Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

Seattle “Bikelash” Largely Invented, Poll Finds

Like a lot of cities, Seattle has seen a much-hyped "bikelash" against efforts to make the city safer for cycling. But it turns out that this bikelash might be just that: hype.

false

A recent telephone poll of 400 Seattle voters [PDF], conducted via landlines and cellphones, found strong support for cycling -- despite what a local newspaper says.

The poll, conducted by local opinion survey group FM3 and commissioned by the Cascade Bicycle Club, found that 79 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of cyclists. Almost 60 percent of voters support devoting more road space to bike facilities. Another 78 percent said they ride a bike at least once a year. A slight majority, 51 percent, disagreed with the notion that Seattle is waging a "war on cars." Only 31 percent agreed.

Local alt weekly The Stranger said high-pitched, anti-bike rhetoric from the Seattle Times has been a factor in the upcoming mayoral race. Some critics have taken shots at Mayor Mike McGinn for his efforts to make cycling safer, and have taken to calling him Mayor McSchwinn.

But that might not be such a good strategy, The Stranger's Dominic Holden writes. "The problem is that this is a losing wedge issue," he said. "Anti-bicycle advocates speak for less than one-third of Seattle residents. These holdouts, the polling shows, are largely older, white, conservative men. Candidates who pander to those blocs with anti-bike talking points will be losing more votes than they're gaining."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Brooklyn Civic Panel Can’t Agree How to Solve NYPD Sidewalk Parking

Move the illegal sidewalk parking or denounce it altogether?

April 17, 2024

Wednesday’s Headlines: Bike Lane Delay Edition

Remember the proposed sidewalk bike lane on Ocean Avenue? So do we. Plus other news in today's media digest.

April 17, 2024

Landmarks Officials OK Delivery Worker Hub Outside City Hall

The sleek new delivery hub and charging station will replace a 1980s-era newsstand that's sat empty since the pandemic.

April 17, 2024

Ten-Year-Old Fatally Struck By Driver Near South Williamsburg Playground

The 62-year-old driver struck and killed the youngster at the intersection of Wallabout Street and Wythe Avenue.

April 16, 2024

Car Crashes by City Workers Cost Taxpayers $180M in Payouts Last Year: Report

A record number of victims of crashes involving city employees in city-owned cars filed claims in fiscal year 2023 — and settlements with victims have jumped 23 percent, a new report shows.

April 16, 2024
See all posts