If voters weren’t scared off by the number of levies they’ve approved in recent years asking for their tax dollars, the city’s Move Seattle transportation levy should do it.
Mayor Ed Murray’s nine-year, $900 million levy — which would replace the nine-year, $365 million Bridging the Gap levy that expires at the end of this year — includes tackling the projects that the current levy hasn’t been able to pay for. This includes seismically reinforcing bridges, repaving arterial streets, repairing sidewalks and completing Safe Routes to School projects.
Murray’s greater transportation plan, though, costs $2.9 billion over 10 years and includes installing 50 miles of protected bike lanes, building a new light-rail station for Sound Transit in Southeast Seattle and completing up to 15 more “road diets” (now referred to as “corridor-safety projects”). Many of these latter, favored projects, like the bike lanes and road diets, have been quickly installed in recent years, under former Mayor Mike McGinn and now Murray, while constituents continue to push for the maintenance of its basic roadways and bridges.
The Seattle Department of Transportation had a series of three public meetings at the end of March. But there’s still plenty of time to tell the City Council what you think about this transportation plan before it considers the legislation in May. This is the time to tell city officials they need to tackle the longstanding projects first if the levy is approved in November.
Otherwise, this could be the last levy we approve.