E Bikes a transportation solution

As Seattle evolves as a world class bicycle city people are unable to use safety as an excuse not to ride two wheel transportation. In Seattle however there is another excuse that is very commonly referred to is THE HILLS!
Well, use that excuse no more. As electric bikes evolve into real everyday transportation the hills have gotten a lot easier. You may, in fact, find yourself passing up those racer bike riders with their more expensive bikes and clothing.
As stated above, electric bikes are in a period of evolution. The modern electric bicycle has been available to the public for about ten years. During that time that electric systems have gone from barely helpful 24 volt, 250 watt systems to very helpful 52 volt, 1700 watt systems. The electric bicycle like the standard bicycle has the same freedom of regulations. The electric bike power is subject to regulations however starting with the wattage maximum at 1,000 watts and speeds unassisted by the motor at 20 mph.

E Bike

Because of the Seattle hills an E Bike that is to be used as a car replacement needs to have sufficient wattage to make the system handle the hills and not overwork, leading to early wear. This class of electric bike is class 3 model and will have a minimum of 48 volts with 350 watts. The more watts you have the less the system has to work to get up our hills.

The need for power will very with the size of the rider or the E Bikes cargo loads. These two factors also determine the range of the bike per each charge. The battery is the heart of the system and is rated on voltage and amp hours. The more amp hours the more range you will have. All the systems have multiple choices of power outputs. The higher the power selection the more power you will have but the range will come down as well.

The price range on Electric Bicycles is from 2,000 to 5,000 dollars or the price of a used car that needs a lot of expensive work. With the E Bike however you will get exercise, make it to your destination refreshed and be able to get around any congestion. Next time you are stuck in traffic remember that.

West Duwamish Trail To Be Improved Through North End of South Park

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 10.54.59 amImproving the West Duwamish Trail will cause closures of Fifth Avenue S and S Portland Street in South Park for a period of several days beginning Monday, October 20. The street improvements will include paving and drainage.

The Seattle Department of Transportation will close the intersection of Fifth Avenue S and S Portland Street in the South Park neighborhood to vehicular traffic starting Monday, Oct. 20 for approximately two to three days.

Traffic on Fifth Avenue South between South Holden and South Kenyon streets will be restricted to local access 24 hours per day.  A detour route using Seventh Avenue South will be available.

SDOT is constructing an extension to the West Duwamish Trail on the south side of S Portland Street from West Marginal Way S to Eighth Avenue S.  The project also includes installation of a new storm drainage system and new paving on S Portland Street.

Work on this project began in July and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, weather permitting.

 

Family-Friendly Bike Ride: Mini STP (Seattle to Portland) Wind Up @ GreenLife

Join your neighbors and family on Sunday, July 13, for the West Seattle STP bike ride.
You’ll bike wind up back at the West Seattle SummerFest GreenLife area.  Riders should assemble at 9:45 am to sign in for a 10:00 am ride start. Meet at Hamilton View Point Park, 1351 California Way SW – this is right at the end of California Avenue SW in the North Admiral neighborhood.

This family friendly ride is sponsored by West Seattle Bike Connections and West Seattle Spokespeople. Ride from Seattle to Portland and back in just two hours!

The ride is a 9.5 mile easy pace ride via low traffic streets from SW Seattle Street in the Admiral Neighborhood to SW Portland Street in the Fauntlee Crest Neighborhood.

Experienced, certified ride leader Stu Hennessey will keep the group together and ride at a social pace. No one left behind. Ride continues on from SW Portland to California and Alaska (the West Seattle Junction, that is) to join the West Seattle SummerFest and Greenlife. Social pace, families welcome, group stays together and no one gets left behind.

Free! No fee, no t-shirt, no medal, and no bagels with peanut butter, but we stop at a fabulous festival with street food vendors, live bands, arts and crafts! And we have stickers!

