Growing Momentum: The Washington Bikes’ 2018 Legislative Agenda

Washington State Capitol

The 2018 legislative agenda works to improve bicycling statewide.

In 2017 Washington Bikes worked to pass bills to form the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council safety legislation, curb distracted driving, and also advocated for valuable investments to build the Wilburton Trestle and protect valuable multimodal transportation dollars.

Those solid achievements didn’t come easy as the legislature went through not one, but three special overtime sessions. All the way through the third special session, Washington Bikes staff, lobbyists, and supporters continued to monitor and work to represent people who bicycle or want to bicycle in Olympia for a record-setting 193 days. The Washington Bikes 2018 legislative agenda builds on 2017’s momentum in the short session of the two-year biennium.

Washington Bikes’ 2018 Legislative Agenda

Washington Bikes Board of Directors and staff set a 2018 legislative agenda to address the changing nature of bicycling (especially as electric bicycle use grows statewide), protect critical multimodal investments, better understand the economic and health benefits of bicycling, and continue to expand bicycle networks IMG_4324statewide and to protect trails.

Updating Washington’s electric-assist bicycle laws to national standards. The usage of electric-assist bicycles (e-bikes) is booming. They serve as a way to “flatten hills” across our hilly and mountainous state, and allow many who feel intimidated by biking a new opportunity to experience the freedom of two (or three) wheels. Rapid innovation in the e-bike industry has led to greater adoption and more e-bikes on streets and trails. Existing Washington state laws pertaining to e-bikes are outdated and fail to address all types of e-bikes currently on the market, as well as where they can go. The proposed legislation updates the classification system to give Washington state new tools to effectively enforce and manage e-bikes.

The e-bike industry endorses this framework and these national standards, which if enacted, will allow consistency in the Washington state market to laws now-adopted in states like Arkansas, California, Colorado, Tennessee, and others. Already state legislators are hearing from constituent e-bike riders who want clarity regarding where they are able to ride. Finally, the health benefits of e-bicycling are comparable to a brisk walk or low-intensity jog. E-biking for transportation and recreation results in stronger heart rates, lower blood sugar and body fat.1

  • Ask: Legislation to update electric-assist bicycle regulation, which will create a framework consistent with national standards. It will provide clear expectations for manufacturers, retailers and consumers in Washington state.

Protect the multimodal account so all Washingtonians can get around. Washington state is committed to investing in multimodal transportation options solutions beyond single-occupancy vehicles. The multimodal transportation account dedicates transportation funds for rail, ferries, transit, biking and walking, which are multimodal in nature.

These investments include: the bicycle and pedestrian grant program, regional mobility grants and Safe Routes to School programs and projects.

  • Defend: limited multimodal dollars must remain dedicated to the purpose of providing transportation choices and solutions and not diverted to solutions for electric single occupancy vehicles.

Measuring the economic impact & health cost savings of biking and hiking in Washington. Bicycle travel and tourism is big business and benefits Washington businesses with $3.1 billion in annual spending. Physical activity is another big benefit of bicycling and its particularly important as the nation addresses its obesity crisis and as our state’s children struggle with getting the recommended amount of daily physical activity.

In a partnership with the Washington Trails Association, Washington Bikes will be seeking funding for a study to be conducted by the Washington State Department of Commerce. The study will quantify the bicycle and hiking tourism industry and the health benefits from these forms of active recreation and transportation. This deeper dive, building on the Governor’s 2015 Taskforce on Outdoor Recreation and Parks (which was co-chaired by then-Washington Bikes Executive Director, Barb Chamberlain), will provide new strategies for health cost savings and grow our state’s economy, particularly in rural areas.

  • Ask: $125,000 to conduct the study on the economic and health benefits of hiking and biking for Washington state (Operating budget)

Protecting and connecting trails statewide. Trails form a backbone of many of the biking and walking networks statewide. Key project priorities include the development of the cross-state John Wayne Pioneer Trail, as well as the regional backbone for the East King County trail network, the Eastside Rail Corridor.

  • Support: (1) Support of State Park’s and Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) funding asks to protect and further develop the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. (Capital budget)
  • Support: (2) Support for investment in the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC). This regional trail will provide connectivity for transportation and recreation. Specific ask for funding of the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue, which will create an important connection on the ERC. (Capital budget)
  • Support: (3) Support of the full $80 million WWRP investment, including improving outdoor recreation opportunities, trail development and enhancing state parks. (Capital budget)

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1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27299435

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Big wins statewide for people who bike – or want to!

