A guest op-ed in the Seattle Times by former Washington Bus director Thomas Goldstein and John Healy lays out their vision for Seattle’s road to a truly bike-friendly future. Spoiler alert: It’s all about cycle tracks where they are needed, fully funding the bicycle master plan and strong leadership.
A transportation system that allows more people to ride bikes safely and conveniently would benefit drivers, pedestrians, transit riders and bike riders alike. The myth of a pitched battle between bike riders and motorists is perpetuated by a tiny minority. The majority just wants a better, safer system.
That system begins with a vision supported by city leaders that sets clear direction for a fully funded update of Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. Such an effort must be followed by competent execution.
The experience of leading bike-riding cities suggest three city steps.
•The city should fully fund the recommendations in the 2007 Bicycle Master Plan, updated to include safety improvements such as the dedicated, protected bicycle lanes known as cycle tracks. The 2007 plan calls for $25 million per year; expenditures now run less than $7 million annually and have been shrinking.
•Create and fund a visible “bicycle czar” within the Seattle Department of Transportation with authority to work across divisions to truly integrate bike riding into the system. This is a position filled by strong, dynamic leaders in virtually every city that has made real progress. Seattle has no such leader.