Mayor Mike McGinn announced his grim budget plan (be sure to read Erica’s summary). Amid the news of reduced services, hiring and salary freezes, and scaled-back library and recreation funding, Mayor McGinn sneaked in one promising proposal for alternative transportation: a $13 million funding increase for walking, biking, and transit over two years.
Funding for the $5 million increase in 2011 and $8 million in 2012 would come from an increased commercial parking tax (though that’s already looking tenuous) and a vehicle license fee. According to a press release from McGinn, the money would be used to fund:
- More Neighborhood Street Fund projects that will improve neighborhoods.
- Full funding for sidewalks on Linden Ave N.
- Projects that speed up implementation of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, i.e. more sidewalks, bike facilities, crossing improvements, stairways, pedestrian lighting, and other neighborhood improvements.
- Getting started on the creation of a bike sharing program in Seattle.
- A boost to larger projects that have a bigger impact. Projects receiving funding include: the Lake to Bay Loop Urban Trail, bike/pedestrian improvements on the Ballard Bridge, the Chief Sealth Trail, and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.
- Completion of the Transit Master Plan and potential early implementation of recommendations