Mayor presents revised Transportation Levy to Move Seattle

Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Mike O’Brien and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Scott Kubly today announced details of the City’s revised nine-year Transportation Levy to Move Seattle.

The revised Levy to Move Seattle reflects community priorities expressed in nearly 8,000 comments received during numerous public meetings, coffee hours and an on-line survey that followed the release of the draft levy proposal in March.

“This levy reflects the needs of our communities and improves the day-to-day realities of getting around our city,” said Mayor Murray. “Over the past several weeks, the people of Seattle told us that safety is the top priority. We will invest more in transit reliability and access, improved connections to light rail, and making it safer for people of all ages to walk in Seattle.”

The revised levy proposal, which Mayor Murray will submit to City Council next week, would fund $930 million in investments over nine years – $30 million more than the draft proposal released in March. The additional funding committed to transportation comes from the projected increase in assessed value due to new construction. The cost to taxpayers ($275 annually for the owner of a median valued home) would remain the same as proposed earlier.

In response to community feedback, the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle now includes:

  • $110 million – an increase of $35 million from the initial proposal – to build new sidewalks in high-demand areas and pilot alternative street designs that making walking safer and more comfortable in residential areas without sidewalks.
  • An enhanced focus on improving transit in seven high-priority transit corridors, while at the same time adding multimodal improvements that benefit people walking, biking, driving and moving goods.
  • Increased funding for small neighborhood priority projects focused on safety and connectivity.

“The proposed package reflects the priorities and projects that I have heard are important to our neighborhoods including the Lander Street overpass for the SODO area and the Fauntleroy Way improvement project, which is an important part of the neighborhood plan and which is designed and ready for construction,” stated Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee.

Roughly 5,300 people shared their transportation priorities through an online survey, and the City also spoke with residents through three open houses, three stakeholder roundtables, an online meeting, more than 30 community briefings, six neighborhood coffee hours, and participation at nine neighborhood farmers markets.

“Our many conversations about the proposal show that Seattleites care about transportation. It impacts each of us daily, whether you walk, drive, bike, use transit, or move goods around the city,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “The revised levy proposal is a comprehensive package that aims to meet the needs of our city today and tomorrow.”

The revised proposal was unveiled at 14th Avenue S and Beacon Avenue S, the site of a recently completed safety project funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy that expires this year. The project improves safety for children at a nearby elementary school, and also makes it safer to access neighborhood businesses and the light rail station. The Levy to Move Seattle would fund Safe Routes to School projects for every public school in the city, with an emphasis on those schools that need safety improvements the most.

The levy would help fund goals outlined in Mayor Murray’s 10-year transportation vision, Move Seattle, which integrates the City’s long-term plans for walking, biking, freight and transit into a comprehensive strategy.

The Seattle City Council will need to submit the proposal to King County by early August for it to be on the ballot this November.

Visit the Levy to Move Seattle webpage to stay up-to-date on the levy proposal: www.seattle.gov/levytomoveseattle.