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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Is Ed Murray Running to Be the Anti-Bike-Lane Mayor?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Well, that depends how you read this sign spotted by a Slog tipper on Westlake Avenue North:

wake_up_america_murray_will_stop_bike_lanes.jpeg

The driving force of an October 3 fundraiser "Paid for by Ed Murray for Mayor" were people who sought to "oppose Mayor McGinn's cycle track" on Westlake Avenue. "This is a narrowly focused event," said an e-mail invitation to Murray supporters by Peter Schrappen of the Northwest Marine Trade Association. "The sole focus should be around articulating the Westlake interests."

Based on their fundraising and signs, it sure looks like Murray's their guy to stop bike lanes—and appears to me that he's raising money with an implicit promise that once he's mayor, he'll retroactively scotch plans for bike lanes and prevent new bike lanes from being planned.

But Murray's folks say that's not the case.

I've asked the Murray campaign to comment on (1) Murray's approach to bike lanes on Westlake, (2) his claim that bike lanes on NE 75th Street were a "mistake" and they "got rid of all street parking" (which Seattle Bike Blog says is false), and (3) that he's raising money from people with a focused goal of opposing bike lanes.

Although Murray's campaign didn't address his funders or the claim that "all" parking was removed, spokesman Sandeep Kaushik acknowledges that the bike lane on 75th "was not a mistake." He nonetheless added that neighbors were upset and "we need to take a more comprehensive and integrated approach to our transportation planning." As for Westlake, Kaushik notes that "Ed's said publicly he's not opposed to the Westlake" bike lanes. So, there you go.

 

Comments (62) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
DOUG. 1
Don't bother asking Ed Murray what he stands for. He has no idea.

There is a public meeting regarding the Westlake Cycle Track at BF Day School in Fremont on Monday, October 28 at 5pm. Mike McGinn will be there, Ed Murray will be invisible.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on October 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM · Report this
emor 2
Making Westlake a bike route should be a priority. It's a hill-free connection between Fremont and Downtown! Total no-brainer!
Sure, I love battling my commute-mates while sprinting up Dexter, I'm not always in the mood for good old fashioned cat 6 fun.
Posted by emor on October 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
3
You guys realize that 85% of the people in Seattle don't give a shit about bike lanes, right?
Posted by tkc on October 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM · Report this
4
That sign normally says awesome things.
Posted by Foonken2 on October 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
5
The other side endorses Kshama Sawant, so it's not all bad.
Posted by that sign sucks on October 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
emor 6
@3
So what? I'm still going to advocate for what I think is right. Bicycling is becoming more popular, and I foresee no developments to change that trend.
Posted by emor on October 24, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 7
Ah, the Marine Industry fundraiser thing. I know it doesn't mean much, but FWIW, Publicola asked Murray at the time about the fundraising group's apparent assumption he'd fight any proposed cycle track. ""I support cycle tracks. I used them in Europe. If they think I am opposed, then they'll be surprised." http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profi…
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on October 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM · Report this
MrBaker 8
@6, sex is popular, too, so they should go ahead and create a fucking bike lane, making both opponents and proponents correct when they exclaim, FUCKING BIKE LANE!
Posted by MrBaker http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/ on October 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM · Report this
SPG 9
Murray is sounding more and more like the Seattle Times editorial board...an out of touch east sider who believes there is such a thing as a war on cars.
Posted by SPG on October 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
TVDinner 10
@3: Wrong.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on October 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
theophrastus 11
i know of a large number of folks that are super-pissed that they had no say, and were actively ignored input, in the establishment of bike lanes on streets in their neighborhoods.

at one point i even bothered with: "y'know most of these plans were in place when Nickels was still in office"... "i don't care! - i hate McGinn's 'my way or the highway attitude!'"

