Bicycling in Seattle may seem like a formidable challenge. Steep topography, high traffic levels, and a reputation for rainy winter weather all play a role in discouraging commuters from getting on their bikes. Yet we have one of the highest bike commuting rates in the country (3%)! Why?
Because bicycling is perhaps the most elegant commuting solution available. It’s faster than walking, cheaper than driving or transit, and incredibly good for your health and well-being. The City of Seattle is working hard to enable more and more people to bike. Its Bicycle Master Plan lays out an ambitious vision for a fit, mobile city, with world-class bicycling facilities complementing a network of fast, reliable transit.
What do you need for a successful bike commute? Just a reliable bike, a supportive employer, and willpower. Be forewarned, bicycling is addictive!
Here are some tools to get you started:
Commute Seattle’s Bicycle Amenity Map – An interactive map of tenant bike parking in downtown commercial buildings. Bicycle amenity information was collected as part of Commute Seattle’s Bicycle Amenity Inventory and is verified by property managers.
City of Seattle Bike Parking Map — An interactive map of public bicycle racks available downtown.
Seattle 2012 Bike Map – A comprehensive map of all bicycle facilities in Seattle, including sharrows, bike lanes, off-street trails, signed bicycle routes, and hills.
King County Bike Map: For those of you coming from further afield, King County’s map shows connections between cities, suggested routes and routes to avoid, and the regional trail system.
Bikes and Transit: Taking your bike on the bus or train is easy! All buses in the Seattle area have space for 3 bicycles, each 2-car Link light rail train has space for 4 bicycles, and each Sounder train has space for more than a dozen bikes (12 bikes per train on Everett trains, 28 bikes per train on Tacoma/Lakewood trains).
Education and Advocacy: Seattle is home to the largest bicycle club in the country, Cascade Bicycle Club. Cascade leads daily rides, teaches safe cycling practices, organizes several world-famous events (such as the annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic), and works to improve bicycling facilities all across Washington. Meanwhile, the Bicyle Alliance of Washington advocates for a Washington in which “bicycling is an everyday, mainstream activity in communities across Washington. Bicycling is recognized, accommodated and funded as a legitimate and essential mode of transportation.”