Choose Your Way Bellevue Blog

Choose Your Way Bellevue had another fantastic month of May celebrating all things bicycle.  In this post we’ll look back on some of the things going on around town that, if missed, you should get on your calendar for next year!Pizza Party

Even before the month got started, the City of Bellevue hosted a “Basics of Urban Cycling” class and pizza lunch in late April.  The Cascade Bicycle Club instructor-led class covered the basics of gear selection, route planning, and riding and safety tips.

 

Challenge Logo

Then it was off to the races—quite literally, as the Washington Bikes Bike Everywhere Challenge kicked off state wide to get as many people riding as much as possible during the month of May.  At last count there were close to 10,000 participants who rode a cumulative total of more than 1.7 million miles.  That distance is almost 70 times around the circumference of the earth—wow!

Bike Bash

Next up was the 2018 Eastside Bike Bash at REI’s new Bellevue store on May 1.  The event served as the Eastside Captain’s Packet Pickup for the Washington Bikes Bike Everywhere Challenge and as a general “Yay for bike riders” kickoff celebration of the month of May.  Our friends from Bellevue Wellness, Boys and Girls Club – Wheel Lab, Cascade Bicycle Club, City of Bellevue Planning and Parks Departments, Eastside Rail Corridor, Greater Redmond TMA, Kirkland Green Trip, KIND Bar, Smashmallow and Sound Transit all came out to help us have a good time.

Eagle eyed readers will spot local elected officials King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci and City of Bellevue Deputy Mayor Lynne Robinson in photos on our Choose Your Way Bellevue Facebook page!  (And yes, those are gourmet s’mores being roasted over a REI fire pit, using KIND bars, Theo chocolate and Smashmallows.  One word: YUM.)

Proclamation

But it doesn’t stop there.  Did you know that May was officially proclaimed “Bike Everywhere Month” in the City of Bellevue?  It’s true! We’ve got the signed document from the mayor.  Check out the full text of proclamation online or watch Councilmember Jared Nieuwenhuis read it aloud at the May 14th City Council Extended Study Session meeting.  (Click on item 2c—the bike part starts around the 12:30 mark in the video.) CYWB even gets a “shout out” by name from City Council.  And special thanks to Cascade Bicycle Club and Transportation Department Assistant Director Ron Kessack for their remarks!

Transit Center BED

Then it was onto the main event of the month: Bike Everywhere Day.  The day we were waiting for in eager anticipation.  The rain held off and people came out in droves!  Choose Your Way Bellevue hosted Celebration Stations at the Bellevue Transit Center and at the I-90 Trail in Enatai and were among more than 130 stations state wide. Our friends from the City of Bellevue Planning Department, City of Bellevue Police, FlyWheel Sports, Gregg’s Cycles, REI, Sound Transit and VeloFix all came out to get in on the action.  Special thanks to Sound Transit for helping provide the space and thanks for KIND Bar and Starbucks for providing snacky goodness!

You can catch up on some of the photos from the day on our Facebook page. We also had some friends at the SR 520 Trail hosting a station for many Bellevue and Eastside riders.  That’s the same location as the opening day event we helped put on back in December.

24th Street

Speaking of the SR 520 Trail, now people on bicycles can ride on bicycle facilities from Redmond all the way to Seattle using a combination of bike lanes and off-street trails.  As part of the City of Bellevue Transportation Levy, buffered bike lanes have been added to NE 24th Street from the SR 520 Trail to Northup Way, including green paint at conflict points.  This truly brings Bellevue up to speed with up-to-date amenities.

