Friday, December 22, 2023

New Detour on I-90 Trail

King County's sewer project construction has created a new detour west of the East Channel Bridge.   Please be careful, particularly at the 36th Street/East Mercer Way intersection.   There was a recent automobile/bicycle accident at this intersection. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Safe Cycling Tips Worth Following

Harrison Park Community Center in Illinois is an example of how communities can embrace safe cycling. In January the center will host a special Bicycle Friendly America seminar! The Bicycle Friendly America program assists communities, business and universities to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option! Topics will include exploring safe routes to ride, making cycling accessible for all, planning for bicycling as a viable transportation option, and teaching basic cycling safety practices. The center's resource guide is an excellent guide for families and individuals interested in safer, more enjoyable cycling. 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Mercer Island Bike Skills Area is Now Open

The city's new Bicycle Skills Area is now open at Deane’s Children’s Park, at 5701 Island Crest Way in the northeast corner of Island Crest Park.The BSA is a new skill-building course for riders of all ages. Designed by American Ramp Company, the BSA includes beginner and intermediate bike trails with jumps and other features, as well as a bicycle playground area for less-experienced riders

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Mercer Island Seeking Replacement for Transportation Engineer

Lia Klien, the city's former Transportation Engineer, has taken a position with the City of Seattle. According to Jason Kitner, the city's Chief of Operations, the city is in the "midst of hiring a new Transportation Engineer now".   We wish Lia well in her new position. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Washington Bikes and Transportation for Washington Endorse MI Candidates

Transportation advocacy groups Washing Bikes and Transportation for Washington (T4WA) have endorsed Craig Reynolds, Wendy Welker, and David Rosenbaum for Mercer Island City Council.  

"Transportation for Washington endorses candidates throughout Washington State that support creating healthy, safe and affordable communities connected by transit, walking, and biking programs."

Washington Bikes's "endorsement and support are given to candidates who commit to or have a record of making communities better for people on bikes — through growing local economies, improving health outcomes, or creating safer streets and roadways. "

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The East Lake Sammamish Trail is Now Open!

This 11-mile, paved trail is a critical part of the 44-mile Locks to Lakes Corridor from Golden Gardens Park in Ballard to the shores of Lake Sammamish and beyond. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Bike Skills Area Construction Beginning Soon

Work is progressing on the Island's Bike Skills Area. The City's contractor, American Ramp Company, is ready to kick off construction this week to build the new Bike Skills Area at Deane’s Children’s Park. Islanders should be aware that parking areas at Deane’s and Island Crest Park will be impacted periodically throughout construction, and access to the playground areas at Deane’s is limited - please plan accordingly. You can learn more about this work and see the design for the new Bike Skills Area on Let’s Talk.

Information about Mercer Islands Mountain Biking Team can be found here. 

Monday, October 2, 2023

NIM At Sunday's Farmers" Market

Many Islanders stopped by NIM's information booth at the Mercer Island Farmers' Market on Sunday, October 1.  

One theme dominated our conversations: cycling, especially with e-bikes, is on the increase and the city needs to provide safer bike routes around the island.   Island Crest Way, particularly south of Island Park School, was a major concern for parents and those living on the south end.  

Many cyclists felt that clear directions and better signage were needed at revised intersections and the roundabout at the north end. 

My Bike Was Stolen! Now What?

The best way to deal with bike theft is to prevent it happening which means using a good lock. Other steps to protect your bike and what to do if it is stolen are concisely listed on the Cascade Bicycle Club's website.  You will find information about registering your bike in advance and who to contact to recover a stolen bike. 

Friday, September 29, 2023

MI Mountain Biking Team Season is Underway

Although the city's new bike skills area is still pending construction, and apparently will not open until late fall or spring of 2024, the Mercer Island Mountain Biking Team's season is underway.The MI MTB team has 29 athletes and 12 volunteer coaches for the fall 2023 season. The team practices 3 times per week including, practices on Mercer Island on Wednesday afternoons.

The team has competed in the first race of the season at Port Gamble on September 17th. The team had 3 top 10 finishes in this race, including a 3rd place podium finish by June Bailey in the girls intermediate category. The team is now preparing for the final race at the Squilchuck State Forest on October 8th. 

An important part of mountain biking is learning about building trails. The team volunteers at local dig-day events and work with Mercer Island Parks and Rec to build and maintain trails. The team has volunteered over 150 hours in 2023 in trail projects!

Friday, September 15, 2023

E-Bikes - Defined and Categorized under Washington Law

The 2018 Washington E-bike divides e-bikes into three classes with differences in who can ride them and what trails they can use.  

What is an E-bike?   A bicycle with two or three wheels, a saddle, fully operative pedals for human propulsion, and an electric motor with fewer than 750 watts of power

How are E-bikes categorized?

  1. Class 1: an e-bike that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 mph
  2. Class 2: an e-bike where the motor may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle (without needing to pedal) and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour
  3. Class 3: an e-bike where the motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph; also equipped with a speedometer

How are these classes treated differently?

  • Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are treated as traditional bikes, which means they are allowed on sidewalks, subject to local laws that restrict bicycle riding on sidewalks.
  • Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited on sidewalks except when there is no other safe option for the bikes to travel (for example on a bridge without a trail or other safe place to bike).
  • Class 3 e-bikes. Persons under 16 years of age may not ride a Class 3 e-bike, unless they are riding as a passenger.