With consistently warm and sunny days upon us, it’s time to get out and enjoy the city. Here are a few civic issues that may affect your outings in one way or another.
- Expanded bus service begins: The Rt. 47 bus is coming back. Thanks to Seattle residents who voted to fund Metro last year and the agency’s regular summer route changes, the Capitol Hill to downtown line and a bunch of other routes will be reinstated or expanded starting in June. Last year’s Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1 asked Seattle voters if they wanted to buy back sliced Metro services in Seattle and improve existing routes with a $60 annual vehicle license fee and .1% sales tax hike. The measure is expected generate around $45 million annually.
Route 47 bus just went past our house, full of drivers on a training ride. Welcome back! /cc @jseattle
— Josh Puetz (@joshpuetz) May 24, 2015
“The voters of Seattle are funding the largest increase in Metro service in our city in 40 years,” said Mayor Ed Murray in a statement. City funding will help improve Capitol Hill routes 10, 49, and 60 among others. Check here for a full list of route improvements.
- Parks smoking ban: The Seattle Board of Parks Commissioners approved a tobacco smoking ban (PDF) on Thursday in all Seattle public parks. The ban goes into effect July 1st. On Capitol Hill, where parks serve as the de facto backyard for many renters and homeless people, the ban has been met with considerable opposition. Homeless advocates and other groups managed to get commissioners to drop a $27 fine for violating the ban. Instead, those caught smoking in a park will be met with warnings which could lead to an arrest.
- Arts space forum: How can Seattle maintain and expand space for artistic endeavors amid a boom of development activity? It’s a question the city’s Office of Arts & Culture has been trying to find some answers to, and will present some of those findings during a free half-day forum on June 1st. Squared Feet: What’s Next will feature presentations from arts groups and ask participants to vote for an arts project the city should fund. You can learn more at Square Feet 2015 | Where Next?. CHS was there for the first Squared Feet forum in 2013.