Hey you! Yes, you. Did you follow our coverage as Seattle crafted a bold new Bicycle Master Plan?
Did your heart fill with hope for the health of your neighbors and loved ones as the city unveiled a plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030?
Are you simply sick and tired of hitting potholes or reaching the abrupt end of a sidewalk with nowhere to go?
Simply put, our plans to build and connect safe bike routes or take drastic action to prevent life-altering or -ending traffic collisions are just pieces of paper without funding, and Move Seattle is the best opportunity we’re going to have to repair, earthquake-proof and revolutionize our streets and bridges.
Move Seattle is how the city can provide more transportation options for everyone. It’s how we can fix the scariest parts of the Ballard Bridge. It’s how we can complete more and more Road Safety Corridor projects like NE 75th Street, which cut collisions by half and cut speeding by 60 percent (meaning collisions that do happen are far less serious).
And you can tell your skeptical friends and family that the new NE 75th Street actually carries more cars more quickly than before (lower top speed but fewer stops and delays means faster total trip).
We can build projects like this all over the city. And we don’t need to wait for another tragedy before taking action. There’s no shortage of streets just as dangerous as the old NE 75th Street. I bet you can think of one within a three-minute walk of where you are right now. We know where these streets are and we know how to fix them. All we need is the funding to get ahead of the problem rather than respond to tragedies. And that’s Move Seattle.
Why are so many Seattle schools surrounded by dangerous, fast streets? Don’t we want kids to have the opportunity to walk and bike safely to school? Of course we do! That’s why Move Seattle will fund a Safe Routes to School project at every single public school (and some private ones, too). See all those little green schools in the map above? This will fund Safe Routes to School to all of them. If our goal is to protect our most vulnerable community members (and of course it is), starting with schools is a no-brainer. But the more funding we can direct that way, the more sidewalks, crosswalks and neighborhood greenways we can build.
Which why it’s totally awesome that pressure from groups like Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and active residents like yourself convinced Councilmembers to expedite work at schools with the lowest income levels (and, therefore, the biggest need for low-cost and parental-time-saving ways to get to school). That’s the power of getting engaged! But the work’s not over yet. Now we need to pass this thing.
But that’s not all! Maybe you’re sick and tired of getting stuck in traffic on an overloaded bus. Why can’t we just give these hugely popular buses their own lanes? Or give them a way to get a head start at traffic signals? Or maybe even create an all new, more direct express bus route? We can!
Or maybe you want to improve economically-vital freight routes that are both efficient and maintain safety for everyone else walking, biking and driving around them. That’s in this plan, too.
There’s even money in Move Seattle to plant more trees (aside from making streets more pleasant, a tree canopy also calms traffic) and to partner with Seattle Public Utilities to reimagine street space as a way to increase neighborhood greenery and reduce environmentally-damaging and expensive storm water runoff.
But to make all this happen, Seattle needs to vote “Hell yes!” on Prop 1 to Move Seattle.
The owner of a median-value property ($450,000) in Seattle will spend about $12 more per month. But that money will enable about $1.8 billion in vital transportation investments over the next nine years. That’s because part of the $930 million raised will be used as leverage and planning to win federal, state and regional grants. These are grants like the one that helped build the totally awesome W Thomas Street bike/walk bridge between Lower Queen Anne and Myrtle Edwards Park. Maybe future grants will complete the amazing Accessible Mt Baker Project or even fix and/or replace the Ballard Bridge once and for all.
King County will mail ballots in just two months, 20 days before the November 3 election (and for the love of god, register your ass to vote right now if you haven’t already). So the campaign to raise support and get out the vote is gearing up. Elliot Helmbrecht will manage the campaign, and he sent the following email to supporters today. If you want to get these emails or (even better) sign up to volunteer for the campaign, fill out this form. Here’s the text of Helmbrecht’s email:
This November, Seattle voters will have an opportunity to renew our critical transportation levy to create a more modern, effective transportation system that gives all of us more choices for getting around our city efficiently, safely, and affordably. The nine-year Let’s Move Seattle levy, which replaces the expiring Bridging the Gap levy, does exactly that.
And we want you to get involved today!
The Let’s Move Seattle levy will improve our transportation system in three key ways:
One: More transportation choices to relieve congestion on our streets – Levy dollars will be allocated to projects designed to enhance transportation options and reduce travel times around the city. Priorities include:
- Improving light rail connections – a new Graham St. station in SE Seattle and a ped-bike bridge in Northgate over I-5
- 7 new RapidRide transit corridors
- Automatic traffic signal timing
- Street improvements to relieve transit bottlenecks
Two: A focus on safety – Let’s Move Seattle makes needed investments to improve safety across the entire city. The levy funds:
- Safe Routes to Schools projects at every public school
- Safety improvements in high-crash areas
- 150 blocks of new sidewalk
- 60 miles of neighborhood greenways
- Repairs to the Ballard Bridge
- The levy is critical to reaching the City’s goal of zero traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
Three: Taking care of what we have – Millions will be allocated to infrastructure maintenance projects and repair work along major arterials. A few improvements include:
- Seismic improvements to our 16 vulnerable bridges
- Filling potholes and repaving up to 180 lane-miles of arterial streets
- Repairing 225 blocks of damaged sidewalk.
Our campaign is just getting started and we want transportation advocates like you to join our effort today.
This is only the beginning and we look forward to working with you. Together, we can bring Seattle the transportation system we all deserve.