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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Washington Bikes racks up wins over the longest legislative session in state history

July 20th was the last day of the third special session of 2017. This was the longest legislative session in Washington state history — 193 days total. Washington Bikes secured policy and funding wins that will make biking and walking safer and more accessible, statewide.FullSizeRender

All the way through the third special session, Washington Bikes continued to monitor and work to represent bicycling in Olympia. In January, we came into the 2017 legislative session with a hefty agenda and 193 days later are proud to claim some pretty big wins for bicycling. This year we secured significant new funding for the Eastside Rail Corridor, and protected historic investments in Safe Routes to School and bicycle/pedestrian grant funding. This means Washingtonians will have more safe, connected spaces to bike and walk whether they choose to do so for health, recreation, or transportation. Working with legislative champions, Washington Bikes successfully advocated for the creation of the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council and to strengthen Washington’s distracted driving laws. Read on here and here to learn how the new legislation will improve street safety for people who bike and all road users in Washington state!

Washington Bikes’ budget priorities achieve funding wins for people who bike!

Funding Levels Maintained for Safe Routes to School and Bicycle/Pedestrian Grant program: This essential funding for bicycle/pedestrian education, engineering, and infrastructure was passed in the transportation budget. Historic funding levels passed in the 2015 State Transportation Package were retained, meaning investments in safer streets, better bike connections, active communities, accessible routes to school and healthier children will continue.

$2.5M towards retrofitting the Eastside Rail Corridor’s Wilburton Trestle: The future Eastside Rail Corridor trail is a 28-mile bike and pedestrian path connecting five East King County major cities. The Wilburton Trestle is an historic railroad trestle that’s being converted to a trail as part of the project. It’s an iconic stop and essential connection on the trail between Renton and Bellevue. Funding construction of the trestle enables Kirkland to Renton connectivity on the multi-use corridor by 2020. Washington Bikes, along with public agency and  business partners, and the non-profit Eastside Greenway Alliance partnership, worked to secure this funding as part of a larger public/private funding package. This $2.5M secured through the 2017-19 transportation budget brings the funding total to $7.5M, and brings the transformative project closer to realization.

$100,000 to implement the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council, via operating budget. The bicyclist safety advisory council will get underway in September; Washington Bikes looks forward to participating on the Council, and helping to identify and recommend strategies to make our state’s transportation system safer for people who bike. Additionally, Washington Bikes worked with Washington Trails Association to secure operating budget funding for an economic impact study aimed at quantifying the economic and health benefits of hiking, biking, and walking. Though the study was not funded this year, we were able to lay groundwork and are poised to seek the study funding in a future legislative session.

Passage of the new operating budget was touch and go for much of the legislative session. In the end, the state legislature narrowly avoided government shutdown passing the $43.7 billion operating budget and accompanying bills necessary to implement the budget ahead of the June 30th deadline. The budget addresses the state’s court mandated education obligation by raising property tax levies, capping school levies (a levy swap), and raising additional new revenue.

Unfinished business: the 2017-19 capital budget is the remaining budget to be passed. Despite the Senate and House having agreed upon a compromise budget, the legislature adjourned without passing the $4 billion capital budget. The final votes were held up due to conflict over another legislative matter. So session concluded without a capital budget, which is unprecedented; this will have major implications for infrastructure and building projects across the state. Specific to Washington Bikes’ work, the capital budget serves an important role in building out Washington state’s bicycle trail network.

This year, Washington Bikes advocated to secure funds for maintenance, protection, and development of trails statewide in the capital budget. The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) contains the majority of these trail projects through the recreational trails program. Additional money for the retrofit of the Wilburton Trestle was funded in the most recent Senate capital budget. In June, the House passed an earlier version of the capital budget, it too funded the Wilburton Trestle at $500,000. It is unclear when the new two-year capital budget will be passed, but until then, many projects will experience delays, be forced to find alternative funding, or worst case, fail to come to fruition.

