We’re going to need about 3% more. After gathering feedback — and crunching a few more numbers — Mayor Ed Murray announced a revised proposal for a new transportation levy to fund projects across Seattle.
In March, Murray and city officials gathered in front of the Bullitt Center to announce the original $900 million Move Seattle levy proposal as E Madison traffic roared by in the background. That street’s BRT plan will be one of a giant roster of Seattle transit projects planned to be powered by the funding.
Wednesday, officials said the revised plan about to be sent to City Council for approval before it goes to November’s ballot would now weigh in around $930 million. It also has some new priorities stuffed in including more money for street safety and, in a nod to the future demands to be placed on the coming district-based City Council, more money for “neighborhood priority projects.”
After the 3% larger funding pool and the injection of a small handful of new priorities in the plan, we haven’t yet sorted out exactly what has been reduced or dropped in the proposal — but you can review SDOT’s community feedback report here (PDF).
“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,” an announcement on the revision reads.
“This levy reflects the needs of our communities and improves the day-to-day realities of getting around our city,” Murray is quoted as saying in the announcement. “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.”
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 additional $30 million in the levy would come from the projected revenue from taxes on new construction. The cost to the typical taxpayer — “$275 annually for the owner of a median valued home” — remains the same under the revised plan.
The city says 5,300 people “shared their transportation priorities through an online survey,” and that feedback was also gathered at three open houses and various community meetings.