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Bike Tri-Cities recently sent a survey to candidates for our local federal and state legislative office. The survey was meant to help educate the general public impartially and on a nonpartisan basis about their policies regarding a variety of bicycles and pedestrian related topics. . As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Bike Tri-Cities does not endorse or take positions on any candidate. All views were solicited. We did ask that answers be capped at a 100-word limit for each question.
The cover letter signed by Hector Cruz (President, BTC) along with the distribution list and questionnaire, can be viewed below. Only three candidates responded: Lori Sanders (Candidate, Benton County Commissioner), Jenn Goulet (Candidate, State House, District 9), Christopher Tracy (Candidate, State House, District 8).
Cover Letter Candidate Survey
Candidate Response - Sanders
Candidate Response - Goulet
Candidate Response - Tracy
Bike Tri-Cities’ Jurisdictional Committee Chair
Queensgate Drive Improvements
Editorial by Carl Berkowitz
Construction of a new roundabout on Queensgate Drive will soon be underway. Included in these plans are on-street bike lanes that connect into the shared use pathways along Queensgate and I-182. Read more about this project and where to go for more information here. [Link to article]
Bicycle Friendly Communities:
Bike Buzz Reports
Below are a series of short reports highlighting past, present and (possible) future activities related to the cycling infrastructure in our area. Many thanks to each of the elected city officials, planners, engineers and staff for taking time from their busy schedules to meet with us.
Benton Franklin Council of Governments 2019
Benton City 2018
Ben Franklin Transit June, 2018
West Richland 2017
Below are links describing bike advocacy in our neighboring communities, a novel use of storage containers, the latest word on League of American Bicycle Friendly Communities and a nice essay by a city council member describing how Ellensburg worked to receive its BFC certification.
Yakima Walks and Bikes
Cleveland Ohio Bike Boxes
Bike League BFC
Blog post about how Ellensburg decided to apply for BFC
Share the Road Signs
“Share the Road” signs have been found to have virtually no effect on the mentality of motorists. A better alternative which was found to get their attention was a sign with the words “Bicycles May Use Full Lane”. A summary of this interesting study can be found on page 74 of the February 2016 issue of Scientific American. And the research article on which this SciAm summary is based appeared in the August 28 2015 issue of PLOS (The Public Library of Science).
Bike Safety: An Update
Note: a more detailed version of the following article can be found on page 3 of the November 2017 issue of Tumbleweird. an independent alternative newspaper for the Tri-Cities.
Readers of both the Wall Street Journal and the BTC webpage may have noticed an interesting article on bike safety in the October 11th, 2017 issue of the WSJ. Unfortunately, you have to be a WSJ subscriber to get the full electronic version of article. But you can at least read the first paragraph here. A summary paragraph reads as follows:
“In a paper issued last summer, the Governors Highway Safety Association said bike-related deaths on U.S. streets and highways rose 12.2% in 2015 from the previous year, based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Bike fatalities rose by 1.3% in 2016. “
The article notes that doctors are treating far more injuries, including traumatic ones, related to cycling, and that cities need to do more to make cyclists and pedestrians safe.
Similar, although slightly outdated, information that’s fully available to all readers can be found at the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center
This material includes discussions and possible explanations for the 6 percent increase in bicyclist fatalities between 2006 and 2015, and a staggering 12.2 percent between 2014 and 2015. They also note that nearly a third of all injuries are caused when bicyclists are struck by cars.
We bring these articles to the attention of BTC supporters not to discourage anyone from riding, but to emphasize the need for jurisdictions to take cycling into account within their transportation management plans. Fewer bikes means more cars, which only adds to the congestion and health problems we’re seeing across the nation. Bikes are a standard mode of transportation in many cities and should be so in our community.
Hopefully the statistics given in the links above will encourage city planners to provide for safe alternatives to Tri-City cyclists who now too few roads with clearly marked bike lanes, have to negotiate dangerous roundabouts and are forced to ride within the ‘door zone’ of busy urban corridors.