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Mayor Harrell Proposes $1.35B Transportation Levy for Safe, Reliable, and Connected Seattle

Mayor Harrell’s draft Transportation Levy Proposal would fund SDOT to maintain and modernize Seattle’s transportation system, deliver major projects, and support better, safer connections in neighborhoods throughout the city.

SEATTLE – Today Mayor Harrell unveiled an 8-year, $1.35 billion transportation levy proposal draft for public input. The proposal recommends more funding to repair bridges, repave streets, connect neighborhoods to light rail, build sidewalks, and make getting around Seattle safer.

Residents and community members may visit the engagement hub to read the proposal and share feedback by April 26. The Mayor will share his final proposal with the Seattle City Council in May. This summer, the City Council will review the proposal and consider referral to voters.

Seattle’s current transportation levy provides roughly 30 percent of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT’s) budget and expires this year. Transportation levies have funded basic transportation services for 18 years based on public votes.

Seattle’s transportation system is critical to a thriving city that connects people to places and opportunities. Levy funding allows SDOT to attend to the basics of the city’s transportation infrastructure while providing important investments for safety, climate, and communities.

The proposal builds on important plans that Seattle residents shaped, including the Seattle Transportation Plan and the One Seattle Plan (currently available for public comment). The proposal brings together the priorities the public has shared, the essential needs the City has identified, and the funding resources to deliver.

“Seattle residents want a transportation system that is safe, connected, and well-maintained. This levy proposal will deliver more funding to get us there. No matter how you get around, it will make trips safer, more reliable, and better connected so that every Seattleite is set up for success when they experience our city. This is a top priority and will allow our transportation department to keep taking care of the essentials, be proactive stewards of our public assets, and keep the city working for you. We welcome your continued feedback and input – thank you.” – Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell

“The Mayor’s levy proposal offers a balanced and practical set of investments to maintain and modernize our streets and bridges. Informed by the Seattle Transportation Plan, our Asset Management Strategy, and our strengthened Vision Zero program, this major program of investments will produce a safer, better connected and more reliable transportation system for all.” – Greg Spotts, Director, Seattle Department of Transportation

The proposal is described in more detail in this SDOT Blog post. Full details about the proposed spending amounts for each SDOT program are available here. Examples of projects being proposed are listed here. Key features of the proposal are listed here.

Levies are paid for by Seattle property owners. Under the expiring Levy to Move Seattle, the median assessed value Seattle homeowner pays about $24 per month. This levy proposal would increase the monthly cost by $14 per month for a $1 million home, by $12 per month for a $866,000 home (median Seattle assessment), and by $7 per month for a $500,000 home.

The engagement hub is available in more languages:

What people are saying:

“Transit links people to jobs, housing, and all the opportunities the Seattle area has to offer. With investments that make it easier and safer for more people to use transit, the City is a key partner with Sound Transit in helping to create a more connected, more productive region for all of us.” – Goran Sparrman, Sound Transit Interim CEO

“Working Seattleites don’t need studies or fancy PowerPoints to convince us that our roads, bridges and sidewalks are in bad shape. We live it every day. Fortunately, traffic is not like the weather. We can improve our commute times, prevent tragedies like what recently happened in Baltimore and help kids get to school safely on foot. Working people in our region are willing and eager to do our part to address our woefully inadequate transportation infrastructure. We look forward to reviewing the mayor’s draft levy plan and advocating for substantial improvements to Seattle’s biggest nuisance.” – Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, MLK Labor

“The people of Seattle deserve an investment in transportation that addresses the City’s most pressing safety, equity, and climate needs. As the largest levy in our history, this proposal is a big commitment to rise up and meet them. We’re excited to see investments in transit that will speed up buses and help more people access light rail. We look forward to working with the Mayor, Council, and advocates to strengthen this levy so that everyone in Seattle can walk, bike, roll, and take transit to get where they need to go.”  – Kirk Hovenkotter, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition