Apr

7

In 2014, a new program called Puget Sound Bike Share is coming to King County. This program enables residents to rent bicycles for long or short periods of time before dropping it back off to a docking station. These docking stations will be strategically located throughout the cities in King County to make renting and using the bicycles more convenient.

How Did the Program Start?

Bike sharing programs are nothing new. They’ve been around for years and over 30 different cities in the United States have similar programs. There are even over 200 programs worldwide. The Puget Sound Bike Share will be the first program in Washington State, though some nearby states have them. There is currently one, for example, in San Francisco and one due to begin in Portland.

The program is non-profit and ultimately relies on user-generated money as well as public and grant funding.  The program will also accept donations and private foundation funding as well. During the beginning phase, Puget Sound Bike Share will set up docking stations throughout Seattle and on the waterfront including Downtown, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and the University District.

How Can You Be a Part of Puget Sound Bike Share?

Once the docking stations and bicycles are ready, you can rent a cycle from any of the docking stations and use it to get around town. There will be three different forms of renting once the bikes become available. These include annual, monthly, and 24-hour memberships. It will be run similarly to city bus passes, but be much more affordable.

The stations are planned to be spaced out every two blocks or so. This means you won’t have to walk far to find a bike or return one to a docking station. Along with bikes, helmet vending machines will be located next to the stations in order to comply with helmet laws in King County and Seattle.

Is King County A Suitable Place for a Bike Share?

One question that emerged when putting together the Puget Sound Bike Share was location. Is King County a good location for a bike share program? Ultimately, it was decided that a bike share program would indeed benefit the area since biking is now a popular form of transportation. King County is actually home to the largest biking club in the country.

In addition to this, the cities in King County are bike friendly in their design and there have been no fatal bike crashes and few injury accidents. The last problem encountered was on one of Seattle’s famous hills, which are not always a joy to bike up and down. The Puget Sound Bike Share program dealt with this, however, by providing bikes with seven gears rather than the traditional three. Biking up and down hills will be much easier for riders.

Share

Jul

16

One of the most picturesque and exciting features of the Seattle area is its trademark waterfront real estate, complete with floating homes and houseboats. The city’s Lake Union and Portage Bay neighborhoods are home to a thriving community of waterfront houses and homeowners. These homeowners enjoy a fantastic view of Seattle water, as well as easy access to downtown Seattle. Even better, the area is privy to highlights that aren’t found elsewhere, such as Lake Union Park’s FarmBoat floating market. This attraction, held on the historic steamship known as Virginia V, has a storied tradition and a lot of charm.

A Brief History of FarmBoat Floating Market
When it comes to Seattle’s sites, waterfront attractions boast some of the longest histories around, and the FarmBoat Floating Market is no exception. The market is held aboard the long-lived Virginia V and docked at Lake Union Park Wharf, where it harkens back to another age. Around the turn of the 20th century, shipping vessels of steam and sails were the transportation of choice for agricultural goods. Hundreds of ships just like the Virginia V used to travel to and from Puget Sound to move farm goods around before there were trucks and highways. A floating time capsule, the Virginia V captures that unique old-world atmosphere and makes it available to Seattle locals and tourists alike.

The Attraction of Lake Union’s FarmBoat Floating Market
Like the water taxi and water-based firefighters, the floating market is a distinct fixture of the waterfront community. Market visitors can stop by the FarmBoat Floating Market to browse local produce and specialty foods, enjoy a scenic lunch, and even pick up a bit more knowledge about this fascinating bit of Seattle history, such as how the Virginia V once transported farm products from Vashon Island to Pike Place Market way back in 1922. In terms of local heritage and tradition, the FarmBoat Floating Market does a great job of shedding some light on this interesting locale. Even better, the entire experience is available free of charge, which is always a draw when trying to decide which of Seattle’s many attractions to see.

Placing FarmBoat Floating Market in Context
Lake Union FarmBoat Floating Market is managed by the Urban Public Waterfront Association, or UPWA. This organization is a non-profit with the mission of connecting people to the local maritime environment through water-centric events and activities. This alone shows how big a role the waterfront plays in Seattle’s culture and historical traditions. Ultimately, the Floating Market is a great choice for learning more about the area and experiencing what draws people to Seattle’s waterfront property. Whether visitors want to see the FarmBoat Floating Market as a slice of Seattle’s waterfront community, as a living relic of a bygone era, as a compelling shopping destination, or as a great vantage point for admiring Lake Union and the distinctive downtown Seattle skyline, FarmBoat Floating Market is a destination of choice. It has earned its place as a one of a kind attraction in Seattle.

Share

Nov

16

The Elliott Bay Water Taxi, which travels from West Seattle across to downtown Seattle in 12 minutes, increased its ridership by 15% over the prior year. It’s a great commute alternative for people who live in the waterfront community of West Seattle and either work in downtown Seattle or can connect to other public transportation from there.

The water taxi is successful enough that year around service is set to start in 2010, and several other demonstration routes are being planned for other local Puget Sound and Lake Washington communities.

Elliott Bay Water Taxi service from West Seattle to downtown Seattle, photo from King County Metro Transit

Share

Apr

23

The Elliott Bay Water Taxi service – that takes passengers between West Seattle dock at Seacrest Park and downtown at Pier 55 by Spring Street – is back in operation starting April 29th and runs through September 30th this year. There is also an associated free shuttle bus that connects the dock at Seacrest Park to Alki, Admiral District, and West Seattle Junction. It operates 7 days a week and operates throughout the day, with more frequent crossings during commute hours. Fare is $3, and numerous passes and associated discounts are accepted.

A community celebration will be held opening day on Sunday April 29th, including music, family activities, and free rides on the Water Taxi all day.

Share