In an ironic twist, city council members plan to restore funding---cut by Mayor Mike "McSchwinn" McGinn---for updating the city's Bicycle Master Plan starting in 2012. McGinn has proposed funding the master plan update, which would cost $400,000 over two years, only if voters pass the $60 vehicle license fee in November.

The mayor's budget included no funding for the bike master plan, which was passed back in 2007. Since then, council members, the mayor, the Bicycle Advisory Board, and bike-advocacy groups have expressed support for building neighborhood greenways (semi-segregated neighborhood streets designed to discourage car traffic and be safer for bikes) and cycletracks (bike facilities that are fully separated from cars). Neither concept was included in the original bike master plan.

"We've come a long way with bicycling in cities over the last five years, and there are a lot of concepts for bike facilities that the plan doesn't even have in it," says Craig Benjamin, policy and government affairs manager for the Cascade Bicycle Club. "It's been five years, and it needs to be done."

Council member Sally Bagshaw, who's written several blog posts advocating for neighborhood greenways, says she plans to introduce a proposal to restore $250,000 in funding for the bike master plan update in 2012, and another $150,000 in 2013. Sally Clark and transportation chair Tom Rasmussen have expressed their support for the proposal.

"Neighborhood greenways were not even a twinkle in anybody's eye five years ago when we did the bike master plan," Bagshaw says. "Over the last seven months, people have started coming out of woodwork who want to have a greenway in their neighborhood. ... Every single neighborhood has said they want one. ... I'm focusing on connecting schools parks and transit hubs and local business districts."

The city council adopts its annual budget in late November.
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