Note: The following is cross-posted from my other blog, La Bomba Shelter. It’s not directly related to Mt. View, but the neighborhood does support bicycling as much as any part of Anchorage… and we have a fondness for populist politicians.
Ran across this item yesterday at Bike Commute Tips. Tried to put the video up here but couldn’t do it last night after an hour of trying. WordPress supports a few different players, but not the one StreetFilms uses… there was another way to back-door it in via Vodpod but that had its own problems. Since I’m too cheap to get the $57 annual upgrade to support all video types [I’d do it, if this blog was getting hundreds of hits per day instead of 10 to 20], I gave up.
Ya sure… anyway… do go to StreetFilms and watch the short video of Seattle mayor Mike McGinn biking to work. It is totally worth it! I know nothing of McGinn’s politics, but I am aware that he beat two other candidates who were a lot better funded, in a close three-way race. He makes biking 6.5 miles from his house in the Greenwood neighborhood to City Hall downtown look like a piece of cake — even while it’s obvious it isn’t. I biked around Seattle extensively in Summer ’08 when I was photographing alleys, and while it was delightful it was also challenging and obstacle-laden. Anchorage is a lot easier.
Conservatives are fond of telling commies like me that we have “Portland envy” or “Seattle envy”. There are aspects of both these places I find compelling, even precious. But they have major issues with pollution, crowding and congestion and high cost of living — without the access to wilderness that Anchorage offers.
But what I appreciate about them is a desire to improve. Look at McGinn’s ‘Ideas for Seattle’ site, and try to imagine these suggestions coming from Anchorage residents. Or do I sell Anchorage short? Maybe a little. You’ll never see our current mayor, Dan Sullivan riding a bike to work — but on the other hand, the days I ride I have plenty of company on the paths, side streets and arterials.
McGinn is still in the honeymoon phase — but if he makes good on listening to suggestions submitted directly from citizens, and flattens the pyramidal control structure a little, and makes good on various populist principles — he will enjoy a long and productive run. I love the guy.