Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time to make cyclists and pedestrians count in Burien

I heard it said recently, "What gets counted, counts."

Each September we have an opportunity to collect data on bicycle and pedestrian use of our roads here in Burien.  Our data is compiled by the state DOT and included in an annual report covering the whole state.  This data is really important in making a case for more state investment in safe streets.

Burien has had great participation over the last two years, and now it's time to get organized for 2011.

What I'm looking for.... folks interested in counting bike and pedestrian users during one 2-hour shift.  Shifts are done between Tuesday Sept 27th and Thursday Sept 29th. 

  • You can volunteer to complete shifts during either of two times: 7-9am and 4-6pm.
  • You can pick from one of 10 established stations around Burien (list here more will be added if we have enough volunteers)
  • Once you have your shift assigned you can complete your shift on any of three days between 9/27 and  9/29.
It's easy, it's helpful, it's interesting, and spending 2 hours quietly enjoying the scenes of your neighborhood during fall might be the most relaxing thing you do all month!

If you think you might be interested, please let me know (  The sooner the better.


More info-
Map of Burien stations
Background on the WSDOT Bike/Ped Documentation Project

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

B-Town’s Bicycle Night Out ‘Tour de Friends’ Event Fundraiser for Para Los Niños

Of course all of you have marked Saturday June 18th on your calendars for the B-Town Bike Fair. 

Once again we have crafted our pedal powered event offer something for everyone. Another scavenger hunt, a crazy 7-seater conference bike will be available for test rides, but perhaps the single coolest addition to the 2011 B-Town Bike Fair is the "Bicycle Night Out/Tour de Friends" that is happening on Friday evening, June 17th.

This little evening cruise, conceived by the brilliant organizers of Cove2Clover, will run from from 4 to 8pm on the Friday before the fair. Riders can sign in at Mick Kelly’s Irish Pub, then bike on to your choice of ten participating restaurants and pubs. All proceeds will benefit Burien’s Para Los Niños, and the cost will be $10 per Rider, or $20 per Family, which includes a raffle ticket for an Alaskan Amber Custom Cruiser Bike (which looks really cool). There will be special deals at each stop, and so this should be a fun night out for a great local cause.  Check out the B-Town Blog for more info and help us get out the word about these events coming up next month.

Kid gives speech after learning to ride a bike

EMBED-Kid Gives Speech After Learning To Ride A Bike - Watch more free videos

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bike Fair Preview - Your chance to ride one bike with six of your friends

It's called the conference bike and we will have one at this year's B-Town Bike Fair from 12 to 4.  Another reason to mark your calendar!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Friday 5/20 is bike day and there will be rewards in B-Town

I just heard that Grand Central Bakery -- which is an avid supporter of bicycling -- will be giving away a free pastry AND coffee drink for anyone that brings in their helmet!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A vision for a healthier, happier future (without spandex)

The Cascade Bicycle Club has launched this short video expressing their newly focused vision on what we cyclists are realizing that bikes are all about: health and joy. Cycling is not just about racing or spandex anymore; a message that is likely going to resonate more with a broader population, including us in Burien. It's nice to see yourself in a vision!

Cascade Bicycle Club - Vision 2011 from Punch Drunk on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A place to build your family's bike skills - The new Des Moines Creek Trail

At a recent presentation to my fellow parents at the Burien Cooperative Preschool, there were a lot of questions about good locations in the area for kids and adults to ride bikes that were safe from car traffic and thus allowing beginning (or re-beginning) riders the chance to build up skills and confidence on their bicycles.

The newly completed Des Moines Creek Trail was mentioned, but not many people knew much about it, or even where it was. So as a service to all you "everyday adventurers" in Highline, my 5 year-old son and I did a little reconnaissance trip to check this place out.

First of all, the trail head is on S. 200th Street in Des Moines, between Hwy 99 to the east and Des Moines Memorial Drive to the west. I generated this may on my mapmyride iPhone ap to show the entire route we rode.

The trail is 2.5 miles down to Des Moines Creek Park. You ride a very gentle grade down through some beautiful forest, what looks like habitat restoration projects and some really unique creek formations (lots of cool clay deposits) that spits you out at the beach park. I was concerned that riding the 2.5 miles back up would be tough for a this little peddler with 16" wheels but it really wasn't. We took advantage of several benches interspersed along the way for resting spots and the whole trip took a little more than an hour. Almost too short, actually.

