biking | KUOW News and Information

biking

In addition to helmets. proper signaling and the use of front and rear lights are required for bikers in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/iurikothe

It's illegal to ride a bike without wearing a helmet in Seattle and greater King County.

Since three bike sharing companies launched in the city, however, there's been a lot of talk about how that law is enforced.

The city of Seattle is allowing Limebike, Spin and Ofo bike-share companies to operate under a six month pilot program.
Courtesy of LimeBike and Spin

First orange and green bikes, and now yellow bikes are for rent in Seattle. This month marked the U.S. debut for China-based bike share Ofo.


President Donald Trump has been trying to unravel a lot of President Barack Obama’s legacy. That now includes dismantling a small part of Washington, DC's growing bike-sharing program. A bicycle dock was placed inside the White House grounds in 2010, but the Trump administration had it removed last week

The city of Seattle is allowing Limebike, Spin and Ofo bike-share companies to operate under a six month pilot program.
Courtesy of LimeBike and Spin

Bill Radke speaks with Gabriel Scheer, director of strategic development for LimeBike, and Derrick Ko, co-founder and CEO of Spin. These two bike share companies launched in Seattle this week.

Up until now, when we talk about Seattle and bike share, we talk about it failing. We already tried that and it didn't work.

bikes in Seattle
Flickr Photo/papahazama

When bikes are stolen, there’s no easy systematic way of keeping track. If they are found, returning them to the owner can be difficult.

Just ask ­­­­Christopher Schumaker, a bicycle deliveryman.


Courtesy of Seattle Bike Blog/Tom Fucoloro

Bill Radke speaks with founder of the Seattle Bike Blog Tom Fucoloro about a new stationless bike share system that could be could be coming to Seattle this summer. Fucoloro test rode a bike from bluegogo and explains how a new system like this would work. 

Flickr Photo/Jean-Pierre Chamberland (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks with Mark Hallenbeck about transportation in the Seattle region. Hallenbeck is the director of the Washington State Transportation Center at the University of Washington. 

Scroll down to see what listeners had to say during the show. Or join the discussion on KUOW's Facebook page

Ryan Packer, senior editor at The Urbanist, and daily Pronto commuter checks in his bike at the end of his last morning ride to work.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

City crews are loading up those lime green bikes you may have seen people riding around. The bikes were part of Pronto, Seattle’s short-lived bikeshare program. The city has put the brakes on the system because not enough people were actually riding the bikes.

At its peak, the Pronto system had 54 stations throughout Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The lime green bikes stationed throughout Seattle will be gone by next week as the Pronto bike share program shuts down.

But it may not be the final chapter.

FLICKR PHOTO/LUKE MCGUFF (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7b6Etm

The so-called "missing link" in the Burke-Gilman trail is a step closer to being finished. Seattle officials say they've reached a new agreement with businesses in Ballard that have long opposed the project, in a dispute that has spanned more than two decades.

R
Bob Strong/Reuters 

The city of Copenhagen is known as a place where bicycles rule. 

But now they really rule.

The capital of Denmark reached a milestone last month: More people now ride their bikes downtown than drive. This didn't happen by magic or from public goodwill. The process could actually be a model for other cities to follow, as traffic and population increase.

Three days after its launch, BIKETOWN, Portland's new bike share program sponsored by Nike, had 1,381 people sign up for annual memberships and 2,237 people buy a day pass or single ride users.

Both of these numbers have exceeded expectations for the first few days of the program, said Dani Simons, director of communications and external affairs for Motivate, BIKETOWN's operating company.

A pep talk from a recovering 'lazy' teen

Jun 20, 2016
Diana Nguyen used to be lazy. Then she got on a bike.
KUOW Photo/Melissa Takai

Meet Diana Nguyen. She's 17-years-old, she's a proud Asian-American, and she can't go anywhere without her best friend, Gertrude. Gertrude is the name of her bike.

Former Mayor Mike McGinn, a biker booster, shakes hands with a campaign volunteer.
Flickr Photo/Luke McGuff (CC BY-ND 2.0) http://bit.ly/1V2tzdc

If you have biked the Burke-Gilman Trail and suddenly found yourself lost on Ballard streets, you've experienced the ‘missing link’ on the trail.

A new study conducted in Portland neighborhoods confirms that the more traffic there is on a street, the more air pollution cyclists are breathing.

A number of studies have measured air quality along bike routes, but Alex Bigazzi wanted to see how much pollution got into cyclists’ lungs.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about an ethics investigation into Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly's involvement in the Pronto bike-share system. 

