Bikes win big in Seattle’s budget
Dollars will accelerate the Bike Master Plan, add staffers for outreach and fundraising
We know the recipe for making Seattle a great place to ride a bike: A bold vision, committed advocates and of course, funding to back it all up. Thanks to our collective advocacy work this fall, the Seattle City Council approved a bicycle-friendly budget for 2017-2018.
Here’s a rundown of budget items we asked for:
- Accelerated Move Seattle spending ($5 million) — Making Seattle bikeable for people of all ages and abilities requires a network of safe and connected bike lanes, not just a few key corridors. That’s why we asked the City to amp up its spending of Move Seattle dollars. We know that when we achieve a “minimum grid” of safe places to bike, we’ll see a greater jump mode shift, and the resulting “safety in numbers” benefits that come when more people are out riding.
- Additional SDOT revenue development staff ($90k in 2017 and $135k) — The Levy to Move Seattle is highly leveraged — meaning many of its projects require additional fundraising to come to fruition. We advocated for increasing staff capacity to apply for competitive grant funding, including sources that will directly fund biking and walking safety improvements.
- Additional outreach staff for SDOT, housed within the Department of Neighborhoods (2 FTE) — Engaging communities on transportation-related projects is crucial to ensuring the designs are suitable to neighborhood needs and bringing the public along through the planning process. It’s an incredibly challenging job -- especially given the diversity of needs in our area — so we are thrilled to see that the Department of Neighborhoods will be supporting SDOT with its community outreach. This is a huge win for equitable transportation planning! We’re also excited to see the City of Seattle breaking down silos between departments.
- A Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) for Bike/Streetcar Safety — This budget action ensures that the planning team for the Center City Connector streetcar extension delivers a formal report on how the project ensures safety for people biking.
In addition, Cascade teamed up to align with asks from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:
- Millions to continue safety improvements on Rainier Avenue South and to accelerate the Accessible Mt. Baker project
- $150,000 to fund a North Beacon Hill Multimodal Transportation Study
- $400,000 additional red light camera revenue directed toward Safe Routes to School
- Additional support for improving walking conditions around the city
We’re reveling in the many safe streets wins — championed by a wide variety of councilmembers, including O’Brien, Johnson, Bagshaw, Harrell, Juarez and Herbold — that came through the final budget package.
Help us celebrate these achievements by saying thanks to our electeds for hearing the priorities of people who bike.