The City Council is now in its second level of budget review, taking a closer look department-by-department and discussing potential changes to what the mayor proposed. Tomorrow, SDOT is in the spotlight when councilmembers meet as the Select Budget Committee at 9:30 am at City Hall. The 15-page staff memo (PDF) for the meeting lists big issues as well as potential changes large and small:
Among the 15 potential changes proposed by councilmembers so far, here are the ones of particular West Seattle interest:
#4 – Direct funding from the Mercer Megablock property sale to support South Seattle bicycle infrastructure (Councilmember O’Brien) – This action would specify that the Vision Zero spending related to the Mercer Megablock property proceeds would be used to implement South Seattle bicycle infrastructure projects (amount to be determined) as previously directed by Council in Resolution 31894.
West Seattle relevance: Right now, the mayor’s budget would put $3.5 million of “Vision Zero spending related to the Mercer Megablock property proceeds” toward the Highland Park Way/Holden safety project. So that could be at risk.
#7 – Add funding and establish a CIP project for the Duwamish Longhouse Safe Street and Accessibility Project (Councilmember Herbold) – This action would establish a new CIP project and add funding (amount to be determined) for pedestrian safety improvements at West Marginal Way. The project would include a pedestrian-activated traffic signal and marked crosswalk, sidewalk pavement on the west side of West Marginal Way, ADA accessible crossing of railroad track to the Duwamish Trail, and ADA accessible connection to the Duwamish Tribe’s Herring’s House parking lot. SDOT estimates this project will cost $3.25 million: $250,000 for planning, $500,000 for design, and $2.5 million for construction.
#9 – Proviso spending on the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line (Councilmember Herbold) – This action would establish a proviso to limit spending on the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line project to design activities until authorized by future Council action. During a presentation to the March 5, 2019 Sustainability and Transportation Committee, SDOT indicated that final design for this project would be complete by Fall 2019 which would have allowed time for Council’s review in consideration of the 2020 Proposed Budget.
That’s basically an accountability measure, continuing a watch on the project to require council briefings along the way.
Also of interest:
#13 – Add $1 million to continue the Waterfront Shuttle service through 2020 (Councilmember Bagshaw) – This action would add $1 million to continue operations of the Waterfront Shuttle. The Waterfront Shuttle was funded by WSDOT in July 2018 as a mitigation for the Alaskan Way Viaduct removal. The free service runs approximately every 20 minutes, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week. The service connects Seattle Center to Pioneer Square and the Chinatown/International District via Alaskan Way, with an additional loop through Downtown Seattle from Pier 55 to the Central Library, Westlake Park, and Pike Place Market. WSDOT funding is scheduled to end in October 2019. This action would direct SDOT to take over funding responsibilities for the service through the end of 2020.
West Seattle relevance – This service has gained some traction with West Seattle Water Taxi riders connecting to it after arriving downtown. (In fact, a “save the shuttle” campaign has been advertising on WSB.)
If you have strong opinions about any of the above, this is a good time to let the council know, as much is in flux. firstname.lastname@example.org is one easy way. Tomorrow’s agenda also includes a public-comment period. And the second big all-budget public hearing is at City Hall next Tuesday night (October 22), 5:30 pm.
SIDE NOTE: Though he doesn’t have final say on the budget, SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe will be at next Wednesday’s HPAC meeting (7 pm at Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden) to talk about the Highland Park Way/Holden plan.