Washington Bikes worked with legislators to highlight that biking is about healthier kids, increased public safety, stronger local economies and more transportation options. While we conclude the 2017 legislative session with significant wins for bicycling, there is still much work to be done.

Check back soon for an update on plans for the new Cooper Jones bicyclist safety advisory council. Stay in touch by signing up for Washington Bikes’ alerts!

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Press Release: Former Microsoft General Manager Richard Smith Named New Executive Director of Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Former Microsoft General Manager Richard Smith Named New Executive Director of Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes

New executive director to take helm of the largest statewide bicycle nonprofit Sept. 5

SEATTLE, Wash., July 21, 2017 — After an extensive nationwide search, Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes announced Richard Smith as the new executive director of the organizations. Richard will begin his role on September 5.

“The board is excited to welcome Richard Smith as Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes’ next executive director,” said Charles Ruthford, Cascade board president. “Richard has the passion and proven experience in change management and leading organizations through transformation — perfect as we continue to evolve and grow as a statewide organization.”

Richard joins Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes with strong history at Microsoft as a highly effective, results-oriented executive with proven expertise in leadership, management and operations. He brings vast experience leading and inspiring organizations, driving the vision, strategy, planning, governance and internal and external engagement. Richard is an excellent communicator with diverse and extensive professional experience focused on building high impact, multi-functional teams through coaching and mentoring. Richard also brings experience building sustainable fundraising models with strong budgeting and financial management.

“I am honored and privileged to lead the staff of the Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes to achieve our mission of improving lives through bicycling,” said Richard Smith. “Bicycling is a crucial part of our Pacific Northwest outdoors identity, and enabling more people to enjoy this wonderful activity is a great reason to go to work every day.”

Richard brings experience in the nonprofit sector. He is currently a board member with the Seattle Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and has raised over $250,000 for the local Beat the Bridge to Beat Type 1 Diabetes event. Richard was also the executive sponsor of his division’s Diversity & Inclusion efforts at Microsoft and is looking forward to applying the learning and investments Microsoft provided him in this area for building equity, diversity and inclusion at Cascade and the broader bicycling community.

“Cascade has grown to be a tremendously successful organization for its members and community,” said Richard. “I am looking forward to continuing that success and working with the staff, board, our passionate volunteers, and the broader community to make bicycling accessible and safe for everyone.”

Originally from England, Richard has lived in Seattle for the past 25 years. Richard came to Seattle from New Zealand, where he had lived for 18 months, and landed at SeaTac with his wife-to-be, Jeanne, along with a backpack and a bicycle in a box. Richard always had a bike ready to go, but more recently, with the help of the Cascade Training Series, became confident enough to take on the one-day Seattle to Portland (STP) challenge, Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party (RSVP), Chilly Hilly and other local rides such as 7 Hills of Kirkland and RAMROD. “Bicycling has become my passion and importantly a great tonic for mind and body,” said Richard.

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About Cascade Bicycle Club

Cascade Bicycle Club, the nation’s largest statewide bicycle organization, is powered by over 17,000 members and 36 staff and serves bike riders of all ages and abilities throughout the Puget Sound region and across Washington state. With a mission to improve lives through bicycling, we deliver community and school-based education programs, grassroots organizing workshops, free group rides, world-class events and more. Learn more at cascade.org.

About Washington Bikes

Washington Bikes grows bicycling all across the state of Washington every day. We advocate for bicyclists’ rights, endorse political candidates and hold officials accountable at every level of government, working with them to shape the policies that will make bicycling a safe, accessible form of transportation, travel and recreation. Through our efforts we increase funding for bicycle facilities; provide tools for local advocates to improve their communities; and promote the health, safety and economic benefits of bicycling. Our work and that of our many partner organizations means more biking all across Washington, the #1 Bicycle Friendly State in America (eight years in a row)! To learn more, visit WAbikes.org.

Media contact: Brent Tongco, Senior Director of Communications & Marketing, brentt@wabikes.org, 206.939.4307 (office), 303.828.7794 (cell)

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Distracted driving — always irresponsible, now illegal

On Sunday, July 23 Washington state’s new distracted driver legislation will take effect. Here’s what you need to know.