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This November voters made smart choices to elect candidates who support healthier and safer communities through better bicycling with approximately 80% of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates winning. Your continued support, investments in Washington Bike PAC and votes on Election Day made these wins possible. Thank you for making your voice heard!

Election night outcomes will bring momentum and leadership for improving bicycling across Washington state – here is some of what we look forward to:

  • In Bellevue with the re-election of Lynne Robinson and the election of Janice Zahn and Jared Nieuwenhuis the city is poised to build the Bellevue Bike Network by 2020.
  • In Spokane the re-election of Candace Mumm and Breean Beggs along with the election of Kate Burke brings the leadership in place to implement and prioritize projects with new bike lanes, new safe attractive spaces for walking and improved connectivity.
  • In Seattle the re-election of Lorena Gonzalez and Pete Holmes along with the election of Teresa Mosqueda and Jenny Durkan position the City of Seattle to build a basic bike network downtown by 2019 and complete the Burke Gilman Trail’s Missing Link.

The real work starts now. Washington Bikes is excited to collaborate with newly elected and re-elected public leaders to build connected and safe bike networks that get people where they need to go.

Finally, it takes the generous support of people like you for Washington Bikes to serve as the statewide voice for better bicycling. Please make a gift today to see this work continue. Donate here.

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Elect Spokane’s bike champions this November

Spokane is a livable, thriving community that is building new streets and trails that will connect the city and provide increased access to active transportation choices. Let’s keep the momentum going by re-electing Spokane city council’s current bike-friendly leaders and electing strong voices to the council.

Lynn Ellis, left, and Patti Nepean, co-owners of MonkeyBoy Bicycles go for a ride on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, at Kendall Yards in Spokane, Wash. TYLER TJOMSLAND tylert@spokesman.com

Washington Bikes’ 2017 Spokane endorsements:

In the coming years, Spokane can take big steps forward in building safer streets and more connected bikeways, but it needs strong leadership from its city council to do the following:

  • Implement its six-year comprehensive street program and prioritize projects with new bike lanes, new safe attractive spaces for walking and improved connectivity throughout Spokane.
  • Take advantage of the new connections that will happen when the University District Gateway Bridge is completed. This new connection represents much more than a bridge; it’s a conduit between the University District and the East Sprague Avenue area. The bridge will not only be a safer bicycle and pedestrian route to and from campuses, but is already spurring development and revitalization of the communities on either side. Building on that momentum will require smart choices by the next Spokane city council.
  • Become the next Washington city to have a bike share program. The city of Spokane has convened a workgroup to address bike share planning and the hope is that a program will be on the ground by 2019. Bike share systems have enormous potential to increase access to bicycles and fill gaps in the transportation network.
  • Leverage the growing momentum for all ages and abilities infrastructure and programming, like through Safe Routes to School and the Walk Bike Bus program.

There is demand and momentum for a bikeable and walkable Spokane, but in order to ensure the City continues to reach it’s potential as a healthy, vibrant community, it’s critical to elect champions who share our vision and priorities for Spokane.

Washington Bikes has endorsed candidates who have committed to ensure Spokane is investing in safe, connected places to bike and walk. If elected, Washington Bikes will work with its partners to hold the candidates accountable to create a more bike-friendly Spokane.

Ballots drop this week! Be sure to vote for your local bike champions and to mail in or drop off your ballot by November 7. With less than four weeks until Election Day, doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Bellevue Needs Safe Places to Bike and a City Council Who’ll Help Make That Happen

Whoever fills the three council seats will help chart the trajectory of a rapidly changing Bellevue. We need people in leadership who’ll build a Bellevue Bike Network by 2020. Sign up today to help elect these bike champions.

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Washington Bikes 2017 Bellevue Endorsements:

Three of Bellevue’s seven council seats will be decided this election. Since Bellevue is a “strong council” city, with no elected Mayor, electing council members who’ll take action to advance safe biking is critical: they collectively hold the key to change.

Over the next four years, the task of city council will be to make sure safe places to bike materialize from funding sources and planning that’s already in place. Most pressing is the reality that much of Bellevue’s street network – especially downtown – is devoid of safe places to bike. Six lane roads with no bike lanes present a future opportunity for bikes, but today are unappealing to even the most experienced, fearless riders.

