Going Big

Our last post was an overview, and a bit of a critique, of the Move Seattle levy proposal put forth by Mayor Ed Murray and his team. In it, we talked about some of the holes in the plan, including long-desired funding for critical endeavors such as a Freight Master Plan implementation.

It appears the transit gods were listening, or at least their little elves were. The Mayor released a new version of the plan that includes an additional $30M, bringing the total levy proposal to new heights. $930M to be specific. Erica Barnett over at The C Is for crank wonders if its cost will be hard for homeowners to swallow, considering it closes in on a doubling of the current Bridging the Gap levy. Especially in an election year, with these newfangled districts that have even the sharpest consultants worried about outcomes.

For transit and transportation infrastructure advocates like ourselves, the chutzpah of a fully-loaded transportation levy package – bigger than ever – is fantastic, and we’re happy to debate the merits and demerits as it works its way through the City Council. As we also mentioned last time, the original Bridging the Gap levy was scaled back quite a bit in terms of timeframe, from an original proposal of 20 years to 9. We doubt the Council will change the Move Seattle levy from 9 years to anything less, but will they leave the size of the funding package unscathed? Not likely.

Good on Mayor Murray for starting strong, doubling down and driving home the Vision Zero efforts. If the public can agree on a goal of no traffic deaths – and they can – then the City can pivot on that and use the support to push multi-modal infrastructure projects such as greenways, protected bike lanes and more under the banner of safety.

What do you think?

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