Whew–that was a lot!  So now that May is over, what’s on the horizon?  We’re glad you asked:

  • The commuting fun doesn’t stop. June is Ride Transit Month. Take the pledge to show your support for public transportation and you could win great prizes. Maybe you could even take your bike with you?
  • June 9th is the City of Bellevue Parks Department’s Lake to Lake Bike Ride. Explore Bellevue’s hidden treasures by bike—bring the family, rain or shine, to a social, non-competitive riding adventure with a flat nine-mile loop or a more challenging (and hilly) 22-mile route. Learn more and register here!  Choose Your Way Bellevue with be at the finish line, so stop by our tent and say Hi!
  • Bikeshare may be coming to Bellevue soon. The city has approved a permitting process to allow private companies to operate dockless bikeshare systems in Bellevue.  Many cities already have bikeshare programs, but there are a few unique features that will set Bellevue apart:  The system will be dockless; all bikes in the system will be “e-assist” and have an electric motor/battery to help flatten the hills; and there will be designated “bike hub” parking areas to help maintain orderly public spaces.  For more information on the bikeshare pilot check out this flyer.
  • In facilities news, the city is completing the first bikeway through the heart of Downtown as a demonstration project this July. This will provide a safer and more comfortable route for people to bike north-south in Bellevue’s most bustling neighborhood. It will include bike lanes in either direction of 108th Ave NE, from Main Street to NE 12th Learn more about the project on the City of Bellevue website. And keep your eyes on Choose Your Way Bellevue Facebook and Twitter for information on a ribbon cutting and grand opening event!

So that’s the run-down on everything bike-related that’s been going on in the month of May.  See you in the bike lanes!

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Tim

 

Friday, June 1st, 2018 11:10 AM | by geri | Add a Comment

Ride Transit Pledge

June is Ride Transit Month in Washington State—a time to celebrate transit riders, showcase the benefits of riding transit, and encourage people who don’t normally ride to give it a try. Transit agencies, Transportation Management Associations, transportation advocates, and employers across the state partner together to celebrate transit riders with events, prizes, and encouragement.

Ride Transit Day is the flagship event on June 7th and transit partners across the region host celebration stations near transit stops to show rider appreciation. Look for a Celebration Station at the Bellevue Transit Center on the afternoon of June 7th.

Stations will provide resources for new riders and a pledge card that enters riders in prize giveaways. Riders can also enter to win prizes all month long if they log their trips on RideshareOnline, take the pledge, complete weekly actions, and/ or use the #RideTransit hashtag to share their transit stories.

Whether you’re a regular rider or new to transit, thank you for helping Washington State lead the nation. Now it’s time to celebrate YOU, our community of transit riders! Just choose your favorite mode—bus, light rail, train, ferry, vanpool, or water taxi—and enjoy the ride.

 

Sign up!  www.RideTransitMonth.org

 

Need some convincing? The benefits of transit are already well known, but here’s a refresher:

Reducing Congestion
One full bus carries the same number of people as 60+ cars. Transit’s impact on reducing congestion has also resulted in significant savings for drivers and their communities. Public transit saves Americans 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually!

Savings in Your Pocket
Individuals who switch from driving to taking public transit can save, on average almost $9,986 a year, and up to $828 a month.

Happier & Healthier
Public transportation tends to increase physical activity, since most public transit trips involve walking links and transit systems often provide amenities such as bike racks on buses and lockers at stations.

Although Americans only walk an average of about 6 daily minutes overall, public transit users spend a median of 19 daily minutes walking, which nearly achieves the target of 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity.

A Cleaner Planet!
Transit is reducing energy consumption and harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions that damage the environment.

See you on the bus!

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, June 1st, 2018 6:00 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Did you know that you can have a chance to earn awesome rewards just by logging your commute? If you sign up with Choose Your Way Bellevue, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 REI gift card just by participating and logging your non-drive-alone commute at least 8 times a month.

Take a page out of Matt’s book; Matt, our May Mover of the Month, commutes regularly from Issaquah to Bellevue by bus. By choosing to commute by bus, Matt has saved thousands per year!

Here is Matt’s story:

Mat

We hope Matt took the bus to get the Angkor Wat!

 

What is your green commute (what is your mode and where are you coming from/going to)?

