VIDEO: Impact fees, fish-truck crash, and levy outreach @ City Council Transportation Committee

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.

17 Replies to "VIDEO: Impact fees, fish-truck crash, and levy outreach @ City Council Transportation Committee"

  • KT April 28, 2015 (4:26 pm)

    Yup, that’s what you need at the scene of an accident shutting down the City of Seattle – an insurance company representative! Now he can really offer some unbiased, expert opinion on how to handle a traffic accident. Wow.

  • carole April 28, 2015 (4:47 pm)

    Re impact fees: what about repairing construction related road damage? We have huge trucks, double rigs carrying heavy equipment, dumpsters hauling debris from razed properties, trucks hauling away rocks and soil. They are causing road damage all over WS.

  • dsa April 28, 2015 (5:30 pm)

    Carole is correct. Potholes are caused by the oversized heavy trucks accessing construction sites and their repair should be considered in impact fees.

  • Diane April 28, 2015 (6:59 pm)

    agree with road damage everywhere from development; the Spruce apts repaved the street right in front of their bldg, but rest of the street by the bowling alley, still a mess, all torn up from big trucks

  • faktchekker April 28, 2015 (7:00 pm)

    Carole and DSA are in-correct about the cause of potholes.

    From SDOT-
    “Why are there so many potholes in Seattle streets?

    You can expect to see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. Many streets, particularly in the outer areas of the city have a very poor underlying structure, or sub base, which reacts poorly to these conditions. The asphalt heaves upward as the water under the road and in small cracks freezes and expands.”

    That explains why we had so many potholes during the recession when there were very few construction trucks.

    Regarding commercial trucks, they already pay ‘impact fees’ in much higher licensing fees.

    A better impact fee would be for cars using studded tires which do actual harm to our roads while reducing overall safety in our city.

  • Eric1 April 28, 2015 (7:12 pm)

    LOL. Nevermind the 350,000 commuters in Seattle. Saving some multinational insurance company $750,000 is much more important.
    It is looking more like SDOT couldn’t fight its way out of a wet paper bag independently. SDOT has to be told it is OK to damage the bag and that the wet bag is no longer worth money.

  • flynlo April 28, 2015 (7:15 pm)

    $750,000. for 80,000 pounds of whitefish?

    $9.375 per pound?????

    That’s GOOD eats!

  • westseattledood April 28, 2015 (7:18 pm)

    I think there is an obvious benefit to all businesses for functioning and maintained street surfaces. Ask the developer’s tenant business owners and the clients of those businesses if rough and chopped up streets don’t make an impression which adversely influences purchasing decisions and revenue lost. Not to mention the funky bush-league business environment it creates. Think like Bellevue’s big deciders. They know how to create mutually beneficial opportunities for revenue. Don’t be a-scared. And don’t study it to death.

  • Elikapeka April 28, 2015 (8:35 pm)

    Nice to know that commercial insurance adjustors are in charge of accident scenes. Words escape me.

  • dsa April 28, 2015 (10:03 pm)

    SDOT’s excuse for potholes does not match the reality of potholes in the path of the construction vehicles.

  • White Male April 28, 2015 (11:58 pm)

    Why does the demographics of who showed up to the “in-person traditional community meetings” matter? I resemble that remark… Older too.

  • ACG April 29, 2015 (11:13 am)

    Diane- I was just going to mention the exact same thing. The construction trucks for Spruce have totally demolished the road in front of the bowling alley and leading to Trader Joes garage. Yes, they so nicely re-did part of the road in front of Spruce- neatly ending it at EXACTLY the property line- but the rest of the road leading up to Oregon is absolutely treacherous. How can they get away with that?

  • Delridge Denizen April 29, 2015 (3:09 pm)

    It would seem an accident like this has a built-in, motivated labor pool of people sitting in their cars waiting for the cleanup. Next time it happens, everybody grab a fish. In fact, maybe that should be SDOT’s motto.

  • sophista-tiki April 29, 2015 (3:32 pm)

    seriously? is anyone surprised by the ” disproportionately white, male, and older” demographic being the ones available to attend said meetings? I can think of a thousand ‘oldwhiteguysruletheworld’ reasons for that one.

  • Neighbor April 29, 2015 (3:57 pm)

    That’s funny Delridge D! That’s a more catchy name that WSTC. Somebody print that on a t-shirt and sell it. GRAB A FISH

  • wetone April 29, 2015 (5:27 pm)

    After watching this meeting and others, seeing him in person I just don’t understand how and what qualified Scott Kubly for SDOT director ? There had to be better qualified people for the Seattle Department of Transportation director. There must be something I’m missing.
    When they mentioned the 35th work and having a info walk. Why are they doing it from 9am-noon ? I would think rush hour times would of been much better so one can see what is really going on and doing it in a couple areas along 35th.

  • Del Martini May 1, 2015 (6:30 am)

    Have a walk or wander along the one block long road known as Cottage Place SW running parallel to Delridge Way at Alaska and Edmunds. It was always precarious due to its crude and curb-less nature, but after ten years of dumptrucks, concrete trucks, construction material delivery trucks supporting the numerous townhome infill projects the eastern edge has crumbled into the ditch and it is only a matter of time before it becomes impassable to anything but a unicycle. Questions regarding who is responsible and what is to be done have been directed to SDOT. No one responds. What adds to the ludicrousness of the situation is that an SDOT truck got stuck in the ditch after slipping off the crumbling edge. It’s all a really bad joke.

Sorry, comment time is over.