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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stone Way Protest Ride

posted by on July 26 at 15:28 PM

As I reported this week, bikers will be riding in Fremont to protest the elimination of a long-planned bike lane on Stone Way, along with the extended closure of the Burke-Gilman Trail, at the behest of a single business owner. Details about the ride are now available: Riders will meet at Gas Works Park at 4:30 on Wednesday, August 1, and ride in a loop around lower Fremont at 5. More information is available here.

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It's not like the city owes them their own space.

Posted by fun shaped | July 26, 2007 3:30 PM

@1: No. Nor does it owe you yours. Cyclists fund city roads through sales and property taxes, yet bikes have virtually zero impact on their wear-and-tear.

Posted by DOUG. | July 26, 2007 3:44 PM

I don't want to get in to it with smug better-than-thou THE ROAD IS OURS cyclists.

Yes, I am happy for you and your magical bikes. I want you to be safe to.

Posted by fun shaped | July 26, 2007 4:01 PM

Erica, can you elaborate on the unreported bike accidents on Stone Way? Besides the 1 to 3 per year that the police know about, why should anyone be concerned about the unknown number that nobody reports?

I'm just thinking here that the reason they were not reported is that they were such minor incidents, with no injuries or property damage, that nobody felt the need to report anything.

I don't see how these mystery accidents add any weight to the argument for a bike lane.

Seems like you thought the 1 to 3 accidents per year was paltry ammunition for your cause.

Posted by elenchos | July 26, 2007 4:02 PM


Posted by fun shaped | July 26, 2007 4:02 PM

So after reading about the change of heart (and striping) for Stone Way North, I'm driving north on it the other day. You can FRICKIN' SEE THE ORIGINAL PLAN FOR STRIPING on the street. And then the new plan, which is overlaid. From 34th to about 40 or 42nd was almost undrivable because drivers had no idea which lane to be in. Bikers were trying to avoid drivers. You could not tell whether one or two car lanes in each direction were available. That was annoying, and dangerous, and illustrated very neatly the whole volte-face on this issue.

Second, where Hiller of the bike club says, "When I've got a truck behind me and I'm going uphill at 12 miles an hour and he wants to go 25, you're looking for conflict." I can't believe I'm saying that Hiller is not making the case strong enough, but he is not.

Try FORTY mph or higher on Stone Way compared to 12 mph or slower on bike. As a driver, if I try to go 30 on most of Stone Way, I am nearly rammed by trucks and other drivers.


Posted by Glenn Fleishman | July 26, 2007 4:02 PM

"Seems like you thought the 1 to 3 accidents per year was paltry ammunition for your cause." - Elenchos

I volunteered to help with an accident-reduction campaign that would involve encouraging bike incident reports of near-accidents or accidents that didn't rise to police reporting at the Cascade Bike Club a few years ago, but the advocacy director left for a city position, and it never got together. (I couldn't get them to follow up with me on the effort.)

What the director told me at the time, and I have since read in many biking sources, is that the accident rate is basically a matter of conjecture. You can pull stats from police reports, but everything else is totally ad hoc or anecdotal. So there's no way to know whether 100 accidents occurred, only 1 to 3 of which each year required a police report, or that those 1 to 3 represent the totality of all contact between bike and car (or bike and bike).

I am personally often more frightened by other bikers' behaviors than I am by the majority of drivers.

Posted by Glenn Fleishman | July 26, 2007 4:10 PM

I told a friend about this conflict and he repled take Midvale or Interlake, fools.

I say go ahead, do the parade and let's see what happens. I don't believe you're going to accomplish anything other than make the bike lane opposition even angrier, but to each their own.

Posted by Gomez | July 26, 2007 4:14 PM

#6 Sorry to break it to you but the speed limit on Stone Way is 25mph. As a pedestrian I'm tired of people speeding up and down the street, especially the drag racers after midnight. However, I am more mad that the cops aren't ticketing people than the actual drivers for speeding, because it is human nature to get away with as much bullshit as you can for as long as you can.

Stone Way doesn't seem wide enough to accommodate parking, traffic (particularly buses, AND a bike lane, at least not in front of my building. Since bikes only move slowly on the uphill portion, maybe they should concentrate the bike lane to the East lane.

