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Mayor Bruce Harrell Signs Legislation Sending Transportation Levy to Seattle Voters  – Office of the Mayor

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Mayor Bruce Harrell Signs Legislation Sending Transportation Levy to Seattle Voters  – Office of the Mayor


Levy will build sidewalks, pave streets, repair bridges, and improve transit for a safe, reliable, and connected Seattle 

Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell signed into law the legislation that will place the Transportation Levy on Seattle voters’ ballots in November 2024. The legislation was unanimously approved in a 9-0 vote by the City Council on Tuesday. 

If approved by voters, the eight-year $1.55 billion Transportation Levy will provide funding to enhance the city’s transportation infrastructure including building sidewalks, paving streets, repairing bridges, and improving transit connections. The levy includes investments in the safety, maintenance, and modernization needs of Seattle’s transportation infrastructure and incorporates robust community input. 

“For the past 18 years, Seattle voters have consistently shown their commitment to maintaining and improving our city’s transportation infrastructure,” said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell. “This Transportation Levy is a detailed action plan to build on that effort, addressing the urgent needs of our streets, bridges, sidewalks, and transit systems. These investments will help Seattleites get where they need to go and enhance safety across our transportation system, no matter how they get around – bolstering bridges, strengthening connections to light rail and transit, and improving routes to walk, bike, and roll.” 

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The current Levy to Move Seattle, which expires at the end of 2024, represents roughly 30% of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s budget. The proposed Transportation Levy would renew and expand this funding source to build a broad range of projects reflecting the city’s evolving transportation needs and priorities. 

“This consensus levy is about us all coming together to invest in a better future for our city,” said Seattle City Councilmember Transportation Chair Rob Saka. “This levy is about building a stronger, more reliable transportation system. It’s about saving lives by making critical safety improvements on our roads. It’s about creating good, living-wage, union jobs for people in our community. It’s a big investment to be sure, but it’s one that we’re making with utmost accountability and care. The people of Seattle are worth it.”  

Highlights of the Transportation Levy include: 

  • 350 new blocks of sidewalks and walkways (about 22 miles) and 34,000 repairs to existing sidewalks. 
  • 160 projects to improve bus trip reliability and connect people to light rail stations while prioritizing safety, reliability, and accessibility. 
  • A new preventative bridge maintenance program and planning for longer-term replacements. 
  • 15 paving projects to maintain and modernize Seattle’s streets and get people and goods where they need to go. 
  • Improvements to Seattle’s bicycle network with new protected bike lanes, added bike lane barriers, regular bike lane sweeping, completing the gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, and more bike facilities in south Seattle. 

“SDOT is ready to deliver on this balanced and practical investment program to maintain and modernize Seattle’s streets, sidewalks, bridges, bike lanes and transit connections, over the next 8 years,” said SDOT Director Greg Spotts. “We appreciate the deep and thoughtful collaboration with a wide range of Seattle community members and organizations who helped shape this levy for consideration by Seattle voters.” 

Seattle’s transportation system is critical to a thriving city that connects people to places and opportunities. Levy funding allows SDOT to attend to the basics of the city’s transportation infrastructure while providing important investments for safety, climate, and communities. The proposed levy balances investments with affordability, and would cost the owner of a median-value Seattle home about $44 per month, an increase of about $21 per month compared to the current levy. 

Key Transportation Levy investments include: 

