Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New bike lanes through South Lake Union

The city unveiled some new bike lanes today along 9th Avenue through South Lake Union. It's an alternate to Westlake, which keeps bikes off the trolley lines. I noticed the restriping preliminaries for the past couple of weeks, but only because I walk on foot down part of 9th when I'm walking to work from the bus. I don't know how many cyclists know about this, but I suspect not many. Anyway, there is some intriguing, somewhat confusing signage at the crosswalk of 9th and Denny - looks like some sort of alternative bike crossing signal has been installed, with a lot of bike striping.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I rode the bus Friday, because the weather service threatened snow. And sure enough, even as I took this picture of a cyclist riding by my bus stop Fridy afternoon, it started snowing. (Rather difficult to take a picture of snow wtih a cell-phone camera, I might add.)

Snow, in April?! In North Dakota, maybe, but not in Seattle. Enough with the erratic weather, already.

Light change slows us down

The city must have changed the way the traffic lights function at the intersection of Westlake and Dexter/Fremont, because this is the second time I've been trapped on the south side of Dexter while the Fremont Bridge is up. As you can see, I had a lot of company.

Earlier this year, when the Fremont drawbridge went up, you could hit the pedestrian crosswalk button and get a green light to go across even when all the traffic was stopped. In other words, you could cross to the safer side of the road and hang out on the wide sidewalk in front of the bridge while the bridge took its slow time going up and down.

But now, pedestrians/bikes on the south side of the intersection don't get a green light until well after the bridge has gone down and a full cycle of traffic has gone through the intersection. The result: a bunch of us cyclists piled up on the narrow, busy south side of the intersection, waiting for the light to change. Annoying.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slow start to a year's commute

The unusually chilly spring we're having is keeping me guessing. My goal is to ride twice a week now -- three times if possible -- and take the bus on other days. Meanwhile, I do an OK job fitting "errands by bike" rides in on the weekends.

My friend John wants to do the STP again, I can tell, but I've decided this year that I don't want to commit that many hours to bicycling. It's not that I don't love it, it's just that I want to grow a good vegetable garden this year and have enough energy left over for commuting and errands. Those seem like good planetary goals, and riding my bike 50 or 100 miles every weekend leaves little energy for other things. Maybe next year.

We ordered pizza the other night from a new Ballard location that makes all deliveries by bicycle! It was really good pizza, too. I think the place was called Snooze Junction. I didn't get a good look at the delivery guy's bike, as it was dark, but he had a heck of a headlight on it.