That’s the Seattle Channel video of this morning’s City Council Transportation Committee meeting, which included several items of interest. One was a briefing on the city’s ongoing study of development impact fees. Staffers from several departments participated. One reminded the councilmembers that impact fees are meant to raise “new capital for new needs created by new construction,” and that the areas in which they could be applied are “transportation, parks, schools, and fire … necessitated by new development and reasonably benefiting new development.” One example of what money from impact fees couldn’t be used to cover: Filling potholes. No vote, let alone decision, on the issue, but the studies continue.
Then came the discussion of the “after-action report” about the 9-hour Highway 99 closure last month because of an overturned truck full of fish. We published the first version of the report when it was circulated two weeks ago; today’s discussion, which included Seattle Police Deputy Chief Carmen Best and SDOT director Scott Kubly, brought a few more things to light. For one, the two departments use different traffic management systems that prioritize incidents in slightly different ways – and if not for that, different decisions might have been made as on-scene crews struggled with getting the truck out of the roadway. It was also pointed out that an insurance-company rep was on the scene relatively quickly, and that the rep was advocating for saving the $750,000 truckload of fish (“whitefish, not salmon, for the record,” it was pointed out today), which ultimately did not happen. Kubly said this would lead to some further refinements such as possibly positioning certain types of response equipment in certain areas of the city, and creating a tiered system to prioritize incidents depending upon a road/highways’ importance.
When presenting his written report, featured here last Friday, Kubly didn’t say much about the West Seattle components – except a reiteration of the walking tour times (35th SW 9 am-noon on May 16th, SW Roxbury 5:30-7:30 pm on May 20th) – but did discuss how outreach on the draft transportation levy is going, with a new draft to be presented to the mayor this week. He said the in-person traditional community meetings hadn’t drawn many, and described those drawn by those meetings as “disproportionately white, male, older,” but said 5,000 responses had come in to the online survey. Last week’s online meeting, he said, had 30 participants.