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20-year Seattle transportation plan goes to city council for approval

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(The Center Square) – A proposed 20-year plan to improve transportation in the City of Seattle has been submitted to the city council for approval as a levy renewal is hinted to be announced in the near future.

The 20-year Seattle Transportation Plan identifies six main goals for the transportation department to achieve through 2044. The goals include: safety, equity, sustainability, mobility, livability, and maintenance and modernization of roads throughout Seattle.

In fall 2023, public feedback on the draft plan was provided. In response, the Seattle Department of Transportation has updated the plan to include vague details such as support for public safety through maintenance of critical routes, and shifts toward non-punitive transportation enforcement.

“From safer routes to schools, parks, transit, and community gathering spaces to proactively maintaining our streets, sidewalks, and bridges, we are laying out a comprehensive vision for a transportation system that serves everyone,” Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a news release.

The proposed Seattle Transportation Plan provides a list of potential transportation system initiatives for the next 20 years. The transportation department intends to use it to create a long term funding strategy that implements the programs and projects, and maintain the transportation assets the city needs.

Harrell and the Seattle Department of Transportation are working on a levy renewal proposal that would continue the city’s $930 million “Levy to Move Seattle,” which expires at the end of this year.

That levy has a rate of 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, meaning a median homeowner in Seattle pays $256 annually.

The levy renewal is anticipated to be announced to the public this spring.

According to the proposed plan, the annual Seattle Department of Transportation budget has been more $700 million with 20% to 30% of expenditures coming via the “Levy to Move Seattle.”

If the city council adopts the 20-year plan, a supplementary implementation plan would be created by the end of 2025, and updated every four years.