Posted by elswinger | July 26, 2007 4:21 PM

the Big Picture: we need bike routes all the wa from far North Seattle down thru Fremont to the BG trail.

So, using Grenlake/Woodland for part of the route makes sense. Bikes can go on bike trails part of the way!

Howelse do we connet to BG?

Here are some of the Choices: 1.Interlaken, 2.Midvale, 3.Stone Way, 4.Woodlawn Ave.

On 3, Stone Way the cikes have to stop for frequent lights and peds crossing, parking cars, busses pulling in and out of bus stops, and those nasty doors opening from parked cars.

NONE of those are realproblems on ALL the other routes.

As far as the other routes, Woodlawn is espcialy wide and apparently was in the neighborhood plan to be a bike route.

Outting the bike route where lots of cars anbd traffic aren't makes sense. It uses underutilized roads instead of cramming al vehilces, bikes and motor vehicles onto Stone Way.

And yes, if Woodlawn or a residential street is the bike route bikes STILL CAN GO ON STONE way if they want, perhaps if they want to go patronzie the hardware stores or the dance studio or the used clothing store or the bike shops there.

On the other rodas bikes can kind of CRUISE whereas on Stone Way they are fighting traffic.

Why can't we have a win win????

Posted by unPC | July 26, 2007 4:42 PM

The deal with Stone Way is, it's the only way to get across the heavy east-west arterials, like 40th, 45th, and 50th. You really need a light, otherwise you'll wait forever to cross. This is true of cars almost as much as bikes. The next street with stoplights is Wallingford to the east, Aurora(!) to the west.

Posted by Fnarf | July 26, 2007 4:53 PM

@9: Parking, traffic, buses, bike lanes... thy name is Dexter Avenue (which also has hills and plenty of industry). It can work on Stone Way too.

Posted by DOUG. | July 26, 2007 4:54 PM

@10: Since when do bikes stop for lights, much less pedestrians?

Posted by Orv | July 26, 2007 6:47 PM

Let's see Doug 97.7% don't commute by bicycle and bicyclist probably being younger and often students have a lower income therefore pay even less than their 2.3%. In addition since bicyclists do use goods and services brought by trucks (they do most road wear along with buses) and walk on sidewalks, they pay very little for their bicycle use of the roadways. Perhaps if bikes would pay a license fee and be checked for proper equipment such as head light and rear reflector we could use the revenue to clean the edges of streets where bikes are to operate if safe.

Nice point Orv.

Posted by whatever | July 26, 2007 9:55 PM

How come bicyclists always wanted to be treated as the same as cars, but not have to follow the same rules of the road? I know this is an age old question.
Today I'm sharing the road with a bicyclist and he's kind of on the shoulder, kind of in the lane in front of me...glaring at me indignantly as I try to drive in the lane. I can't really go around him safely, so I have to follow him at his speed. When we get to a stop sign, I have to stop and he just rolls right through. If bicyclists want to be treated like cars, operate the same as cars, observe the same rules. Take up a whole lane so I don't have to guess what the fuck your're doing and get attitude from you. Stop at stop signs. Use hand signals to let me know what the hell you're doing. Get the hell out of the way if you're slowing shit down, just like a slow car would...pull over and let people pass you safetly. Don't drive on sidewalks AND the streets, making me guess what the fuck you're doing. I don't get to drive on sidewalks in my car and I hate trying walk on a sidewalk while you're riding your bike weaving all over it. Be a vehicle on the damn road or not, make up your mind.

Posted by car | July 26, 2007 10:13 PM

Note from reality folks - we live in country with twice the per capita energy consumption of equivalent countries like France or Germany. Even the ex-CEO of Exxon says that carbon output needs to be limited and the era of cheap oil is over. What does that mean?

Encouraging biking is the cheapest, easiest thing we can do now to deal with the fact that our transport infrastructure is totally incompatible with non-cheap oil. Or we can continue to complain about annoying cyclists (heavens!) and wait for things to get more dire and the solutions to get more expensive.

In this case, whining will quite literally get us nowhere :-)

Or in other words, stop pissing off people who are making it cheaper for me to drive.

