JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Seattle bike commuting is at record lows

Sep 26, 2018, 7:34 AM | Updated: 9:02 am
bike lanes, seattle, bike commuting...
(File, Associated Press)
(File, Associated Press)

The trend continues: bike commuting in the City of Seattle is at “its lowest level in a decade.”

RELATED: Putting the cost of bike lanes in perspective

A new report in The Seattle Times shows census data indicating only 2.8 percent of Seattle workers use a bike to commute to work — down 2.5 percent from 2016. Columnist and bike advocate Gene Balk calls it a “statistically significant decline.”

This should come as no surprise. I’ve been detailing the years-long decline of bike commuting using data from pro-bike activists, which is virtually identical to the census data. Back in December 2017, I reported:

According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, bicycle volume decreased by 2.6 percent, even after installing better technology to track ridership. Of the seven spots where they continuously track bike ridership, six areas saw decreases, with four of those six experiencing dramatic declines.

And it’s not just the percentage that’s dropped. The raw number has gone down, too. In 2015, we hit a record high with an estimated 16,000 bike commuters who live in Seattle. Last year, it fell below 12,000 — a 26 percent decline in just two years.

Seattle invests and promises to invest tens of millions in bike infrastructure under the absurd and irrational belief that “if we build it, they will bike.” That’s never been true. We will never get much more than what we’re experiencing and as the population grows, the ratio will drop.

Why is this the case? Activists like City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and absurdly militant and irrational bike hobbyists insist it’s because there’s no connected network in the city. Their excuses are demonstrably ridiculous: the more we build, the less people bike.

We live in a city that’s wet and full of hills. Few people want to bike to work in that context. You can’t force people to bike, as hard as they’d like to be able to. And we shouldn’t waste tens of millions on infrastructure to satisfy the needs of a handful of eco-warriors who think riding their bikes will somehow impact climate change. It’s not realistic.

This isn’t to say you stop all investments in biking. Biking is part of the way some people get around. Good for them. We should investigate spots where a high number of riders bike, and make sure it’s safe. But this is to say that we can’t just carpet bomb the city with bike infrastructure that won’t ever get the ridership anti-car activists hope for. There is no justification for spending money on that when you could be investing in the modes we know people take — and are growing.

What do the people want? More access for buses and cars. I know that hurts the eco-warrior’s souls, but they shouldn’t be able to run rough shot over the rest of us, crippling traffic to accommodate their hobby.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

 

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

downtown Seattle Target...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Downtown Seattle Target barely surviving as shoplifting ravages store

The Target department store in downtown Seattle is being absolutely ravaged by shoplifters. I saw two incidents in 12 minutes.
2 days ago
hostages, Target...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle man live-tweeted ‘hostage taking.’ He keeps getting out of jail

A man who says he suffers from mental illness attempted to take hostages at a Seattle Target. He's pulled this dangerous stunt before.
3 days ago
Seattle police, COVID...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Concern as 20% of fully vaccinated Seattle police hit with COVID this month

A fully vaccinated Seattle Police Department suffered nearly 20% of its staff contracting COVID in just the first 21 days of January.
3 days ago
King County jail, staffing...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: King County fired the unvaccinated, now pays $103 an hour to fix staffing crisis

The staffing situation at King County jails is so dire that some correction officers are now being paid over $100 an hour for overtime.
7 days ago
car prowl...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Man allegedly car prowls for an hour in broad daylight, as police couldn’t respond

A man was caught on video as he appears to car prowl in Tacoma. Police officers were nowhere to be seen, but even if they were, he couldn't be detained.
8 days ago
MLK Day assembly...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle-area school uses MLK Jr. Day to bash police and USA

A local school used a Martin Luther King Day assembly to amplify virulently anti-police and anti-American messages. Is this what the holiday is meant for?
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Rantz: Seattle bike commuting is at record lows