so, i'd say that if Murray -was- running "anti-bike-lane" that would be very politically wise indeed' but i don't think he is. nor does he have to; McGinn lacks the essential ability to fake native humility.... he's comes off a pushy bastard and folks around here don't like that.
Posted by theophrastus on October 24, 2013 at 6:19 PM · Report this
stirwise 12
@3: I don't give a shit about parking, but that doesn't mean I can't acknowledge that it's important for other people. See, there's this thing called a community wherein it's most beneficial for people to look out for each other, instead of just themselves. I don't ride a bike or drive, but I know it's good for the city to make space for bikes and cars. In return, I hope that the other members of my community recognize that sidewalks and public transit are important, even if they never use them. Everybody wins!
Posted by stirwise on October 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 13
With no Republican candidate running, it is funny to watch the Stranger try to dismantle Murray. Only in Seattle...
P.S. Murray already won.
Posted by Lew Siffer on October 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 14
r.e. 75th, a street i drive nearly every day: the restriping project "demanded" by the neighborhood DID remove all parking between 35th & 15th. it also removed a rush hour driving lane each direction and replaced it with a center turn lane, which is about as useful as tits on a hog.

now traffic fucking crawls down the street at rush hour, and why? because the neighborhood & SDOT overreacted to a terrible tragedy that had nothing to do with regular commuters.

it was a chronic alcoholic, wasted to the gills at 4:30 in the afternoon, driving in direct violation of a court order to put an ignition interlock on his vehicle.

yes, something needed to change, and that was providing funding for enforcement of ignition interlock orders, not collectively punishing drivers who had nothing to do with it.

and the bike lanes? have you been on 75th? it's fucking STEEP son. bike traffic goes N-S, not E-W.
Posted by Max Solomon on October 24, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Report this
15
Does it really say "Wake Up AMERICA"?!! That's a bit of a stretch.
Posted by Racing Turtles on October 24, 2013 at 7:32 PM · Report this
south downtown 16
As for Westlake, Kaushik notes that "Ed's said publicly he's not opposed to the Westlake" bike lanes. So, there you go.

so there ya go, Dom, let's make up a column a non-issue because, umm , your bear is going to get his butt kicked...
Posted by south downtown on October 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
17

So much fun to watch Libs get trapped inside their own agenda.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on October 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
biffp 18
@15, it always says that. Usually there's a Snowden/NSA message after.

You can easily ride a bike up Dexter. Seattle can't spend a ton of money on Mercer, and then take cars off Westlake. Actual community would be expanding rail for people outside of downtown. The Stranger is just bending over backward to return the favor of McGinn attacking the Seattle Weekly, and should be transparent about that.
Posted by biffp on October 24, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Report this
DOUG. 19
@13: Murray's not a Republican, but he's a dolt. He's going to be a terrible mayor, so he'll probably win three terms.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on October 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM · Report this
Rujax! 20
Fuck Murray...vote for McGinn.
Posted by Rujax! http://rujax.blogspot.com/ on October 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM · Report this
21
@15 That sign has said "WAKE UP AMERICA" for years (here it is during the Deepwater Horizon spill: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rustblue/47…). He just changes out the message under it depending on what's up. Here's an anti-Bush one: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/251598… and a much funnier anti-Bush one: http://www.mackron.com/random/wakeup_fin…
Posted by lilzilla on October 24, 2013 at 8:25 PM · Report this
notaboomer 22
the auto-loading daily show clip is EXTREMELY ANNOYING!
Posted by notaboomer on October 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM · Report this
23
@3 15% less cars on the road should make the other 85% pretty happy. Unless they're also stupid.
Posted by ryanisinallofus on October 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM · Report this
24
Oh dom...you're such a silly girl
Posted by Dom's an idiot on October 24, 2013 at 8:44 PM · Report this
25
@14,

There are a lot of Ed Murray's signs in people's yards (not public rights of way) along NE 75th. A LOT.

Posted by Mr. X on October 24, 2013 at 8:47 PM · Report this
26
That sign always says "Wake up America" followed by various topics, usually simplistic bullshit.

Fuck Westlake parking.
Posted by Tyler Pierce on October 24, 2013 at 9:35 PM · Report this
rob! 27
@10's link got a little corrupted.

Should be: http://www.thestranger.com/binary/f7cf/n…
Posted by rob! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZBdUceCL5U on October 24, 2013 at 9:53 PM · Report this
schmacky 28
Two things I think are hilarious: 1) The Stranger thinks running against bike lanes is a losing strategy, and 2) you cite the totally unbiased good people at Seattle Bike Blog (!) to back up a pro argument for Seattle bikes. I love you guys, but your heads are outrageously far up your asses here.
Posted by schmacky on October 24, 2013 at 9:58 PM · Report this
29
@14, even better is that they did a horrible job of removing the old striping so when you're driving into the sun you see a crazy patchwork of "shiny areas" ahead. Seattle must use absolutely no reflective color beads in their lane stripe paint.

