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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Category: bicycling
August 12, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Praise for Pike Place for standing up to bike-share program

Kudos to Franz Knight, executive director of Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, for holding firm on not allowing a Pronto bike station on the premises in his care ["Bike-sharing network a no-go at Pike Place Market," Local News, Aug. 8]. It is refreshing to see that, for once, someone has the…

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: bicycles, bike-sharing, cycling

August 5, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Dexter right turns: City kowtowing to bicyclists

The city’s decision to prohibit right turns from Dexter Avenue onto Mercer is a stark illustration of its disconnection with and outright disdain for the large majority of taxpayers ["Seattle slaps right-turn ban on busy Dexter-Mercer intersection," Local News, Aug. 3]. For all we know, this might be good traffic engineering. But to implement…

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: bicycling, Charles Pluckhahn, cyclists

June 17, 2014 at 6:11 AM

Westlake cycle track: No need for bike lane near an existing path

I simply do not understand why some people (mainly cyclists) are pushing for a bicycle track along Westlake Avenue North ["Good movement on stalled Westlake bike lane,” Opinion, June 14]. There are excellent, dedicated bike lanes, recently installed, along Dexter Ave North, which is just two blocks west of Westlake, and this route almost…

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: bicycles, Bob Knudson, cycling

June 16, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Westlake cycle track: Praise for the mayor’s inclusive approach

Pedestrians, cyclists and cars currently use the same space in the city-owned parking lot along Westlake Avenue North. (SDOT)

Time will tell what the Westlake community looks like in 100 years ["Good movement on stalled Westlake bike lane," Opinion, June 14]. One thing we do know, however, is that for more than a century, Westlake has been a thriving working waterfront. This unique mix of homeowners, businesses, boaters and tourists generates millions of dollars in state, county and city taxes and is one of the few deep freshwater ports in the United States. Maritime is at the heart of Seattle’s success, and protecting this community requires thoughtful planning, prioritization and commitment.

We are pleased that

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, bicycles, cycling

June 4, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Seattle is too hilly for cycling

In 2012, I spent a week in Copenhagen, saw its impressive system of bicycle lanes and visited with friends who don’t own a car and bike many miles to work [“How Seattle can close the cycling gap with Copenhagen,” Opinion, May 30].

But no amount of bicycle lanes and tracks stuck willy-nilly into Seattle’s narrow and hilly streets will make us a Copenhagen. They key difference: Copenhagen is flat.

Without hills, Copenhagen residents of many ages and abilities can use

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: bicycles, Copenhagen, cycling

April 28, 2014 at 6:45 AM

Bicycle Master Plan: Focus on the ‘greater good’ instead of targeting cyclists

Donna Grethen / Op Art

I find it difficult to believe, yet again, that this discussion of taxing or licensing bicycles is back on the table [“How would it work to make cyclists pay?” Northwest Voices, April 19]. It is based on some ethos of “two wheels bad, four wheels better.”

There somehow remains the ill-founded notion that

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, bicycling, Pat Sherwood

April 24, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Bicycle Master Plan: Require training, exams, licensing and toll collection for bicyclists

There are some very simple and effective ways to increase revenue for the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan without forcing another tax on vehicles and drivers [“How would it work to make cyclists pay?” Northwest Voices, April 19]. For a minimal $30 fee, require all bicyclists, beyond training-wheel stage, to take a bicycle courtesy and safety course,…

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Ben Stearns, bicyclists, Seattle Bicycle Master Plan

April 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Bicycle Master Plan: Why not license bikes? We already license boats

Jonathan Martin’s reasoning for bicyclists not paying their way makes no sense [“The problem with taxing bicyclists in Seattle,” Opinion Northwest, April 16]. He claims the administrative costs for taxing and /or licensing bikers is too high and hard to enforce. If this were the case, how can we afford the administrative cost of…

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, boating, James Lowndes

April 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan: How would it work to make cyclists pay?

Donna Grethen / Op Art

Donna Grethen / Op Art

The Seattle City Council approved a Bicycle Master Plan this week. The city would need to find about $20 million a year for 20 years to pay for it, editorial columnist Jonathan Martin wrote in an Opinion Northwest blog post Wednesday. How could the city raise the money?

Here are seven ideas submitted by readers. Add your voice to the conversation in the comments section or submit a letter to letters@seattletimes.com.

Pay a registration fee

The state currently registers all motor vehicles, trailers and vessels. Why not bikes?

Where I grew up, we had to pay a registration fee when we purchased a bike. The retailer put a sticker on my bike with a registration number.

So let’s start with requiring a special registration fee (based on value) on all adult-sized bikes, new or used, sold by a licensed retailer in Seattle or King County. The retailer would collect the fee and submit it with the purchase info, including name, address, etc., to the state Department of Transportation.

Current owners, those who purchase from private parties or over the Internet have one year to register their bikes or face being fined.

Dick LaPorte, Seattle

Licensing wouldn’t be practical

Again with “how can we stick it to those bicyclists?” Jonathan Martin said it himself: It’s been tried elsewhere and failed.

So since it’s failed elsewhere, let’s try it here? What would happen: Another level of bureaucracy would be created, which would, no doubt, cost more to set up and maintain than it would ever generate in revenues.

And to whom would we

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, bicycling, Bob Kulwin

January 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Bicycles: Finding the reasons for drivers’ anger at bicyclists

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Every letter I received in response to Joe Sullivan’s guest column on Saturday, “Why are drivers so angry at cyclists?,” took issue with bicyclists breaking traffic rules and addressed whether bicyclists should pay for licensing and road repair costs. This is a discussion that likely won’t end any time soon, with both sides entrenched, and should come to the fore again as the City Council deliberates the Bicycle Master Plan. What do you think the reasons for resentment might be? Continue the conversation in the comments. Here are the best letter submissions from readers, again, all of them putting most of the blame on cyclists:

Rudeness goes both ways

Geesh, guest columnist Joe Sullivan, get of your high bicycle [“Why are drivers so angry at cyclists?," Opinion, Jan. 10].

Yes, there are many drivers who also do not follow the rules of the road. As a motorist, I try to be very conscientious of cars, bicyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles. Not all drivers do, I realize this.

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Comments | More in bicycling | Topics: Bicycle Master Plan, Joe Sullivan

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