“My wife and I recently moved from Bellevue to Issaquah. Without knowing it, we chose an apartment within a block of a bus stop that’s turned out to be extremely convenient. I walk out my door in the morning and walk 1 block to the bus stop. I catch the Sound Transit 554 to Eastgate Park & Ride where I transfer to either the 240 or 271 to Downtown Bellevue. My route home in the evenings is the exact reverse.“

Why do you choose to commute this way?

“My commuting by bus has allowed us to downsize to a one car household. My company pays for my monthly bus pass so we save thousands per year on insurance, gas, parking, registration, and maintenance on a second car. I also don’t have the headache of having to fight traffic before I’ve had coffee in the morning!”

What is something unexpected you’ve discovered since you began commuting via this mode?

“One interesting thing that I’ve learned to do since beginning to bus commute is read on the bus. I used to get queasy if I tried to read in a car or on the bus. But, over time, I’ve gotten over it and read for pretty much my entire commute.”

Tell us a bit about yourself – what are some of your hobbies? Do you have any holiday plans?

“I’m a volunteer trail steward for 6 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail east of the Greenwater area. So a lot of my holiday this summer will be days spent doing trail maintenance in the woods. My wife and I are also planning a trip to the Coeur d’Alene area later this summer. I enjoy hiking in the Issaquah Alps, camping, reading, and trying out new hobbies. “

A huge thank you to Matt for sharing his commute with us! We hope his experience can serve as inspiration for you to try out your own alternative mode of transit – why not start with the bus! June is Ride Transit Month, and Choose Your Way Bellevue provides an ORCA card to certain new transit users through our Try Transit program.

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month.

Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Emma

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018 9:25 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Bike Everywhere Month in Bellevue

Get ready, because good weather is in the air and that means that Bike Everywhere Month is right around the corner! Here are a few exciting opportunities the City of Bellevue is offering to get you out on two wheels during the month of May:

Before we even get to May, the City of Bellevue is hosting a “Basics of Urban Cycling” class on Wednesday, April 25th at noon at City Hall. The class will cover planning your bike route, riding safely and comfortably, rules of the road, clothing, gear, and is led by a Cascade Bicycle Club instructor.  Free pizza will be provided—RSVP required here!

And to officially kick off Bike Month, including the Bike Everywhere Challenge, Choose Your Bellevue is hosting the 2018 Eastside Bike Bash at REI-Bellevue with Cascade Bicycle Club and all our friends on May 1 from 4pm-7pm.  Learn about exciting bike projects coming to the Eastside and snack on goodies from KIND Bar and fresh roasted s’mores from REI.  We’ll have friends and partners from all over the Eastside with fun giveaways and coupons—check out the details here.

And don’t forget that May 18th is Bike Everywhere Day!  Find your nearest Celebration Station!

Additional Resources:

 -Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Friday, April 20th, 2018 9:12 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

Each month we choose a trip-logger at random to share their commute story and receive a $100 REI gift card to keep up the momentum on their non-drive-alone commute. This month’s winner is Kim B. who takes the bus from Kent to Bellevue when she goes into work, but also telecommutes at least once a week (taking no trip also counts as a non-drive-alone trip!). Here’s her story:

“I have been commuting by bus since 2003 and just in the last couple of years have added working from home.  I bus to work because traffic is awful, I can multitask while on the bus and it saves me money.  My work pays for my bus pass, so it is a great solution for me.  Working from home has been a blessing as well.

I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and my pets.  We spend time with our 11-year-old golden retriever by taking her to the ocean, lakes and the mountains to play in the snow.  We also have two kitties that we adopted and keep us busy.  We also like to travel a few times a year to tropical destinations and more recently, trying to see all 50 states.

I recommend taking the bus to work for anyone doing the I-405 commute.  It saves wear and tear on your vehicle, money for gas and also less chance of an accident in your car.”

Thanks, Kim!

Would you like to be the Choose Your Way Bellevue Mover of the Month? Log at least eight non-drive-alone trips on your calendar and you’ll automatically be entered into the drawing for next month.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staff

Monday, April 9th, 2018 12:49 PM | by admin | Add a Comment

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