We all share the road whether we drive in a car, ride a bicycle, walk on our own feet, or ride a horse. In watching the blog sites, it seems there are some very heated discussions on what the "other" modes are doing that is not fair. In an effort to understand the rules, we are providing links as quick reference to the rules of the road in the state of Washington.
A good tip in preventing suprises, is to let others know what you are planning to do while sharing the road. If you are looking for tips while driving see this link: Best practices for motorists
Links to bike rules, tips and laws
The following is a list Washington State laws interpreted on the Cascade Bicycle Club site:
Washington state bicycle laws
Cyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers. RCW 46.61.755
Ride as far to the right as is SAFE, except when preparing to turn or when passing another vehicle. Note, this does not mean you must hug the right side of the road, as it may be unsafe due to debris, grates, car doors and other hazards.
Ride no more than two abreast, and only when safe to do so. Occupy the center of a lane when the lane is too narrow to share or when it would be unsafe to ride to
Cyclists may ride on a path, lane, shoulder, or travel lane. RCW 46.61.770
Helmets are required by law in King County and many other jurisdictions. King County Board of Health Title 9
Use a white front light (visible for 500 feet) and a red rear reﬂector at night. A red rear light may be used in addition to the rear reﬂector. RCW 46.61.780
Use hand signals (and look) before turning. RCW 46.61.758
Always yield to pedestrians. RCW 46.61.261
Secretary, Squeaky Wheels
The Vision Zero presentation is now scheduled on April 29th at 7pm at City Hall. I hope folks can attend this meeting. Again, presenters are Brock Howell from Cascade Bicycle Club and Kimberly Scrivner from Puget Sound Regional Council.
More on Vision Zero at Cascade Bicycle Club
Target Zero at Puget Sound Regional Council
Time to get involved again. WSDOT is proposing to make modifications to the SR305 / Suquamish Way intersection and roadway to the east up to the Agate Pass bridge. This work is funded by a grant awarded to Kitsap Transit and the focus has been on creating a way for busses to jump the line of traffic at the intersection and to provide a longer pocket for westbound autos turning north onto Suquamish Way. Squeaky Wheels has been working with WSDOT to provide input on the design. Unfortunately at this time the design still appears to present a reduction in safety for cyclists and pedestrians, rather than an enhancement, and we do not find it acceptable to us in its current form. This is an important intersection for bicyclists and is used by a large number of both commuter and recreational cyclists, including our Governor. And we do want to keep our biggest bicycle advocate safe, sound and happy along with the rest of us!
There is a meeting between WSDOT, Kitsap Transit and Bicycle interest groups being held at the Casino on Friday April, 3 at 6:30 to discuss the details and get input. We have been requesting that WSDOT provide meetings in the evening to allow more attendance and to have an open public meeting. At this time WSDOT has agreed to an evening meeting but does not want this to be an open public meeting; however they have not restricted the number of people that each group brings and there is adequte room for a large number of people in the meeting facility. They have requested an estimate of the number of attendees so please let me know if you are planning to come.
Attached you will find WSDOT's current proposed design and,
a quick mark-up with notes we provided at the last meeting for suggestions on how to improve the design.
Please get involved and attend if you can and/or pass the word. Please email back and identify yourself as being associated with at least one advocacy or interested organization (WABikes, Cascade, West Sound, Squeaky Wheels, North Kitsap Trails, Bainbridge NMTAC, an agency, etc.) as WSDOT has requested an estimated head-count.
I can provide more information and details as needed. It important for all of us to get involved and to have a firm but constructive bicycle advocacy voice so that the project can be a success for all of our citizens. And you can bring your sweetheart and have a fun evening at the casino afterwards!
Thx! - Ross Hathaway, President, Squeaky Wheels
Squeaky Wheels wishes to thank Washington State Ferries for fixing the apron lip gap problem. The apron lips consist of a series of metal plates at the ends of the ramps; these rest on the deck of the ferry to provide a transition for loading/unloading. The metal plates have gaps between them that can firmly grab a bicycle wheel violently catapulting the rider face first onto the ramp. It has been an ongoing source of serious accidents including our own Captain Ty Anderson. I personally witnessed a rather serious injury face-plant from the apron lips and Squeaky Wheels has pursued correcting the apron lip gaps with WSF for several years. Many thanks to Captain Ty Anderson, Leonard Smith of WSF, Susan Harris of WSF, Representative Drew Hansen, Senator Christine Rolfes, and many others at WSF for moving this forward. This is a huge safety improvement for people who ride bicycles and required thinking outside the box to come up with a solution.
Ross Hathaway, President, Squeaky Wheels
The tide has turned towards the Colman Dock having great bicycle facilities
After a lot of hard work from many people, Washington State Ferries will incorporate Squeaky Wheels recommendations for the new Colman Dock design. This means that the north gate will re-open and a larger, more efficient, safer and more pleasant holding area along the new north rail will be created.
In an email from Captain George A. Capacci, Washington State Ferries confirmed that a north entry and staging area can be included in the design of the project. It will require funding for staff at the north entry location when in operation.
Squeaky Wheels extends a heartfelt thank you to Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Christine Rolfes, Representative Drew Hansen, Secretary Lynn Pedersen and Captain George Capacci (and those who worked to support them) for helping us on this project and for their ongoing support of non-motorized transportation on Washington ferries. This clearly demonstrates their commitment to accommodate a growing ridership safely, effectively and ecologically. Thank you, too, to all of you who came to the public meetings and submitted comments.
This process also involved the invaluable support of other bicycle advocacy groups including Washington Bikes, West Sound Cycle Club and Cascade Bicycle Club. Thank you! Importantly, thank you to the engineers, staff and supporting consultants of Washington State Ferries, particularly Genevieve Rucki, Elizabeth Faulkner and Leonard Smith for engaging all stakeholders throughout this process and ultimately incorporating key concepts in the final design.
Final funding still needs to be secured but this is a great example of WSDOT / WSF embracing the role of a full multi-modal transportation agency that optimizes bicycling, walking and transit for a smarter transportation system with more capacity for all users. This kind of change is important to our health, environment, happiness, economic viability, and freedom. Thank you.
Ross Hathaway, President of the Board of Directors, Squeaky Wheels
Last week the City fixed a section of substandard shoulder along SR305 north of Vineyard Lane where the guard rail came to the fog line forcing bicyclists to pull in front of drivers on the highway; it was also a hazard for auto drivers with a close obstruction to the highway and was a problem for pedestrian passage. Thank you to the City staff, designer Jaime Saez of SCE Consulting, current and past City Council members and Citizens of Bainbridge Island for funding this and making it happen. Particular thanks are owed to former Council member Debbie Lester and to the Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee for persisting in keeping this work on the City CIP. Squeaky Wheels pursued this particular improvement for several years and we are very happy to see it fixed and to see the City working closely with WSDOT to make bicycling viable for everyone.
Olympic Drive - the short section of roadway from the Winslow ferry dock to Winslow Way - is ... well, let's just say it has lots of room for improvement. It doesn't serve the wide range of users well and it creates a poor first impression of Bainbridge.
Olympic Drive is our front porch and it is long and unwelcoming. Cyclist and cars joust. Visiting pedestrians search for a cute town nestled among tall trees. Commuters rush past this asphalt and concrete jumble.
The City of Bainbridge Island has applied for a WA State DOT grant to make improvements to enhance non-motorized safety and improve the experience for all arriving and departing the Island.