Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    BF Risk Manager
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Snohomish County, Washington USA
    My Bikes
    Road, mountain and folding
    Posts
    896
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Article on bike commuting in Seattle

    In this week's (7/26/06) issue of the Seattle Weekly, an article was published on bicycle commuting in Seattle. Suffice it to say, that despite the rep of Seattle as a bicycle-friendly community, the reality may be somewhat different for some people: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/0630/bicycling.php
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  2. #2
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    In the 212
    My Bikes
    Haro Vector, IRO Rob Roy, Bianchi Veloce
    Posts
    8,757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Was it so long ago (70's and 80's for me) that bike lanes didn't exist and people rode their bikes in the streets because that's where they were taught to ride in school? I don't ever remember being afraid of riding in the street. Maybe it's just me.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  3. #3
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    the pesto of cities
    My Bikes
    Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
    Posts
    7,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    Was it so long ago (70's and 80's for me) that bike lanes didn't exist and people rode their bikes in the streets because that's where they were taught to ride in school? I don't ever remember being afraid of riding in the street. Maybe it's just me.
    Amen. Certain facilities do make more commuting by bike more pleasant, but it's not for the faint of heart.
    Pandering to wimps is a waste of city money.

  4. #4
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    In the 212
    My Bikes
    Haro Vector, IRO Rob Roy, Bianchi Veloce
    Posts
    8,757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I dunno about wimps. I think it's become a cultural thing that everything has to be made 100% safe and convenient before we'll consider using it. We're accustomed to remote controls for everything, window interfaces instead of command lines, and 24 hr access to our banks. How people lived 30 years ago w/o these conveniences is beyond some people.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    23,052
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    Was it so long ago (70's and 80's for me) that bike lanes didn't exist and people rode their bikes in the streets because that's where they were taught to ride in school? I don't ever remember being afraid of riding in the street. Maybe it's just me.
    And back in the 70's and 80's there was no such thing as road rage or SUVs and cell phones either.

    Especially in the 70's, motorists tended to drive slower and had their windows rolled down and were therefore a bit more aware of the environment in which they drove... AND speeds were constrained to 55MPH max... even on the freeways.

    In my area now it is quite typical to find 50MPH surface streets, and even the rare 60 and 65 MPH surface street... none of which make the cycling commute any nicer.

    Motorists are more isolated now in their airbagged fully environmentally controlled rolling "offices."

    Back in the 70's and early 80's I felt no remorse at leaning against a car at a stopsign or light, today you are liable to be shot for touching a car.

    Yeah, things have changed. And bikes... well, they have gone from 10 speed to 21 or more speeds and everyone now wears a helmet...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,760
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great article; well balanced and with a sense of what is possible instead of just focusing on the bad parts. It is a great way to present the subject. People remember facts about the entire thing, but they are affected by the beginning and the end. Putting all the problems and frustrations cyclists feel in the middle gives people information about these things, but the ending, full of hope for the future, leaves the reader still wanting to commute by bike. That, and the fact that it is the Seattle Weekly which is usually more conservative in its reporting (compared to the Stranger), and the article has done a great service for those people who are thinking about starting commuting.

    I live currently in Portland, but lived in Seattle for two years. Portland's model is definitely better, but large parts of that are due to the fact that the city itself is layed out better. The grid is much more regular and the city itself is smaller. As the article noted, Seattle, to a much larger extent than Portland, is just about out of infrastructure. Not only in the dense urban areas, but the suburban as well.

    Their bike system is patchwork at best. A competent commuter can get around easily enough, but it is difficult in some areas, even for an experienced cyclist, as the roads are narrow, clogged with parked cars, and the traffic is dense and fast. The one time I've been hit by a car was in the U-District (the part of Seattle containing the University of Washington) and was a parked car pulling abruptly out of an on-street parking spot trying to make a break in the traffic.

    Everyone in Seattle talks about traffic. Boeing's corporate offices relocated to Chicago (?) and one of their reasons was because of traffic. It is not surprising to me that many more people are starting to take up bike commuting as a way of getting around the city.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Near Portland, OR
    My Bikes
    Three road bikes. Two track bikes.
    Posts
    9,760
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian
    I dunno about wimps. I think it's become a cultural thing that everything has to be made 100% safe and convenient before we'll consider using it. We're accustomed to remote controls for everything, window interfaces instead of command lines, and 24 hr access to our banks. How people lived 30 years ago w/o these conveniences is beyond some people.
    Ever think that the numbers of cars has probably tripled in the 35 years since the 70's, while road infrastructure has only doubled or less? Instead of calling people lazy, spoiled, or wimps; why not look at their reasons for doing things as legitiment. The old foggies are fond of reminiscing about the "good old days" when such conveniences weren't around; but conveniences haven't made things easier on folk in the present; it's just enabled people to do more things during a day.

    For instance:

    Remote controls have made managing 200 channels manageable; access to information (even if it is just entertainment) is at a premium these days.

