Transportation and climate change groups unite to push for a better Seattle budget

Read the full letter (PDF).

A new coalition of transportation and climate change groups has penned a letter to the City Council and Mayor Jenny Durkan urging bolder action to address our city’s transportation needs, which also happen to be our biggest source of greenhouse gasses.

The group is calling itself Move All Seattle Sustainably (“MASS”), and their letter includes a long list of smart and achievable changes to both the Mayor’s proposed budget and the city’s priorities.

As climate disruption accelerates and Seattle hurtles towards the “Period of Maximum Constraint” that begins with the viaduct closure next January, advocates fear that the City is not acting fast enough to cut carbon emissions, keep people and goods moving, and prevent traffic fatalities,” the group wrote in a press release.

The City Council is hosting a budget hearing at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) at City Hall, and folks are encouraged to attend and show support.

The letter is four-pages and quite detailed (read it in full in this PDF). It is spot on. Here is an abbreviated version (emphasis and edits mine):

  • Council should place a proviso on the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) budget stipulating that no funding shall be released to increase the number of adaptive signals, or similar technology, until it can measure and mitigate delays to people walking.
  • Prioritize construction of the Rainier Ave Safety corridor without delay and find funding to implement Accessible Mt Baker.
  • Work with urgency to find additional dedicated funding for sidewalk construction as well as maintenance. City Council central staff has been tasked with this research, but it must be prioritized and implemented.
  • Fund a home zone pilot at $350,000 for one year. Budget could be reallocated from ITS (which took money from pedestrian budget earlier this year).
  • Implement the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail without additional delays.
  • Ensure the RapidRide H project makes it comfortable and convenient to walk and bike along the Delridge Way corridor in addition to increasing the transit level of service.
  • Implement protected bike lanes, and prioritize the movement of people and goods, on Eastlake Ave.
  • Use existing transit funding to quickly paint bus only lanes on 3rd Ave through Belltown.
  • Reprioritize the Center City Connector and finish this project by 2021.
  • Build the Basic Bike Network as laid out in Council Resolution #31826.
  •  Add funding to get people to the new arena by bike and complete the basic bike network in Uptown and South Lake Union.
  • Prioritize bus lanes on Rainier Avenue ahead of RapidRide upgrades.
  • Paint bus lanes on 23rd/24th Avenue for Route 48.
  • Paint bus lanes on Leary Way and N. 36th Street and add a queue jump at the Fremont bridge for Route 40.
  • Add Market Street BAT lanes to keep Route 44 moving in Ballard. Queue jumps for 45th Street at the I-5 interchange could also reduce transit times.
  • Move forward with creating a community stakeholder committee as described in Resolution 31773, and bolster financial support for communities of color and low-income communities to engage with SDOT processes and decision- making around transit and transportation investments.
  • Work with advocates, King County, and Metro to advance work on affordable fare programs for low- and no-income riders and fare enforcement reform.
  • Restore funding to the Pavement to Parks Program with an equitable focus on communities in need of open space (such as Rainier Vista and South Park).
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4 Responses to Transportation and climate change groups unite to push for a better Seattle budget

  1. Nick vdH says:

    I’m glad to see groups that care about transit, safety for people biking, and safety for people walking are coming together with one voice. In the past, there has been attempts to pit these groups against each other, but we need to remember that we are stronger together and there is plenty of space on the street for all of us.

    • Citizen says:

      Yes! Plus the climate change driven groups. Would love to see more of this and learn how citizens not associated with these groups can get involved.

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  3. Jen Petersen says:

    I wonder why this coalition didn’t form and make these very important and not at all new projects/initiatives into a policy platform which Durkan and her (then) opponents would need to sign onto in order to win coalition members’ votes?

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