Trail does provide a great uninterrupted stretch for walking or riding without the fear of negotiating automobile traffic. The noise from airplanes taking off from Sea-Tac does take away from the serenity of this natural place, but it's tolerable. What this trail does though is makes you realize what an amazing amenity this will be if and when it gets connected to the proposed 16 mile Lake to Sound Trail that would connect Des Moines to Renton via Burien and Tukwila.

Someone needs to call the King County Contact for this project let us know when that dreamy image will be completed!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another opportunity to get a good used bike for your kid TOMORROW!

The 15th Annual Kids' Bike Swap is here! Come on by this Saturday, May 7th, 2011, from 10 am - 4 pm at Genesee Playfield (43rd Ave S and S Genesee St).

This annual event is an opportunity for families to trade in a bike their child has outgrown for a larger bike - just in time for the summer riding season! The Kid's Bike Swap helps to facilitate the flow of affordable bicycles within the community and keeps fully functional bikes out of our local landfills. This year, Bike Works has overhauled over 145 kids' bikes to kick-off the swap!

How it Works:

At the swap, each bike that is brought to be swapped is assigned a trade value, which can then be applied towards a "new" bike. If the chosen bike's value exceeds that of the trade value the "customer" is responsible for the difference. Typically, when a bike is exchanged, the "customer" is able to take home a newly recycled ride for $12 or less.

Families looking to buy a bike, who do not have a bike to trade in, are welcome to come after 12 pm.

This year's Swap also provides an opportunity for the community to meet Bike Works' new Executive Director, Deb Salls. "I am excited to meet the families that have been supporting this event for the last 15 years," Salls says. "This event is in perfect alignment with our mission and vision - making bikes assessable and affordable in an environmentally friendly way."

Seattle Children's will fit free bike helmets and provide education on bicycle helmet safety. There will also be a "Family Bike" expo, with examples of different bikes and trailers that allow families to be car free.

See you Saturday!

2011 Poster is done - once again, this is why you marry an artist!

You should probably start to see these around town in the coming week or so. Props to Marya for a job really well done.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wanted: your ideas on what transportation investments we should make in Burien over the next 20 years.

Description below. Please let me know if you're interested and I'll forward your names to people who will forward your name.

"As you know the City is beginning the Transportation Master Plan (TMP)that will assist the City in planning its Transportation System over the course of the next 20 years. To assist the City’s staff and transportation consultant in evaluating each mode of transportation the TMP includes the use of an Advisory Committee (AC).

The AC would be comprised of 15 to 20 members willing to attend 6-8 meetings and be willing to review each mode of transportation in the City. There would be 6 to 10 meetings the AC would need to attend, and the AC can be comprised of just about anyone who has an interest in all or any of the modes of transportation including residents and business representatives."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cool old stuff: the report from the Vintage Bike Swap

I heard from two friends who made it out to the 23rd Annual Vintage Bike Swap that it was worth the trip up to Shoreline. JR said he saw several classic Schwinn Cruisers for under $100. Gina Bourdage, who is the new administrative coordinator at Discover Burien is restoring her own vintage bike. She provided this report and took some fantastic photos including the ones posted here.

"This was a great place if you needed parts or hard to find pieces for a vintage bike with less newer options. Most of the vendors seemed to also sell their products on Craig’s list and were pretty knowledgeable about prices, and where to find things you might need. Most were nice enough to let you take a test ride if you were interested. These events are great for those of us working on restoration of an older bike and helpful for people just wanting something inexpensive to start out riding around the neighborhood. Best part was I ran into some other Burien locals at the event, so good job on getting the word out!"


Thursday, April 7, 2011

REI Tukwila Hosting free "Cyclefest" event this Saturday, April 9th

If you are getting excited for the "dryer" season and all the outdoor opportunities upon us, you don't have to wait for the B-Town Bike Fair in June (the 18th - mark your calendar).

The REI Tukwila store is hosting what looks like a great bike event this Saturday from 11-2. They'll have free classes on fixing flats and other repairs as well as races, prizes and more.

REI has long been a supporter of our Bike Fair and bike rodeo events in Burien and this looks like another great effort on their part to encourage people to get out and get active

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Burien's Kristi Moen speaks the language of bikes and health in Olympia

At my work, we're renovating our building. And in the fog of the thousands of decisions being made, there are a lot of questions about how the remodel is going to support bike commuting.

So we cycling nuts find ourselves having to "sell" the benefits of bike commuting to building management constantly. We've tried everything - cost savings, happy employees, green commuting - but don't always hit the mark.

So the other day one of my coworkers sends me this blog post from the Bicycle Alliance of Washington's blog. "This is how you do it!" He says. As I read it not only do I realize he's right, I also realize I know this person... She's from Burien!

Kudos to our own Kristi Moen for taking her passion for cycling and safe streets to Olympia and advocating on all of our behalf. And great write up too! Check it out: Advocacy Through Fresh Eyes

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 B-Town Bike Fair - WE NEED YOU!

A note to the faithful-

Last year the B-Town Bike Fair pulled together over 50 other local volunteers to deliver an amazing pedal-powered event at the Burien Wild Strawberry Festival.

Over 100 kids participated in the bike rodeo, more than 125 helmets were given away free of charge, we held a first-ever community wide bicycle scavenger hunt, and enough bikes were donated to support youth programs that we needed four truckloads to haul them all away!

Our goal was to begin to build community and a conversation around safe streets and a more livable place through healthy forms of transportation. But the momentum from last year's Bike Fair has taken us way beyond our expectations. While several of us, as event organizers, have humbly received recognition from the City and Cascade Bicycle Club, the most exciting thing is the energy building behind biking in Burien!

But now it is time to shift our gears and focus once again back to the Fair. We want the 2011 edition to be bigger and better than last year, but we need your help. This a community powered event and we are looking for volunteers who are passionate about safe streets and making our community stronger through biking. We need you!!!

The event will be held, once again, in partnership with the Wild Strawberry Festival on Saturday June 18th. We'll need people to help guide kids through the bike rodeo, fit helmets, help with adaptive cycles, orient scavenger hunt riders, and we have a few new tricks up our sleeve as well. There are opportunities to help the day of, or beforehand. We can use people who like to be in the middle of the chaos and those who like to work behind the scenes.

In a day or two, we'll post a broader call on the B-Town Blog, but we wanted to start with our existing committed volunteers first. We want your help again. Contact Brooks at or Jimmy at to discuss what you'd like to do. You can also contact us through this blog or on Facebook, where we provide updates on the Fair and other interesting things going on related to biking in Burien.

And if you need additional inspiration, this video says it all:

Friday, March 18, 2011

An opportunity to buy a vintage ride - March 23rd

The 23rd Annual Seattle Old Bike Swap Meet and Show is coming up a week from this Sunday; the 23rd of March (7am - 1pm). The swap meet has moved from it's old location in Kent up to Shoreline (17177 Meridian Avenue North).

The rumor is that this event is a good place to get a good deal on a good variety of bikes, but especially old school Schwinn's and other vintage rides. If you like that older style of bike, this is the premiere opportunity to shop this year.

My friend JR picked up this vintage Schwinn cruiser at the Swap a few years ago for a little more than $100. I have to admit, when you feel this old steel cruiser roll you realize what a great value these old bikes are. They don't make em like they used to. Well actually they do, but have to pay an arm and a leg.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's official; Marya's an "everyday adventurer."

Originally published in the B-Town Blog and Highline Times, my recent little blurb on the virtues of bicycling was built around an insight of my wife, Marya's, which came to her after a few weeks riding on our long-tail Xtracycle. Somehow through the magic of the internet, the Xtracycle folks picked up on this and featured it in their Everyday Adventurers Blog.

Amazingly we wouldn't even have known had Marya's brother not been randomly browsing the Xtracycle blog the other day. I guess everyday adventure runs in the family.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Do you ever wonder if the health benefits associated with bicycling outweigh the safety risks? They do... by 9 times.

If you're like me and you can't read the whole study, here's the abstract. If you prefer to check the statistical methodology, here's the link to the full study. As my favorite professor used to say, "You can smell the science!"

We quantified the impact on all-cause mortality when 500,000 people would make a transition from car to bicycle for short trips on a daily basis in the Netherlands. We have expressed mortality impacts in life-years gained or lost, using life table calculations. For individuals who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially larger (3–14 months gained) than the potential mortality effect of increased inhaled air pollution doses (0.8–40 days lost) and the increase in traffic accidents (5–9 days lost). Societal benefits are even larger because of a modest reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic accidents.

Conclusions: On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Your chance to insert your ideas into Burien's Visioning Process!

