When Cascade commissioned a poll of Seattle voters, we didn’t know what the results would be. Polls and focus groups force us out of the communities we’re used to hearing from, into the unknown general public.
When we got the results, we were overwhelmed – and overjoyed – by the strength of support for our vision from Seattle voters. We learned, in short, that Seattle voters like bicyclists, want safe streets for everyone to be our top transportation priority, and don’t buy the pervasive anti-bicyclist rhetoric that we see in online discussions.
The media also found the results compelling; our poll got coverage across the country. Dominic Holden of The Stranger wrote:
“Seattle voters overwhelmingly like cyclists—79 percent have a favorable opinion—and most of the city’s residents actually ride a bike. What’s even more contrary to conventional wisdom: By a two-to-one margin, voters support removing traffic lanes and some on-street parking to build bicycle lanes that are physically separated from cars.”
That result – on what pollsters called a forced-choice question – is one of the clearest signs Seattleites strongly support creating safe places to ride, even if it means trade-offs.
The piece also includes a solid info-graphic of some poll results.
Seattle Bike Blog had this take:
“Bicycling is clearly part of Seattle’s character, and a majority of Seattle voters agree. Not only that, but they want more.”
BikePortland.org, one of the nation’s leading bike blogs, found this:
“An ongoing “bike backlash” and “war on cars” pushed by the local media, biking as a wedge-issue in political campaigns, fear from politicians about doing “too much” for bikes — sounds like Portland right? Well, Seattle (not to mention New York City and many others) suffers from the same illusion. Now, a new survey commissioned by Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club could help tamp down this pervasive — yet false — narrative.”
Gene Balk of The Seattle Times hit a common theme, when he concluded with a wink:
“It almost makes you wonder if the people who comment on news stories don’t reflect the majority of public opinion.”
The Atlantic Cities, a national publication, also took interest:
“Maybe the public discussion about transportation infrastructure seems to be cooling down because the bellicose language just doesn’t resonate the way it once did.
“‘Our feeling over the last two years is that the ‘war on cars’ rhetoric has fallen flat with voters,’ says [Cascade’s Craig] Benjamin.”
DC Streetsblog also took notice:
“Like a lot of cities, Seattle has seen a much-hyped “bikelash” against efforts to make the city safer for cycling. But it turns out that this bikelash might be just that: hype.”
Thanks for your support, Seattle. Together, we can create a community that’s safe for everyone to bicycle in.
Read the memo from our pollster summarizing the results.