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SB 5289, the driving under the influence of electronics (E-DUI) bill, passed the state legislature with bipartisan support in the 2017 regular legislative session. Washington Bikes advocated for the legislation alongside a diverse coalition of individuals and organizations, including victims’ families, construction professionals, medical professionals, and transportation organizations. On May 16th, as Governor Inslee signed the bill into law, he sped up the date for enactment to July 23rd.

This diverse coalition was motivated to come together to ensure distracted driving laws in Washington were strengthened for a very compelling reason — people are dying. Fatalities from distracted driving are on the rise and people walking and biking are significantly impacted. A recent study examined deaths of people walking and biking attributed to distracted driving between 2005 and 2010 and the numbers are disturbing: Deaths for people walking increased from 344 to 500 and for people on bikes from 56 to 73.

Washington’s new distracted driving law is intended to deter a specific dangerous behavior that has become more and more common: Driving while distracted by electronic devices. The intent is to keep everyone on our streets safe; the law will be most impactful to vulnerable street users, like people walking and biking. Given that many of us are behind the wheel at some point, here’s a rundown of how to comply with the law and keep people safe.

  • So what do you need to know to follow the law? It’s simple really, put your phone down while driving (this means ALL electronic devices, including tablets, laptops, and video games). Pledge to put down the phone.
  • What are the consequences if caught driving with your hand-held device in use?
    • First E-DUI – $136
    • Second E-DUI (within 5 years) – $234
    • The ticket amount goes up with each offense
    • The ticket will go on your record and is available to your insurance provider
  • You might be wondering, can I use my phone while I’m stopped at a light? The answer is no. The new law prohibits use of your phone when stopped in traffic or at a traffic light. This also means no typing messages, accessing information, watching videos, or taking photos while stopped.

This new law simply reinforces what all of us know is the right thing to do: Paying attention when we drive. On the road. Off the phone. It’s the law.

Pledge to put down the phone.

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It’s go time! Primary ballots are out. Let’s vote to elect bike-friendly champions!

Here at Washington Bikes, we’ve been learning from candidates — what motivated them to run, how they plan to impact their communities, and most importantly, how they will improve bicycling in their cities and neighborhoods.

Yesterday marked the start of the 18-day voting period for the Primary election; you’ve maybe even received your ballot in the mail. If it doesn’t show up in a couple of days, follow the prompts here to request a new one. If you are riding Kaiser Permanente STP presented by Alaska Airlines this weekend, don’t worry! Your ballot just needs to be post marked or in a ballot drop box by August 1st. Enjoy the ride, and when you return to Washington, please vote.

Washington Bikes enjoyed hearing from candidates about why they are signing up for public service. Additionally, we have focused on understanding how candidates will champion the issues most important to people who bike. We need elected officials who will connect the dots between public health and safe access to walking and biking. Leaders who will step up and put dollars behind building connected urban bike networks that get people where they need to go and help reduce congestion. Leaders who will fund tourism-stimulating trails projects to bolster local rural economies. We need council members, mayors, and legislators who will advance policies that keep people safe — regardless of how they choose to get around.

Read up on Washington Bikes’ second round of endorsements!

Washington Bikes’ endorsements and support are given to candidates in contested races who commit to or have a record of making communities better for people on bikes. This second round represents a solid list of candidates who have shown their commitment to growing local economies, improving health outcomes, or creating safer streets and roadways.

Elect Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council, Pos. 8:

Teresea-MosquedaAs a public health practitioner and champion, Teresa Mosqueda is committed to creating a city that incentivizes healthy behaviors like bicycling and walking. She knows that by connecting communities with safe roadways, sidewalks, safe routes to school, greenways — and a basic bike network — we will see improvements in our health and greater social cohesion. Teresa also makes connections across sectors, seeing how issues of affordability and housing intersect with transportation. On Seattle City Council she will be a champion for broadening the issue of bicycling into conversations about equity, affordability, and as a tool for public health. Finally, she is committed to supporting key Seattle priorities, including completing the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail and implementing the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan so people of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds can enjoy the benefits of bicycling in our communities.

