July 6, 2009

July events

The Council Transportation Committee will meet this Thursday 7/9 at 5pm in the Pickering Room at City Hall Northwest. The agenda includes:

Discussion of “Transportation 2040″
I assume this is some long-range visioning.

AB 5997 SE 56th and 221st Place SE Intersection Modifications
This is the intersection just west of East Lake Sammamish Parkway by the service station/car wash and FedEx.

AB 5990 Developer Agreement with the United States Postal Service for Quitclaim of Right-of-Way
Part of the planned freeway undercrossing by the old Zetec property

AB 5978 ITS Enhancements Funding
ITS is the Intelligent Transportation System which is supposed to help smooth traffic flows around town

This Wednesday 7/8 is Bike to Market day at the Sammamish Farmers’ Market. Be sure to check in when you get there. When I went last month they gave me a nice reusable grocery bag. Almost made all those hills worthwhile ;-)  The market runs 4pm to 8pm at the Sammamish Commons right by city hall. More info on their website: http://www.sammamishfarmersmarket.org/

Later in the month, mark your calendar for these events:

7/22 7pm Sustainability Movie Night: King Corn
Not really about transportation in any way other than that when you get around by walking or biking your fuel is food and this movie is all about the industrialization of America’s food system. Plus it’s a free and fun night at the movies with other folks from Issaquah.

7/23 5:30-8pm at the Community Center, Project Porchlight is distributing FREE compact fluorescent light bulbs and they need help from people willing to go door-to-door in their neighborhoods to spread them around. Let’s do that on foot and by bike! Let me know if you want to get involved, or just show up. I’ll nag again when we get closer to the day.

June 22, 2009

Links for 6/22

Offered without commentary for now, but here are some interesting things I’ve stumbled across lately…

Lynnwood’s Multi-Choice Transportation system

Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America

Cycling hazard tracking: bikewise

Another cycle hazard site: Bicycle Watchdog

June 1, 2009

Events for the first week of June

Bob reports that they had a nice Bridges ride last Wednesday. This week promises to be even nicer. Mark your calendar for every Wednesday at 6:30pm in the Community Center parking lot for this fun social ride.

Also on Wednesday, the Sammamish Farmers Market has declared the first market day of each month this summer as Bike to Market days. Their market runs from 4-8pm every Wednesday. I’m planning to huff and puff and clatter up the hill for this first one around starting time so if you want to ride along, let me know.

This week’s previously scheduled Council Transportation Committee meeting has been canceled so the next meeting of that group will now be on July 9th.

In weather like this it’s a better time than ever to walk, bike or bus to your destination. Give it a try!

May 27, 2009

Coming events

Bob Miller will be guiding his famous Bridges of Issaquah bike ride starting at 6:30pm Wednesday 5/27 from the Community Center parking lot. If you haven’t been before this ride is an easy ramble around town suitable for all skill levels. If you have been before, let Bob know and he’ll mix things up for you.

Also Wednesday night 5/27, the city’s Resource Conservation Office is hosting their second Sustainability Movie night. This time they’re showing “Who Killed the Electric Car?” which despite its car-centric focus explores issues applicable to any “alternative” transportation in this country. The movie starts at 6:30pm at the KCLS Service Center building on Newport Way behind Target (not at the library!). I’ll be there talking to folks about GAIT, so be sure to come say hi.

This Saturday is the last Saturday of the month and that means it’s time for another Trash Walk. We’re going to return to an earlier site this time, so meet at the east side of the Community Center at 9am where we’ll tidy up along the trail that heads south from there. Bring gloves and wear blackberry-resistant clothing. Hand trimmers probably wouldn’t hurt.

Looking forward, Bob Miller will reprise his Fix a Flat class at the library on Tuesday June 9 at 6:30pm. Registration (required!) opens on June 1 through the library web page.

April 10, 2009

April CTC on Tuesday 4/14

CTC is the Council Transportation Committee. They’re meeting on a strange day this month: Tuesday 4/14 5pm at CHNW (City Hall NW)

Here are the agenda items of interest:

  • ITS Enhancements – 2009 projects (ITS is the city’s “Intelligent Transportation System” traffic monitoring program)
  • 2010-2015 Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) (This is where big expensive projects get planned)
  • AB 5956 SE Bypass Project Final Record of Decision (Yes, they’re still trying to get this put to bed.)
  • Project Updates (These are current project status reports)
    • Newport Way W of SR 900
    • SR 900 WSDOT Widening
    • I-90 Undercrossing
    • SR-900 Pedestrian Overcrossing of I-90

I know the time is extremely inconvenient, but if any of this stuff looks interesting to you I urge you to join me in attending.

March 3, 2009

March CTC

This week’s Council Transportation Committee meeting has some walk/bike/bus stuff on the agenda. I plan to be there, but more citizen presence is always welcome at these things. There isn’t always a chance to provide direct input, but hearing the discussion can be instructive.

