It’s your money, where is it going?

In 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine-year, $365 million, transportation levy for maintenance and improvements known as Bridging the Gap (BTG).  The levy is funded by a commercial parking tax.  The BTG levy funds maintenance programs for paving; new sidewalk development and repairs; repair, rehabilitation and seismic upgrades to Seattle’s bridges; tree pruning and planting; transit enhancements; and other much needed maintenance work.  Funding also supports projects that develop and implement the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Transit Master Plans; promotes development of the  Safe Routes to School Program; and helps neighborhoods secure larger projects built through the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project Program.

Old wooden supports exposed as the N 45th Street Viaduct is demomlished,

Old wooden supports exposed as the N 45th Street Viaduct is demomlished,

The BTG levy, as approved by voters, stipulated that certain percentages of the levy revenues be spent on different categories of projects over the nine year program:

  • Neighborhood Street Fund – first $1.5 million annually
  • Maintenance Programs – no less than 67%
  • Pedestrian/Bike/Safety Programs – no less than 18%
  • Transit and Major Projects – no more than 15%

During the early stages of development for the levy program, key goals and benchmarks were established helping the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) create a work program around BTG and set accountability measures to ensure the promises would be met.  Some of the promises made and current numbers include:

The completed replacement of the N 45th Street Viaduct.

The completed replacement of the N 45th Street Viaduct.

  • Prune 25,000 street trees – 23,000 trees have been pruned
  • Repave 200 lane-miles of arterial streets – 205 lane miles completed
  • Rehabilitate or replace 5 bridges – 6 have been rehabilitated or replaced
  • Seismically retrofit 5 additional bridges – 3 have been completed
  • Build 117 blocks of new sidewalks – 100 blocks have been constructed
  • Restripe 5,000 crosswalks – 4,000 have been restriped
  • Create “safe routes to schools” near 30 elementary schools – 40 have been created
  • Repair 144 blocks of sidewalks – 167 blocks have been repaired

The transportation levy has been a critical funding piece for the department and SDOT is proud that is meeting and even surpassing the goals of the levy.

If you would like additional information on BTG please visit the webpage.