Helmets required. This is a Cascade Bicycle Club registered ride. Riders under 18 years of age must have a parental consent release form, riders under 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent and riders under 8 years must be on an assisted vehicle, trail-a-bike, cargo bike or in a bike trailer.
 
http://westseattlebikeconnections.org/2014/06/23/2014-west-seattle-stp-ride/

Help Kick Off Volunteer Weekend: May Day in Garden, DIY Bike Repair in High Gear

Get ready for a long and prosperous growing season. Start by building your soil. This week at COWS, (Community Orchard of West Seattle) we will be showing how to build rich and lasting soil beds using the lasagna garden method. The lasagna garden method is a layered approach to soil building using stuff you already have. This May Day edition of our usual Thursday Health and Harvest starts at 5:00 pm with the soil building class between 5 and 6:00 pm. 
The Community Orchard of West Seattle is located at the north end of the South Seattle College campus, 6000 16th Ave. S.W.  For more information, contact Stu at alkistu@hotmail.com, or visit the website  at www.fruitinwestseattle.org.

And, to continue through the weekend, DIY Bikes will be starting their non profit repair facility at the West Seattle Tool Library this Sunday May 4th from noon to 4:00 pm. This schedule will continue each Sunday through out the summer months.

DIY Bikes continues to teach anyone how to keep their bicycles running smooth and safe by using hands-on repair sessions. The tools, materials, facility and knowledge are all free. Major parts replacement for a particular bike may have a necessary pricing element,  and, as always donations are accepted.

Learn-Fix-Ride. See more at www.diybikes.org

DIY Bikes also will be doing bike repair and bike repair teaching at Alki Summer Streets, May 18th.

West Seattle Bike Connection Gets SWS Sustainable Champion of Year Award; Laura James, Tox-Ick Program, Awarded as SWS 2013 Volunteer of the Year

SWS-Picnic-Shelter-#3Sustainable West Seattle yesterday awarded our annual Sustainable Champion of the Year award to the West Seattle Bike Connection.  The SWS Sustainable Champion award recognizes the efforts of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to a sustainable community and a sustainable planet during the previous year.  The award is made at the annual Sustainable West Seattle picnic, held for the past three years at Shelter #3 in Lincoln Park.

Sustainable West Seattle also introduced a new award at yesterday’s picnic, the Volunteer of the Year award, which was presented to Laura James, the Puget Sound videographer  whose efforts to document the effects of stormwater overflow were incorporated into the Tox-Ick stormwater and pollution runoff prevention program.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection.

R->L Aili LePard, Al Jackson, Kathy Dunn, Bob Winship, all members of West Seattle Bike Connection, and Kimberly Leeper, president of Sustainable West Seattle.

West Seattle Bike Connection’s award was based on the group’s efforts during 2013 to raise bicycle safety awareness throughout West Seattle by staging several “bike by” events where they handed out information and took comments.  The group has been instrumental in working with the city’s Bicycle Master Plan group and with SWS’s existing West Seattle Spokespeople to research, identify, and help develop greenways here in West Seattle.  The West Seattle Bike Connection has also partnered with West Seattle Spokespeople and Cascade Bicycle Club to co-host a series of rides here in West Seattle and across the Duwamish.  They also participated and helped with education at this year’s West Seattle SummerFest GreenLife exposition.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James (right) holding Sustainable West Seattle Volunteer of the Year award with SWS Kimberly Leeper looking on.

Laura James was honored for volunteerism because of the extraordinary efforts she’s brought to the Tox-Ick program following it’s creation two years ago.  Laura stepped in after Tox-Ick’s original director, Cate White (also last year’s Sustainable Champion of the Year awardee), relocated to the Bay Area to pursue her career in the non-profit world.  Laura has been working with companies and to provide lunchtime education with videos she’s shot underwater and has more recently expanded this outreach program to include small businesses and their patrons.

Saturday Join SWS & CoolMom in a “Kidical Mass” at the West Seattle Grand Parade

HiYuYou and an escorted youngster can participate in West Seattle’s most famous parade this Saturday, July 20.

Escort your youngster on their decorated bicycle and ride with the awesome “Trike-ceratops” down California Avenue during West Seattle’s famous Grand Parade.

Join Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom and the award-winning float as we celebrate youth and bikes.

Assemble at 10:00 am to 10:30 am along 44th Avenue SW, south of SW Lander St., in the Admiral neighborhood.