Winter is usually when cyclists store away their mountain bikes and switch to skis or snowboards. But that’s changing, now that fat bikes have rolled onto the scene.

Fat bikes are the monster trucks of the cycling world. With tires about twice as wide as a regular mountain bike’s, fat bikes provide more traction so they can travel over almost any surface. They bounce over hard-crusted snow and plow through drifts of soft powder.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

UPDATE 3/3/2016 7:05 PM: When the idea was before a City Council committee meeting this week, council members voted verbally, and the committee chairman, Mike O'Brien, misheard one vote and said the final count showed a tie.

Councilmember Debora Juarez was recorded as being against the $1.4 million plan. She actually voted in favor of it but was misheard by O'Brien.

Christie True, who runs the King County parks department,  stands with county executive Dow Constantine before the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue. A new proposal would put a bike and pedestrian trail atop the historic trestle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County officials rolled out plans Monday for a bike trail that would run from Woodinville to Renton.

The 16-mile trail would replace parts of an abandoned rail line on the Eastside.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

The City of Seattle may take over the Pronto Bike sharing program. Officials are trying to decide now whether the program is a good thing, or a lemon.

We love them for their brains most, but Knute Berger, Bill Radke, Bill Finkbeiner and Erica C. Barnett are also a good-looking panel.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

It worked for Canada’s new prime minister: How much do a politician’s looks matter? Also, why is our state school superintendent leaving now, of all times? And do you want to live in a world where bicyclists can roll through stop signs but drivers are ticketed by robots?

Bill Radke debates the week’s news with Crosscut’s Knute Berger, former GOP majority leader Bill Finkbeiner and Erica "C. is For Crank" Barnett.

stop sign seattle
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY NC)/http://bit.ly/1jZnp2G

David Hyde talks with cycling advocate Cynthia Gibson about the 'Idaho Stop,' a law that allows cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs. Gibson is executive director of the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance.

Biking Behind Bars: Female Inmates Battle Weight Gain

Oct 11, 2015

The gym at Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia is through the metal detector, two heavy doors and down the hall.

There's a basketball court like one you'd see at any high school, except there's a corrections officer on guard near the 3-point line.

Sixteen stationary bikes are set up in a half-circle in the corner. On bike No. 2, Lakiesha Montgomery, 32, from Philadelphia, is pedaling fast and singing along to the Nicki Minaj song "Fly."

"I didn't think I'd be able to keep up; I'm not the skinniest thing in the bunch," she says.

More Details Emerge On Portland's Bike Rental Program

Sep 16, 2015

The City of Portland unveiled more details Wednesday about its new bike rental proposal.

About 600 bikes will be rented for about $2.50 per half-hour. That’s cheaper than most of the 65 similar programs around the nation.

But the city hopes to make up the difference with annual memberships. Those will likely cost $10 to $15 a month.

Commissioner Nick Fish expects the program to do well.

“The big deciding point for me is family trips to other cities where this has been a huge success," he said.

More adults across the country are strapping on helmets and hopping on bikes to get to work. That's good news for people's hearts and waistlines, but it also means more visits to the emergency room.

Hospital admissions because of bike injuries more than doubled between 1998 and 2013, doctors reported Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. And the rise was the biggest with bikers ages 45 and over.

John Schults/Reuters

The Tour de France is going on right now in France, but the race isn't the only way biking is making news in the City of Light.

Paris is now allowing cyclists to treat stop signs and red lights as if they were yield signs.

I know what you're thinking: Don't cyclists everywhere do this already? Well, maybe, but it's not actually allowed by law in most places.

Here's a quick Q and A about the new law:

Wait, they're now just going to let cyclists run red lights?

A compromise plan to designate 275,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho got a much-anticipated hearing in the U.S. Senate Thursday.

A cyclist rolls down University Way Northeast in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Ross Reynolds speaks with Cathy Tuttle, executive director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, about what a "sharrow" is, how it helped knock Seattle off the top-10 list of most bikeable cities in America and why she thinks that's a very "healthy" change.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct sends cars streaming past Seattle's waterfront.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Visionaries conceive of a future most of us can’t imagine. And when it comes to transportation in one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., vision is crucial.

Beyond the annoyance factors we all face as we navigate our region, there are serious questions to address. How can we plan for a sustainable transit future? What is the impact of infrastructure spending, or the lack thereof? What national and international best practices can we look to? Will technology help solve our transportation problems? And how does the way we commute affect our health and happiness?

If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, this has no doubt happened to you: You stop at a red light controlled by a sensor in the pavement and you wait... and wait.

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