In a recent letter, Mayor Ed Murray did not mince words about how strongly he supports building protected bike lanes in Seattle. In support of Seattle’s application to be part of the national Green Lane Project — a program of PeopleForBikes — Murray called protected bike lanes “a crucial component of our transportation infrastructure and at the heart of our Bicycle Master Plan.
“I believe this project could help Seattle reclaim its place as one of the best bicycling cities in the United States,” he wrote. He also embraces the Bike Master Plan and supports the central role that protected bike lanes play in it.
Here’s the mayor’s letter to the Green Lane Project:
As Mayor of Seattle, I am submitting this letter in enthusiastic support of Seattle’s Green Lane Project application. I believe this project could help Seattle reclaim its place as one of the best bicycling cities in the United States.
Protected bicycle lanes are a crucial component of our transportation infrastructure and at the heart of our Bicycle Master Plan. Of course, these lanes are critical for the improved safety of cyclists; they help get bikes and cars out of each other’s way. But they also provide significant benefits for the livability of our city, the mobility and health of our residents, and contribute to our ongoing pursuit of environmental sustainability.
I am excited about the potential to expand our network of protected bicycle lanes in Seattle, and one of the reasons I am supporting this application is because I believe the Green Lane Project can help us as we work to build consensus towards this goal. I am especially interested in the potential for connecting Seattle’s stakeholders with their counterparts in cities that have successfully built protected bicycle lanes in thriving urban centers. The Green Lane Project is an important tool, and one we can use to generate broader public support for protected bicycle lanes in our neighborhoods.
On a personal note, I have cycled on protected bicycle lanes in Europe and have seen how they transform the bicycle riding experience and the urban streetscape, encourage active and healthy activity, and contribute to a sense of community. One of my priorities as Mayor is to foster a coherent, connected, multi-modal transportation network. The planning and development of protected bicycle lanes are central to this effort.
Thank you for this opportunity, and please contact me directly if I can provide additional information.
Mayor Ed Murray
Murray’s support for protected bike lanes could also prove to be a boon to Seattle businesses, according to a report released this week by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and PeopleForBikes.
From increases in retail sales and workforce productivity to decreases in transportation system costs and workforce sick days, better bike lanes are good for all kinds of businesses. Cities that are not building safe bike lanes are falling behind, and Mayor Murray’s letter suggests he is not going to let that happen to Seattle.