Washington Bikes was also impressed with council candidate Sara Nelson. Sara’s small business Fremont Brewing is the gold standard for bike-friendly business: She removed parking for cars to create additional retail space for people as well as additional bike parking. In addition, she is committed to building out Seattle’s bike network, including the Missing Link, as a strategy to reduce carbon emissions and make our city a leader on the environment.

Elect Victoria Woodards for Tacoma Mayor:

VictoriaWoodardsVictoria Woodards is a proven leader at championing policies that make Tacoma a strong, healthy community. As a Tacoma City Councilmember, she is a voice for communities who’ve often been left out of the conversation. She sees active transportation issues and access to transportation alternatives as an essential part of a vibrant community working for all of its citizens. Whether hopping on a bike to understand what risks are felt by people who ride, exploring cities’ adoption of bike share and family bike rental programs, or her commitment to creating safe and connected neighborhoods for all ages and abilities with an emphasis on education around sharing the street, Victoria Woodards is a thoughtful and dedicated champion for the city of Tacoma and active transportation and recreation!

Re-Elect Nigel Herbig, Kenmore City Council, Pos. 4:

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Nigel Herbig is a proven active transportation leader on Kenmore’s City Council. During his tenure on the council, he has helped make protecting vulnerable road users a top priority for the city. Last year, Nigel was instrumental in helping pass the levy which secured three new miles of sidewalks and bike lanes in Kenmore. As a vocal supporter for safer speed limits, comfortable and connected bikeways and trails, and safe routes to school for children, Nigel knows the importance of accessibility to Kenmore’s streets for ALL users. He is dedicated to continuing efforts around trail-oriented development as Kenmore has worked to highlight the small businesses and charm of Kenmore for all people walking and biking the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Re-Elect Amy Walen for Kirkland City Council, Pos. 5:

AmyWalenAmy Walen is committed to smart growth and land use planning in Kirkland with a focus on multimodal transportation options. As Mayor of Kirkland, she’s been an advocate for investments in the Cross Kirkland Corridor, connections to transit, and the greater Lake Sammamish trail system. She envisions a multimodal transportation network throughout the Kirkland region with spectacular appeal for all types of users, regardless of age or skill level.

 

Elect Rituja Indapure for Sammamish City Council, Pos. 5:

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Rituja Indapure recognizes the importance of ensuring there are active transportation options available in the City of Sammamish. She notes this is significant for combatting congestion. Rituja is committed to investing in safe and connected bikeways and trail systems for people who walk and bike and in attracting new riders to bicycling. Rituja enjoyed watching her son prepare for taking on the STP, quite an accomplishment at 13 years old!

 

Elect Breean Beggs for Spokane City Council, District 2, Pos. 2:

Breean-BeggsBreean Beggs is a voice for improving Spokane’s transportation infrastructure, and for him, that means complete streets designed for all people and modes of transportation. He is committed to helping create more safe spaces for people walking and biking, which as he sees it will increase the number of people choosing active transportation and recreation. As an attorney, Breean has worked to protect people who bike, and as a councilmember he has worked to dedicate funding to traffic calming improvements and expansion of Safe Routes To School (SRTS) programs. Vote Breean Beggs for Spokane City Council, District 2, Position 2!

Washington Bikes is excited for all that lies ahead on the 2017 campaign trail. You can help elect champions who share our vision for active, connected and safe communities. Ballots have dropped, vote by August 1st!

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3 Ways to Help Elect Washington Bike Champions Today!

Announcing the 2017 Primary Election Endorsements (round 1)

Washington Bikes has identified key regions for engagement in the 2017 electoral season, and we’re excited to announce our first round of endorsed candidates!

