Mike OBrien loves bikes and the Cascade Bicycle Club loves Mike OBrien. (Sally Clark, left, once hit a cyclist with her car, but shes not running for reelection.)
Mike O'Brien loves bikes, and the Cascade Bicycle Club loves Mike O'Brien. (Sally Clark, left, once hit a cyclist with her car, but she's not running for reelection.) City of Seattle

After some uncertainty about whether it would continue doing political advocacy work, the Cascade Bicycle Club has gone ahead and released five early endorsements for this year's Seattle City Council elections.

The endorsements include two obvious incumbents—bike-loving Mike O'Brien in District 6 (Ballard, Fremont) and Sally Bagshaw in District 7 (downtown to Discovery Park)—plus Bruce Harrell in Southeast Seattle's District 2, who the club says is "championing the Seattle Department of Transportation’s current road safety corridor project to make Rainier Avenue S[outh] safer."

One of the two newcomers the club is endorsing, Halei Watkins, is running in District 5, covering North Seattle, where there is no incumbent. The club is hopeful she'll be "a champion for Northgate Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge that will connect North Seattle College to the future Northgate light rail station." It's worth pointing out that project is included in the mayor's proposed transportation levy, which voters are likely to see on their ballots this fall. So, the club needs voters willing to support a $900 million levy as much as it needs Watkins to see that project happen.

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The other newcomer—Rob Johnson—is taking on incumbent Jean Godden in District 4, covering Northeast Seattle, including the University District. Johnson is the director of the transit/bike/ped advocacy group Transportation Choices Coalition, so little surprise there. Godden, meanwhile, hasn't been a particularly strong advocate for bikes and, in 2011, supported a smaller license tab fee that would have focused money on road projects instead of bike, pedestrian, and transit projects.

The club, according to its endorsement announcement, is focused on two citywide priorities: getting 250 miles of new protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and trails built and reaching zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2030 through the Vision Zero strategy of changing street design and increasing traffic enforcement.

The Cascade Bicycle Club hasn't yet endorsed in the other races, including two big ones: District 3 in Capitol Hill and the Central District, where Council Member Kshama Sawant is running for reelection, and the citywide seat for which current council president Tim Burgess has drawn four challengers.

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