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Bikeable Date Ideas in Bellevue

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May is National Bike Month, and we have bikeable date ideas for you! 

 

Is your date a foodie? Ride 5 minutes from downtown Bellevue to Whisk, 10385 Main St, to take a one-of-a-kind cooking class. After your unique dining experience, ride a short way to Bellevue Downtown Park to watch the sunset as you relax on the grass and listen to the waterfall for a romantic end to the evening. 

 

Looking for a more adventurous date? Ride 7 minutes from downtown Bellevue to Meydenbauer Bay Park, 9899 Lake Washington Blvd NE. Park the bikes, rent a two-person canoe or kayak, and embark on a thrilling exploration of the bay together! After working up an appetite, ride back downtown for a well-deserved dinner and drinks. 

 

Is your date's FYP cottage core? Visit Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm, 700 148th Ave SE. The farm, open March through September, offers a delightful array of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, and u-pick and frozen blueberries (the season is usually July through September). From Downtown, take Lake Hills Connector and SE 8th St for a 27-minute ride. After picking up your fruit and veggies, ride to Larsen Lake for a picnic, basking in the joy of your freshly picked produce, before heading back to city life! 

 

Does your date love to connect to other cities via bike? Take them on an exciting, safe, beautiful bike adventure from Bellevue to Seattle, Kirkland, Redmond and more using one of the areas wonderful bike and pedestrian paths including the 520, I-90, Cross Kirkland Corridor or the 2 Line! In fact, we suggest taking the 2 Line to the BelRed Arts District to spot as many public art installations as you can find for a friendly competition! 

 

For more information on sustainable travel options and how to log your travel for rewards, visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org  

Bike Safety Refresher

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Whether you are new to biking or a pro, you can learn about bicyclist-related laws, safety tips, and your rights and responsibilities as a bicyclist at the Washington State Department of Transportation website. 

  • Obey traffic signs and signals. Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles. 

  • Never ride against traffic. Motorists aren't looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. State law and common sense require that bicyclists drive like other vehicles. 

  • Follow lane markings. Don't turn left from the right lane. Don't go straight in a lane marked "right-turn only." 

  • If riding on a limited access facilities where bicycling is permitted, use the off and on ramps at interchanges. 

  • Don't pass on the right. Motorists may not look for or see a bicyclist passing on the right. 

  • Scan the road behind you. Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors. 

  • Keep both hands ready to brake. You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet. 

  • Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones. Always wear a helmet. Never wear a headphone while riding a bike. 

  • Dress for the weather. In the rain, wear a poncho or waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Wear bright-colored clothing. 

  • Use hand signals. Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self-protection. 

  • Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic. Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic. 

  • Choose the best way to turn left. There are two choices: (1) Like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side crosswalk. Walk your bike across. 

  • Make eye contact with drivers. Assume that other drivers don't see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver who might pose a threat to your safety. 

  • Use a mirror so you know when drivers are behind you. 

  • Look out for road hazards. Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris and pedestrians on the shoulder. Cross railroad tracks at right angles. 

  • Use lights at night. The law requires a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind). 

  • Keep your bike in good repair. Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple, and you can learn to do it yourself. 

For more information on sustainable travel options and how to log your travel for rewards, visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org  

Resources for Bike and Sound Transit 2 Line Riders

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We have gathered specific resources in honor of May being Bike Everywhere Month and the 2 Line opening! 

Bellevue Bike Map 2020 Download 

The Bellevue bike map features updated citywide and close-in area maps, safety tips, helmet fitting tips, updated biking-supportive tools and resources, Washington state bike laws, and a frequent transit service map. Request a hard copy at 425-452-6856 or TRReception@bellevuewa.gov. 

Station Access Map Download 

The Move Redmond Station Access Maps will serve as a resource for everyone looking to access light rail without the need for a car. They offer safety information, highlighting areas of caution, such as busy intersections, with turning vehicles, and identifying steep grades that may pose challenges for wheelchair users. The printed version includes information on how to reload your ORCA card, use BikeLink Lockers, and schedule a community van ride. Please visit one of our many events or contact us to pick up a printed version. 

How-tos and rules provided by the City and our regionwide partners:  

 

Bike Park and Ride 

There are several options on how and where to park your bike and connect with the 2 Line. For more information, visit the bike parking page on Sound Transit. (The information below is from the Sound Transit website.) 

  • Bellevue Downtown Station has on-demand bike lockers, a bike room, and racks. 

  • BelRed Station has bike racks. 

  • East Main Station has on-demand bike lockers and racks. 

  • Overlake Village Station has on-demand bike lockers and racks. 

  • Redmond Technology Station has on-demand bike lockers and racks. 

  • South Bellevue Station has a bike room and racks. 

  • Spring District Station has on-demand bike lockers and racks. 

  • Wilburton Station has on-demand bike lockers and racks. 

 

Also, Eastgate Park-and-Ride, where you can access bus routes, has on-demand bike lockers. 

  

Showers 

Looking for a spot to shower?  Check out nearby fitness centers that offer shower-only memberships. (Many do!) 

  

For more information on sustainable travel options and how to log your travel for rewards, visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org 

Special Events for Bike Everywhere Month 2024!

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Welcome to Bike Everywhere Month! This is your chance to start or sustain your biking travel. Our exciting events can help you improve your health, reduce your carbon footprint, and connect with fellow biking enthusiasts! 

 

Bellevue Bike Bash from 5-7 p.m. May 9 

Kick off Bike Everywhere Month 2024 at the Bellevue Bike Bash at Cascadia Pizza, 1820 130th Ave NE Ste 2! Come meet fellow bike enthusiasts and grab some bike swag! 

 

Bike Everywhere Day 7-10 a.m. May 17 

Make this spring is one to remember by biking around Bellevue on Bike Everywhere Day! On your way, stop by a participating commute station for refreshments, bike swag and more!

 For Bike Everywhere Day, we’re hosting three Bike Everywhere stations in partnership with the City of Kirkland and Cascade Bicycle Club. Visit one or all three of the participating stations: 

  • SR 520 Bridge at Evergreen Point, Medina 

  • Bellevue Transit Center: 108th Ave. NE and NE 6th St.

  • I-90 East Enatai Station: I-90 Mountains to Sound Trail entrance at SE 34th St. and 109th Ave. SE 

 

Join experts from Cascade Bicycle Club on May 18 for Fun and Informative Classes! 

Lake Hills Public Library, 15590 Lake Hills Blvd, 98007 

  • Intro to Bike Commuting 1-2 p.m. 

Want to know more about what it takes to commute by bike? This class is for you! 

Presented by Choose Your Way Bellevue 

 

  • Maintenance for Every Commuter 2:15-3:15 p.m. 

Want to know more about what it takes to maintain your bike properly? This class is for you! 

Presented by Cascade Bicycle Club with support from the Bellevue Library and Friends 

 

Bike Appreciation Day May 29  

Choose Your Way Bellevue will be giving away gift cards to randomly selected cyclists spotted at the Bellevue Transit Center from 7-10 a.m.!

 

 

 

For more information on sustainable travel options and how to log your non-drive-alone travel for rewards, visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/rewards

 

April 22nd is Earth Day!

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Happy Earth Day! Thank you for taking transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, biking, or using another type of sustainable travel today and every day! 

 

Check out these facts about Earth Day*: 

 

  1. The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans from all walks of life to birth the modern environmental movement with over 20 million participants – accounting for 10% of the U.S. population at the time.  

 

  1. Since then, Earth Day has evolved into the largest civic event on Earth, activating over a billion people across 192 countries to safeguard our planet and fight for a brighter future. 

