Chas Redmond, writing on behalf of the Streets for All campaign, is chair of the City Neighborhood Council
It’s pretty simple. Seattle’s great neighborhoods and our quality of life depend on a safe, functioning, and efficient transportation system.
A safe place to walk, take a bus, bike and even drive to our jobs, schools and parks is a big part of being in a great city. We need as many choices and convenient ways to travel as possible.
This is why it’s so important to vote YES on Proposition 1. Designed by a citizen panel and well vetted, Prop. 1 will give Seattle faster, more reliable transit service; repair and repave roads to make them work better for everyone; and it will fund new sidewalks and better crosswalks, and create more family-friendly bike infrastructure throughout the city.
One thing we can all agree on is that Seattle desperately needs more funding for our transportation system.
Gas prices are skyrocketing again, nearly $4 dollar a gallon. It’s getting harder for working families to afford to get to their jobs resulting in more people riding buses to work. This June, Metro bus ridership grew nearly six percent over last year. As ridership grows, it is both reasonable and sensible to invest in our buses to help them run smoothly and more quickly. In fact, it is essential.
This is why half the money (nearly $100 million) raised by Prop. 1 is dedicated to transit improvements to help buses move up to 20 percent faster and more reliably. Improvements like signal priority for buses, bus bulbs, dedicated bus lanes and signals that let buses jump ahead of traffic, are all effective ways to move our buses more efficiently. In addition, Prop.1 will invest $20 million to update and expand Seattle's beloved electric bus network, meaning cheaper and cleaner electric buses on our streets and in our future.
With Prop. 1, we double the city’s investments for new sidewalks. Once again - Prop. 1 DOUBLES Seattle’s annual sidewalk investment. Prop. 1 helps pedestrians in even more ways with new crosswalks and better signals—all helping to make life safer and easier for pedestrians throughout Seattle, especially our kids on their way to school. All said, Prop. 1 dedicates $23 million for pedestrian improvements.
Our roads also are in disrepair. The recession has caused Seattle to cut back on basic things like pothole filling. Prop. 1 will make critical repairs, improving roads for everyone, including drivers, bus riders, freight movers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Here again, we will be able to double the amount of repaving projects Seattle can do each year with $59 million in dedicated funding for basic road maintenance.
Finally, Prop. 1 is affordable. For about the price of a tank of gas for a sedan, we will make our buses 20 percent faster, double the amount of road repairs, and double our investments in sidewalks.
Prop 1. is a balanced measure that benefits everyone, no matter how they choose to get around. And that’s the point, this is important and we need to vote Yes.
(Read the Slog post from the other side, arguing to vote no, over here.)