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Election 2012: What might Inslee and Obama mean for transportation?

Photo by Agence France Presse (AFP).

Democrat Jay Inslee is ahead in the state governor’s race, which is very likely a good thing for biking, walking and transit funds in Washington compared to his opponent Rob McKenna.

Senate Transportation Committee Chair and constant roadblock to bike and transit bills Mary Margaret Haugen (a Democrat) appears to be losing her race against Republican Barbara Bailey. If the Democrats hold onto power in the senate, this could set the stage for a new Democrat to assume the chair.

A cursory look suggests that many of Cascade Bicycle Club’s endorsed candidates are doing well as state results continue to trickle in. And yes, their “bikepartisan” endorsements include many Republicans.

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On a national note, now that Obama no longer needs to fight to be the President of Ohio, will he unleash Transportation Secretary (and Republican) Ray LaHood’s love for bicycling and chill out on all the blind car industry love? GridChicago hopes so:

Secretary LaHood consistently espouses the benefits of bicycling as a transportation mode and spoke at the National Bike Summit, a conference where bicycle interest groups lobby legislators annually, where he gave a speech standing on a table (more photos). And while the President and Secretary must cede funding appropriations and authorizations to Congress, they have continually awarded grants to rail, transit, and bicycle projects without a second thought. Many of these came from the new TIGER program, part of ARRA, grants awarded at the discretion of the Department of Transportation and its subagencies, according to well-defined performance measures.

Communities the nation over cry out for basic features like sidewalks and bike lanes. We should no longer live “dangerously by design”. President Obama’s first term was heavily focused on rail projects (and maintaining highways and bridges). We ask that his second term continue to promote sustainable transportation, and to pivot national transportation policy so it prioritizes transit, pedestrians, and bicycle logistics and transportation.

In other not entirely election-related news, SDOT installed these bike racks at 23rd and Union last week. During the election party at the Neighbor Lady, they were beyond capacity. If you build it, they will come:

On Capitol Hill, a street party broke out. I spotted several people hoisting their bikes above their heads. Maybe it was to get through the crowd, or maybe there’s just something about the bike that meshes perfectly with the progressive hope for the future sentiment flowing through the streets:

How was your election night (and hangover)?

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4 responses to “Election 2012: What might Inslee and Obama mean for transportation?”

  1. Anthony

    Please tell me your kidding. So, as I understand it, you’re saying that having a right-wing non-progressive member in the house is better for us since Haugen wasn’t bikeable enough for you?!!!

    HUH? So, support someone on the right who will gladly vote against measures that help the general population, all because it helps your agenda of getting more bikes on the road? I don’t think a lot of bicycle advocates have thought this out clearly, unless they prefer getting to bike and having their rights stripped away simultaneously, like abortion, etc. Short-sighted to say the least…

    1. Tom Fucoloro

      Woah, woah, woah. You’re reading more into that than there is. I am writing to note what effect the elections might have on biking. I am in no way saying I’m excited about Bailey or that I support her. I actually know very little about her.

      But having a change in the transpo committee chair will absolutely have an effect on bicycling in the state, so I noted that.

  2. […] here: Election 2012: What might Inslee and Obama … – Seattle Bike Blog This entry was posted in Blog Search and tagged annually, bicycle, bike, consistently, gave, […]

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