Until recently, Bellevue’s sole transportation focus was moving cars as efficiently as possible. But thanks to newer voices on the council the tide has started to turn in Bellevue. The city’s 2016 Transportation Neighborhood Safety tax levy was approved by local voters and came with a promise to start building a connected, all ages and abilities, bike network. Turning that funding into concrete protected bike lanes downtown is the next logical step, and bike-friendly voices on council are essential to making that happen in the next couple of years.

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Today, wide, multi-lane streets devoid of bike lanes leave little option in downtown Bellevue but to take to the sidewalk or ditch the bike altogether for all but the most fearless of riders. The next city council has the chance to make biking safe and inviting in downtown Bellevue.

Between the Eastside Rail Corridor and SR-520 trail, more people will soon be arriving to Bellevue’s downtown streets on bikes, and that number is only going to increase as more of the Eastside Rail Corridor is built in the next few years. A network of protected bike lanes in downtown Bellevue will get people safely and comfortably from the SR-520, ERC, and I-90 trails to the places they need and want to go.

We’ve endorsed candidates in all three Bellevue city council races who say they’ll work to ensure that there’s more funding for biking in the next city budget, and that they support building a Downtown Basic Bike Network in Bellevue by 2020. If elected, we’ll be holding these candidates accountable and working with them to create a more bike-friendly Bellevue.

It’s not just Bellevue where electing bike-friendly leaders now is essential. In each one of the Eastside communities we’ve endorsed, there are important funding and policy decisions coming up that can make for safer, connected communities by bike.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: This Election is Essential to Completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail

A new council and a new chance for Sammamish and King County to come together and complete this regional trail, community space, and local treasure. Sign up today to help elect these bike champions.

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Washington Bikes 2017 Sammamish Endorsements:

This November’s election will decide who fills four of the seven seats on the Sammamish City Council. None of the current council members whose terms are up are running for re-election. Instead, a slate of fresh faces is vying for the four open council seats. The fate of the election will shape the makeup of the majority of the Council, and thus the flavor of the council’s direction on key issues, including completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail, for the next four years.

The East Lake Sammamish Trail is an incomplete regional trail running 11-miles from Redmond, to Issaquah, via Sammamish. The trail is also part of the 44-mile Locks to Lake Corridor, which will connect Seattle’s Ballard Locks to the Cascade foothills. Despite the positive benefits of such a trail, building the segment through Sammamish has been an uphill struggle for King County, who owns the trail right of way and is building the trail. Progress through Sammamish has been mired by lawsuits, first between King County and lakefront property owners, and now between King County and the city of Sammamish.

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The 5 miles of the East lake Sammamish Trail through the City of Sammamish have been years in the making, whereas the Redmond and issaquah segments were smooth sailing. New leaders in Sammamish are the best hope to clearing the stalemate and moving the trail forward.

Washington Bikes believes that completing the trail to regional standards, resulting in a paved trail that’s accessible to people of all ages and abilities, is essential. That’s why we’ve endorsed candidates in all four Sammamish City Council races who will come to the table ready to work towards completion of the trail as soon as possible.

As we reported this summer, the stalemate between city and county is currently being mediated by the courts. The city of Sammamish is currently appealing a court-endorsed decision that two sets of stops signs on the trail face towards low-traffic roads rather than the trail. It’s yet another example of the Sammamish council fighting the inevitable and much loved trail at every turn. And this time its at the expense of trail safety: Stop signs throughout the rest of the trail face the roads that bisect it; trail users will expect the same in this location. Furthermore, limited sightlines along the trail mean that people crossing the trail slowly (e.g. older and younger generations on foot and on bikes) wouldn’t be able to foresee whether they have a safe crossing distance.

The stop signs are just one example of the city digging its’ heels in at the expense – literally – of residents and completion of the trail. Our Sammamish endorsed candidates bring passion, pragmatism and new ideas to the table. If elected, we plan to work with them to open a new chapter on the East Lake Sammamish Trail, and one day soon stand alongside them to open the final segment of the trail for all people to safely use and enjoy.

It’s not just Sammamish where electing bike-friendly leaders now is essential. In each one of the Eastside communities we’ve endorsed, there are important funding and policy decisions coming up that can make for safer, connected communities by bike.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

 

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Why The Eastside Needs Bike Friendly Leaders Now More Than Ever

This November let’s elect bike champions to pave the way for Eastside communities to take bold steps in creating safe places to walk, bike and get to transit, for all people, regardless of age and ability. Sign up today to elect these bike champions and read on about what’s at stake in east King County this election.