That's Mayor Mike though, never afraid to try to turn a tragedy into something his personal agenda wants (be it gun sticker programs and buybacks, criminals defacing public property with guerrilla bike lanes on Cherry).

My circle is filled in next to Ed Murray.
Posted by ChefJoe on October 24, 2013 at 10:41 PM · Report this
30
Ah, but Captain..the superior mahhn rides his bicycle on grass and gravel, not on...paved roadway...built for schoolchildren!

http://tomwhahappen.files.wordpress.com/…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on October 24, 2013 at 11:33 PM · Report this
31
@14 People always drove like maniacs on that stretch of 75th. It doesn't surprise me that bike lanes are awkward, but it was a goddam 4 lane freeway in front of a middle school in a residential area. I hated what they did at first, but came to see it as a reasonable approach to the problem of traffic at that site.
Posted by cracked on October 25, 2013 at 2:25 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 32
LOL!! I'm expecting Dominic to start calling Murray a Log Cabin Republican by the end of next week. Hell, he may even claim he's more dangerous than Bush.

The Stranger's coverage has always been slanted but the current crop of writers are so less talented than even Josh or Erica at this point...it's kinda sad to see really.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 25, 2013 at 3:45 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 33
And BTW, I'd like to point out that the bike lanes on 75th were put in AFTER people were killed, not before.

Not sure how that shows preventive leadership on the part of McGinn but there you go. Oh, and the bike lanes were put in a couple of months before an election.

There's a reason McGinn is going to lose worse than Mark fucking Sidran in two weeks. Yeah, Seattle hates McGinn more than Sidran. I'd like to see Dominic explain that reality
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on October 25, 2013 at 4:07 AM · Report this
34
@33 I have no problem incorporating bike lanes into the safety measures taken with the traffic flow on 75th. First of all, next to noone was using that strip of 75th for parking anyway. Second, people could hit that the top of that hill at 50 and suddenly barrel into view in front of the middles school - same on the other side of the rise and in both directions. I think what they did there was a pretty creative response to at least try to do something constructive given that the Seattle City Council and the mayor couldn't hang people on their 3rd DUI conviction.

Given how controversial bike lanes are, I'm impressed McGinn has stuck to it. Murray, when has he ever risked anything. Finger to the wind all the way, but I guess that what Seattle likes. I foresee three terms!
Posted by cracked on October 25, 2013 at 4:18 AM · Report this
35
Little editing: Given how controversial bike lanes are, I'm impressed McGinn has stuck to it. Murray? When has he ever risked anything? Finger to the wind all the way, but I guess that is what Seattle likes. I foresee three terms!
Posted by cracked on October 25, 2013 at 4:21 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 36
Ha! I used to go past that sign on the 17 bus all the time. Back then it was always something about W and the war in Iraq.
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 25, 2013 at 4:41 AM · Report this
Kinison 37
Way to play on worst case scenario paranoia! Even if all the cyclists in the city vote for McGinn, its not enough to sway the vote. McGinn has done such a polarizing job at mayor, that anyone is better than him right now.

Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on October 25, 2013 at 4:42 AM · Report this
Kinison 38
Even though I moved to Kent in August, McGinn still wants my vote. Wife wasn't too thrilled being labeled as Ms.

http://i.imgur.com/2s9JhIi.jpg

I was a tad miffed by getting this mailer as I never filled out a mail forwarding form since all my bills are emailed to me.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on October 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 21, thanks for the links.

@ 38, what's wrong with your wife?
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 25, 2013 at 5:40 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 40
Pardon me, I phrased that very insensitively. I mean to ask why your wife is offended at the unassuming prefix "Ms." Is she old fashioned?
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 25, 2013 at 6:20 AM · Report this
seatackled 41
@ 38, what's wrong with your wife?

Er, she makes bad choices?
Posted by seatackled on October 25, 2013 at 6:31 AM · Report this
SeattleWeedTours 42
Everyone keeps talking about style and personality with Mayor McGinn but no one can point out anything specific about him. They just don't like him.

-- the Stranger's editorial review board

This has nothing to do with bike lanes. It has to do with progress. Murray supports the bike lanes but resists the temptation to impose them on neighborhoods willy-nilly without including or listening to all the relevant stake-holders.

