Mayor, City Announce Revised Transportation Levy to Move Seattle

On March 2, 2015, Mayor Ed Murray launched Move Seattle, a vision for transportation in our city for the next 10 years. Move Seattle connects and integrates existing plans for walking, biking, transit, and freight into a holistic 10-year strategy that will help the city meet present demands while also looking ahead to the future as we continue to grow

For the past year, the Mayor and SDOT have worked together to prepare a draft transportation levy proposal to replace the current transportation levy, called Bridging the Gap (BTG), that expires at the end of 2015. Approved by voters in 2006, BTG has helped address our maintenance backlog, increase transit reliability, and improve safety.

Mayor Murray announces the Levy to Move Seattle.

Mayor Murray announces the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle.

On March 18, Mayor Murray and SDOT unveiled the draft Transportation Levy to Move Seattle and began a citywide conversation about our next major investment in transportation.

The proposed 9-year, $900 million draft Transportation Levy to Move Seattle proposal aimed to:

  • Take care of the basics by paving streets, retrofitting bridges, and improving road safety
  • Invest in our transportation system to keep pace with our growing city
  • Improve safety and mobility for all travelers – people walking, biking, driving cars, moving goods, and taking transit
  • Contribute to an integrated and connected system that is easy-to-use, affordable, and convenient

Improvements proposed in the draft levy were organized around Mayor Murray’s vision for Seattle: a city that is safe, affordable, interconnected, and vibrant.

It was the City’s goal that this levy reflect the needs of our communities and improve the day-to-day realities of getting around a growing Seattle. To accomplish this, from mid- March through April 2015, SDOT and the Mayor’s Office engaged in a citywide outreach effort to better understand the public’s transportation priorities and receive feedback on the draft levy proposal.


The draft levy proposal was revised in early May to reflect community priorities communicated during the public engagement process.

Mayor Murray and SDOT released the revised levy proposal on May 6, 2015.

Mayor Murray presents revised proposal (upper left; clockwise as follows), Community supporters, SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Rebecca Saldana, Puget Sound Sage

Mayor Murray presents revised proposal (upper left; clockwise as follows); Community supporters; SDOT Director Scott Kubly with Kelly Aramaki, Seattle Public Schools; Rebecca Saldana, Puget Sound Sage with Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Mike O’Brien.

 

Reflecting Community Priorities

During the public engagement process, we heard that the people of Seattle view safety, particularly for people on foot and on bicycle, as a top priority. We also heard support for greater investments in transit reliability and access, improved connections to light rail, and making it safer and more comfortable for people to walk throughout Seattle. We have revised the proposal to reflect these community priorities.

The revised levy proposal that Mayor Murray will submit to City Council responds to community feedback by increasing funds for neighborhood priority projects, transit investments, and pedestrian safety and mobility. It would fund $930 million in investments over nine years – $30 million more than the draft proposal released in March. The additional funding would come from levy revenue growth caused by growth in Seattle property value and number of households. The final levy’s cost to taxpayers ($275 annually for the owner of a median value home) would remain the same as proposed earlier.

Once the levy legislation is submitted to City Council, SDOT and the Mayor’s Office will coordinate closely with Councilmembers as they review it and will continue to encourage community feedback on the proposal.

Learn more about the levy and share your feedback with us. There are many ways you can get involved in the discussion.

Questions? Contact Allison Schwartz, Levy Outreach Lead, at allison.schwartz@seattle.gov or (206) 386-4654