Move Seattle: Transportation Levy

Click here to see our 2016 priorities

What was the 2015 priority?

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked with our allies to make sure the Levy to Move Seattle, which replaces the expiring Bridging the Gap transportation levy, was passed so we can build safe and healthy streets for all people.
The levy represents over a third of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s budget, and funds about 80% of all the walking and biking projects in the city. We needed to pass it to…
  1. Make Progress on the Pedestrian Master Plan.
  2. Keep us on track to build half of the Bicycle Master Plan by 2024.
  3. Keep us on track to reach Vision Zero by 2030.
  4. Build a future where everyone has real choices for how to get around.

What happened?

 

Wow! Your hard work paid off! We passed the Move Seattle Levy with 58.7% of the vote! Thank you!

The future of living in Seattle suddenly seems a lot more hopeful.

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Seattle will be able to repair bridges, repave roads, and replace broken signals and signs. Important as it is to maintain the infrastructure we have, your local action helped to pass a nearly billion dollar transportation levy because you are also ready to transform Seattle streets!

Over the next nine years, we now have the funding to build half of the Bicycle Master Plan and build or repair nearly 500 blocks of sidewalks. Of special note, thanks to your efforts to highlight the importance of children being able to safely walk and bike to school, the Mayor has pledged to make safe routes to every school his first priority.

Our work as a grassroots advocacy coalition is just beginning. Now comes the fun part when we make sure streets are built to standards that transform Seattle into a leading beacon of safe and healthy streets for all.

Once again, you proved the power of neighbors who care. Thank you!

  • Together we advocated for the most progressive transportation levy in Seattle’s history.
  • Together we made safe routes to school the number one topic of discussion.
  • Together we made thousands of calls, hosted press conferences, placed scores of yard signs, doorbelled across the city, donated, spread the word on our social networks, and waved signs.
  • Together we passed a transformative levy by a strong margin.
  • Together we won funding for safer streets for all.  

Thank you!

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Move Seattle For Our Kids Campaign Recap

Earlier this year we worked to strengthen the levy proposal. Read more about our efforts below.

July 3rd, 2015

This November, voters will be asked to approve the $930 million Move Seattle Levy to replace the expiring Bridging the Gap Levy. This levy will fund more than a quarter of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) budget. Last week, Seattle City Council voted on final amendments before voting to put the levy on the ballot.

Thanks to your support, we have some big wins for Safe Routes To School. While we are disappointed the City Council did not increase funding for safe routes to school, we feel the package overall has been improved significantly for our most vulnerable people — our kids, our elders, and our transit dependent — thanks to our collective efforts.

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Our Biggest Wins

  • Major Project Review: All major SDOT projects ($5 million +) will now be evaluated based on whether they advance the goals of the Safe Routes to School Program. This will give neighbors new opportunities to ensure big SDOT projects make it easier and safer for kids to walk and bike to school.
  • School Walk Zones: SDOT will expand the focus of the Safe Routes to School Program from a mere 300 feet from the school door, to a more realistic one mile distance that many kids need to walk or bike from. This expansion of scope is critical to make sure the city starts working towards making the entire Seattle Public School Walk Zones truly walkable and bikeable.
  • Social Justice: SDOT will first work to improve access to schools that have been historically underinvested in and have high levels of poverty: Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King, Jr., West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Wing Luke, Northgate, Van Asselt, Emerson, Concord, Rainier View, and Roxhill. These schools will receive investment “within the first three years of the levy.”
  • Increased Importance: Safe Routes to School became the most talked about issue related to the levy, garneringhighqualityearnedmediacoverage. According to city insiders, our collective efforts have elevated the issue of the safety of our children to a new level of importance in the city.
  • No Backfilling: A “no backfilling” restriction in the levy makes it difficult for the City Council to reduce the city’s general fund allocation to SDOT. This ensures the levy money will go to to increase funding for safe streets, instead of potentially replacing existing funding.
  • Commitments from other organizations: Our partners have committed to help us advocate for red light camera money to be shifted from the general fund to the SDOT budget for an intersection safety program. This is going to be a big lift, but we’re cautiously optimistic for the success of this Vision Zero program.

Missed Opportunities

  • Increased Funding: Despite our best efforts the Seattle City Council did not increase funding for Safe Routes to School at all. We had originally sought an increase of $31.41 million (to the proposed $7 million), and later were willing to compromise significantly downward. Unfortunately, the concern that this change might “unbalance” the package won out over the need to increase funding for Safe Routes to School.

Overall, we are happy that Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and YOU, our passionate coalition of people who care about safe streets, could make such a positive impact on this huge political initiative.

Thank you for being a part of it all. We hope you will continue to support safe routes to school and consider donating to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways so that we can continue to advocate for safer, healthier streets for people in Seattle.

Sincerely,

Cathy Tuttle Executive Director

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For previous updates on our efforts see: Move Seattle For Our Kids