Very short notice opportunity to insert your ideas into Burien's visioning process. The City is looking for volunteers to participate in the recreation affinity group tomorrow at City Hall at 9:30am. Call Jenn Ramirez Robson if you're interested. I'll be participating on the "getting around town" affinity group on Monday but it would be great to have the healthy transportation perspective included anywhere we can get it. Here's the contact info.

Jenn Ramirez Robson
(206) 439-3165

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If you need a new bike and you're a bargain shopper...

...take note that Cascade Bicycle Club's annual Bike Swap is this Sunday starting at 9am. The swap is known to have kids and adult bikes and is also a good place to look for parts and other bike-related goodies. The mantra seems to be, "priced to sell." I'll be there.

A real chance to make B-Town more walkable, bikeable, and LIVABLE.... And it only comes around once a decade.

As you may know, 2011 is the year that the City of Burien begins the process of updating the city plan. The comprehensive plan and it's various components will house the suite of policies that answer key questions about - among many other things - what kind of development we are going to promote in our community, what our focus will be for park investments, and how will we improve and redesign our roads for all users. For folks that share our vision for a Burien with healthy transportation choices, we just couldn't ask for a better opportunity and it all starts with a survey asking what your vision for Burien is (click here)!

For those who love meetings, acronyms and bureaucratic garbledygook, do not despair, there will be unending opportunities to wade neck deep in process. But if either you don't have the tolerance for the dark arts of policy development or you just don't have time (I will return at a later time and try to convince you to reconsider) at least take note of the first phase of the process, which the City just launched today. Visioning.

As reported today in the B-Town Blog, the City is asking its citizens what their vision is for Burien 20 and 30 years from now. If you value a community where you, your kids and neighbors can walk or ride your bike safely around town, this is a great opportunity to provide your two cents. You can see from the B-Town Blog and the City's website that the visioning process wil unfold over the next several months. Take note of this, stay tuned, but in the meantime take the survey!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Burien's Jimmy Schulz recognized by Cascade Bicycle Club

For those of you who are members of Cascade Bicycle Club, you probably noticed some ink offered up to B-Town in this month's edition of their newsletter, The Cascade Courier. Cascade has really taken notice of the momentum building around cycling and "complete streets" policies in Burien. As February is "Bike Advocacy Month" Stacey Panek, Cascade's Marketing and Development Writer looked our way for one of B-Town's top cycling advocates. They put together a great piece on our fellow B-Town Bike Fair organizer. Congrats Jimmy!


It all started with bike racks, or better put, the lack thereof. Soon after Jimmy Schulz moved to Burien two and a half years ago, he decided that with destinations so close to home, he would run errands and otherwise get around his new community by bicycle. There was one problem. The city, essentially, had no bike racks. That often put Jimmy in the position of pedaling to a neighborhood establishment only to discover he’d have to venture blocks away to find an adequate place to lock his Surly.

“I like my bike a lot,” Jimmy says. “I like to keep it close.”

Frustrated, he contacted the city and started attending Sustainable Burien meetings. That’s where Jimmy met Brooks Stanfield, Cascade’s 2010 Advocacy Volunteer of the Year. The two began a dialogue and shared effort to make Burien, aka B-Town, more bikeable.

Brooks calls Jimmy a “normal human being,” someone who commutes by bike 40 to 50 percent of the time. That commute takes Jimmy through Burien and on city streets about four and a half miles into Tukwila, or along a stretch of the Green River Trail for a longer, more relaxed ride. Like many of us, Jimmy finds it hard to motivate himself to bike on dark, wet mornings. He laments that bicycle advocacy will not, unfortunately, be able to hasten the sun’s rise in the winter.

Jimmy is not, therefore, one of your hard core, spandex-clad, bike-at-all-costs cyclists. And yet he cares so much about making Burien better for bicycling that he’s willing to work very hard.

His fellow advocate Brooks sums up Jimmy’s work ethic with this story from the 2010 Washington state bicycle count: “This past October—weeks after the arrival of his first child—Jimmy did more bike count stations than anyone else in Burien (three two-hour shifts). I just couldn’t believe how dedicated he was.”

In Jimmy’s opinion, Burien is ripe for bicycle advocacy. The city is relatively flat and is convenient to downtown Seattle, thanks in part to a transit center that provides ample opportunity for multimodal commuting: pedal to the station, lock or load your bike and zip downtown on an Express bus. Burien is also a culturally and economically diverse community. Jimmy divides B-Town cyclists into two camps: hard core riders and those who bike because that’s how they can afford to get around.

