More and Easier Ways to Get Around
Seattle drivers spend 55 hours a year stuck in traffic. Households without a car are on the rise in Seattle. However, we still have more cars than ever due to population growth - hence more congestion. Highly-awaited light rail service to Ballard will not begin until 2035. We have a backlog of sidewalk repair, and there are large portions of the city later annexed that have no sidewalks.
We need congestion relief, less passenger and freight vehicle emissions, expanded transit options, and a more walkable city much sooner than later.
We can meet Seattle’s transportation needs by -
Introducing congestion pricing with an equitable focus.
A road use payment system in the form of congestion pricing would provide multiple benefits:
Less congestion (20% drop in Stockholm)
Better health (47% drop in child asthma in Stockholm)
Decreased greenhouse gas emissions
Revenue for transit and walking infrastructure
Congestion pricing revenue could be used to accelerate light rail construction, add bus service, and build out the city’s bicycle network, including protected bike lanes, bike lanes, and neighborhood greenways. Equity must be a priority to prevent low-income drivers from being disproportionately impacted. This could be done through expansion of free transit or through a model that connects pricing to individual income.
Building out our transit, bicycle, and walking networks.
We must take a faster, more aggressive approach to light rail construction. In addition to congestion pricing revenue, we should also seek state and federal funding support or loans for accelerated light rail construction. Changing the State constitution to allow gas tax revenue to be used for transit would also provide another funding source. We should also look at ways to streamline permitting for light rail construction.
Implementing the Bicycle Master Plan, including in District 6, completion of the missing link of the Burke Gilman Trail in Ballard along Shilshole Avenue and protected bike lanes along 8th Avenue NW.
Compared with Leary Avenue, Shilshole Avenue is more direct, will cross fewer roadway intersections (6 vs. 17,according to the final environmental impact statement), and will provide a recreational experience similar to the rest of the Burke Gilman Trail. Protected bike lanes along 8th Avenue NW would give District 6 its first major north-south arterial with protected bike lanes.
Expanding and reconfiguring the bus system to provide better and more frequent service and greater ridership.
Introducing inter-urban village transit and more light rail station feeder lines. We need to provide people with more transit options between neighborhoods and coordinate our bus and light rail systems more closely.
Expanding the city’s walking infrastructure.
Seattle has an 1,800-year backlog of new sidewalk construction, especially in the parts of the city that were annexed after the original incorporation of the city. Currently, we rely heavily upon new building construction to provide sidewalks. We should add a dedicated source of funding for cost-effective pathways adjacent to residential roadways with landscaping as buffers. We also must continue to fund installation of curb bulbs and other measures to provide accessibility and mobility for all.