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Washington Bikes 2017 Eastside Endorsements:

Washington Bikes has endorsed state Senate and city council candidates in nine Eastside communities this year. That’s because from Kenmore to Renton, and everywhere in between, there’s growing demand for safe places to bike. Bike-friendly leaders are needed now to help deliver on key projects and funding already underway in some communities, and in demand in all communities.

Completing Trails Networks
From the Burke Gilman to the East Lake Sammamish trails, there is an almost-connected trail network that knits together Kenmore to Redmond (via Bothell) and very shortly Kirkland to Renton (via Bellevue). In Redmond, Bellevue, and Kirkland, Washington Bikes has identified champions who support completing the Eastside Rail Corridor trail through those communities. In Sammamish, a pro-trail council matters now more than ever, and we’re confident the four Washington Bikes endorsed candidates will help complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

Safe Streets: Greenways and Urban Bike Networks
While Eastside communities are abundant with well-loved regional trails, they often lack safe places to bike on streets – in neighborhoods, near schools, and in downtown shopping and employment centers. Electing bike-friendly leaders on King County’s Eastside this November will ensure that policies, funding, and laws which make for safe streets and better trails advance over the next several years. For example, the City of Kirkland is constructing its first neighborhood greenways next year and ongoing funding and elected representative support will be needed so that the greenway network can expand.

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East King county has an abundant – and growing – trails network, but many communities lack safe on-street bike networks to get to work, transit, or to run errands by bike. By electing bike champions on the Eastside this November we can start building much needed urban bike networks and last-mile connections.

Keeping Funding Commitments
Last year, residents in Bellevue and Kenmore approved tax measures that include funding safe places to bike. We need elected representatives who’ll make sure sufficient funding from these new funding sources go to projects that will truly make Bellevue and Kenmore walkable and bikeable. In Bellevue, this means electing leaders who are willing to dedicate funding towards building a downtown Bellevue bike network by 2020.

Safe Biking and Walking to Transit
Biking and walking are healthy and affordable ways to get to transit – but only if transit hubs and station areas are accessible on foot and by bike. With Link Light Rail stations slated to be built in Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond, elected leaders who will champion walk- and bikeability in the coming years are essential. For example, the forthcoming Marymoor and Downtown Redmond Link Light Rail stations hold potential to both connect the Eastside Rail Corridor and East Lake Sammamish trails through Redmond, and to connect the abundant trail network in that area directly, safely and intuitively to the future light rail stations. It’s an exciting prospect but one that will require Redmond city council members who support expanding safe places for people to bike.

Every Eastside Community Counts
In each one of the Eastside communities where we’ve endorsed, there are important funding and policy decisions coming up that can make for safer, connected communities by bike. There’s work to do to make streets around schools safer for children, for investments in recreational places for biking and for connected on-street bike networks. That work starts with electing bike-friendly leaders.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

 

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: The Time is Now for Seattle

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On November 7 let’s elect four leaders to set Seattle on course to build a healthier, more economically competitive and safer transportation system. Sign up today to elect these bike champions!

Washington Bikes 2017 Seattle Endorsements:

As the fastest growing large U.S. city, Seattle is at a critical juncture to catch up to its peers – including Vancouver, BC, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC – who are setting the course to shift their transportation systems toward a future that is healthier, more economically competitive and safer. With the Seattle Department of Transportation gaining momentum in its buildout of the Move Seattle Levy, and with Light Rail expanding to Northgate by 2021, the time is now to propel Seattle forward by realizing a citywide vision of connected bikeways in the next four years.

Building a connected bikeway network will help more people get where they need to go on Seattle’s increasingly constrained right-of ways. It will also address additional challenges, such as:

  • making Seattle’s transportation system more forgiving and safer for all residents – whether they are an 8-year old who wants to bike to school safely or an 80-year-old that seeks to age-in-place in their community;
  • addressing the root causes of improving public health and safety so that all residents have access to healthier and smarter forms of transportation; and
  • meeting the demands for new, faster, and safer options to get across downtown in minutes without facing the frustrations of increasing congestion.

Solutions to these challenges require active transportation investments and policies for bicycling, walking, and transit, while using Vision Zero or Sustainable Safety approaches to improving safety in Seattle.

