West Seattle, Washington
The heart of the decision over this fall’s transportation levy: What will you get for your money? Two weeks after Mayor Murray and SDOT director Scott Kubly went public with the revised proposed $930 million “Move Seattle” transportation levy (WSB coverage here), it’s officially appearing on the City Council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar – which means that you can read the “fine print.” That includes the proposed “ballot title,” what you’ll see before you vote in November, assuming the language isn’t changed:
CITY OF SEATTLE
PROPOSITION NO. 1
The City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 concerns replacing funding for citywide transportation maintenance and improvements.
If approved, this proposition would replace an expiring levy and fund bridge seismic upgrades, transit corridor and light rail station access projects, pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, upgraded and synchronized traffic signals, street maintenance and improvements, freight mobility projects, and neighborhood street fund projects.
It authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing collection of up to $95,000,000 in 2016 and up to $930,000,000 over nine years. The 2016 total regular tax limit would be $3.60/$1,000 assessed value, including approximately $0.62 additional taxes.
Should this levy be approved?
You can read the legislation in its entirety here – keep in mind the City Council now will start its review, with public-comment opportunities along the way – including a 5:30 pm public hearing at City Hall on June 2nd – before a final version is sent to the county in August. (This link also includes info on how to comment on it right now. And a new stack of “public outreach” links has just been sent around by SDOT – you can find them here; the links on that page include the map we’ve embedded atop this story.)
Responding to this morning’s earthquake, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is inspecting the city’s elevated roadway structures for any possible damage. The department has already examined the Ballard, Fremont, University and Spokane Street bridges and has found no indications of damage from the earthquake. The inspections will continue with assessments of the Magnolia, Emerson Street and Jose Rizal bridges, the 15th Avenue NW Interchange and the Spokane Street Viaduct.
Given the small size of the earthquake, the department is carefully examining a key number of its bridges, viaducts and overpasses. If any earthquake damage is discovered, SDOT will then escalate its inspection to all citywide elevated roadway structures.
The Washington State Department of Transportation is responsible for inspecting the Alaskan Way Viaduct and is already at work on that important elevated structure.
ADDED 12:16 PM: SDOT has sent an update:
Inspections of elevated roadway structures across the city
by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) revealed no damage
from this morning’s earthquake. … In addition to visual inspections, SDOT performed test openings on the four movable bridges and found all systems operating correctly. This testing covered the Ballard, Fremont, University and Spokane Street bridges.