May 26, 2008

5/21/08 GAIT meeting notes

Last Wednesday nine of us (Becky, Paul, Ed, Erik, Bob, David, Barb, Karen, and Jeff) met in the quiet and comfortable clinic room at the back of REI.

I put our mission statement up on the wall:

GAIT’s mission is to promote and enable walking, bicycling and bus riding as practical and fun ways to get around Issaquah.

And we talked about ways our little shoestring non-profit can achieve that mission. Here’s the list of things we came up with:

  • Offer a class on how to use a bike for errands around town
  • Be visible walkers, bikers, and bus riders
  • Wear GAIT-branded leg bands when cycling
  • Start some organized rides on the lesser-known corridors in town
  • Take city council members and city staff on rides/walks
  • Identify problem areas to city
  • File Citizen Action Requests
  • Follow development projects through the process tracking ped/bike/bus impacts
  • Communicate to local businesses to promote ped/bike/bus to employees
  • Ped/bike/bus passports (get stamps at various Issaquah locations)
  • Work with Chamber of Commerce
  • Get Cascade Bike Club to do some of their bike training sessions here
  • Sponsor a Car-free/car-lite shopping day
  • Make GAIT stickers so members are visible
  • Map local ped/bike/bus amenities (trails, bike racks, toilets, benches, sidewalks, etc.)
  • Create bike rack standards and sources to help interested parties do them right
  • Promote bike racks to businesses
  • Tabling at community events
  • Work with police on bike enforcement
  • Ped/Bike/Bus tips in Issaquah Press
  • Work with service clubs
  • Lobby for completion of missing links (e.g., sunset->high point)
  • Colorized bike lanes/bike boxes
  • Bus routes up the hills on Squak, Cougar, and plateau
  • Designated “bike buddy” to help with trip planning
  • Trip partners to help new users on their first ped/bike/bus trips
  • Salmon Days Parade
  • Catchy slogans (e.g., $0.00/gallon)
  • Loaner bikes
  • Bike maintenance collective
  • Ped/bike accident tracking and investigations
  • Bike theft tracking, investigation, and stings
  • Park and walk promotion (combine trips)
  • Find out when the right time is to make sure ped/bike/bus amenities are included in development projects
  • Form a city website monitoring team to identify new developments
  • Alert membership at pivot points so they can contact council/staff
  • Monitor transportation committee
  • Monitor land use committee
  • Cooperative effort with bike shops (e.g., maintenance classes)
  • School bus bike racks
  • Sponsor school bike clubs
  • Get metro/sound transit to give us free ride tickets to give out
  • Highlight time/cost savings for ped/bike/bus
  • Help people over their first efforts at using ped/bike/bus modes
  • Help people with gear selection for ped/bike

Then in the last few minutes of the meeting we talked about how it would be valuable to have some measurements that we could track over time to show how ped/bike/bus utilization is improving. We came up with the following thoughts about measurement

  • Bike lane traffic monitors
  • Work with the Commute Trip Reduction program and help businesses make their targets
  • Do a survey
  • Check what Portland is measuring
  • Measure bike/ped/bus traffic at specific locations over time
  • Grab results from recent East Lake Sammamish Trail survey
  • Measure miles of trail/sidewalk/bike lanes
  • Measure number and distribution of benches, picnic tables, etc.
  • Find out why people are using ped/bike/bus modes
  • Measure time taken between different destinations

The folks at the meeting were predominantly bicycle fans so a lot of this stuff skews that way (though if you squint at it right, most of it applies to all three modes). If you have ideas about how GAIT can promote and/or enable walking and bus riding leave a comment.

Next month we’ll work on narrowing down the list into a set of goals and objectives.

May 8, 2008

May GAIT meeting

Our next meeting will be 7pm Wednesday May 21st in the clinic room at the REI store on Gilman Blvd by Safeway. The room is on the right at the back of the store.

Hope to see you there.

April 17, 2008

4/16/08 GAIT meeting notes

We had 10 people at the Issaquah Brewhouse on Wednesday night for our meeting: John, Lisa, Don, Barb, Bob, Mary, Erik, Jeff, Becky, and Bev.

We checked in with folks who agreed to do stuff at our last meeting:

  • Jeff reported on progress on this year’s Complete Streets projects. We talked about the proposal to restripe SE 43rd Way. There was some frustration that relatively little money is being allocated to bike lanes even though we’re happy that the plans include many new sidewalks.
  • Jeff didn’t have anything to report about making GAIT a formal non-profit.
  • Erik talked about what he’d learned about the status of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (ELST). In short, the county’s web site is far out of date, and he was waiting to hear back from county staff for an update.
  • Lisa and Jeff reported on the Kryptonite bike rack program. It seems to be an even better deal than we had thought with the company covering all of the logistics of placing racks once the locations have been identified. Other communities have had 20-30 racks placed. We brainstormed a few more locations and will be sending photos to Kryptonite so they can start their decision making process.
  • John reported sharing some preliminary artwork with Jeff who forgot to bring it to the meeting.

I reminded everyone that we’ll be staffing a table in the Pickering Barn at the Farmers’ Market on Saturday (snow or shine!) for the city’s Earth Day observance.

