Seattle and Chicago Mayors Bicker Over Bikers

Back in December, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his aim of attracting Seattle's bikers and tech jobs while opening a new protected bike lane downtown. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn isn't taking Emanuel's entreaties lightly.

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February 21, 2013, 11:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Bike infrastructure has become the central battlefield in a rhetorical war between the mayors of Chicago and Seattle over the highly-coveted technology jobs and young professionals that cities across the country are seeking to attract.

"In his State of the City address Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn responded to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s threat to lure Seattle’s tech jobs to his city by creating a world-class bike lane network," reports Tom Fucoloro. "We’re going to build world-class, safe bike lanes, too, the mayor said. And we’re going to keep those jobs here."

"Unfortunately for Chicago," notes Fucoloro, "the Illinois DOT has stepped in and started blocking protected bike lanes from being installed. Their excuse? They want three years of studies before they continue."

"Meanwhile, Mayor McGinn pointed to the Amazon-funded cycle track on 7th Ave, the Bike Master Plan update and the upcoming center city mobility plan (which will pave the way for a downtown cycle track network) as evidence that the city is making progress on innovative and safe bike facilities."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Seattle Bike Blog

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