The Capitol Hill business community represented by the neighborhood’s chamber of commerce has come out in support of Prop 1, the November ballot proposition that would raise car tab fees by $60 to pay for a range of transportation projects in Seattle. At the heart of their argument is the Complete Streetcar campaign and a desire for the city to make plans to connect the system’s lines:
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Proposition 1, a transportation funding package that will be on your ballots this coming November. The CHCC does not take endorsements lightly; we have a thorough public policy review process and any endorsement from the organization is vetted by our Executive Committee and full Board of Directors, all of them invested residents, business owners and community leaders in Capitol Hill. It is our belief that Proposition 1 is sound public policy for the Capitol Hill neighborhood and for the whole of Seattle.
Designed by a citizen panel, Proposition 1 will connect our neighborhoods with fast, reliable transit service, double the number of neighborhood repaving projects we do every year, and double our city’s annual investment in sidewalks. The panel spent nearly a year performing an in-depth analysis of Seattle’s transportation needs and funding sources and an extensive public outreach process in order to figure out how to build a transportation system that will work for our future.
The Streetcar Connection:
The Sound Transit funded 1st Hill Streetcar will be completed in 2013, leaving a 1.5 mile gap between the Pioneer Sq. terminus of the 1st Hill line and the Westlake terminal of the existing South Lake Union line. There is a lot of interest in connecting the two lines (from institutions like the Seattle Art Museum and Pike Place Market, downtown residents and businesses, and 1st Hill hospitals who want a direct connection to Cancer Care Alliance and other health care facilities in South Lake Union) and it just plain makes sense to start planning now to get it done.
In addition, Sound Transit has left the possibility open of extending the 1st Hill Streetcar line to Aloha St. which would provide tens of thousands of additional people access to the line.
In order to leverage potential federal grants and/or private contributions to potentially connect the 1st Hill and South Lake Union lines and extend the 1st Hill line to Aloha, the Council included:
$3M for planning, environmental review and preliminary engineering for both the Aloha extension of the First Hill Streetcar and the Downtown Connector (prerequisites for federal grants, but probably also necessary for private dollars); and $15M for construction of the Aloha Extension and/or local matching funds for federal/private construction dollars.
We believe that Proposition 1 is the most effective tool available to the citizens of Seattle to make a strong investment in our neighborhoods moving forward. To learn more about the Proposition 1 campaign please visit www.streetsforallseattle.org.