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!
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.
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!
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.)
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!
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.
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