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Seattle bicycling: Looking ahead for 2014

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The preceding article looked back at 2013 outlining the primary accomplishments for bicycling in Seattle. This article will look ahead for this year of 2014. However, before barreling ahead, here’s a few more details about the year we’re leaving behind.

Cascade Bicycle Club (CBC) Communication Director Anne-Marije Rook summed up her comments about 2013 making two points. Though she believes 2013 was “overall a pretty good year for bicycling in Seattle,” she expressed concerns about safety of cyclists. She added, “... crashes that result in fatalities and injuries affect us deeply especially when safer roads could have prevented them.”

Not to be ignored is the conflict that arose over the Westlake cycle track. The plan would construct a protected bicycle facility from just south of the Fremont Bridge to Lake Union Park.

In a Crosscut article, January 13, 2014, Eric Scigliano summed up the conflict stating, “Westlake businesses hold the city's bike plan hostage.” Scigliano then describes the conflict in simple terms, "Fears of speeding bikes and lost parking spaces, plus resentment of past SDOT practices, fuel a parking-lot rebellion.” CBC’s Rook identified it as one of the regrets of 2013, saying, “... it’s disappointing to see challenges to the Bicycle Master Plan that delay safety improvements in neighborhoods across the city.” Her statement addresses the issue that opponents of the Westlake cycle track have delayed not just completion of that project, but the entire Bicycle Master Plan that was presented to the City Council in December. CBC Policy Director Thomas Goldstein was optimistic for resolution when interviewed for this article. He was also quoted in the Crosscut article which can be accessed by this link: http://crosscut.com/2014/01/09/transportation/118235/boats-vs-bikes-westlake-businesses-hold-citys-bike/. For additional information, Tom Fucoloro discusses the conflict in his Seattle Bike Blog.

Goldstein duly noted that a review of 2013 would not be complete without giving shout-outs to these stars:

As we leave 2013 behind, what are the wishes for 2014? Anne-Marije Rook as Cascade’s Communications Director says, “Our wish for 2014 is zero cyclist fatalities on our streets, 100% design of downtown protected bike lanes, forward progress on the Burke-Gilman Missing Link, adoption of the Bicycle Master Plan, successfully working to get a bike facility on the portage bay portion of the 520 bridge, and improved bike/ped crossings in Montlake.”

So, let’s clink our glasses once again, as we embrace 2014. May cycle tracks come to fruition and the Burke-Gilman Trail move forward as the treasure that it is, as recognized by its Hall-of-Fame designation.

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