    Windows interfaces makes it unnecessary to remember the names of all 4690 files I store in my computer at work. (and that's just 2 years worth; imagine my tally after 5...) This is not to mention that hard drives have increased from 100 Mb to 100 Gb or larger.

    24 hr access to the bank enables me to make my money transfer from my computer at midnight when I think about it, and lets me avoid the trip to the bank the next day so I can fit in a trip to the bike shop instead in the 2 hours I have after I get out of work.

    So yea, how people lived without the conveniences 30 years ago would boggle people's mind today; but how much we accomplish in a day in current times would boggle the minds of people 30 years ago.

    To put this back onto bicycling; bicycling facilities are more necessary now than 30 years ago because there are many more cars and much denser car traffic than there was 30 years ago. The "good ol' days" argument is good for nothing except front porch reminiscing between old folk - the "good ol' days" are not now, and were probably not even so good besides.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  8. #8
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    the pesto of cities
    My Bikes
    Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
    Posts
    7,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I disagree. This article has not done a service to those considering commuting by bike because it starts off with a negative firsthand account.

    The rest of the article preaches to the converted.

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross
    Posts
    11,348
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by marqueemoon
    I disagree. This article has not done a service to those considering commuting by bike because it starts off with a negative firsthand account.

    The rest of the article preaches to the converted.

    It does seem that the initial tone of the article is "everyone talks about how great Seattle is for cyclists, but we'll tell you what it's *really* like," and then the rest of it tries to make up for lost ground.
    Seattle (and the surrounding areas) have turned out to be the best cities that I've lived in for cycling. Cleveland and Cincinnati can't compare. Athens, OH, while a very bike friendly town, is only that way because of the college campus, so I don't even let it factor into my decision.
    I lived in Capitol Hill (Seattle) for a while before moving across the lake to Redmond. Cap has some scary elements to it when it comes to riding. The side streets are narrow, there's parked cars (facing both directions on either side of the street, meaning ppl cut to the wrong side of the road to parallel park against traffic) and the some semi-roundabouts on streets like 14th Ave E don't have any stop or yield signs and cars fly up the hill at the speed of sound. It sounds like a big list of complaints, but in all seriousness I enjoyed riding around in Cap and the close areas of downtown Seattle. Enough people are aware of cyclists that I wasn't worried about getting doored, or having someone run out from between cars, or in general just get 'nudged' by someone not paying attention.
    Maybe I didn't live and ride there long enough to develop a sense of what it's 'really' like. Shortly after getting out to Cap, I moved to Redmond. There's bike lanes just about everywhere, except for where they're really needed; like Redmond Way heading to Kirkland, or 148th going to Bellevue (but Bellevue is a whole 'nother story...) At least most of the majour roads w/o bike lanes are 2 lanes wide so people have some room to give you space as they go around. There's also a reasonable network of side streets that with a little bit of map study, you can find alternative routes around the hairier sections of traffic, if not avoid the streets completely by hitting the bike trail. It can get a little crowded at times, but with the new pavement that they're laying down from Redmond to Woodinville, it's a smooth and calm ride with little to worry about. The trail connects a lot of territory, so it's a highly used commuter route and fairly well maintained.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  10. #10
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Steamroller, '05 Fuji Touring
    Posts
    1,017
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Maybe the goal of the article is to keep Seattle-ites from getting complacent about their reputation??

    I agree that it's not a very upbeat article, and if I were not a commuter already, this would not make me excited about the possibilities. This fact makes me suspect that converting people to bike commuting might not be the author's intent.

  11. #11
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    In the 212
    My Bikes
    Haro Vector, IRO Rob Roy, Bianchi Veloce
    Posts
    8,757
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not calling for a return to "the good ole days", but rather wondering if the direction we've progressed in makes sense. I'm happy to have remote controls, online banking, 200+ channels (although I'm not happy about the cable bill) and faster, safer, more fuel efficient cars. However, I see a loss of progress in that cars could be even more fuel efficient, that SUVs didn't need to be mass-marketed as "safety family vehicles" that tend to roll-over, use more gas, use more raw materials, take longer to stop and are more deadly to other cars, cyclists, pedestrians, etc. The gas crunch of the early 70's spurred the decline of Detroit and the emergence of the economy car. The strides made in fuel economy could've continued, but the decrease in the cost of oil seemed to halt that progress here. So now every summer is hotter than the last, gas is over $3/gal and the big 3 have to bribe consumers w/ gas subsidies to sell their SUVs when they could've had any number of smaller fuel efficient family cars that are easier to drive.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    san diego
    My Bikes
    custom built, sannino, beachbike, giant trance x2
    Posts
    23,052
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Windows interfaces makes it unnecessary to remember the names of all 4690 files I store in my computer at work. (and that's just 2 years worth; imagine my tally after 5...) This is not to mention that hard drives have increased from 100 Mb to 100 Gb or larger.
    Only 4690?

