Michael Andersen blogs for The Green Lane Project, a PeopleForBikes program that helps U.S. cities build better bike lanes to create low-stress streets.
The last two years have revealed a very clear new superstar in the country’s progress toward protected bike lane networks.
It’s the Emerald City: Seattle.
In the last two years, Seattle has completed seven protected bike lane projects, more than any other city in the country in that period except New York.
Seattle heaved through a significant “bikelash” a few years ago, and it’s discovered an ocean of political support on the other side.
On Tuesday night, the city’s voters did something remarkable: By 56 percent to 44 percent, they approved a property tax increase that will spend $65 million on a 50-mile protected bike lane network and a 60-mile neighborhood greenway network over the next nine years. It’ll also put $71 million toward Seattle’s goal of eliminating serious and fatal crashes, $15 million to repair 225 blocks of damaged sidewalks, $250 million to maintain existing roads, and $140 million to maintain existing bridges.
The project list goes on. But it never stoops to the mistaken claim that a fast-growing city can fix its transportation problems by building more and more lanes for cars, always hoping that the next lane will be the one that never fills up.