We need a transportation levy to get Seattle on track

Alt Text: A woman sitting in a wheelchair speaks into a microphone in front of a row of people wearing raincoats and holding signs promoting and demanding sidewalks, buses, and bike lanes.

Seattle needs a levy that puts us on track to meet our city’s climate, safety, and equity goals. These are commitments that the city has already made. But these goals don’t mean anything if we don’t fund them. Now is the time to put our money where our mouth is!

At a time when we need to be investing more, Mayor Harrell's draft proposal:

  • Slashes pedestrian funding by $32 million (23%), compared to current levy spending, adjusted for inflation.

  • Slashes transit funding by $52 million (30%).

  • Increases car-focused spending by $189 million (33%), bringing this bucket dramatically out of balance with other spending.

Three images of people holding signs that read “Safe Streets for the South End”, “I <3 sidewalks, bike lanes, & bus lanes!” and “Don’t Defund Transit.”

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, together with Disability Rights WA and 13 other organizations (and counting!) are pushing to right these wrongs.

Our Demands:

  • Dedicate at least 50% of levy funding to improvements for people walking, rolling, biking, and riding transit (a minimum!)

  • Prioritize levy funding for historically disinvested communities that do not yet have safe walking and biking infrastructure.

  • Propose a larger levy total of at least $1.7B.

Specifically, we’re pushing for funding for:

  1. Accessibility — sidewalks and crosswalks: Dramatically increase the funding to build sidewalks. The Mayor’s proposal will support building just 250 blocks of sidewalks – only 2% of the city blocks where they are currently missing. At this rate, people with disabilities will have to wait over 400 years to move safely and freely in our city.

  2. Safety — Vision Zero: Add funding to cover safety redesigns on the 5 most dangerous streets in Seattle: Aurora Ave N, MLK Way S, 4th Ave S, Rainier Ave S, and Lake City Way.

  3. Transit Reliability: Reverse cuts to the transit program to ensure buses are efficient and reliable.

  4. Equitable Bike Routes: Add funding to maintain bike programs, adjusted for construction cost inflation. Prioritize bike projects to complete a connected bike network through South Seattle, including a convenient direct arterial route north-south through the Rainier Valley.

  5. Anti-Displacement Work: Add funding for community-led planning and land acquisition to prepare for light rail expansion in Graham Street and C/ID to help communities remain rooted in place.

  6. Urban Freeway Mitigation: Add funding to mitigate the environmental, social, and economic impacts impact highways have on our communities.

  7. Livability: Add funding for accessible public restrooms for transit hubs, light rail stations, and public gathering spaces to make our transportation system accessible for families, elders, unhoused people, and more.

Click here to see the full set of demands.

350 Seattle, Ampersand Bikes Club, Aurora Reimagined Coalition, Be:Seattle, Disability Mobility Initiative, Disability Rights WA, House Our Neighbors, Lid I-5, Puget Sound Sage, Real Change, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle Parks Foundation, Seattle Subway, Seattle Transit Blog, Sierra Club of WA State, Transit Riders Union, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, The Urbanist, West Seattle Bike Connections