Let's assume Broadway needed a cycle track and less parking. T businesses that rely upon Broadway as a major arterial and source of transient parking feel rightfully shunned by the Mayor McGinn.

My Way or No Way McGinn won't lose because his ideas suck. He'll lose because he doesn't believe anyone besides him should be allowed to add input on projects. He doesn't want to be mayor, he wants to be Seattle's Only Sensible Dictator.

This, not some spoiled city council, is why people bring up style when they talk about McGinn. He's a know-it-all, lying short-tempered little prick.
Posted by SeattleWeedTours http://https://www.facebook.com/seattleweedtours on October 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this
43
@12 Seattle's own Sightline Institute has just finished a series of posts which details the high cost of parking -- that cost almost always being passed on to those who don't benefit from it. I.e. the larger community.

The post are long, but they are backed up with good data and Sightline's usual sharp analysis.
Posted by K in NYC on October 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM · Report this
44
WAKE UP AMERICA!

Turns out the Westlake "WAKE UP AMERICA!" sign guy is totally for the status quo when a change may have an impact on him.

Hypocrites in America, whoa-oh.
Posted by jeffinfremont on October 25, 2013 at 6:33 AM · Report this
45
@12 Seattle's own Sightline Institute has just finished a series of posts which details the high cost of parking -- that cost almost always being passed on to those who don't benefit from it. I.e. the larger community.

The post are long, but they are backed up with good data and Sightline's usual sharp analysis.

(sorry for repeat post, now registered user so this actually shows up)
Posted by K in NYC on October 25, 2013 at 6:35 AM · Report this
46
@12 Seattle's own Sightline Institute has just finished a series of posts which details the high cost of parking -- that cost almost always being passed on to those who don't benefit from it. I.e. the larger community.

http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series/p…

The post are long, but they are backed up with good data and Sightline's usual sharp analysis.

(sorry for repeat post, now registered user so this actually shows up and with link included)
Posted by K in NYC on October 25, 2013 at 6:37 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 47
@31, 34: and now it has created mile long rolling backups through a school zone in a residential neighborhood twice every weekday. i've seen a grand total of 3 bikes in those lanes since the re-striping. i've never seen a car use the center turn lane. parents now block the only westbound driving lane to let their precious pumpkins hop out of the car.

people can drive like maniacs anywhere they want anytime. the speed limit is 20 in front of the jr. high, so virtually no one did. one drunk did once, with horrific results. one drunk could tomorrow, too. a drunk could get to 50 in the turn lane.

there is nothing inherently wrong with 4-lane arterials that alternate parking sides. the city is full of them. many cities are full of them. this city's response was hasty and poorly designed. which will be apparent after tomorrow's husky game.

Posted by Max Solomon on October 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this
48
@47, "i've never seen a car use the center turn lane."

Maybe you should spend more than 3 minutes on the street before calling it a study. I use that turn lane all the time, and I'm beyond ecstatic they repaved that street. Approaching 15th NE on 75th from both directions is dangerous. That's where the one god damn car would be parked, 50 feet from the unprotected left turn which would force a mass migration of cars to move from left to right after being pinched. At least now you can turn safely on such a steep street.

Yes, driving by a school during school hours is slow, that's part of safety. Removing bike lanes so you can speed by a school during school hours is non starter.
Posted by Thunderbird on October 25, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Kinison 49
@40. Nothing wrong, its probably a mistake on McGinns staff. But its odd to get mailers in Kent, for an election in Seattle. I guess if you live in Seattle for most of the year, you still get to vote in that election.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on October 25, 2013 at 9:16 AM · Report this
fletc3her 50
It's the Seattle process. We lurch forward and then elect someone who promises to undo everything. And then later we're all like, where are those bike lanes we were promised?
Posted by fletc3her on October 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM · Report this
51
@10 what was that link supposed to go to?
Posted by tkc on October 25, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 52
@51, see @27, where rob! corrected the link. It's an excellent chart.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on October 25, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
53
@6 @12 @Bike Lane Proponents

The issue isn't do bike lanes contribute to healthier city over all. Maybe they do? In many cities they do. But will they here? With our climate and terrain?

Eh. I walk to work. So it's irrelevant to me, personally.

The issue is will constantly harping about bike lanes re-elect McGinn?

I doubt it.