Posted by zippy | July 26, 2007 11:08 PM

Dear Orv and whatever - please get out of your cars to yell at me so i can kick you in the nads. When you drop yer little insults and scoot away in your subarus you are acting like 8 yr olds.

If you actually drive the section of Stone Way where the striping has been done, you will notice ZERO difference in your ability to tailgate, act like an asshole, and still get to your destination in the same amount of time. Eat it. Now that those stripes are down, bikes are taking over that patch anyway.

Shutup, bitches. Take I-5 and go ram somebody from behind. Like your mother.

Posted by wbrproductions | July 27, 2007 9:39 AM

@15, @16, @17:

Can't you just feel the hate? When was the last time you saw two groups that hated each other that much where each side didn't deserve an equal share of blame?

Bicyclists are exactly the same size assholes as drivers. The only difference is that bicyclist aggression is by necessity passive aggression. Bicyclists are not better people; it's just physics. A car's greater mass makes it a more lethal weapon.

Bicycling could some day become a viable alternative form of transportation, but changing human nature is not going to make that happen. Riders and drivers will aways be huge pricks, because that's how people are under social conditions like a public road. Which is why neither side is going to get anywhere demanding that the other stop acting like such jerks.

I think the only thing that will work is to tighten up the regulations, so that bikes can't go back and forth between the sidewalk and the road, for example, or that you can't use a bike lane as a loading zone for commercial trucks. And then enforce those rules strictly.

Otherwise, bicyclists will never be more than 3% of commuters and the bitching and sniping will never end.

Posted by elenchos | July 27, 2007 11:48 AM

@2 - so since cars don't use bike lanes--bikes do--the sub 3% of the city that commutes via bike should have to pay for the lanes. That's your philosophy, right? You use it, you pay for it, right? So bike registration tabs and inner tube taxes seem the be the answer to the "we need more bike lanes" problem... yes?

Posted by trolly mctrollerson | July 27, 2007 12:30 PM

tell you what wbrproductions - don't stop for me at at a crosswalk and I'll knock your dumb ass right off your bike and then beat you with a bat - yeah that's the ticket - what an idiot you are. It's not an insult to suggest that bikes don't stop for pedestrians or that bikers really don't pay squat for roads. Just facts.

I would like the city to clean the edges of the street cause I don't like riding through broken glass etc. I would be happy to get a license for my bike so when one of you homeless bikers steals it, we can throw you in the can.

Posted by whatever | July 27, 2007 1:12 PM

I agree, why aren't you taking Interlake or Midvale?

I totally agree that the continued closure for another YEAR of the Burke-Gilman thru Fremont is a problem.

But, if you actually walked in the neighborhoods, instead of biking or driving thru at 30 mph, you'd see all the trucks from N 34th up to N 45th, especially from N 34th up to N 40th. Squeezing them into one lane each way is a NON STARTER.

Why not ask for one-side parking and a bike lane on one of the routes with a light at the intersection that can be triggered by bikers?

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not because, like another 40-something dad I ran into at PCC last night, I'm a sk8r, but let's get real.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 27, 2007 1:49 PM

oh, and Woodlawn is way more bike-friendly, although it too needs some lights that can be tripped by cyclists. Main prob with that now is the crossing at N 40th.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 27, 2007 1:53 PM

Protest rides are fine for getting together and having a good time pissing off drivers, but for organized and effective activism join Cascade. At least send them the $25/year for membership to increase their numbers, so when they unleash Hiller he has your name as a supporter. Critical Mass style silliness didn't beat Lake Forest Park when they tried to let the Burke decay, it was Cascade's legal action.

Posted by CG | July 27, 2007 2:25 PM

Peeps, this is not about Stone Way. It is about the Bike Master Plan being GUTTED by our mayor even before it's been approved.

If a local developer can moan to hizzoner and get bike-safe routes chopped in Fremont, you can be sure they'll be lined up in other communities to do the same thing.

Posted by AT | July 31, 2007 4:15 PM

I wish Seattle bike commuters could spend a day wearing their expensive bike jerseys with their the world owes me something extra because I ride a bike attitude pedaling through the streets of Brooklyn...I did and you learn to appreciate how bike-friendly Seattle really is.

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