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Final 2014 Seattle budget plans include transportation investments in Broadway streetcar extension, Madison ‘bus rapid transit’ and a bikeway sweeper

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 3.27.42 PMMonday, the Seattle City Council approved a 2014 budget with several line items that will change, grow and re-shape Capitol Hill. CHS outlined the list here including money to help overhaul the Egyptian Theatre, funds to assist local homeless shelters and re-focusing of the Seattle Police budget in an attempt to better address central Seattle’s public safety needs.

Plans for the city’s Transportation Benefit District spending were also approved including more than $1 million for two projects important to Capitol Hill public transit:

  • $175,000 for TC367240 Broadway Streetcar Extension (PDF) “provides funding to complete formation activities for a Local Improvement District (LID).” CHS reported on the planning for the streetcar’s push for Volunteer Park here.
  • TC367480 Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit’s $1 million “funds preliminary engineering and environmental analysis. Would enable the project to be grant ready in 2015. You can read more about Madison BRT from the Central District News.

We are also getting the benefit of a spiffy new $225,000 street sweeper the Seattle Department of Transportation is acquiring to help keep the Broadway Bikeway and Seattle’s growing network of cycle tracks open and safe. With Seattle in the market for a a machine for the job, Portland’s RAVO 5-Series –like the one pictured above — is Netherlands-made and “is the absolute top in street sweeping machines and worldwide the best sold sweeper,” the manufacturer says.

We should see something like it plying Broadway by mid-2014.

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9 thoughts on “Final 2014 Seattle budget plans include transportation investments in Broadway streetcar extension, Madison ‘bus rapid transit’ and a bikeway sweeper

  1. So the Seattle DOT (subsidized to a great extent by vehicle funds and gasoline taxes) in addition to providing bike lanes with the special painting and safety pieces, as well as the new little bicycle-shaped lights at eye-level for cyclists mounted on at least one of the major stoplights on Broadway that I have noticed, now plans to spend $225,000 for a special sweeping machine? Am I correct in understanding that Seattle/King County/the State of Washington do/does not mandate that bicycles be licensed so that at least a portion of those licensing fees could be spent for all of the bike-friendly “improvements” that are being installed? Yet the cyclists all pat themselves on the back for riding bikes as opposed to driving cars — but the motorists subsidize all of their special projects? Something is grossly inequitable here. And I have to tell you that I am not simply upset because I own a car. I am fed up with almost getting hit by cyclists ON THE SIDEWALK when I am walking because they are allowed to ride where pedestrians ought to have the right of way. Something is WAY out of line, here.

    • I bike to work everyday from cap hill. I also own 2 vehicles so i pay plenty of fees. In fact i dont know a single person that rides to work and does not own a car. Do you realize the % of money spent on bike improvements is non existant?
      If I ride my bike on the street, people complain i go too slow, if the city puts in lanes to separate cyclists, people complain that its a waste of money. If i drive to work, i make more traffic on the road and delay everybody also. I guess people just like to complain about stuff.
      Also for your comment about sidewalks, if bike riders have a safe place to ride (not sandwiched between moving cars and parked cars) they wont ride on the sidewalk. The tiny bit of bikeway on broadway is awesome and i cant wait for the city to build more of them.

    • Do you need a tissue for your issue? The fact is that the majority of SDOT’s tax revenue comes from property taxes, which everyone pays no matter how they choose to get around our fair city.

  2. What a big waste of money. We have other things that we could be spending that money on. Affordable housing among other programs to help those that need help.

  3. I often say to friends – “would it be too much for Seattle to run street cleaners through Pike/Pine, if even at the intersections? Just look at the curbs near QFC/Sbux, that gas station, they really are awful. I really wonder if Seattle owns street sweepers, you rarely see them. Let’s keep that green paint clean and the cyclist happy!!!

    • I agree. This costly street cleaner should be used to clean a lot of streets, especially in Pike-Pine. It should only take a few hours to clean the cycle track occasionally, and the cleaner should be put to use otherwise. When I was a kid growing up in Seattle, ALL streets throughout the city were cleaned on a regular basis…whatever happened to that?

      On a related note, I think Pike-Pine businesses really need to contract with Cleanscapes to keep the area free of all the filth, litter, old posters, graffiti etc. The BIA does this for Broadway, and it’s the reason why that street is reasonably clean.

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