We’re excited to make these announcements, and now we need your help! Here are three quick ways you can ensure Washington Bike champions succeed at the ballot box in 2017.

#1 Register to vote!

First things first, it’s time to register to vote. Already registered? Great! Skip to #2, if not, register to vote by Monday, July 3 to get your ballot in the mail for the primary election!

#2 Invest in the Washington Bike PAC!

Now more than ever before, the priorities of our local and state leaders matter. In Seattle, Olympia, Bellevue, Tacoma and other key races in the state, the Washington Bike PAC will this year take safe streets advocacy to a whole new level.

In 2017 the Washington Bike PAC (Political Action Committee) will work to elect candidates who will champion, through elected office, a vision of communities connected by bikes.

We need elected officials who will connect the dots between public health and safe access to walking and biking. Leaders who will step up and put dollars behind building connected urban bike networks that get people where they need to go, and help reduce congestion. Leaders who will fund tourism-stimulating trails projects to bolster local rural economies. We need council members, mayors and legislators who will advance policies that keep people safe — regardless of how they choose to get around.

Donate to the Washington Bike PAC online, and let’s together make sure we elect future leaders who’ll work with the community and lead the charge.  

#3 Read up on Washington Bikes’ first round of endorsements!

Washington Bikes’ endorsement and support are given to candidates who commit to or have a record of making communities better for people on bikes. This first round represents a solid list of candidates who have shown their commitment to growing local economies, improving health outcomes, or creating safer streets and roadways.

Before the August 1 primary, Washington Bikes will release an additional round of endorsements for candidates in targeted municipalities and legislative districts around the state.

Re-Elect King County Executive Dow Constantine:

DowConstantineDow Constantine continues to lead King County and also in marshaling support for smart policies in the 39 jurisdictions located across the County. Through his leadership, Sound Transit 3 package included historic investments for biking and walking access that will total over $370 million over the 25-year levy. His strong support of trail investments — including the completion of the 42-mile Eastside Rail Corridor by 2020 — is connecting the King County Regional Trails system together. He has exhibited strong leadership on the local and state level to locate schools close to residences so that children can safely and easily bike and walk to school. Dow Constantine is a supporter of the adoption of 20 MPH neighborhood streets, complete streets policies, and a fix-it-first approach (by not adding new roads or lanes) to addressing King County’s road maintenance challenges. Finally and, most importantly, his 3-year-old daughter is already learning to ride a scoot bike!

Re-Elect Lorena González, Seattle City Council, Pos. 9:

LorenaGonzalezLorena González is a champion for working families and children, safe communities and equitable transportation, including making our streets better places to bike and walk. As a trained personal injury attorney, she understands why protecting vulnerable road users is of paramount importance. In her time on City Council, Lorena supported legislation to lower vehicle speeds. She supports implementing the Basic Bike Network by 2019 and is committed to the Missing Link Framework Agreement.

Elect Chris Beale, Tacoma City Council, Pos. 4:

ChrisBealeChris Beale, a candidate in Tacoma City Council’s District 5 race, is seeking office with hopes of working to improve housing affordability, Tacoma’s multimodal transportation network, and public safety, with a focus on Safe Routes to School (SRTS). Chris is committed to an equitable distribution of SRTS implementation and programming throughout the city. Chris has a record of working to make Tacoma a more bike-friendly city through his service on Tacoma’s Planning Commission, as board president of a local trails nonprofit, ForeverGreen Trails, and as a founding member of the Pierce County Coalition for Active Transportation.

Elect Kate Burke, Spokane City Council, D1, Pos. 1:

KateBurkeKate Burke is running for Spokane City Council District 1, Position 1. As a former member of the Spokane Bike Advisory Board, Kate helped ensure connectivity and completion of local Spokane trails. Kate is committed to improving accessibility for people walking and biking throughout Spokane through the implementation of safe, connected infrastructure. She will continue to advocate for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funding and supports programs that teach kids early on in life the healthy habits of walking and biking. Kate enjoys bike touring and has been known to pick up new friends along the route!