All this bike lane bullshit is superficial pandering — not to the electorate — but to a tiny sliver of the Stranger's 20 something demographic. A demographic that doesn't reliably vote in local elections and doesn't have any money. If The Stranger is banking that it will galvanize this demographic enough to make difference in the election the polls don't reflect that.

And as for the issue itself? Seattle is broke. We're just recovering from a down economy. We have serious problems to fix in this city like a growing and near permanent impoverished undereducated class of people that are in dire need of underfunded city services. Bike lanes are a yuppie extravagance in comparison. Bike lanes won't elect mayors.

I'm skeptical commuter biking in Seattle is ever going to grow much beyond the niche it is now and frankly that money is better spent on mass transit that can appeal to everybody. The reason biking has grown as it has is more to do with the poor economy and the lack of better mass transportation options.

Posted by tkc on October 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 54
P.S. Publicola reports this morning that Cascade Bicycle Club just hired Washington Bus cofounder Thomas Goldstein to be the club's new advocacy director.

Goldstein's a very strong Murray supporter, who " helped start the pro-Murray People for Ed Murray independent expenditure group and appeared in their ad."
http://www.seattlemet.com/news-and-profi…
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on October 25, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this
55
"Running?"

Try "Winning."

Posted by Mr. X on October 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM · Report this
56
@53 what a contradicting post. First, you state that bike lanes are only for yuppies and then at the end you state that it's only grown because of a poor economy implying that people that can't afford to drive to work are using them.
Posted by fish04 on October 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
57
@56 It's not contradictory.

Bike lanes are perceived as an extravagance in comparison to more dire poverty issues. This is because before the recession most urban bike commuters in the Northwest certainly were overwhelmingly white young urban professionals. I'm not sure how much percentage-wise that has changed. But this perception, accurate or not, still persists.

The recent growth commuter biking (if indeed it has grown as much as some claim) also has to do with people not driving for all sorts of reasons, including not being unable to get car loans (which used to be much easier to obtain before the 2008 crash). A percentage of that has been in younger people effected by the recession. But bike commuters are STILL largely white college educated. So demographically not poor people.

So Yeah. For lack of better word: commuter bikers still look a lot like YUPPIES.

On a personal note I commuted on a bike in Seattle 22 miles every god damn day for five years. I was bike yuppie. You know what? It sucked.

The lack of bike lanes was only one small part of why it sucked. It sucked mostly because of the rain, the dark, and because of the hills. My experiences are not some fringe experience.

More young people are wisely opting out of car ownership in general. However, I doubt very much that many of them would rather utilize a bike to commute in rainy, hilly, Seattle over say good rail transit.

This idea that Seattle will be an Amsterdam bike utopia as promoted by Stranger writers is delusional. The money is not there. The bike culture is not there. Voters know this. And making bike lanes a major reason to elect one mayor over an other is a stupid platform.
More...
Posted by tkc on October 25, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 58
What @1 @2 @9 and @20 said.

Frack taxpayer-subsidized car parking
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this
59
Mike McGinn, friend of the machete wielding vigilante bicyclist. Obviously they need a bike lane.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/P…

Shortly after 5 p.m., the man was driving home when he pulled behind Briganti, who was riding in the middle of the residential street.

Speaking with King County investigators, the man said he came alongside Briganti and suggested he ride on the right side of the road. According to the man’s account, he was concerned Briganti might be struck by a passing car; the sun’s position made it difficult to see Briganti.

Irate, Briganti cursed at the man, according to charging papers. The driver pulled past Briganti, drove a short distance and stopped at his home.

Writing the court, a King County detective said Briganti stopped at the man’s van and drew a machete that had been strapped to the frame of his bicycle. Briganti then swung it at the man, the detective continued, narrowly missing him.
Posted by ChefJoe on October 25, 2013 at 9:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 60
@3: You mean the people who live in the burbs and don't vote for Seattle's Mayor? Good for them.
Posted by undead ayn rand on October 26, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
seattlegail 61
Is this the most liberal city in the whole USA? Why are there no conservative or at least republican candidates? Sometimes this city embarrasses me - almost as much as O'bozo.
Posted by seattlegail on November 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
62
Fuck bike lanes they do not pay the street taxes they are intrusive and dont obey any of the street laws so fuck bikers
Posted by seattlelsue22 on November 5, 2013 at 11:13 PM · Report this

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