City Council Considers Transportation Funding Ballot Measure

This November, Voters could decide to provide up to $27.2 million for transportation funding in the city through an $80 vehicle license fee. The Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee has recommended a package to benefit all modes of transportation with this funding, however this measure is not yet on the ballot and it’s up to the City Council to decide what to do.

Several council members are hesitant to propose an $80 fee, with Jean Godden (who is up for re-election) proposing only 1/4 of what CTAC recommends for pedestrian and bicycle projects.

PubliCola has a great reviewof the options and the discussion around these proposed ballot measures.

This Wednesday evening, you have the opportunity to influence the council as to which measure to put on the ballot. Here is Feet First‘s announcement and call to action:

Please come out on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 5:30pm for the Seattle Transportation Benefit District public hearing in the City Council Chambers at Seattle City Hall to make your voice heard.

The Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC-III), with representation from business, transit, pedestrian and bicycle organizations, has spent the past seven months deliberating on the best approach for spending up to $27.2 million that could be generated from implementing an $80 vehicle license fee as part of Seattleā€™s Transportation Benefit District.

The committee developed and recommended a package that benefits all modes – with most of the investment going to pedestrians, bicyclists and transit. Recognizing transportation needs are large, the committee also recommended putting forth a proposal for an annual Vehicle License Fee (VLF) of $80 to Seattle voters as early as this November to support these investments.

The council is now back peddling and we need them to stand strong. This is why we need you to be there this Wednesday to let them know that you strongly support CTAC III’s recommendations and you urge them to support CTAC-III proposal.

Here are talking points you may consider sharing with city council:

  • Since it costs about $8,000 a year to own a car offering transportation options is the most inclusive approach to meeting a citizen’s needs for getting around.
  • Non-drivers do face an uphill battle, as many of Seattle’s neighborhoods are still difficult to navigate without a car, but the revenue from the Vehicle License Fee will provide Seattle with the ability to continue to improve transportation options beyond the automobile.
  • In these challenging economic times, one of the most progressive things a city can do is offer residents an accessible, comprehensive transportation system that is not dependent on automobiles, which more and more people cannot afford.
  • We need to fund the pedestrian plan that we spent two years creating. This investment begins building on a vision common to most Seattle’s residents: healthy, sustainable lifestyles with safe, strong communities.

When: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 5:30pm
Where: Seattle City Council Chambers in City Hall

Let’s encourage council to put our money where our feet are and invest in achieving a livable and walkable vision for Seattle.

Thank you for your support.

While getting this past the council is one issue, convincing the voters will be another issue entirely. Passing an $80 fee to have it rejected at the polls would be a real disappointment. It’s tough to say how the city will vote, but getting the measure for the highest funding of transit onto the ballot may not necessarily be the best option. If you have an opinion, be sure to show up and speak up this Wednesday evening.


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