Re-Elect Jay Arnold for Kirkland City Council, Pos. 1:

JayArnoldJay Arnold is a proven leader for the development of the Cross Kirkland Corridor and the expansion of the city’s Neighborhood Greenways network. He continues to lead the regional conversation for investments to make the Cross Kirkland Corridor and the greater Eastside Rail Corridor a model for what it means to be a multimodal transportation corridor. As a willing but wary cyclist, Jay gets the need for improving and enhancing existing streets and in improving safety near schools so that parents feel safe letting their children bike and walk to school. His support for Vision Zero, and in building a balanced transportation network for biking and walking will aid Kirkland in moving forward on addressing the challenges and opportunities of a growing population.

Washington Bikes is excited for all that lies ahead on the 2017 campaign trail. By taking these three easy steps, you’ll chart a course to elect champions who share our vision for active, connected and safe communities.

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Help Elect Leaders who Share a Vision of Communities Connected by Bike

Vote with your wallet. Join us at Optimism Brewing in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood tonight, Thursday, June 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a fundraiser for the Washington Bike PAC.

Now more than ever before, the priorities of our local and state leaders matter.

In Seattle, Olympia, Bellevue, Tacoma and other key races in the state, the Washington Bike PAC will this year take safe streets advocacy to a whole new level.

PAC Fundraiser_r4In 2017 the Washington Bike PAC (Political Action Committee) will work to elect candidates who will champion, through elected office, a vision of communities connected by bikes.

We need elected officials who will connect the dots between public health and safe access to walking and biking. Leaders will step up and put dollars behind building connected urban bike networks that get people where they need to go, and help reduce congestion. Leaders who will fund tourism-stimulating trails projects to bolster local rural economies. We need council members, mayors, and legislators who will advance policies that keep people safe – regardless of how they choose to get around.

Let me Count the Ways…

Our communities can no longer rely on Uncle Sam, and the carrot and stick of federal dollars and policy. Our immediate federal future holds an infrastructure package proposal focussing on highways, complete elimination of the federal TIGER transportation funding, a steady rollback of environmental regulations, and de-prioritization of EPA climate change and clean energy initiatives, including vehicle emissions.

In order to sidestep goings-on in “the other Washington”, local and state races will matter more. Our communities are ripe to advance to the next level.

There’s Another Way

The Washington Bike PAC is working in lockstep with the Washington Bikes to identify, endorse and financially support local and state candidates who are ready to build on hard work and momentum that advocates and our champions have started, and make it safe to walk and bike.

Join Us

The Seattle launch of the Washington Bike PAC is momentous. Come raise a glass – alongside others who share in this vision – to a community where biking is safe, easy and intuitive.

Can’t make it tonight to the Fundraiser? Donate to the Washington Bike PAC online, and let’s together make sure we elect future leaders who’ll work with the community and lead the charge.  

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It’s filing week in Washington!

Candidates are officially declaring their intent to run for elected office, and Washington Bikes is gearing up for endorsement season.

2017 filing week is upon us and the deadline to file as a candidate for elected office is this Friday, May 19 (which is also F5 Bike Everywhere Day!). Here at Washington Bikes we’ve been busy getting ready for the 2017 electoral season. You might wonder, what does that really mean? Well, in a nutshell: writing endorsement questionnaires, assessing where a WA Bikes endorsement will be most meaningful, planning candidate forums and fundraising for the WA Bike PAC. (Save the date: WA Bike PAC will celebrate Seattle’s pedal power with an event at Optimism Brewing on Thursday, June 15!)

Washington Bikes is excited for all that lies ahead on the 2017 campaign trail; we hope you’ll join us in helping to elect leaders who share our vision for active, connected and safe communities.

Why Washington Bikes endorses

Washington Bikes endorses electoral candidates at all levels of government. Endorsement and support are given to candidates who commit to or have a record of making communities better for people on bikes — through growing local economies, improving health outcomes, or creating safer streets and roadways. Additionally, Washington Bikes makes endorsements of ballot measures which will benefit Washington communities through bolstering transportation choices, supporting outdoor recreation, and working to safely connect neighborhoods and cities.

