Seattle Mayor Proposes $13 Million for Alt-Transportation In His Slash and Burn Budget

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