“Safer Roadways” press conference taking place in U-District Thursday morning

The average total of bicyclist fatalities in Washington State per year is 10.

This year, that number has already hit 12, the most recent of which — Vivace Espresso general manager, Brian Fairbrother (from a fall), and Jimmy John’s sandwich-delivery man, Robert Townsend (bike vs. vehicle collision) — have occurred in the last week.

Ghost Bike placed at the scene of Saturday's accident in the University District (Photo courtesy M.J. Kelly)

In response to these fatalities, on Thursday, September 15th, from 9:30-10:30 AM, the Cascade Bicycle Club is holding a press conference calling for safer roadways for all.

Speakers include Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen (Chair, Transportation Committee), King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (Chair, King County Board of Health), and Cascade Bicycle Club Director of Communications (and fellow Northeast Seattleite) M.J. Kelly.

The press conference will take place in public space located on the median of NE Campus Parkway, located between 15th Ave NE and University Way N (map).

From Tuesday’s press release:

Following a spate of recent traffic fatalities, we invite the community to come together, hear from community leaders, and learn how we can address the issues.

The bottom line: We can – and must – do better.

More and more people are walking, biking and using transit to navigate the streets of Seattle. In our dense, urban environment, the public right-of-way is shared by all of us — drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. It is our shared responsibility to create a safe environment and to look out for each other. No traffic fatality is acceptable. We can do better.

Our call to action to you is to tackle these problems in two ways: through better behavior and through better infrastructure. Please join us.

To bring home the need for safer streets in our own neighborhood, we point you to our post from August 27th, when a girl crossing NE 65th St at 23rd Ave NE was struck by a car and injured.

Looks like perfect weather on Friday for Bike to Work Day

Ridden your bicycle for a ride to work yet this year? With a weather forecast of 73°F for tomorrow, how could you NOT?

Besides which, tomorrow is Bike to Work Day, hosted by the Cascade Bicycle Club and title sponsored by F5 Networks.

Details about the event:

More than 20,000 people are predicted to bike to work on Friday. From 6 to 9 a.m., bicycle commuters can stop at one of 41 official commute stations and a dozen DIY stations located throughout King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties to receive free water bottles, maps, snacks, commuting information, and have bikes checked by bike shop sponsors.  From 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. the F5 Bike to Work Day Rally will be held outside Seattle City Hall where there will be music, speakers, and give-aways. In the afternoon, the after-work party will be hopping in Ballard at Bergen Place Park from 4 to 7 p.m.

Which of those 41 official commute stations are closest to Ravenna? Looks like you’ve got a few options:

View Bike Month Activities & Bike to Work Day Stations in a larger map

From left to right, these stations are:

Ravenna (Ravenna Blvd between Roosevelt and 11th Ave NE)
Sponsor: Ride Bicycles

DIY University Christian Church (4731 15th Avenue Northeast)
Edibles: snack bars, cookies, and fresh muffins; juice and water, perhaps also coffee to go. Also bike decals from Bikeable Planet to give away to spread the cause of biking

Burke-Gilman Trail at Blakeley (30th Ave NE & NE Blakeley St)
Sponsor: UW Community, Environment, and Planning Program, Bike Assistance by Counterbalance Cycles

Seattle Children’s Hospital (40th Ave NE and Burke-Gilman Trail)
Sponsors: Seattle Children’s Hospital and Metropolitan Market; Join Cascade Bicycle Club here and get a free gift!

In years past, my pedestrially commuting husband has noticed a station at the north end of the pedestrian footbridge over the ravine (at 20th Ave NE and NE 61st St) on Bike to Work Day; however, this station is not represented on the map. I asked the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Director of Communications and Marketing, M.J. Kelly, if  this station would return again this year. She said, “[S]ome stations come and go, and I’m not sure what happened with this particular station.”

I’ll be heading down to the 20th Avenue NE footbridge myself tomorrow morning, to check out the commute. Sadly, my 1969 Sturmey-Archer will not be coming with me, as I have yet to rebuild it. But ain’t she purty:


BICYCLER BONUS: Ravenna Third Place Books is holding a special promotion tomorrow, for Bike to Work Day. Walk in with your helmet, and receive a 15% discount.