Where Washington Bikes endorses

Washington Bikes has identified key regions for engagement in the 2017 electoral season. These regions include: Bellevue, King County, Port Angeles, Sammamish, Seattle metropolitan area, Shoreline, Spokane, Tacoma, Redmond and Vancouver.

Reasons for regional focus:

  • Our goal is to build an endorsement program that has strong accountability and follow-through built in, to both the candidate and Washington Bikes. Washington Bikes endorsement process is in its second year, and so it is beneficial to begin in communities where partners who advocate for bicycling already work. Washington Bikes endorsement program will continue to grow as we build statewide relationships and execute plans of engagement, while continuing to support and monitor endorsed candidates.
  • Races that fall outside of the regions of focus may also be considered.

Read on for details on Washington Bikes’ endorsement process.

Posted in Advocacy, Endorsements | Comments Off on It’s filing week in Washington!

Governor Inslee finalizes the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Council

Throughout the 2017 legislative session, Washington Bikes shared the importance of SB 5402. Now we’re celebrating the legislation’s enactment and the creation of the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council!

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute Senate Bill No. 5402, May 16, 2017. Relating to the Cooper Jones bicyclist safety advisory council. Primary Sponsor: Marko Liias

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute Senate Bill No. 5402, May 16, 2017. Relating to the Cooper Jones bicyclist safety advisory council. Primary Sponsor: Marko Liias

On Tuesday, May 16, Governor Inlsee signed SB 5402, creating the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council. David Jones (Cooper Jones father) was able to make the trip from Spokane for the bill signing. We missed Cooper’s mom, Martha Jones, who was unable to make the trip, but the Jones’ presence was strong and felt by all at the ceremony.

This year marks 20 years since the heart-wrenching loss of Cooper. While Washington Bikes looks forward to eliminating traffic deaths on Washington’s streets, the work of the Council will entail studying stories similar to Cooper’s, which are devastating and in some instances preventable. This day was full of emotions, both hope for a day when Washington’s streets are designed to keep all users safe, especially the most vulnerable and also sadness for the unnecessary loss of life experienced at a disproportionate rate for people on bikes.  

Washington Bikes is grateful to David and Martha Jones advocacy and support over the last couple of decades and to the members of the legislature who helped ensure passage of this bill. And with the creation of the Council, now our work really begins.

Washington Bikes’ statement on the passage of SB 5402:

On Tuesday, May 16, Governor Inlsee signed SB 5402, creating the Cooper Jones Bicyclist Safety Advisory Council. In Washington state, bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries make up 7.2 percent of all traffic fatalities and serious injuries. The risk is disproportionate for people who bike compared with other modes. SB 5402, sponsored by Senator Marko Liias and five other Senators, establishes the first interdisciplinary panel dedicated to examining causes of serious injury and death for people who bike and providing subsequent recommendations for prevention to the legislature. Through this Council, Washington Bikes looks forward to working with a diverse set of stakeholders to improve bicycle safety for all users.

Right: Cooper Jones' dad, David Jones, celebrates #SB5402 bill signing w/ our State Policy Director, Alex Alston & her daughter Sawyer.

Right: Cooper Jones’ dad, David Jones, celebrates #SB5402 bill signing w/ our State Policy Director, Alex Alston & her daughter Sawyer.

Washington Bikes is proud this bill saw broad bipartisan support in both the State House and Senate. Special thanks to House sponsor, Representative Shelley Kloba, and the additional House co-sponsors, as well as Representative Ed Orcutt, who added important amendments to secure its passage. Riding bikes for health, recreation or transportation should be accessible and safe throughout Washington state.

Stay tuned for updates as the Council meets for the first time in July. Sign up for the Washington Bikes e-news for updates on policy priorities or to stay on top of action alerts when it’s time to speak up in the legislature.

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