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Monday, November 7, 2011

Streetless in Seattle

The mayor imposes a diet on cars.

Mike McGinn, the mayor of Seattle, won office in 2009 after making transportation policy a centerpiece of his campaign. He catapulted himself over his establishment-friendly opponents, including the incumbent, by vigorously opposing the construction of a multibillion-dollar highway tunnel beneath the city’s waterfront. McGinn also gained fame for bicycling to and from campaign events. And he promised to put Seattle on a “road diet” in which car lanes on many busy multilane roads would be converted into bike lanes. The city’s paper of record, the Seattle Times, has called McGinn “philosophically anti-car.” A former Washington State Sierra Club chairman, McGinn likens autos to in-laws: “You want to have good relations with them, but you don’t want them to run your lives.”

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