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Old 02-08-06, 07:03 PM   #1
chennai
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According to this article , Seattle seems to have a startling number of people getting to work by foot or bicycle.
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Nearly 10 percent of work trips in Seattle are by bicycle or on foot, and in the city's "urban villages" that rises to 20 percent to 25 percent, says Peter Lagerwey, Seattle's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
One interesting city program to encourage people to get out of their cars is "One Less Car Challenge":

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The program encourages people to give up use of one car for one month, offering commuters tips on getting around by bus, bike or foot and also providing the free use of a Flexcar when needed.

Of the 86 people who signed up initially in the fall of 2003, 20 percent decided to give up a car and the rest have vowed to drive less, [David Allen, a Seattle transportation planner] said. "It proved people could do it," he said.

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Old 02-08-06, 07:53 PM   #2
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Good for Seattle! I hear 12% of Portland trips are by biking and walking. In Fort Collins, the number is 4%.
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Old 02-08-06, 08:24 PM   #3
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I wish my city would do something like that. Of course, in Southwest Oklahoma, people marvel if you drive a car without air conditioning. Riding a bike in the summer here strikes many people as unthinkable.

I've just started cycling again and plan to commute to and from work three days out of the week. It'll be interesting to see how I'll hold up in 110 degree summer weather.
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Old 02-08-06, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai
..providing the free use of a Flexcar when needed.
If I could have a free taxi whenever I needed it, I think I could give up my car.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:21 PM   #5
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I'd love free access to flexcar.
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Old 02-09-06, 12:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
Good for Seattle! I hear 12% of Portland trips are by biking and walking. In Fort Collins, the number is 4%.
Wow! Is it really that low here? I would have figured it to be a bit higher, especially considering CSU. We need to get that number up!
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Old 02-09-06, 02:33 AM   #7
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Unfortunately the mass transit outlook here is pretty bleak. The extended monorail plan (which was problematic) got axed and light rail plans appear to be going nowhere fast. The $30 car tabs initiative screwed at lot of people - especially bus riders. Cuts in bus service means buses run less often and when they do come they are frequently late and packed. This is sad, because Seattle is the kind of town where people of every stripe would ride the bus, but for many suburbanites it probably isn't worth the hassle anymore, and hey car tabs are only $30! Why not drive? It's so cheap!

I don't know how to feel about the few parking spaces stuff. Unless we make the city more liveable without a car, the people who don't take the hint are going to keep circling for parking. I'm tired of a downtown that seems to have a new high rise condo breaking ground every day but still doesn't have a real grocery store.

I'm in a ranting mood tonight but Seattle really is a great town to ride in. As far as the "One Less Car Challenge" and other projects of that nature go, they are more for press (mission accomplished) than anything. Coddling people is not the answer. Bike lanes and trails are nice (and I do appreciate and use them), but in my opinion don't make the difference for people on the fence about commuting by bike. I think a commuter whizzing by stalled traffic in a bike lane makes the best case, and I'm happy to see there are so many of us out there advertising
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Old 02-09-06, 05:42 PM   #8
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One of the benefits of "Home Zones" (UK equivalent of Dutch scheme for traffic calming local residential area with chicanes, brick paving, planters, etc. - talking to a friend today about setting up of HZ in her area (turn of 19/20 Cent terrace houses with almost entirely on-street parking) resulted in immediate increase in house values by 20k)
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Old 02-10-06, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marqueemoon
Unfortunately the mass transit outlook here is pretty bleak. The extended monorail plan (which was problematic) got axed and light rail plans appear to be going nowhere fast. The $30 car tabs initiative screwed at lot of people - especially bus riders. Cuts in bus service means buses run less often and when they do come they are frequently late and packed. This is sad, because Seattle is the kind of town where people of every stripe would ride the bus, but for many suburbanites it probably isn't worth the hassle anymore, and hey car tabs are only $30! Why not drive? It's so cheap!
As a regular bus commuter here (Everett to Seattle) I disagree the bus service has improved dramatically since Sound Transit. Initally when the Tabs got cut there was a small cut in service, mostly nights and weekends now they have been adding service every quarter. They have added commuter trains that connect Seattle with tacoma and Everett. The light rail construction is well under way and they already completed one in Tacoma. It would of started sooner if a certain Senator from Oklahoma would not of held up funding for so long as well as all those lawsuits trying to block it.

The Monorail was a joke from the start, very expensive, not really a good option to move that many people and the route they planned would of only served a very small portion of the population. If they had used it to enhance the existing monorail( tying it in with the stadiums and waterfront) would of been a better deal.

Most of the funds lost with Eymans first car tab inititve have been replaced with voter approved mesures.
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Old 02-10-06, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bitevolution
I wish my city would do something like that. Of course, in Southwest Oklahoma, people marvel if you drive a car without air conditioning. Riding a bike in the summer here strikes many people as unthinkable.