Join SWS Sunday To Help Fix, or Learn To Fix, Bikes Which Will Be Donated To Togo

broken bikeSustainable West Seattle is throwing a Pedals for People Party to accept donations of used bikes and repairing them at the West Seattle Tool Library on Sunday July 21st at noon. Bikes are donated for kids to ride to school in the West African country of Togo.

Join SWS to recycle and repair the bikes, which will be shipped to Togo through Alafia.com. Bikes for these children are crucial for them to get to school. Many children in rural areas walk 5-15 miles to school, making it impossible for them to have time to study. This is especially true for girls, who traditionally have more household chores than boys.

Meet at the West Seattle Tool Library at 12 noon on Sunday July 21st. Tools, work stations and expertise will be available. For more details contact alkistu@hotmail.com.

Join us and learn bicycle repair skills as we repair dozens of bikes for donation to rural Africa.  Bring a bike for repair or donation or just come to help fix bikes or to learn how to fix bikes. Bikes will go through alaffia.com to rural Togo.

Donated bicycles can also be brought to Alki Bike and Board in the Admiral District on California Avenue, two doors south of the Admiral intersection on the east side.

The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and is located in the rear of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on Delridge Way across from Delridge Park.  The Tool Library is accessible via the 125 and 120 and 50 King County Metro buses.

May Is Bike Month: Expand Your Commute Options; Contact SWS for Routes

BikeMonthLogoMay is Bike to Work month. Sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike to Work month is a call out to new and recreational riders to give bicycle commuting a try.

Most often, once a cyclist is properly exposed to the daily recreation of bicycle commuting they tend to stick with it. There are many great ways to get out of West Seattle during rush hour by bike that are far more efficient and fun than the West Seattle bridge by car.

  • If you work downtown consider using the West Seattle Water Taxi and be a tourist.
  • If you work to the south you can ride the Duwamish trail to Boeing as well as other work centers.
  • It is also Bike to School Month.

For more information on commuter routes in all directions you can contact SWS’s own bicycle resource person, Stu Hennessey from noon to 7:00 pm weekdays for route selections, 206-938-3322, or visit Stu at Alki Bike & Board’s Admiral location – 2606 California Ave. SW.

 

SDOT Needs Input-Bike Master Plan Updates, Interactive Map now Online

Bicycle Master Plan Update

Show us! Tell us!

The Seattle Department of Transportation has worked with many groups and citizens during the past several months as the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) was being updated.  They now want to hear from you and community groups, whether you and community members currently ride a bike or not and whether the updates and proposals meet neighborhood scrutiny.  Click here for an interactive map where you can see what the proposed improvements are.

 SDOT has posted draft materials online for review; and they want your feedback on:

  • Draft citywide bicycle network map -are there streets missing a bike facility? Are there streets where a bike facility should be removed or relocated?
  • Draft bicycle facility designation criteria-does it make sense?
  • Proposed policy framework-do you have comments on the goals, or other recommended changes?
  • Potential programs-which programs do you think will help us achieve the plan goals?

You can find all of the materials and an interactive onlinemap, as well as the November public meeting presentation at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bikemaster_materials.htm

Please use the interactive map and comment sheet to provide SDOT and the Bicycle Master Plan team your input by December 17.  Email the comment sheet to bmpupdate@seattle.gov by Monday, December 17.

If you’d like SDOT to come speak to your community group feel free to email that request to the same email address – bmpupdate@seattle.gov.

SWS August Forum: Picnic on Beach @ Lincoln Park, Try Electric Bikes & Kayaks

August’s Sustainable West Seattle Community Forum will be our traditional pot-luck outdoor dinner barbecue at Lincoln Park Shelter #3 on Monday August 20. Join us starting at 5:00 pm and lasting through sun down.

Join us as we set up the grill and provide the condiments. Please bring your favorite summertime dish and your own cup, utensils and plates. Shelter 3 is on the beach at the south end of Lincoln Park. Sustainable West Seattle turns 5 years old this year, so be on the lookout for some green cake!

Adding to the fun, Alki Bike and Board and Alki Kayak Tours will be provide a few electric bikes, paddle boards and kayaks for you to take a spin.

SWS will also use the occasion to recognize our Sustainable Hero of the Year. Join us for some fun in the sun. Check the West Seattle Herald’s story on last year’s Hero and the West Seattle Blog’s report on last year’s Hero.

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