Speak Up

Looking to do my part to improve the community, I have been attending neighborhood meetings to plan a visit from the mayor. I volunteered to give a speech concerning bicycle and motor safety. I received lots of cheers and the mayor payed close attention, so hopefully these issues will be addressed.

My name is -; I am a resident, life-long cyclist and a member of [local] Bicycle Club. I moved here from -, where I bike commuted to work. In the [other local] Bike Club, fellow cyclists spoke lovingly of [our city] as a bike friendly city. So I was very excited to move here, as I never thought I would live in Seattle and experience it for myself. The cycling community has welcomed me and many others onto the streets and beautiful trails of the metro area. However, I do not feel quite as safe as I did in -. I would love to see the city make [our city] and our neighborhood a safer place to bike.

[My street] is a highly trafficked bike commute, recreational and training route between the trail and – Park. I live on -, and, even as an experienced cyclist, never feel totally safe on my own street. I often take alternate streets to get home. [My street], in order, consists of parallel parked cars, bikes, and cars, with a middle turn lane. This shared aspect is great for an urban village, but also increases risks for both drivers and cyclists. The city’s Pedestrian and Bike Master Plan prioritizes safety and connectivity as its top two issues. I am advocating for improved safety of [our street] to boost the connectivity of this major thoroughfare.

Improvement Suggestions

Post the speed limit: There are no posted speed limits between X and X streets. Reminding drivers of the speed limit could reduce high downhill speeds of drivers traveling southbound.

Post “Bikes may use full lane” signs: Posting signs that say “Bikes may use full lane” actively reminds drivers that cyclists have a right to be in the CENTER of the lane, if that is the safest place for them to be. It also communicates to motorists that they should wait for a gap in traffic to pass, rather than crowding cyclists out of the way.

Repaint Sharrows on the southbound side of [the street]: Repainting the sharrows on the southbound side and moving them further from the door zone of parallel parked cars reaffirms cyclists’ right to use the road. Moving the sharrows also helps less experienced cyclists know to bike in the safe area, well away from motorists opening doors and it gives them a larger buffer from cars in the act of parallel parking.

Paint Green Bike Lanes at cross streets: Adding green bike lanes at cross streets serve as a bright green reminder to cross traffic drivers and to drivers on Stone to look out for cyclists. With this, the city can reinforce restricted parking within 30 feet of an intersection, by repainting the curbs. These measures help drivers who are forced to creep out in the bike area to see oncoming traffic.

I love that [our neighborhood] is a multi-modal friendly neighborhood with a vibrant high street and an iconic trail and park. I want to keep it that way and make it safer for all visitors and residents.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s