The Washington Bikes-endorsed candidates for Seattle affirm a host of policies and investments that begin to address these questions with answers for how to make Seattle’s transportation system affordable, modern, healthier, and safer for all.

Through the interview and written questionnaire process, the endorsed candidates provided unequivocal support for:

  • Growing investments in Safe Routes to School across Seattle
  • Identifying strategies to improve tourism via bicycling in Washington state
  • Support for projects that transform streets and roadways from places designed for cars to places designed for caring neighbors and thriving businesses
  • Supporting the Framework Agreement for completing the Burke Gilman Trail’s Missing Link and beginning construction of this long-awaited trail segment in 2018
  • Building the Basic Bike Network downtown by 2019
  • Accelerating the buildout of complete streets across Seattle

By successfully implementing these initiatives and goals, Seattleites will finally be able to safely bike from the Rainier Valley to downtown, and from Golden Gardens to the University of Washington by the time light rail expands to Northgate in 2021.

Following the November 7 election, Washington Bikes looks forward to working with the mayor, councilmembers, and the City Attorney to make America’s fastest growing big city turn into America’s best city to bike in over the next four years.

Washington Bikes thanks all the candidates for their dedication to Seattle.

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With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

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Washington Bikes Endorsements: Look for these bike champions on your November ballot

Washington Bikes announces 2017 general election endorsements

Starting in May, Washington Bikes’ policy team has had the opportunity to question and interview candidates running for office—we’ve had a lot of fun doing it. The reasons for doing it are important, too. Washington Bikes works to secure funding for bicycle infrastructure and policies that increase access and safety. To make that happen, it matters who Washington’s elected leaders are.

We’d like to thank all of the candidates, endorsed or otherwise, for taking the time to participate in Washington Bikes’ endorsement process.

The Washington Bikes endorsement speaks to thousands of engaged Washingtonians statewide who care about a range of issues. From wanting more connected trails, to safer neighborhood streets, to more opportunities for physical activity, Washingtonians are looking for leaders who will advance these priorities. We asked city-specific questions of candidates, like:

  • Will you work to ensure that Bellevue’s bicycle rapid implementation plan (BRIP) funding in the next biennium (2019-2020) is allocated at a higher level than the current amount?
  • Do you support completing the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST) to King County regional trail standards?
  • Do you support the implementation of a downtown Seattle Basic Bike Network by 2019?

No matter the answer to our survey, we are grateful for our local candidates and electeds who help shape Washington’s thriving communities.

Washington Bikes’ endorsement comes with engagement efforts through communications and/or boots on the ground. Additionally, we are making financial investments through the Washington Bike PAC directly into target campaigns. Please read on to find the endorsed candidates in your area.

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*Download a PDF of the endorsement list.

With less than eight weeks until Election Day, we are in the final stretch! Doorbelling and phone calling on behalf of Washington Bikes’ endorsed candidates will take place between now and November 7. Sign up below to get plugged in to ways to support your nearest bike champion!

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Sammamish Council Elections Could Mean A Better Way Forward for the East Lake Sammamish Trail

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The East Lake Sammamish Trail was back in Federal Court this summer. And while the court decision is another step towards a completed trail, electing pro-trail Council members in this fall’s Sammamish Council elections is essential to completing the trail without further litigation and delay.

Early this summer, the city of Sammamish ordered King County to stop construction of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST), just as King County crews neared completion of the penultimate segment of the 11-mile trail. At issue was placement of stop signs in two locations on the trail. The city intervention is the latest in a twenty-year City-County disagreement about re-development of the disused rail corridor running along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish, including 5 miles running through the city of Sammamish.

Once complete the ELST will be a safe, connected multi-use trail from Redmond to Issaquah, and could soon connect to the Eastside Rail Corridor. The ELST segment through Sammamish has been slow and litigious, in contrast to the trail through Redmond (opened 2011) and Issaquah (opened 2013).

To resolve the latest dispute and keep working on the trail, King County asked the Federal District Court to step in and make a decision on the case. That decision came on August 7th when the Federal District Court ruled in favor of King County, meaning that construction can resume and the region is one step closer to realizing its vision of the 44-mile Locks to Lakes corridor for all to enjoy.

