[nfbwatlk] FW: Notice of Public Hearing: Transportation Investments

Jacob Struiksma lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 10 05:56:18 UTC 2011



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Office of the Mayor
City of Seattle

Seattle has a chance to finally start building the kind of passenger rail
network that our city needs to connect our neighborhoods and compete in the
21st century global economy. But the decision is now up to the City Council,
and they need to hear from you. Tomorrow evening there will be a public
hearing of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (which is made up of
our nine City Council members). They're taking comments from the public on
the details of an
important transportation funding package to be put on the ballot in
November, and this package will have long-term impacts on what kind of
transportation investments we can make in Seattle.
Because of a drop in revenue coming into the city for transportation
projects over the last several years (between Eyman initiatives, the gas
tax, real estate excise tax, and the current state of the economy), the City
will continue to come up short when it comes to investments in our streets.
We're behind on basic maintenance - and we're behind on building the transit
we need.
This transportation package being discussed by the City Council is based off
of an
original proposal by our Citizens
Transportation Advisory Committee III (CTAC III). Their package proposed: 

*	an $80 vehicle license fee, with: 

*	50% of the revenue would go to transit 

*	30% of the revenue would go to street maintenance 

*	20% of the revenue would go to pedestrian, neighborhood, and bicycle

This would allow for planning, design, and construction of projects
identified by the ongoing Transit
Master Plan. Five high-capacity transit corridors have been identified
across the city, including potential rail lines from downtown to Ballard and
from downtown to the U-District as well as connecting rail in the Center
Currently, the City Council is considering lowering this to a $60 vehicle
license fee. They may also want to limit the number of years it would be
levied, potentially only to 8 years. Unfortunately, what that means is that
the ability to bond those funds to do large projects would be taken away.
That means no rail projects.
So, while an ongoing $80 VLF doesn't sound that different from a $60 VLF
that's eight years, the difference is actually pretty stark: with the first,
we can get a substantial down payment to connect our neighborhoods. With the
second, we get more planning.
Mayor McGinn has written a longer blog
post on this topic and we hope that you'll read it.
You can comment in person:
Tomorrow, Wednesday August 10th, at 5:30 pm
City Hall Council Chambers (2nd floor)
600 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104
If you can't attend the public hearing, you may also email
the City Council your thoughts on transportation priorities in Seattle. 

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