Thursday, July 12, 2018

Bike sharrows on I-90 and 24 other possibly unsound proposals to make Spokane more bicycle-friendly

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 4:36 PM

click to enlarge Bike sharrows on I-90 and 24 other possibly unsound proposals to make Spokane more bicycle-friendly
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial gif
Is Spokane's bicycle infrastructure compatible with extraterrestrial visitors? How about Europeans?

I've been commuting by bike to the Inlander for eight years,  and so far it's been great. I've only been hit by cars twice — both times very politely.

That said, cycling in Spokane could still be even better. After all, there are some people who still drive places in cars. Trucks even!

Yesterday, Councilwoman Kate Burke held a "Bicyclists' Town Hall" to talk about some of the cycling projects that Spokane is working on and to get feedback from cyclists. They talked about the city's plan for a protected bike lane — a lane separated from automobile traffic by physical barriers like planters or posts — on Riverside Avenue through downtown. They discussed ideas like better signage, more bike racks, more trail connections and the fabled "Dutch intersection."

Burke says that attendees were mostly complimentary toward the city's improvements in the last decade, but were still critical of the city's choice to rehab streets like Sprague and Monroe without adding bike lanes. And she says pretty much everyone hates "sharrows," those painted bike-arrow symbols intended to guide cyclists on streets without bike lanes.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend, so I'll have to just post all of my amazing ideas right here.

I don't expect anyone at City Hall to implement any of my incredible suggestions, and for a good reason: They're cowards. But you, good reader? You recognize genius when you see it:

1. In order for cyclists to know exactly which lane to be in at all times, add sharrows onto the I-90 freeway.

2. Bike-pool lanes, exclusively for cyclists with two or more passengers.

3. Giant animatronic hand wagging its index finger at passing cars to judge them for driving.

4. 10-gallon buckets stationed outside of most major workplaces so bike commuters can wring the sweat out their carefully ironed dress shirts before starting their day.

5. Establish an additional series of bike-rider hand signals to communicate important messages to other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, such as: "Thank you for not squishing me, pickup truck!" "I know I just broke the rules of the road, but to follow them would have mildly inconvenienced me," "I swear I didn't steal this bike, so please stop looking at me like I did," "Your high-end spandex biker outfit feels me with equal parts jealousy and eye-rolling irritation," "F—- you!" and "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?"

6. For every four bikes of yours that are stolen, get a fifth bike stolen for free.

7. Sick-ass jump at the bottom of Doomsday Hill.

click to enlarge Bike sharrows on I-90 and 24 other possibly unsound proposals to make Spokane more bicycle-friendly (2)
Hot Fuzz gif
Prevent accidental collisions between bikes and car doors by requiring all car doors be welded shut.

8. City amendment to make laws temporarily no longer apply to cyclists immediately after they yell "hot pizza."

9. Rebrand potholes as "bicycle moguls."

10. Amend the Complete Streets ordinance to establish that no street is TRULY complete without a smile.

11. Add bicycle enhancement stations along trails that allow cyclists to add streamers on their handlebars or cards in their spokes in the middle of a ride.

12. Reduce Monroe Street to one lane, ban automobile traffic from it and rename it the "Centennial Trail."

13. Reduce the stigma toward bicycle helmets by requiring Lilac Princesses to wear them at all times.

14. Pass ordinance mandating bystanders cheer when a cyclist gets to the top of a really big hill.

15. Permanently remove the following obstructions from city bike lanes: nail heaps, bear traps, tiger pits, lava pools, hedgehog colonies and any cyclist on an "e-bike."

16. Fund a city program that, when it's dark and you don't have your bike light, allows you to dial 311 to summon a jogger to run alongside you with a flashlight.

17. Train elite black-ops unit specializing to conduct covert strikes against high-value targets in the War on Cars.

18. Mayoral proclamation declaring anyone who can ride their bike without touching their handlebars, as witnessed by their friend Carson from soccer, to be "so frickin' sweet." 

19. Make the winter commute a bit more cozy with heated bike lanes.

20. Hire street sweepers to clear off the wrecked bikes and broken bodies from the city streets each morning.

21. Film a PSA where Mayor David Condon, sitting backward on a chair and wearing a baseball cap sideways, crosses his arms and says, "You know what's really 'da bomb?' Bicycle safety."

22. Start a nonprofit that helps Spokane men upgrade to adult-sized BMX bikes.

23. Create stealth bike lanes that only cyclists who are pure of heart can see.

24. Distribute bicycle bells that, instead of going "ding!" trigger a loud audio message saying "RCW 46.61.755 GIVES EVERY PERSON RIDING A BICYCLE UPON A ROADWAY ALL OF THE RIGHTS AND ALL OF THE DUTIES APPLICABLE TO DRIVERS OF A VEHICLE, EXCEPT AS TO SPECIAL REGULATIONS IN RCW 46.61.750 THROUGH 46.61.780" in the voice of Gilbert Gottfried.

25. Electrify bike racks to prevent thefts.

click to enlarge Bike sharrows on I-90 and 24 other possibly unsound proposals to make Spokane more bicycle-friendly (3)
Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure gif
Soon, all of Spokane could be commuting like this to work every day.

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About The Author

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters was a staff reporter for the Inlander from 2009 to 2023. He reported on a wide swath of topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.His work investigated deep flaws in the Washington...