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

Eric the Relic: In Blaming Dead Pedestrians, Adams Seizes Long-Discredited and Hateful Messaging

It's a time-honored car culture tactic: If you can’t or won’t protect pedestrians, make them take the rap.

July 25, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: ‘We’ll See You in Court, Gov.’ Edition

Today's the day that City Comptroller Brad Lander and his team of legal eagles will start the fight to save congestion pricing!

July 25, 2024

Hochul Must Put Up or Shut Up on Congestion Pricing, New Senate Transportation Chair Says

Gov. Hochul must produce a "100-day plan" to replace the $16.5 billion MTA funding shortfall created by her decision to cancel congestion pricing.

July 24, 2024

DOT Begins Safety Upgrades for Atlantic Av. But Locals Want More

Some changes are coming for Atlantic, but they're not enough, say street safety advocates.

July 24, 2024

MTA Contractor Scrambles to Refund Fake Charges After OMNY ‘Upgrade’ Goes Awry

Cubic is working to issue refunds to riders improperly charged thanks to the glitch, a spokesman said.

July 24, 2024
See all posts