The meeting is at 5pm on Thursday 3/5 (yes, extremely inconvenient) at City Hall NW which is by the Holiday Inn up north of the freeway.

Here are the agenda items with approximate times (these pretty much always stretch) and notes from me about what the walk/bike/bus relevance is:

5:00 Newport way trail oakcrest to lakemont
(more discussion of the mixed-use trail to be constructed along Newport Way west of SR900)

5:05 Black Nugget Road Re-Opening

5:30 AB 5954 Operations and Maintenance Agreement

(forwarded from Council, study of options for a bus on Squak)

5:45 AB 5956 SE bypass project record of decision– PWE WORK PLAN

5:55 I-90 Seismic Retrofit Project – WSDOT
(no direct impact to walk/bike/bus, but will affect the undercrossing of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (you may have noticed all the orange fences that just went up))

6:00 April CTC Meeting Schedule

July 29, 2008

National Bike Bill

Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon introduced House Congressional Resolution 305 (H.CON.RES. 305), otherwise known as the “National Bike Bill” and it was adopted by the House of Representatives back in May. This week it will come before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

The bill is a marvelous laundry list of things the federal government can do to expand the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation and reasons why they should.

Senator Cantwell is Washington’s representative on that committee, you can contact her through her website.

Here’s what I wrote. Feel free to borrow liberally.

Dear Senator Cantwell,

I’m writing to request your support for the National Bike Bill (H.CON.RES. 305), scheduled to be considered by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this Thursday 7/31/08.

As our country embarks on an effort to move away from our dependence on petroleum, it is vital that we recognize the role cycling will play.

Nearly half of all trips in the US are three miles or less; more than a quarter are less than a mile, distances easily covered by bike.

Every mile traveled by bike rather than by car keeps one pound of climate-damaging carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

And yet, of all the trips in the United States, just two-thirds of a percent are made by bicycle.[1]

There is a huge opportunity here and H.CON.RES. 305′s recognition of cycling as part of our transportation solution is a step towards embracing it.

Thank you for your support,
Jeff Youngstrom
founder of GAIT: Getting Around Issaquah Together

[1] This statement and those in the previous paragraphs are from the Sightline Institute’s book Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet.

June 26, 2008

Bridges and bikes

I joined Bob Miller for the “Bridges of Issaquah” ride this evening. There were four of us plus Bob. I put a version of the ride pretty close to what we did up on Bikely if you want to see where we went.

The most fun part of the ride for me was when we were cutting through the school administration parking lot to take the trail over to Dogwood (it’s not a bridge, but it’s a handy bit of ped/bike infrastructure that Bob chose to highlight). As we were reaching the end of the pavement, Bob noticed a bike off in the blackberries. It turned out to be a bike and a trailabike attachment.

The amazing thing is that Bob had just heard of a fellow cyclist having a similar rig stolen from in front of his house a couple of days ago. David Kappler was with us on the ride and happened to have the Issaquah Police non-emergency number on his cell phone (it’s 425-837-3200) so he called to see if the theft had been reported. But the more Bob looked at the bike the more sure he was that this was the one. The suspected owner was just a little ways out of our way, so I offered to tow the bike (and trailabike) there with my Xtracycle. Here’s a picture David snapped of the rig:

Xtracycle towing a bike towing a trailabike.

When we got to the bike’s suspected home we discovered that yes indeed, this was the stolen bike and the owner was very happy to be reunited with it.

Everybody left there pretty happy and we finished up the ride catching the last couple of bridges on the route.

June 23, 2008

Practical and fun bicycling

GAIT member Bob Miller will be giving a class this Thursday 6/26 at 7pm in the Issaquah Library meeting room. Here’s what he’ll be talking about:

The class is about how to successfully use a bike to get around Issaquah. What clothes, what kind of bike, what the law says you can do, and most importantly, how to ride to survive.

I bring my bike, a bag of clothes, some handouts from cascade bike club and other sources, and then discuss road strategies.  I hope that then people will join me on my Thursday night rides so that we can experience some on the road stuff and brainstorm safe riding.

Pass this along to any friends who have been contemplating riding their bikes more (probably all of your friends ;-) Even if you’ve done some riding around town, please come out and share your experience.

Carfree Family Stories

GAIT members Christine and Kent Peterson gave a talk last week at the Towards Carfree Cities conference in Portland. They talk about the joys and challenges of living in Issaquah (and elsewhere) without a car. It makes for inspiring reading. I encourage you to click that link and read their story. They even give GAIT a very nice plug near the beginning of their talk!

Even if the thought of giving up your car sounds like torture, the same process of identifying your real transportation needs that Christine and Kent describe is just as valid if all you want to do is cut back a little on your driving (and with gas prices what they are, who doesn’t want to cut back a little on their driving?)