Rahm Emanuel Refuses to Say He’s “Not Against Bike Lanes”

New protected bike lane on Chicago's Kinzie Street. Photo: ##http://www.stevencanplan.com/the-bollards-are-in-nuff-said/##Steven Can Plan##

Okay. We can be envious now.

We noted a little while back that in setting out to make Chicago the nation’s most bike-friendly city, Rahm Emanuel was setting a tone not heard before from a big-city mayor. Indications are that cyclists aren’t tolerated in Emanuel’s Chicago, but wanted. Here’s an excerpt from an Emanuel statement on the city’s bike program web site:

Whether it’s navigating neighborhood streets with family and friends or catching a breeze along the lakefront on the way to work, more Chicagoans are discovering the benefits of biking. It’s a fast, fun, healthy, and affordable way to get around the city. In addition to providing a convenient alternative to driving, cycling reduces traffic congestion, promotes a cleaner environment, creates healthier communities, and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

One of my top priorities as mayor is to create a bike network that allows every Chicagoan — from kids on their first ride to senior citizens on their way to the grocery store — to feel safe on our streets.

Memo to New York’s 2013 mayoral contenders: If you really support bicycling, this is how to do it with conviction and avoid coming across like a spineless coward.

  • BK Bro

    Holy Multi-Negative, Streetsblog headline writer: Politicians refuses to say he’s not against something.

    I cannot do juijitsu. I can’t figure out what this means.

  • rab

    Holy cow, that’s a confusing headline. 

  • As I recall, Rahm was the guy who kept suggesting that Obama cut his losses on health care and do a minor reform that doesn’t provide universal coverage. Just because he’s a forceful alpha male figure and can come off as doing something on an issue he can’t really lose on doesn’t mean he has a spine.

  • carma

    i thought i was the only one.  college degree doesnt work in this case.
    Refuses, Not and Against.  thats a triple negative there.
    does that mean he is against bike lanes then?

  • moocow

    “It’s not a spoon”

    This headline made little sense to my caveman brain, and the Jason Gay headline had me cringing, until I read the piece.

  • Tom

    You are not Murray Kempton.  Murray Kempton is dead.  Stick with the simple declarative sentence.

  • Albert

    Having read earlier articles about Emanuel, the headline made me want to read the article.  So I read it, got happy, then understood the headline.  Not that I wouldn’t have read it in any case (another double negative)

  • carma

    actually, Emanuel’s style is more like this:

    “Im not against f—-ing bike lanes.  Go f— off.  Im installing 100 miles in chicago.”

  • Anonymous

    Emmanuel pushed the president to yield on a difficult issue fraught with complications, implications, and financial ramifications. It’s a difficult policy issue, while bike lanes are only a difficult political issue. I don’t think Rahm’s stance on health care indicates lack of a spine. 

  • Larry Littlefield

    That’s pretty much the Chicago style when it comes to infrastructure.  It isn’t San Francisco when it comes to NIMBYs.


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