Mayor touts city bike-friendly progress at Bike to Work Day rally

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A light drizzle kept Bike to Work Day numbers a little lower compared to recent years, but that didn’t stop scores of people from donning a rain jacket and pedaling to the jobs Friday.

After a ride from the KEXP studios to City Hall, Mayor Mike McGinn made the case that the city has gotten a lot more bike-friendly under his watch.

He also took full ownership of the label Mayor McSchwinn, which his opponents have often used to attack him.

“I say, let ‘em,” the Mayor told the crowd. McGinn is in a tight race for reelection, and is certainly hoping for big turnout from people motivated to make the city safer for cycling.

In the morning, he tweeted a campaign image featuring a person on a bike and the word: Forward.

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After McGinn spoke, he and Councilmember Mike O’Brien presented a city proclamation honoring former Cascade Bicycle Club Executive Director Chuck Ayers for his years of service to the cause.

Ayers told the crowd to get out and take action if they want to see bike-friendly changes.

“Don’t expect the bike clubs to do it all for you,” he said.

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7 Responses to Mayor touts city bike-friendly progress at Bike to Work Day rally

  1. Joe says:

    Can anyone perhaps provide a list of the specific things Mike McGinn has done to make Seattle a better place for bicycling during his years as Mayor?

    I know he recently assigned some money to safety improvements, but I’m not aware of anything else he’s actually done. Am I missing something…or is this just an attempt to pander to cyclists?

    Would love being educated here…thx!

  2. Karen C. says:

    I lived in Seattle from 1985-95, and biked there quite a bit during those years. I have been coming back from L.A. for visits 1-3x/year since then, but this last visit, two weeks ago, I noticed a dramatic change. I borrowed my nephew’s bike and commuted from the Haller Lake area to downtown for 4 days to attend a conference. I had a blast (and the weather was particularly fantastic that week). The rides each morning and evening were absolutely beautiful! Not only did I enjoy a complete route of bike lanes & bike-friendly streets the entire 10-mile trip into downtown, but there were always plenty of other cyclists out, even at night. I also found the drivers to be quite pleasant and courteous. Seattle was a good biking city before, but it has become remarkably bike-friendly in the last few years! The Emerald City really has it going on!

  3. Don Brubeck says:

    Joe, a few things that come to mind immediately without looking anything up:
    Road diet on Nickerson and other streets despite near hysteria from many citizens.
    Dexter Ave N rechannelization for bike traffic and buses.
    Separated bike path from S King St S Atlantic St.
    Bike Master Plan Update using state of the art for bike facilities.
    Re-orienting SDOT’s mission to include bikes and pedestrians as important for Seattle transportation, and hiring/promoting SDOT staff who care about this.
    Executive action on B-G missing link despite lawsuits.
    Start of Greenways.
    Start of separated cycle tracks.
    Miles of uphill climbing bike lanes.
    Bike box at N 34th and Fremont.
    Bike box at SW Avalon and Delridge SW.
    Planning for bike traffic on Broadway.
    Funding redesign of 5-way intersection at Chelan/Delridge/West Marginal/Spokane SW
    Using savings from Spokane St Viaduct project for improvements to East Marginal Way S.
    The trail into Ballard from the Montake cut trail – can’t remember the name.

    • Joe says:

      But how many of these were Mayor actually responsible for in some fashion?

      I’m only familiar with a few, but I don’t recall hearing or seeing that he was directly involved with any.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        All of them. The Director of SDOT answers to the mayor, and McGinn really put himself out there and spent a lot of political capital on many of those projects, especially the early road diets like Nickerson and NE 125th.

        Now, one might argue that the projects could have been handled better, with more neighborhood involvement, etc. But they were the right thing to do, and the mayor went out on a limb to do them. So credit where it’s due…

      • Leif Espelund says:

        Seriously. Can we give the Mayor complete credit for every one of these projects? Absolutely not, there were lots of people from city staff to community groups that made these happen. But would most of these improvements have happened under an anti-bike or even bike-neutral leader? Absolutely not.

        I’m not saying McGinn has been the most effective mayor, he has certainly not had a good relationship with the council (though you have to wonder how much of that has to do with multiple council members wanting his job), but none of the serious candidates out there have come forward and supported bikes and transit like McGinn. I think they are all trying to distance themselves from his signature issue. That seems short-sighted to me. McGinn was elected because lots of people agree with his principals.

  4. industrialbiker says:

    That’s a pretty impressive list. Without support from the top (both Mayor and Council) none of those projects would be possible. Funding and political support are absolutely essential in getting any of this done.

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