bicycle commuting

I hate politics. Bike Portland has an article about the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference that’s here in Seattle this year. I didn’t know this was coming, so it’s pretty awesome that we got our green strips on 2nd and 4th avenue just before it. Of course just about every time I’m in a green strip, especially riding home down 2nd avenue, cars still turn into me and I have to evade or push off them. The most ironic was that the last time I had to push off a car was the first day I road the green strips on 2nd avenue.

I like the Seattle bicycle master plan, but I often question how long it’s going to take to get there. From the

On transportation, Nickels declared that in Seattle, “We recognize that the age of the automobile has passed,” and he said they’re working toward a balanced transportation system. A major part of that balance is the 25 mile Burke-Gilman Trail that was opened in 1978.

Man, weren’t things progressive back in.. whoa, 1978? What’s our big accomplishment now? Well, props to the Chief Sealth Trail. While the Interurban is nice everywhere but downtown (north, south), shame on the downtown portion of the trail being in a dirty dumpster filled alley where the homeless pass out and the road surface is uneven brick.

In august I learned about the trail along the SODO light rail that goes from the end of the bus tunnel to Forest. The master plan wants to extend it, but good luck. And of course there’s the missing link from 2nd ave to the light rail.

Looks like the Burke-Gilman trail will get some work done on it’s missing link at least:

Backing up those words, Nickels announced that he’ll include $8.6 million in his upcoming budget to complete a major missing link of the trail.

6 thoughts on “bicycle commuting

  1. Reporter

    Bikes and cars never mix. Seattle is a terrible place for bikes. Too many pedistrians, too many 1 way streets, and too many disoriented drivers.

    I hope you dont get hit, it is very dangerous in seattle to ride around on a bike.

    You are smaller than a motorcycle and you have less saftey gear. You have less reflectors, less surface area, and less lights.

    Even if you are on your bike path remember that you have to share the road with cars. Its the law. You do not have the right of way on a bicycle. Pedistrians have the right of way. These honking cars most likely think your going to cause an accident speeding around on a bike.

    Remember people aren’t looking for bikes.

  2. btm Post author


    Oh, bikes versus cars. The needless argument continues.

    From what evidence do you garner that Seattle is “very dangerous” to ride around on a bike? Do you have statistics? Do you commute a bicycle in Seattle and have you done so much elsewhere? What of Washington recently being voted the top Bicycle Friendly State by the League of American Bicyclists? No comments on Seattle’s master bicycle plan?

    Pedestrians have less lights, and reflectors, are you implying we should not walk either?

    I’m going to assume you didn’t mean to say that you must share bike paths with cars, as I don’t know of any bike paths that allow motorized vehicles.

    Overall, you’re another anti-bicycle flamer that doesn’t know what they’re talking about. In a road way cars and bicycles are both vehicles (RCW 46.61.755). If I merge on a bicycle into a car, I’m at the same level of fault as if I did the same while on a car. If a car merges into a bicycle, they’re held just as responsible as if they merged into another car. The vehicle in the lane has the right of way, be it a bicycle or a car. Green strips are intentionally put there by the city to remind drivers that they are turning across a lane of traffic. That lane of traffic is for bicycles, and cars very often, from my experience, fail to yield to the traffic that is in that lane. And that’s the irony of green strips. I don’t know how well they work statistically, but I have to laugh when a car fails to yield and turns across my lane of traffic such that I have make an emergency stop.

    Sidewalks, pedestrians and the associated right of ways are a whole other conversation, but not one that I brought up. Which I think is further evidence of you flaming so I won’t bother going into it. Just see RCW 46.61.261.

    ‘Honking cars most likely think[ing] your going to cause an accident speeding around on a bike’ would require completely different situations. Again, you’re just flaming again. If you must know the majority of cars that honk at me while I’m riding my bike then follow by pulling up next to me, rolling down their window and yelling expletives at me to get out of the road. I wear headphones now and just ignore them, because they’re obviously unintelligent people who are angry and have never taken the time to consider the situation. Again, bicycles are vehicles as much as cars with exceptions listed in RCW 46.61.755. Among other notes, RCW 46.61.770 says that when bicycles are below the speed of traffic they should ride to the right hand side of the right lane as is safe. It does not require bicycles to use bicycle lanes, sidewalks, shoulders or trails. Bicycles have every right to ride in the roadway.

    Regardless, road rage is common. It’s just easy to blame bicyclists. The same faulty mentality that brings us racism, sexism and other prejudices feeds this social battle. It won’t end until people stop and think.

    Remember, I’m looking for cars. Perhaps they should be looking for bikes?

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  4. Reporter

    Pedistrians and bikes are different, bikes are faster.

    Yes there are idiot motorists. Yes there are idiot bicyclists.

    Maybe people honk cause they are stupid.. or maybe cause you are being stupid. Yes its very humerous cars dont follow the green lines.. many motorists have forgotten how to treat bikes in traffic.

    This is why riding a bike in seattle is dangerous.

    “In a road way cars and bicycles are both vehicles (RCW 46.61.755)”

    Duh…. this is why cars and bikes should share the road as the law states. I stated “Even if you are on your bike path remember that you have to share the road with cars”. That would be sharing the road.

    Do you understand? From your posts it seems alot of cars are not following the rules of the road for bikes, this makes the danger level higher in the seattle area.

    Have you considered taking a bicycle commuting saftey class? You could learn more about bike saftey and upgrade to a larger helmet, large kneepads, large elbowpads, and super tight spandex as well.

    This way if you were ever in a collision you would be safer. I’m sure you don’t wear much beyond a helmet.

    This is also part of being a responsible bicycle commuter.. wearing appropriate saftey gear.

  5. btm Post author

    Cars aren’t allowed on pedestrian / bicycle paths, nor are they allowed to travel in bicycle lanes on the street.

    SMC 11.53.190: Driving in a bicycle lane: The operator of a motor vehicle shall not drive in a bicycle lane except to execute a turning maneuver, yielding to all persons riding bicycles thereon.

    There’s no sharing here. It’s a matter of having to ride defensively on a daily basis. And more in strips of road specifically modified to remind drivers that they are negotiating their vehicle through a lane of traffic (bikes) that their failure to check their mirror before turning across very likely could squish (kill) a human being.

    Riding bikes in Seattle is dangerous, fine. Everything is dangerous. Knee/elbow pads are not going to do shit when a car runs you over. Actually, they sound like a pretty terrible idea for an activity that requires so much limb travel. I have no idea what spandex is for other than matching your carbon fiber water bottle holder and getting you to work 3.2ms faster.

    All The Gear, All The Time (ATGATT) saved me in a number of ways in a motorcycle accident last year, but you’re going to have to try a little harder to convince me it’s going to do any good on a bicycle. Certainly more than calling me irresponsible if I’m not riding in a bubble.

    In the words of Denis Leary: “Life sucks, get a fucking helmet!”

  6. Alida Fretz

    I have been introduced to the bike law by being cited by Seattle Police for “drive in bike lane.” I did this in front of a Seattle Policeman who was directing traffic because of an accident on Aurora Ave. This was in the Green Lake area of Seattle. The circumstances-cars in what used to be the left lane of traffic were stopped-I wanted to go to the right on Stone Way. There were no bikes in sight anywhere. I moved to the right lane to make a right turn and was cited for “drive in bike lane.”
    Obviously I am upset, ticket $124. I will go to court on this ticket with what results I know not. I have no difficulty with bike riders as long as they keep to the right, and obey the traffic laws. In fact I go out of my way to give them extra room, in the event that they lose control of their vehicle and land in the payment in front of me, which has happened. Fortunately on that occasion I had kept extra distance because of the rain, and was able to stop well in time. I even got out of my car and helped the man by picking up his bike. He wasn’t hurt, only shook up a bit.
    I do not think it is sensible to say that “the age of the car is past.” I do not think it is sensible to try to force people out of their auto type vehicles by creating grid lock on our streets.
    This entire matter seems to be based more on emotion than on logic.

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