Help state, club count cyclists, pedestrians in Issaquah soon

August 30, 2011

Join the state Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club to tally the number of people in Washington using foot or pedal power to commute.

The partners need volunteers to count people bicycling and using bike lanes, and walking on paths and sidewalks, from Sept. 27-29. Join the effort in Issaquah, a city selected as a documentation site.

The agency set up a website to answer questions about the count at www.wsdot.wa.gov/bike/Count.htm.

Or, contact Cascade Bicycle Club Principal Planner Tessa Greegor at tessa.greegor@cascadebicycleclub.org or 206-204-0913 to learn more about volunteering.

The tally is used to help measure the Department of Transportation’s efforts to increase bicycling and walking, and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven.

“This annual count of bicyclists and pedestrians helps us more accurately measure demand, gauge the results of our investments and plan for future improvement projects,” Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond said in a statement. “The information volunteers collect helps ensure that we are investing transportation dollars on priority projects, in locations where they are needed most.”

Help count bicyclists, pedestrians in Issaquah soon

August 22, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 22, 2011

Join the state Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club to tally the number of people in Washington using foot or pedal power to commute.

The partners need volunteers to count people bicycling and using bike lanes, and walking on paths and sidewalks, from Sept. 27-29. Join the effort in Issaquah, a city selected as a documentation site.

The count is part of a yearly bicycle and pedestrian count and survey sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council.

The tally is used to help measure the Department of Transportation’s efforts to increase bicycling and walking, and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven.

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Share opinions about bike paths at Bike Night Issaquah

July 21, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. July 21, 2011

Sponsored by the Cascade Land Conservancy, Bike Night Issaquah, slate for Thursday evening, is a chance for residents or anyone concerned to bike around some of the city’s bike paths and share their opinions on those paths with bike and pedestrian experts, and other community members.

The bike ride begins and ends at the Issaquah Brewhouse, 35 W. Sunset Way. The bike ride starts at 6 p.m. Trail discussions will be held at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m., participants are invited to the brewhouse to watch coverage of the Tour de France.

The bike ride will essentially take you in a loop from the brewhouse down and across Front Street to a spot on the Issaquah-Preston Trail. The route then heads back to the brewhouse on the opposite side of Interstate 90.

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Prepare for ramp closure at state Route 900

February 8, 2011

The westbound Interstate 90 on-ramp — for traffic headed south on state Route 900 — closes from 7 p.m. Feb. 10 to 7 a.m. Feb. 11 as crews construct a trail connector.

Crews poured concrete for the last piers in the trail connector at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 in mid-November. The project should be completed by late spring.

Plans call for the completed connector to feature a 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound interstate on-ramps, plus a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing on the existing state Route 900 overpass.

The city awarded the $4.4 million construction contract to C. A. Carey Corp. last June. The total project price tag is about $6 million.

The project relies on grants — including $400,000 from Sound Transit — to offset most of the project cost. The city contributed about $341,000 for the link.

Help tally Issaquah cyclists and pedestrians

September 19, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 19, 2010

The state Department of Transportation and Cascade Bicycle Club need volunteers to help count Issaquah cyclists and pedestrians in early October.

The information is then used to track progress toward a state goal of increasing bicycling and walking, and reducing the number of vehicle miles driven. The count is planned for Oct. 5-7.

The local count is part of the National Documentation Project, a yearly bicycle and pedestrian count and survey effort sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council.

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Drivers avoiding center lane cause state Route 900 backups

September 14, 2010

Not enough drivers use the center lane on the state Route 900 overpass at Interstate 90, causing construction-related traffic backups.

The city Public Works Engineering Department and the state Department of Transportation tweaked traffic-signal timing through the corridor to address the congestion. The agencies made changes to travel lanes in order to accommodate construction of a pedestrian connector across the interstate.

