Archive for June, 2018

This post originally appeared on the Bellevue Downtown Association News Page.

Whether or not you’re a regular bike rider, you might have noticed some fresh paint on 108th Avenue NE. If you’re wondering what’s happening, look no further! Starting June 10, the City of Bellevue began installation of a “Demonstration Bikeway” along 108th Avenue NE. Read on if you’re interested in learning more about this project, and how it will enhance livability and mobility in Downtown Bellevue.

What is the Demonstration Bikeway?
Using temporary and low-cost treatments, the demonstration project provides a real-world opportunity to evaluate how bike lanes with enhanced separation from vehicle traffic function on 108th Avenue NE from Main Street to NE 12th Street. These new bike lanes through downtown will complete a continuous north-south route between the I-90 and SR-520 Trails.

The project is funded by the Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity and Congestion Levy, which was approved by voters in 2016. For more information about the levy visit: BellevueWA.gov/TransportationLevy.

When will it open?
Construction began June 10 and the project is expected to be finished in July. A celebration to mark the new bikeway is planned for Tuesday, July 31, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Bellevue Corporate Plaza (600 108th Avenue NE).

Construction in Progress:

Bike Lanes

What will this look like?
The City will be applying the following modern bikeway design concepts used in cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, BC: Curb & post dividers; Green pavement markings;  Planter box dividers; and, Shared lane markings.

Once the project is complete, curbside activities such as parking, passenger load/unload, and freight delivery will be modified. To ensure the corridor is as safe as possible for cyclists, parking enforcement will be monitoring curbside activity along 108th Avenue NE so that vehicles do not block the bike lanes. For more information about changes to parking, passenger load/unloading, and freight delivery see the Loading Zones Flyer.

Why “Demonstration?”
With this project’s demonstration approach, the City is able to design and build the project faster –“from planning to design to construction in one year.” During the course of the assessment period (approximately one year), data will be collected to evaluate how the project impacts travel for all street users, local businesses, and others in the community. If outcomes are favorable, City Council could approve more permanent upgrades in the future, including more robust bike lane separation, traffic signal modifications, durable pavement markings, and other changes to curbs and the streetscape. This demonstration project could help guide other downtown bicycle improvements.

Do I need to worry about more construction?
Construction has already started and will continue through early July. Work hours are 7 p.m. – 4 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. Because the work is taking place during the evening hours, major construction impacts and/or traffic delays are not expected. The work is dependent on dry weather conditions.

City of Bellevue Resources:

Click here for a full list of City resources.

-Choose Your Way Bellevue Staffer Emma

Friday, June 29th, 2018 11:27 AM | by Tim Kelley | Add a Comment

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 Tim Kelley | 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

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