Paul Andrews

As Seattle Mayor, Mike McGinn Will Keep Riding His Bike

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Commuting, Obama Bikes on December 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm

SEATTLE — After last night’s Town Hall meeting, I asked Mike McGinn if he was going to ride the horse what got him there — his electric bike — once he took office January 1st.

“Definitely!” he boomed out. He might not get to ride everywhere, he noted, but he would be riding everywhere practical given the pressures of time and distance.

Although there was “nothing to announce yet,” McGinn made it sound like he had a plan in the works. “Let’s just say the Executive Support Unit is working on it.” That would be the Police Dept. Seattle has a robust contingent of cops who ride, so I’m thinking any hitches would have more to do with protocol than officer orientation.

And I suspect Mike will make a splash with this. The cycling community, including Bike Intelligencer, gave wholehearted support to McGinn’s campaign, and Mike understands political symbolism as well as if not better than any mayor we’ve ever had.

There’s a practical side to McGinn’s plan as well. I noted Hizzoner-to-be has put on a few pounds since his campaigning days began. As I tweeted during the Town Hall at #NewSeattle, cycling in office will help ensure that his only spare tire is in his tool kit.

So we can stay tuned…and watch for a helmeted dignitary roaming the downtown corridor!

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  1. Cool stuff.

    “Obama Bikes”?

  2. I don’t see how this is going to work…

    Each spring for the past several years I would phone and email when Mayor Nickels appeared on KUOW to ask if he would be cycling to work during bike to work month (I even offered to lend him a bike since I live in his neighborhood) but each time he demurred, citing the need for constant access to cumbersome emergency communications equipment.

    I always believed that if Nickels could see just how awful the roads between Admiral and downtown are for cyclists (and note, I’m not saying dangerous necessarily – just awful) he might have taken a step or two down from his high horse of supporting cycling as an abstract feel-good climate and gridlock-positive symbol and taken a step or two closer to action.

    But supposing that Mayor-elect McGinn can be away from Seattle’s nuclear launch codes for a half hour at a time, I think it’s going to be the best thing ever for cycling in Seattle. As we all know, you just see a lot more from the seat of a bike.

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