transit and roads maintenance.

bike on busJust weeks before bike to work month, King County voters face a vital April special election. It will determine whether Metro Transit will face huge cuts and if we maintain King County roads for cars and bikes.

Vote YES on Prop 1 to keep our buses running and prevent major cuts to Metro bus service. We need to make sure our seniors, students, people with disabilities, and working families still have a way to get around.

Vote YES on Prop 1 to preserve King County’s roads and bridges. Forty percent of Prop 1 goes directly to each community in the county to make our streets, roads, and bridges safer. Spending $1 now to repair our roadways avoids $6-14 in replacement costs if we continue to put off these critical investments. Better local roads benefit bicyclists across King County.

We like bike racks on buses – we need more of these, not less. Every workday 400,000 trips are taken on Metro; less buses mean worse traffic and a longer commute.

Ballots are due by April 22nd — Earth Day. But there’s no need to wait. Mail in your ballot as soon as you get home.  Vote YES on Prop 1 today!

Together we can keep King County moving whether you bus, bike, drive, or walk.

Posted in Advocacy, Alert, Funding/Policy, King County, Transit, Transportation | Leave a comment

Celebrate the Past and Present of Snohomish County’s Centennial Trail

Looking for a way to celebrate and show that Washington Bikes in Snohomish County? This Saturday, February 15 at 9 am, Snohomish County leaders will join in Snohomish to celebrate and officially sign the purchase agreement with the Port of Seattle to extend the Centennial Trail another 12 additional miles south as a multimodal connection for bikers, walkers, and rail.Parks Cen e-mail

The extended trail will link the city of Snohomish with Woodinville, Redmond and Renton. It will serve as a major next step in connecting the region’s trail network, ultimately including the Burke Gilman, Eastside Rail Corridor and East Lake Sammamish Trails.

The 12 mile extension creates a 42 mile trail stretching across the entirety of Snohomish County and reaching the borders of King and Skagit counties. The extension will grow the trail and the County as a destination for both locals and visitors, alike. Bicyclists are wallets on wheels – biking customers are fueled by calories and typically stop – and spend – in every town they pass through.

Centennial Trail. Photo by Joe Mabel

Centennial Trail. Photo by Joe Mabel

The signing ceremony begins at 9am at the southern terminus of the Centennial Trail (504 4th St., Snohomish).

Afterwards, the party heads north to unveil Snohomish County’s new PASTforward program at the Machias Trailhead (1624 Virginia St., Snohomish).

“The PASTforward program is a fascinating look at our county’s history,” said Parks and Recreation director Tom Teigen. “Our industrial and agricultural roots are incredibly diverse, and I think people will be amazed at some of the stories they discover. It’s worth a walk down the trail this spring just to check out these new interpretive signs.” Snohomish County is hosting a new website on the Centennial Trail that features this rich history: http://www.centennialtrail.com/

Hope to see you there!

Blog Posts to Inspire Your Snohomish County Bicycle Trip

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Posted in Alert, Economic Impact, Everett, Infrastructure, News, People, Rides, Tourism, Trails, Transportation, Travel | Leave a comment