As we noted earlier this week, despite a tough budget cycle, the Streets for All Seattle coalition has eked out a modest but hard-won piece of good news in the Mayor’s proposed budget. Our ambitions are for Seattle to become America’s most walkable city, a place where car ownership is not a prerequisite for gainful employment, where cyclists and transit riders never feel like second class citizens.  (Now; it is time to go to work preserving the forward-thinking alternative transportation improvements we need to have a city that works for our future.)

With the proposed budget working its way through the public’s consciousness, all kinds of false dichotomies and other noise threaten to distract us. Today, we want to highlight an excellent piece of commentary from the Seattle Bike Blog, which clearly illustrates why now is the time to get serious about making Seattle’s a transportation system for all.

Should city cyclists feel bad about bike funding in the mayor’s budget?

from Seattle Bike Blog by Tom Fucoloro

Super short answer: No.

I have heard (and felt) some uneasiness about the inclusion of so-called alternative transportation funding in the mayor’s proposed budget, which slashes just about every department in the city. Bike Intelligencer posted an interesting reflection after attending the first budget hearing the other night, saying, “With everyone else hurting, we cannot feel too good about getting ours.”

I understand where this comes from. The library is cutting librarians from smaller branches, community centers are losing tons of hours, city employees are getting fired or are not getting raises, and on and on (pick up a copy of Real Change to read a short breakdown of the budget cuts I wrote this week). What’s a new bike lane in the face of all these other programs? More…