That was it for the “formal” part of the meeting and we gabbed about pedestrian right of way, bike racks in Corvalis (Oregon), Citizen Action Requests (the most traceable way to request that the city make a change), proposal of a periodic “Amble Around Issaquah” bike ride to make bikes more visible and show new riders how to get places, and lots of other stuff I didn’t write down.

The Brewhouse was jumping so we were again having trouble hearing each other. I’ll try to find a more inviting location for next month’s meeting.

March 20, 2008

3/19/08 meeting notes

10 people (Jeff, Mr. B, Julie, John, Lisa, Pat, Becky, Erik, Karen, and Barb) made it to our meeting tonight at the Issaquah Brewhouse. Meeting in the banquet room was much more conducive to actual conversation.

  • Kryptonite rack program is on hold until the coordinator gets back in the office after the 21st. Lisa agreed to be the lead for this project going forward.
  • Talked about the city’s plans for Complete Streets (CS) improvements for this year. Jeff is going to draft a letter to the Transportation Committee CCing the council with our recommendations. Jeff will also provide a list of key points so the people of GAIT can write their own letters. Jeff will post that here on the blog and email the membership. Jeff will also try not to talk about himself in the third person so much. Barb also passed around a copy of the list of sidewalk projects planned for next year’s CS improvements.
  • We talked about other opportunities for leadership in GAIT.
    • Jeff and Barb will be working on formalizing GAIT’s organization and seeking 501(c)(3) status.
    • We talked about having a Transportation Committee committee to ensure that GAIT is always represented at the city council’s transportation committee meetings. There was broad support for this idea. Then we were thinking that those meetings were held at 4pm and support evaporated. Turns out the meetings are actually at 5pm. I don’t know if that helps or not. In any event, Jeff will appeal to the full membership for folks with schedules that can accommodate that time.
    • Project monitoring is another volunteer opportunity. John signed on to make an expedition to City Hall NW to identify current transportation projects that we should keep an eye on. Erik agreed to be the monitor for the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
    • John is also working on a visual identity for GAIT in his copious free time.
  • Barb gave us a crash course in interacting with City Hall. I think I’ll pull that out to its own post.
  • This concluded the formal portion of the meeting. Discussion followed on topics including
    • Certain city council members wondering why they’re not on the GAIT mailing list (Jeff took action to offer all council members opportunity to join GAIT)
    • Speculation about the promotional opportunities inherent in the presence of four bike shops in town.
    • Announcement that GAIT will have a table at the city’s Earth Day event on April 19th at the Pickering Barn during the farmer’s market.
    • Ideas for other stuff we can do like improving speed limit enforcement on Front Street in the many times when it’s not gridlocked, adding crosswalks on Gilman, getting some flashing crosswalk signals installed, co-hosting a transportation forum with other area stakeholders, having a group in the Salmon Days Parade, installing a judging stand by the train track crossing on Front Street to score crashing cyclists, starting an Issaquah critical mass ride, starting a Fremont-style nude bicycling movement. We may have been having a little too much fun there at the end.

March 17, 2008

Next meeting

The next GAIT meeting is this Wednesday 3/19 at 8pm at the Issaquah Brewhouse. We’ll be in the banquet room to the right as you go straight past the bar from the main entrance. Should be quieter in there than the main room where we met last time.

We’ll be talking about the Kryptonite bike rack program and about the city’s plans for implementing Complete Streets.

Wednesday is also the date of an open house for the ongoing Central Issaquah Subarea planning process. That’s at the Pickering Barn from 4pm until 8pm. There’s no formal presentation, so stop by whenever you can and leave written comments. Be sure to mention you’re a member of GAIT if your comments are mobility related.

See you Wednesday!

February 21, 2008

GAIT lives!

Tonight GAIT had its first meeting. Ten of us sat at a table at the Issaquah Brewhouse and talked about bicycle and pedestrian issues in Issaquah. Rob, Nina, Barb, Karen, David, Kent, Erik, Karen, Becky, and me.

I have to thank Kent for giving us the kick needed to have a meeting when he forwarded some info about a program from the Kryptonite Bike Lock company to place free bike racks. We spent a fair amount of time brainstorming where we might like to see such racks. Here are the places mentioned:

  • City Hall South
  • City Hall North
  • Issaquah Medical Center (on Gilman by the post office)
  • Gilman Station near the end of the East Lake Sammamish Trail
  • Bank of America on Front Street
  • Mills Music
  • Memorial Field
  • Poo Poo Base
  • Skate Park
  • Community Center
  • Target
  • Caffe Ladro in the Highlands
  • Safeway
  • REI
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Pickering Barn
  • Lake Sammamish State Park

Some of these may already have sufficient racks in place. We thought we’d prioritized public locations ahead of private businesses thinking we might be able to lobby businesses into installing racks on their own. There are a lot of unknowns about the program so next steps here are to refine the list and get some pictures taken of where we’d like to place racks, and then to contact Kryptonite to see what they’re willing to do.

Beyond the bike rack program a lot of ideas flew across the table. I’ll try to get some pages here on the website to capture some of that over the next few days. There were also some war stories told about various organizations, but you’ll have to come to a meeting if you want to hear any of those.

It was exciting to see so many interested people there. Suddenly I have no qualms about referring to GAIT as a “group” and using the word “we” when talking about it. That alone is a big step forward. Thanks, everyone!