Despite the changes, backups often occur during mid-day and during the afternoon commute along northbound state Route 900. The problem: Many drivers do not use the lane closest to the centerline, causing blockages at nearby intersections.

City staffers plan to track the traffic and make adjustments to ensure smooth travel through the corridor.

Construction on the almost $6 million connector started in August. Plans call for a separate 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound I-90 on-ramps and modifications to the existing state Route 900 overpass to install a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing. The project should be completed by April 2011.

New club aims to connect bicyclists

September 7, 2010

Paul Winterstein bicycles up 12th Avenue Northwest, by Tibbetts Valley Park, on his commute home from work in Redmond. By Laura Geggel

Almost every day, Paul Winterstein commutes the 12.5 miles from his house on Squak Mountain to his workplace in Redmond.

He began biking to work in 2008, after two of his four children got their drivers’ licenses. Instead of buying another car, he decided to bicycle to work, rain or shine. Bicycling helps keep him fit and be a good role model for his children, he said.

The more he used local roads to bike to work, the more he noticed how road construction affected his safety and route.

With road changes happening frequently, Winterstein decided to start an Issaquah Bicycle Club that would unite the area’s bicyclists, helping give them a voice at Issaquah City Council meetings and a presence in the community.

The group could also organize rides, share bicycling tips and bring people together, giving bicyclists a stronger unified identity, much like hikers who belong to the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kent Peterson, an Issaquah bicyclist who works as a bike technician at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, said he enjoyed mountain biking and that he looked forward to joining the club.

“There are certain roads that are better riding on than others,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to have a place where you can share that knowledge with other people.” Read more

Construction begins on state Route 900 trail link

August 10, 2010

The trail connector across Interstate 90 at state Route 900 is about to see the first stages of what is planned to be an eight-month project, city Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said.

Construction will build a freestanding structure for a nonmotorized trail from 12th Avenue Northwest to the I-90 off-ramp along the west side of state Route 900. The city of Issaquah has awarded a $4.4 million contract with C.A. Carey Corp. that allows for 180 working days, Brock said.

The connector is meant to allow for a safer path between the East Lake Sammamish Trail and the Issaquah Transit Center. The total price tag for the project is about $6 million.

Members of the community have differing opinions on the value, necessity and safety of the project, however.

Steve Williams, president of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, said he has concerns about the volume of traffic in the area that pedestrians may now be drawn to. There are five lanes of traffic to cross at the I-90 eastbound exit, and drivers often try to make free right turns. That means they are looking left as they are moving right across a pedestrian walkway, he said. Read more

Summer program encourages Issaquah residents to explore the outdoors

July 2, 2010

NEW — 7 a.m. July 2, 2010

Go kayaking on Lake Sammamish, biking at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park or do yoga in a city park as Issaquah businesses encourage resident to get outdoors during July.

Several businesses have partnered to offer Issaquah Outdoors, a monthlong series of outdoor events and classes.

Facilitated by the city, the program brings together bicyclists, kayakers, fly fishing aficionados and other outdoors enthusiasts to explore opportunities for recreation in and near Issaquah. The city announced the program Thursday.

Download the activities schedule as a PDF document here. The group has also launched a Facebook page where members can share experiences and ideas, and post photos of outdoors activities.

City Council sets goals, including plan to make Issaquah a mountain-biking mecca

June 26, 2010

NEW — 7 a.m. June 26, 2010

The ambitious agenda for 2011 calls for the city to turn Issaquah into a mountain-biking destination, decide whether to annex Klahanie and surrounding neighborhoods, and continue to promote Issaquah to prospective businesses.

City Council members OK’d goals for 2011 on Monday, and handed Mayor Ava Frisinger a broad set of priorities to be accomplished next year. The decision represents the first step in the process to shape the 2011 city budget.

Department chiefs start to prepare the budget in the summer. The mayor then delivers a proposal to the council by October. Members mold the proposal into a final budget, and the council approves the spending plan in late December.

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