He wants to establish a third group of riders, people he calls recreational or occasional cyclists. One way to encourage these riders is to build more infrastructure. Jimmy and other bicycle advocates like Brooks want to ensure that as Burien, a small but expanding city, invests in growth, it sets aside resources for sidewalks, bike lanes and bike racks. Many of B-Town’s residents are environmentally minded. It stands to reason that if you build it, they will come.

Jimmy counts the installation of bike lockers at the transit center as one recent success. Perhaps Burien’s biggest bicycling achievement, however, was last summer’s B-Town Bicycle Fair, which Jimmy, Brooks and another Burien bike booster, Anne York, organized, and which was held in tandem with Burien’s Wild Strawberry Festival.

“It was a huge success,” Jimmy says.

The fair drew big crowds, despite unseasonably cool, wet weather, with attractions like bike maintenance checks, a scavenger hunt and the opportunity to donate no-longer-used bicycles to Bike Works (which Jimmy—a gearhead who built his first adult bicycle with parts found at Seattle’s Recycled Cycles—wishes Burien had a smaller version of).

Some 125 kids received new, personally fitted helmets at the Fair, and many of these youngsters went on to participate in the bike rodeo or tricycle course.

Jimmy lights up when talking about the children: “It warms my heart to see kids riding bikes. If you get kids riding, it’s easier for them to make cycling a lifelong habit.”

A new dad, he adds, “Now that I have a son, I think about introducing him to biking from an early age, so that he always thinks that biking with other people is normal.”

The B-Town Bike Fair’s enthusiastic reception—both by attendees and the City of Burien—encourages Jimmy. And yet, the results of a November 2009 ballot initiative that would have provided for bike lanes on heavily used 136th Street went down in defeat, with only 25 percent voter approval. In many ways, bicycling is still way off the radar in B-Town.

That means a lot of work remains. Jimmy is in the early stages of planning next year’s Bike Fair and is gearing up to participate in Burien’s upcoming transportation planning process. He’d also like to work with the local Arts Council on the issue that brought him to bicycle advocacy in the first place: bike racks. Why not join forces with local artists to create unique, aesthetically pleasing racks that celebrate the spirit of the city while also serving an essential purpose?

Given his energy and successes to date, there’s little doubt Jimmy will continue to bring all good-things-bicycling to Burien.

“I’m a little Spockian in my love of biking,” Jimmy says. “It’s like this perfect thing that just makes sense from all angles, and it makes me smile.”

If you’re interested in working, like Jimmy, to advance the bicycle movement in Washington state communities, consider joining Cascade in Olympia for Transportation Advocacy Day, Feb. 10. [Refer to web page or another article in Courier??]

Saturday, January 15, 2011

City of Burien to host a Complete Streets workshop - Thursday, Jan 27

Do you want Burien to be a safer place to bike and walk for you and your kids? Good news! An in-depth session on the City policies and design standards needed to make Burien more bikeable and walkable is happening this month. The approach is called "Complete Streets" and it's an approach to transportation planning that has municipalities evaluate opportunities for enhancing bikeability and walkability for all users any time a major transportation project is planned.

There will be Complete Streets training provided by the Cascade Bicycle Club and hosted at City Hall on Thursday, January, 27th from 8:00am to 12:00pm. It will be attended by City staff and elected officials, but more importantly is open to the public. With Burien's upcoming Transportation Master Plan process, this is a great opportunity to start learning about the issues and ways citizens can influence the final plan.

The City of Burien is being provided this training as part of a DHHS grant awarded to the Healthy Highline Communities Coalition to support schools, local governments and communities to increase healthy eating and physical activity through policy, systems and environment changes that will improve the health of residents and students in the greater Highline area.

The event starts at City Hall at 8:00am with a presentation, information and discussion about what complete streets are with David Hiller, Cascade Bicycle Club Advocacy Director, and Tessa Greegor, the club’s Principal Planner. David and Tessa will then lead a walking exercise through part of Burien’s downtown; some vans may be used for part of the route if the gathered group is larger. Following the exercise, the group will return to City Hall Multi-purpose room for information & discussion session from 10:40am -12pm.David Hiller, will be leading the walking exercise and discussion session.

If you are interested in attending please RSVP by contacting City of Burien Management Analyst, Dori Babcock at (206) 248-5529, or email at

For more information on the Cascade Bicycle Club, or their work on Complete Streets, please see their education foundation website,, Cascade's blog, or check out the Complete Streets Coalition website: