Pin It

INTERVIEW — Barb Chamberlain 

click to enlarge Chamberlain is leaving WSU for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Chamberlain is leaving WSU for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.
Barb Chamberlain began bicycling regularly in 2003 after the city of Spokane put a bike lane in front of her Cedar Street house. After nearly a decade of biking and blogging about the two-wheeled life, Chamberlain, the public affairs director for Washington State University in Spokane, is moving to Seattle to become the executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

INLANDER: What was it about the installation of bike lane that got you riding?

CHAMBERLAIN: That was the visual signal I saw when I looked out the window. There, it is right there and it goes right down the hill. And so it really is an invitation.

When you talk about how bike lanes and infrastructure are signals for people that it’s OK to bike, it seems like Spokane has a ways to go.

Every community has a ways to go. And it’s visible infrastructure and it’s also the process of other people on bikes. The studies have shown that in cities having growing rates of bike use, [it’s] really clear that the more people ride, the safer it is for everybody to ride. … That’s another cue for people. If you see somebody on a bike going by, you think, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s possible, I can do that.’

Does that mean Spokane needs more of a critical mass of visible bikers?

Don’t use that term [laughing]. The term ‘critical mass’ is a protest movement of people who try to take over the street. Spokane definitely needs more riders, and riders of all ages. There was an interesting piece … it was a study on the gender mix in riding, because nationwide, it’s still pretty much three-to-one for male to female, depending on the city. The more women who are riding, the more it signals to everyone that this is a place that is safe to ride. … We need more people of all ages, all stages of life, the entire mix you’d think you’d see driving in a bus or a car or walking, also on bikes.

The Complete Streets ordinance that the City Council passed last year, how much closer does that get us?

That’s really, really essential because what it does is it recognizes that biking and transit access and sidewalks are all part of a complete transportation system ... that is taking into account that people move around all kinds of ways, not just in vehicles.


  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu

Sandemonium @ Sandpoint Library

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Joe O'Sullivan

  • R.I.P. Spokane
  • R.I.P. Spokane

    Exploring the Spokane of South Dakota — left for dead long ago
    • Jun 11, 2013
  • Beating On
  • Beating On

    Ska and new wave legends the English Beat land in Spokane
    • Mar 26, 2013
  • Green Water
  • Green Water

    Will Congress say yes to more hydropower?
    • Feb 27, 2013
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment




Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation