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June 14, 2006

Seattle transportation measure lacks focus on transit

Seattle’s transportation proposal lacks a focus on improving transit service in Seattle. For a city with horrific traffic congestion, and a transit system that relies on the street grid, moving buses through the city must be the priority of new local funding for transportation.

At the municipal level, there is no doubt that Seattle has a backlog of general transportation needs, and that the allocation from the general fund has historically failed to meet the basic maintenance needs of our streets, bridges and sidewalks.  Yet, Councilmember Richard McIver clearly understands that the priority should be on getting buses running through the city, when he commented on the Seattle transportation proposal in the Seattle PI.

"…My concern has always been -- will continue to be -- getting more operation hours from transit into Seattle where the demand is -- as demonstrated by both the fareboxes returns and the ridership."

Mayor Nickels estimates the package would generate $65 million in the first year. The tax package would be broken down to include:

   * $19 million for paving roads

   * $13.9 million for transit, freight and pedestrian corridors

   * $13.5 million for bridges

   * $6 million for signs, signals, guardrails and other safety improvements

   * $5.7 million for pedestrians and bike improvements

   * $2.5 million for sidewalks, trails, walkways and stairways

   * $2 million for trees and landscaping

   * $1.9 million for neighborhood services

While some Seattle City Councilmembers will no doubt be focused on the size of the package, voters are more likely going to be concerned about projects that will help reduce congestion, namely improvements to transit, bicycles and pedestrians.

Cross Posted on Urban Transit

Posted by EzraBasom on June 14, 2006 at 08:13 PM in Policy | Permalink

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