    try dir /w /p

    or in UNIX: ls -la | more
    Last edited by genec; 07-26-06 at 06:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sorry, but this is the whiniest article ever. Oh my god the bike lane disappears. What the writer neglects to mention is that most of these streets are multilane one-way streets. Even at rush hour Seattle drivers are highly aware of cyclists and unless you are completely spineless there isn't a portion of the city that isn't accessible to any reasonably fit cyclist. The lack of bike lanes is just an excuse for folks to not ride who are going to drive anyways. These people would drive even if there was an elevated bike lane from their front door to their workplace. No matter how many times you explain it to some people they'll never get that it's all about learning to ride in traffic and nothing to do with facilities. But now people can sit back and feel good about driving until someone implements real bicycle master plan.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Sorry, but this is the whiniest article ever...... But now people can sit back and feel good about driving until someone implements real bicycle master plan.

    i think tree hit the nail on the head about seattlites inherent whiny, entitilst ME-ism.....


    fokkers! but i kind of liked the article, not necessarily the reader's now justified rationale to not try bike commuting. i didn't like that slant of it. lots of good, late in the article quotes from some of the Cascade Bicycling Club staff though....
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #15
    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle Refugee in Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    Cilo, Surly Pacer, Kona Fire Mountain w/Bob Trailer, Scattante
    Posts
    3,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bek,

    I didn't mean to slam on just Seattlites. Though I always found Seattle very easy to navigate by bike. I guess I just have a gut reaction to the slant of the majority of these articles which always seem to end with the same negative message, "Cycling is fun on an empty bike lane, and some really crazy people ride in the city everyday, but regular folks should stick to driving until there are elevated bike lanes."
    Plus I thought the advice article sucked butt. It was inconsistent and perpetuated the myth that our main responsibility is not impeding motorists.
    Non semper erit aestas.

  16. #16
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,620
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Treespeed
    Bek,

    I didn't mean to slam on just Seattlites. Though I always found Seattle very easy to navigate by bike. I guess I just have a gut reaction to the slant of the majority of these articles which always seem to end with the same negative message, "Cycling is fun on an empty bike lane, and some really crazy people ride in the city everyday, but regular folks should stick to driving until there are elevated bike lanes."
    Plus I thought the advice article sucked butt. It was inconsistent and perpetuated the myth that our main responsibility is not impeding motorists.

    I think all those issues are just what you get from the Seattle Weekly rather than the Stranger.

  17. #17
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southern Maine
    My Bikes
    2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)
    Posts
    2,568
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I thought the argument about taxes would be useful to remember next time it comes up.

  18. #18
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't get why there is so much emphasis on bike lanes. Bike lanes have their place, but I suggest moreso on the paths to town rather than in it. Especially with one way streets, which are easy and safe for cyclists.

    Still--it is an interesting article. The author is an enthusiast, but doesn't beat you up over it. I liked it.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A land that time forgot
    My Bikes
    the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
    Posts
    18,026
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Tree, i agree with you.

    Seattlites group psyche - we are a bunch of mamby pamby nihlist whiners that, if it is ONE iota of inconveinence, will disregard it in favor of sloth. just like a lot of the rest of america, unfortunately.


    but the drivers here seem as intolerant as anywhere else i have ridden. Seattle is a GREAT city to bike in, regardless of the idiot gashuffers....


    i love Belltown most times of the day, it feels so, oh, small town to me still, Tree ......... the Croc and the co-op and Shorty's and the Rendevous are all still chugging along........
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    the pesto of cities
    My Bikes
    Davidson Impulse, Merckx Titanium AX, Bruce Gordon Rock & Road, Cross Check custom build, On-One Il Pomino, Shawver Cycles cross, Zion 737, Mercian Vincitore, Brompton S1L, Charge Juicer
    Posts
    7,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    Seattlites group psyche - we are a bunch of mamby pamby nihlist whiners that, if it is ONE iota of inconveinence, will disregard it in favor of sloth. just like a lot of the rest of america, unfortunately.


    but the drivers here seem as intolerant as anywhere else i have ridden. Seattle is a GREAT city to bike in, regardless of the idiot gashuffers....
    I agree 100%.

    I think another part of the Seattle psyche that the article and the how-to guide illustrate is our passive-aggressive brand of politeness and insistance on everyone following the "rules".

  21. #21
    Enjoy
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle metro
    My Bikes
    Trek 5200
    Posts
    6,167
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
    , I moved to Redmond. There's bike lanes just about everywhere, except for where they're really needed; like Redmond Way heading to Kirkland, or 148th going to Bellevue (but Bellevue is a whole 'nother story...) .
    Ah yes Redmond Bike Capital of the NW. I laugh everytime I pass this monument. No bike lanes to be found on this busy stretch Redmond. And while you ride past this sign (RT 908, Redmond Way), people yell "get off the road"

    I dare anyone to ride the bike pictured (or at the speed of one pictured) along this road!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by vrkelley; 07-27-06 at 03:19 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •