Ride n' Rally May 18 to Say Seattle's Basic Bike Network is Long Overdue

This Bike Everywhere Day let’s remind city leaders that people who bike in Seattle – or want to – can’t wait for the Basic Bike Network

Last Bike Everywhere Day, City Hall leaders gathered to endorse the Basic Bike Network and commit to building it by 2019. Twelve months on, we’re at the ostensible midpoint to reaching that vision: a basic network of protected bike lanes that will connect downtown from Dearborn to Westlake and many points in between.

There’s still a long way to go.

While progress has been made on a few discrete segments of the network, a single connected bike route through downtown – from Dearborn to Westlake – still eludes us. And with the delay of 4th Avenue until 2021, announced last month, it feels like progress is stalling.

That’s why it’s time to let city hall leaders know the Basic Bike Network is more important than ever.

Let’s be real: right now biking downtown isn’t always fun. Between abruptly ending bike lanes that drop people biking into congested roadways, and confusing construction zones that create unpredictable traffic movements, it’s mostly a hair-raising ride. We bike to and through downtown out of need, not comfort.

Still, every single day, thousands of people traverse downtown streets by bike. Imagine how many more people would ride if it were more than a white-knuckle ride. On any given day downtown, you’ll see dramatically fewer women than men in Seattle bike lanes… in large part because Seattle lacks the safe places to bike that often dissuade women from riding.

Other cities have made the commitment to building bike networks, and stayed the course. They’ve reaped the results predicted for Seattle too – of increases in bike ridership (more than 1 in 10 downtown trips in Vancouver is now made by bike) and gender diversity (women take 39% of bike trips).

We need to remind city leaders these benefits are possible in Seattle too, and the investment in a Basic Bike Network is necessary. 

See you at the Bike Everywhere Day Rally – Join one of several neighborhood rides to get there. Rides are leaving from the Beacon Hill, West Seattle, Columbia City, Fremont and Ravenna neighborhoods, timed to arrive at City Hall for the rally. Join a ride today!

Vicky Clarke's picture
Vicky Clarke