This short video, produced by Cascade Bicycle Club, captures why the ELST matters to caring neighbors and people throughout the region:

STOP SIGNS ARE FOCUS OF LATEST LEGAL DISPUTE:

The dispute centers around placement of two stop signs, where roads (206th Avenue SE and SE 33rd Street) cross the ELST in Sammamish. King County is building the trail and wants the stop sign on the residential access roads, given that the number of people using the trail is anticipated to be higher than the few that access the shoreline homes via these two roads. This approach reflects best practice and design and engineering guidance developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The city issued the stop work order as it believes the stop sign should apply to the many trail users, not the smaller number using the road.

THE RESOLUTION: STOP SIGNS ON ROAD NOT TRAIL

This week, a full two months further into Western Washington’s notoriously narrow construction season, crews are returning to the site to keep building the trail. On August 8th a written Federal District Court ruling affirmed that King County has the right to determine the stop signs orientation as the owner of the corridor right of way.

It’s a win for future trail users because it will make for a more intuitive, safe trail user experience. And, with the County work crews back at work, we can look forward to walking and biking the trail – a safe, protected, connected route – by October.

CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS: A CHANCE TO RECOMMIT TO THE ELST VISION

While the court ruling means construction can now resume, the sad reality is that without the mid-June order to stop work, we’d be riding and walking the trail today. After the 20-year delay in completing the trail, WA Bikes believes it’s time for city and county leaders to work together to prevent any further delays and instead focus on completing this essential trail connection. Instead, the city is appealing the court ruling, which doesn’t stop work on the trail but does come at a financial cost.

This election season represents the chance to elect a pro-trail council in Sammamish. Four of the seven Sammamish city council seats will be vacated this November. With a majority of council being newly elected by voters (none of the current council members are running for reelection), Washington Bikes’ plans to endorse candidates in all four races who commit to making Sammamish better for people on bikes – including by providing leadership in the city and working to make sure the East Lake Sammamish Trail is completed for all to enjoy, without further delay.

Electing a pro-trail council matters now because the fate of the final 3.5-mile segment of the ELST through Sammamish still isn’t clear. Thus, it’s critical we elect leaders in Sammamish who understand why safe places to walk and bike, including trails like the ELST, are essential to our communities. Safe places to walk, bike and play – out of the way of traffic –  ensures access to outdoor spaces for all types of users, regardless of age and ability.

YOUR VOICE, YOUR VOTE, MATTERS

Sign up to keep up with WA Bikes endorsements for the November elections.

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The 11-mile East Lake Sammamish Trail will connect Redmond to Issaquah via Sammamish. 

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We’re calling on you to help improve safety for people who bike in Washington state!

Members needed for the newly formed Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council

The newly established Bicyclist Safety Council is the product of a bike safety bill that Washington Bikes championed during the 2017 legislative session. Similar to the state’s established Pedestrian Safety Advisory Council and Impaired Driving Advisory Council, the new Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council’s goal is to identify strategies to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries involving people who bike. If this sounds like something you have energy for and expertise in, read on to learn more, and contact us before August 8.

Why is a Bike Safety Council needed?: Fatalities and serious injuries for people who bike make up 7.2% of all traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Washington state, yet only 0.9% of commute trips are made by those biking. In short, it’s riskier to bicycle.

How will the Council make it safer to bike?: The Council will review bicyclist-involved collision data (case studies). This will be an opportunity to take a systemic look and gain a statewide understanding of what is taking place, where are the biggest weaknesses, and what solutions will curb the current, alarming trends. The Council will submit recommendations to the Washington state legislature by December of 2018.

Who will be on the Council?: The Council is intended to bring together diverse voices and perspectives from professions that have a connection to active transportation, Washington’s transportation system, or a role in responding to traffic collisions. The Council is also seeking diversity in racial background, age, gender, and geographic representation. The legislation explicitly calls for the following backgrounds and professional expertise on the Council: law enforcement, multimodal transportation planners, public health representatives, municipality representatives, bicycle advocates, and transportation researchers. The Council will include approximately 15 – 20 members.

When and Where will the Council meet?: The Council will meet approximately once a month beginning in September. The kickoff meeting is planned for Spokane, WA in honor of Cooper Jones who the legislation is named for. Half of the meetings will convene in Olympia, WA and the other half will be at yet to be determined locations in Washington.

Does a seat on the Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council sound like the role for you? If the answer is yes and you have the capacity to commit to the work through December of 2018, please reach out to Alex Alston at AlexA@wabikes.org by August 8. Washington Traffic Safety Commission will make the final selections.

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