Cascade Bicycle Club, Sierra Club Cascade Chapter and Great City announce new campaign for transportation funding in Seattle

streets-for-all-seattle-logo-square2Cascade Bicycle Club, Sierra Club Cascade Chapter and Great City join a coalition of community, labor, transportation and environmental groups in proudly announcing Streets For All Seattle, a new campaign calling for adequately funding multimodal transportation initiatives in Seattle.

The Streets For All Seattle supporters believe that walking, bicycling and transit should be the easiest means of transportation in Seattle. But the current situation shows pending cuts in Metro service hours and insufficient funding for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans.

The Streets For All Seattle coalition has identified a number of potential funding sources – to the tune of $30 million dollars – for walking, biking and transit infrastructure. We look forward to working with the Seattle City Council, Mayor McGinn and partners to create dedicated funding mechanisms for multi-modal transportation initiatives in Seattle.

Streets For All Seattle also looks forward to engaging Seattle citizens in a conversation about how we fund and build the pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure to align with a forward-thinking vision, one that includes transportation choices that make sense for our city and vibrant neighborhoods that are safe and accessible for everyone.

Please see the letter below from Streets For All Seattle

Dear Mayor McGinn and Seattle City Council Members,

All around the Country, cities are transforming themselves and building transportation systems that make sense for the future. Aligning their public infrastructure investments with the priorities of their citizens, cities like Salt Lake City, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis and New York are creating thriving communities where people want to live and businesses will choose to locate. For Seattle to work for our future, it's time to get serious about funding the pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure that our citizens demand. It's time to invest in our values.

We, the undersigned organizations, ask your support for Streets For All Seattle, a proposal to adequately fund multimodal transportation initiatives in Seattle. We believe that walking, bicycling and transit should be the easiest means of transportation in Seattle. But we face cuts in Metro service hours, and we will not meet our obligation to build out the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans at current funding levels. We encourage you to take councilmanic action in 2010 to dedicate new revenue to meet these commitments.

Transportation choices comprise an important, but underfunded portion of the city’s capital needs. SDOT spent approximately $12 million in 2008 implementing bicycle and pedestrian improvements, a small fraction of the department’s $200 million budget. As presented to the council on March 22, the Bicycle Master Plan would require approximately $35 million of investment per year to complete on schedule in 2017. Meanwhile, the Pedestrian Master Plan is characterized as an “open-ended commitment.” Even $20 million per year would not finish the plan this century, never mind this decade. We can and must do better.

Further, funding for King County Metro will reach a precipice in 2012 without intervention. Recent history shows that we cannot simply count on Olympia for help – in our neighboring counties, Community Transit and Pierce Transit have cut a third of their service. This is unacceptable. Instead, we can deal with Metro’s projected shortfall today. Our coalition has identified a number of potential funding sources for walking, biking and transit infrastructure. Over the next few months, we look forward to working with you and our partners to create dedicated funding mechanisms to generate at least $30 million dollars in annual revenue for multimodal transportation initiatives in Seattle. We also look forward to engaging the entire city of Seattle in a conversation about how we fund and build the pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure that aligns with our values; this year, and into the future.

Without cutting other revenue streams, these dedicated funds will double our city's annual investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and dedicate the remaining new revenue to preservation of bus service hours and other strategically targeted transit improvements, like the extension of the First Hill Streetcar.

We want our city to move people and goods efficiently, to equitably serve people of all ages and abilities, to preserve the jobs of our city construction crews, and to aid those who cannot or choose not to own a vehicle. Streets For All Seattle is essential if we want to meet these goals. Boosting bicycling and walking will not only create better health outcomes for underserved residents, it will provide better access to transit. These clean forms of transportation will also help meet state-mandated vehicle miles traveled and city greenhouse gas reduction goals, help decrease the stormwater runoff that now plagues a fragile Puget Sound, and provide a concrete step toward the Council's stated goal of carbon neutrality.

Unlike the city’s revenue, public demand for transportation facilities and transit service has not diminished in this difficult time. The ball rests in your court, City Hall. We look forward to working together during this year’s budget process, and into the future, to make the necessary but tough choices for our city to fund the pedestrian, bicycle and transit infrastructure that our citizens demand. It's time to invest in our values. It's time to fund and build Streets For All Seattle.

Sincerely,

350 Washington State

American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME Council 2)

Art4Justice

BikeIntelligencer

Cascade Bicycle Club

Capitol Hill Community Council

CoolMom

El Centro de la Raza

Feet First

Friends of Seattle

Futurewise

Great City

International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE 17)

Laborers International Union of North America Local 1239

Lake City Community Council

Moontown Foundation

Out for Sustainability

People's Waterfront Coalition

Pinehurst Community Council

Seattle Innovators

Seattle Likes Bikes

Sierra Club, Cascade Chapter

Simplicity Circles

Spokespeople

Spokespeople Northeast

Sustainable Ballard

Sustainable NE Seattle

Sustainable South Seattle

Sustainable Wallingford

Sustainable West Seattle

SvR Design Company

Take Back Your Time

Totcycle/Kidical Mass

Transition Seattle

Transportation Choices Coalition

United African Public Affairs Committee

Undriving

Wallingford Community Council