Also: New West Seattle bike advocacy effort, Cascade Bicycle Club on the broader bicyclistic future of Seattle and more!

This Thursday, we welcome our friends at Cascade Bicycle Club to our Brown Bag Lunch at GGLO–Cascade will be providing an overview of the Bicycle Master Plan Update process. We meet at noon at GGLO’s Space at the Steps (1301 1st Avenue, 1/4 of the way down Harbor Steps)-bring your lunch and your insightful questions!

There is a lot of action and interest in bicycling as a solution to congestion, economic development and environmental challenges, both here at home and around the country.

Speaking of the Bicycle Master Plan; also Thursday, a new advocacy group is busy organizing their first outreach event for West Seattleites who feel like the peninsula is behind the rest of the city in safe, continuous bike routes. The fledgling group of a dozen hopes to rally Southwest residents behind the alternative transportation needs of their neighborhood throughout the plan update process.

So how are we doing as a city that cycles? To begin to answer this question, Cascade recently partnered on the creation and installation of an automated bike counter. Installed within the last week, this will give transportation planners and advocates alike a better handle on real bicycling mode share in one main corridor.

Meanwhile, The Atlantic Cities has a post with the surprising assertion that “transportation engineers have long… counter-intuitively argued that you’re actually better off learning to ride alongside cars than having your own bike lane.” Readers of this blog are likely to be un-surprised, however, to learn what research can now prove: “A major city street with parked cars and no bike lanes is just about the most dangerous place you could ride a bike…”

…Your chance of injury drops by about 50 percent, relative to that major city street, when riding on a similar road with a bike lane and no parked cars. The same improvement occurs on bike paths and local streets with designated bike routes. And protected bike lanes – with actual barriers separating cyclists from traffic – really make a difference. The risk of injury drops for riders there by 90 percent…

As for the economy, which continues to be a focal point for all of us as campaigns hurtle towards election day, Sustainable Cities Collective has nine reasons why cyclists and infrastructure spur organic growth.

How do you see rethinking our car-dependant, spread-out, North American development legacy changing how we live and get around in Seattle? Can everyone, from an 8-year-old child to her 80-year-old grandmother, one day have the freedom to safely bike to get wherever they need to go? Join us Thursday at noon at GGLO as we explore a two-wheel path to that vision.

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For Nate it was a summer in New York City that sparked a passion for urban planning, livability, development and transportation issues. He has worked for housing and health care non-profits, mortgage and commercial real estate companies, hospitality and aviation brands as well as transit lines and other government agencies. Nate is a Great City board member.

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