I've just started cycling again and plan to commute to and from work three days out of the week. It'll be interesting to see how I'll hold up in 110 degree summer weather.
Our weather is probably a little cooler than Oklahoma, but even on the real hot days, I find that the breeze associated with biking keeps me plenty cool. Good luck this summer. Hang in there!
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Old 02-10-06, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtn_mojo
Wow! Is it really that low here? I would have figured it to be a bit higher, especially considering CSU. We need to get that number up!
Hey, fellow Coloradoan! Yeah, I heard that number at a City Council meeting by the head of Bike Fort Collins, Rick Price.
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Old 02-10-06, 04:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
wassa car tab?

Yearly registration fee.
It was quite high when I lived in Washington state. Then I moved to Colorado and they passed a voter initiative in WA to make it a flat $30 rate.
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Old 02-23-06, 06:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngateguy
The light rail construction is well under way and they already completed one in Tacoma. It would of started sooner if a certain Senator from Oklahoma would not of held up funding for so long as well as all those lawsuits trying to block it.
While I like the light rail, as planned, I doubt it will solve much. It will only run between the airport and northgate, when it really needs to run between Tacoma and Everett. It's a sign of how beaurocracy paralyzes so much here. Portland built there first leg of light rail 12 years ago and have expanded it greatly ever since.

That said, overall I think some Seattle-ites forget how luck we are. While imperfect, the bicycling amenenties are among the best in the country. In terms of infrastructure, Seattle still pales compared to Portland, which, as the article suggests, has a comprehensive, interconnected system of lanes and trails. But overall, Seattle is still one of the best bike cities in the country. I was in Bellevue earlier today (a suburb east of Seattle) and it gave me a new appreciation for biking in Seattle.
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Old 02-24-06, 12:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanK
While I like the light rail, as planned, I doubt it will solve much. It will only run between the airport and northgate, when it really needs to run between Tacoma and Everett. It's a sign of how beaurocracy paralyzes so much here. Portland built there first leg of light rail 12 years ago and have expanded it greatly ever since.

That said, overall I think some Seattle-ites forget how luck we are. While imperfect, the bicycling amenenties are among the best in the country. In terms of infrastructure, Seattle still pales compared to Portland, which, as the article suggests, has a comprehensive, interconnected system of lanes and trails. But overall, Seattle is still one of the best bike cities in the country. I was in Bellevue earlier today (a suburb east of Seattle) and it gave me a new appreciation for biking in Seattle.
Portland built its first line more than 20 years ago and they have been adding to it ever since. When it started they had even less of a coverage area than we will when the light rail gets done. Yes Seattle should of and had the chance to do light rail back in the 70's and the voter turned it down. Ngate to Seatac is going to help a lot one of the busiest Metro park transit centers is Ngate (I lived in the Northgate area for almost 20 years as a commuter), There is a bus every 5 to 7 min during rush hour thats thousands of people they move in just a couple of hours. I was ticked when they said it would only go from the airport to the u dist because then it was useless. You do have to start somewhere and they have already connected Everett and seattle as well as tacoma to Seattle with the sounder train. I think the next step will be Seattle to the east side they need it bad over there.
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Old 02-24-06, 06:07 PM   #15
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ngate,

Good points about the sounder train. Still light rail is much faster to use than standard rail, esp for bicyclists. With Portland's light rail, you just hop on, set your bike up, and hope off. With standard trains, it's a little more involved.
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Old 02-24-06, 06:31 PM   #16
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You have no idea how happy I am they got rid of the monorail idea. I read a study done on light rail. Apparently they could have built a light rail system in place of the monorail for half the price, anbd provided almost twice the service.

Have any of you ever been to Calgary? My wife is from there, and their C-train is a good example of how a light rail system can work. However, you have to plan it carefully, and integrate it into the road system. Then it works beautifully.
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Old 02-24-06, 07:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patriot
You have no idea how happy I am they got rid of the monorail idea. I read a study done on light rail. Apparently they could have built a light rail system in place of the monorail for half the price, anbd provided almost twice the service.

Have any of you ever been to Calgary? My wife is from there, and their C-train is a good example of how a light rail system can work. However, you have to plan it carefully, and integrate it into the road system. Then it works beautifully.
Never been to Calgary, but in Portland you can put bikes on the Max, and I don't think there are any rush hour restrictions. It's a cool system and runs all over downtown and into the outlying areas.

I don't think light rail needs to be integrated into the road system to work, but it does need to serve the same areas roads do and get people where they need to go, or as close as possible.
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Old 02-25-06, 07:04 AM   #18
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I think it's actually better not to integrate light rail and roads (though marquee's comment about service areas is correct.) Separating light rail and roads - at least light rail stops - allow development around the light rail stations to occur in a pedestrian pattern. You can see things related to foot traffic - shops, easier access, high density housing development. If you put stations in the middle of an auto no man's land, you don't get foot traffic or a pedestrian friendly area.

An example would be the contrast between stations on the DC metro and those on Chicago's CTA - say the Dan Ryan line.
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