Friday, June 23, 2017

Study: Sharrows Don’t Make Streets Safer for Cycling

"Sharrows are the dregs of bike infrastructure — the scraps cities hand out when they can’t muster the will to implement exclusive space for bicycling. They may help with wayfinding, but do sharrows improve the safety of cycling at all? New research presented at the Transportation Review Board Annual Meeting suggests they don’t."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

State's New Distracted Driving Law Goes Into Effect on July 23

The Legislature passed the new distracted driving law this session, with a provision that delayed enforcement until January 1, 2019.  Governor Inslee vetoed the delayed enforcement so it now will be enforced starting next month on July 23. 

The new law aims to eliminate “driving under the influence of electronics” as well as other distractions. The new law prohibits not just using a cell phone handset and texting (already illegal) but expands the definition to include shooting or watching video and taking photos with a cell phone. Expect a $136 fine if ticketed for these activities.  The fine doubles for second and later offenses. The law also prohibits other driving distractions, such as eating, putting on make-up and “any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle” that creates a danger.  This is considered a secondary offense – in other words the police will not stop a motorist solely for that reason.  Expect a fine of about $100 for this.  The law contains exceptions for contacting emergency services, hands-free phones in dashboard cradles, auto Bluetooth operations, and CB radios, among others.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

Seattle Tries New Approach to Bike Share

Seattle (SDOT) has released a draft of its new bike share program and 10 companies have expressed an interest in participating, including some of the largest bike share operators.   Would bike share work on Mercer Island?