 

  1. Earth Day 1970 led to the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water, Endangered Species Act, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

 

*Source: Check out more facts about Earth Day at earthday.org 

 

 

Want to celebrate Earth Day this year?! Come to the City of Bellevue’s first annual EarthFest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the Bellevue Botanical GardenVisit the City’s event page to learn more. In honor of Earth Day, take transit, walk, bike, or take Bellevue’s Bellhop service to/from the event—a great way to reduce emissions and meet new earth-conscious friends. 

For more information on sustainable travel options, visit ChooseYourWayBellevue.org

Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards: 2023 in Review

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 Trip Log Review grahpic

 

With the new year already here, comes time for reflecting on 2023. We’ve looked at all the trips Choose Your Way Bellevue (CYWB) commuters have logged within the past year and we’ve broken it down by the number of mode trips. It's been quite a year for CYWB commuters!  

 

You've managed to log impressive travel mode trips and here is the breakdown:  

  • 21,474 Bus 

  • 14,317 Telework 

  • 9,415 Carpool 

  • 4,774 Bike 

  • 3,442 walking 

  • 1,825 Vanpool 

 

That's a big deal, not to mention some big savings compared to driving alone! 

  • 459,544 pounds of carbon dioxide saved 

  • 23,787 gallons of gas saved 

  • $179,000 in monetary savings 

 

You've been quite interested in finding ride matches as well, with just over 47,000 ridematch requests sent! 

 

Note: You can learn how to create a ridematch with our handy infographic! 

Don’t forget to continue logging your trips by signing up or logging in at www.ChooseYourWayBellevue.org/rewards. Our “Return-to-Travel campaign is offering a guaranteed $50 reward to all participants who log 25 days of non-drive-alone travel (other than telework or compressed work week) in Bellevue! Reward types include Spotify, Hulu and REI. Check it out and get logging 

 

Let’s build on the success of 2023 and make 2024 an even better year for non-drive-alone modes in Bellevue – thank you CYWB commuters! 

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake 

 

Commuting in the Cold

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Winter is coming, and along with it comes a new season of weather that can affect many aspects of your daily commute route. Rain can make the roads slippery and impact your vision; the darker days can make it harder for drivers to see you; and snow – while it's fun to look at and play in – can drastically impact your day-to-day travel.  
 

Snowy Downtown Street in Bellevue

What to do: The rain and cold can make biking, walking, and transit a bit less enjoyable, but with the right preparation, you can make it a more comfortable experience. Here are some tips from Choose Your Way Bellevue:

  • Check the weather forecast
    • Always know what you are walking into when you walk out the door, so you are best prepared to deal with it.  
  • Use your resources and plan ahead
  • Leave early
    • Give yourself some extra time to bike and walk to your destination or the bus stop. Rushing in bad weather can be stressful and lead to a slip or fall.  
  • Use the right gear
    • It can rain steadily for hours at a time; having a waterproof jacket and waterproof shoes will go a long way.
    • Wear gloves and a warm hat when walking and biking in cold, windy weather, to avoid discomfort—but be sure your helmet fits properly over your hat.
    • Especially during the shorter days of winter, wear reflective gear, a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike or person when biking or walking in wintery and dark conditions to increase visibility. Per state law, at night, bikes must have white light on the front and a red reflector on the back.
    • Wearing layers goes a long way in keeping you warm, while also giving you access to take layers off once you get on the warm, cozy bus.
  • Watch your step
    • When entering and exiting the bus, make sure to watch your step and use any available handrailing.
  • Check out the following winter travel tips from the City of Bellevue:
    • Practice putting on your tire chains at home before you need them and put on traction tires if you have them.
    • Have an ice scraper/snow brush and other essentials for your car. Visit https://wsdot.com/travel/real-time/mountainpasses/winterdrivingtips for a checklist of other items to have in your car to be prepared.
    • Purchase a snow shovel. Clearing your sidewalk of snow helps keep people who are walking and rolling safe!
    • Buy shoes with good grip, ice grippers to put on your shoes, a walking stick or other mobility safety devices to help with walking in winter conditions.
    • Know whom to contact in an emergency:
      • For life-threatening emergencies, call 911.
      • To report blocked or hazardous streets and sidewalks, fallen trees and similar problems, call the city’s 24-hour response line at 425-452-7840.
      • Call Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773 to report a power outage.
      • Non-emergencies can also be reported through the MyBellevue app.

In addition to SoundTransit.org/alerts and MetroWinter.com for transit information during winter weather, the following city resources can keep you informed:

During a winter event, city staff work 24/7 in 12-hour shifts to clear roads. Streets are prioritized for plowing based on a snow response map that considers access for emergency services, transit, traffic volume and other factors. These major routes may require repeated plowing and sanding before crews are able to clear neighborhood streets.

For more tips and information on the city’s winter weather response visit BellevueWA.gov/snow-ice.

Now that you've been provided tips for traveling in the winter, including biking, walking, and riding the bus, you're more prepared to take to the streets! Don't forget to check out the Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program to learn what incentives you could win for logging your non-drive-alone trips!

 

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

 

 

 

   

 

Exploring the Eastside Using the New “Transit on the Eastside” Map

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Are you getting excited about the upcoming East Link Extension? Are you interested in learning more about the existing transit service already available on the Eastside? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you should check out the new interactive map commissioned by Move Redmond!

A map of a city

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The map, which you can find here, is a valuable resource that can not only help you plan your trips and take advantage of the transit service already available along the Eastside but also give you a sneak peek of how your trip might change with the East Link Extension, because you can see its routing right on the map!

A suite of bus route changes are likely to occur once the full East Link line to Seattle is open in 2025. Called “East Link Connections,” you can check out those here .

In the meantime, the map above shows the current routing and frequency level of almost every Eastside bus route from as far north as Bothell all the way to Newcastle in the south to Sammamish in the East. It includes the eight Eastside stations that will be part of the East Link Extension, from Mercer Island and South Bellevue through downtown Bellevue and the Bel-Red area to the Redmond Technology Station (note that only South Bellevue eastward will be open in 2024, and the rest of the stops in 2025).

The map is also a great way to discover new places, find the best route or station for your destination, and plan your trip accordingly. Whether you are a Bellevue resident or a visitor, the map can help you explore the Eastside and beyond. The map’s legend allows you to browse the map by schools, universities/colleges, hospitals, libraries, secure bike parking and other landmarks. For each light rail station or transit hub, you can see the nearby amenities and attractions that you can visit with a short walk, bike ride, or bus ride. For example, you can see that the Bellevue Transit Center is close to the libraryKaiser Permanente and Overlake HospitalBellevue Botanical Garden, and Bellevue High School. You can also see that the South Bellevue Light Rail Station is a close walk to Mercer Slough Nature Park

Looking to Try Transit out? Choose Your Way Bellevue’s Try Transit offer is here to help! If you haven’t ridden transit three times in the last three months, fill out this form and we’ll send you an ORCA card preloaded with $25. Once you start riding (or if you already do) don’t forget to log your trips and begin earning rewards with our Choose Your Way Bellevue Rewards program!

What are you waiting for? Check out the map and start planning your next adventure. You might be surprised by what you can find and do with already existing transit. Happy exploring!

-Choose Your Way staffer Jake

20 Things You Could Do This Month If You Didn’t Buy a Car 

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The cost of a car isn’t cheap. Kelley Blue Book estimates the average cost of a new vehicle last August at $48,165. Using that number and current interest rates, that would put monthly payments at over $700. After 12 months, that’s $8,400 a year and that doesn’t include gas, insurance, or any maintenance. Check out our “Calculate Your Commute Cost” section on our website to calculate your commute and find out how much you could save.  In this blog, we’ll have some fun and show you what you could do this month if you leaned into your non-drive-alone options and saved that money!