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  • $403 million to repave arterial streets that carry the most buses, trucks, and cars, and improve infrastructure for people walking, rolling, biking, and taking transit. 
  • $221 million to keep bridges and structures in reliable working condition and prepare for future bridge projects. 
  • $193 million to build and repair sidewalks, crossings, and curb ramps so people walking and rolling can safely get to where they need to go. 
  • $160.5 million to make targeted Vision Zero and community improvements to streets, sidewalks, intersections, and crossings to reduce traffic collisions, severe injuries, and fatalities. 
  • $151 million to connect people safely to transit hubs, including Link light rail stations and bus stops; and reduce delays on bus routes. 
  • $133.5 million to expand Seattle’s protected bike lane network; connect schools to bike lanes, paths, and neighborhood greenways; and maintain and upgrade existing bike lanes. 
  • $100 million to install, maintain, and upgrade traffic signals for safe, reliable movement; improve pedestrian and bike accessibility signals; and support traffic operations during large events, incidents, and for trips in and out of the port. 
  • $69 million to address climate change directly, reducing air pollution and making sustainable transportation options more available. 
  • $66.5 million to activate public spaces and improve lighting in partnership with business districts and community organizations so people can enjoy unique and vibrant neighborhoods and business districts. 
  • $45 million to make freight improvements to support trucks delivering goods and providing services. 
  • $7.5 million to ensure good governance and equitable implementation. 

Background 

Seattle residents have a long history of supporting transportation levies to improve the city’s infrastructure. The 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle, passed in 2015, has funded significant improvements to the city’s transportation network, as did the 2006 Bridging the Gap levy. 

Citywide outreach for the new levy included 85 briefings with community-based organizations, four roundtables between 60 stakeholder groups and Mayor Harrell, 30 one-on-one meetings with Director Spotts, nine public events at neighborhood gatherings where staff talked to almost 1,000 people, multicultural and multilingual ad campaigns and media engagements, and online resources viewed by more than 13,000 people.  

These engagement opportunities helped community members and businesses review the levy proposal and share feedback. This outreach included a special effort to engage people and populations that have been underrepresented in past transportation planning and funding efforts, including people who speak languages other than English. 

The Transportation Levy proposal builds on important plans that Seattle residents shaped, including the Seattle Transportation Plan and the draft One Seattle Plan. The proposal brings together the priorities the public has shared, the essential needs the City has identified, and the funding resources to deliver.  

For more information about the Transportation Levy, please visit seattle.gov/transportation/levy. 

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What People Are Saying

Rachel Smith, President and CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 

“Thank you to Mayor Bruce Harrell, Seattle City Council Transportation Chair Rob Saka, and the entire city council for their leadership to send a transportation levy renewal to voters. This package reflects feedback from employers large and small from across the city, and makes progress on the greatest needs, balanced with affordability concerns. A thriving, equitable, and inclusive regional economy – which is our mission – is predicated on Seattleites being able to safely and reliably get to work and to school and back home to their families, as well as enjoy the natural beauty and recreational and cultural opportunities that surround us. This proposal, if approved by voters, helps get us there.”

Lee Lambert, Executive Director, Cascade Bicycle Club 

“Cascade Bicycle Club would like to thank the City Council and Mayor Harrell for creating a Seattle Transportation Levy that will make it safer and easier for more people to bike. The funding included in the levy for bike network improvements will greatly improve safety for everyone – especially in South Seattle, where investments in safe places to bike lag the rest of the city. This levy means that more people will have an easier choice to bike to school, grocery stores, and to the bus or light rail. For example, people will be able to bike seven miles from Capitol Hill to the bottom of Beacon Hill on a protected bike lane when this levy is complete.”

Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, MLK Labor

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“Workers rely on decent roads and bridges to get to work and safe sidewalks for our kids to get to school. The next levy to Move Seattle will deliver much needed improvements to our current transportation infrastructure.”

Monty Anderson, Executive Secretary, Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council

“The investments in this bold proposal will improve transportation in a growing Seattle, and they will build better lives by creating thousands of good, family-wage construction jobs for skilled craftspeople. These projects will bring hundreds of new entrants into the construction field, through apprenticeships and training, and provide pathways out of poverty for women, people of color, veterans and others who are disadvantaged into construction careers.”

Cecelia Black, Seattle Transit Organizer, Disability Mobility Initiative, Disability Rights Washington 

“For too long, the disability community has fought against a narrative that sidewalks are an add-on luxury to our transportation system. This levy marks a key shift in that narrative.  For the first time, we have a city council and mayor’s office fully acknowledge the seriousness of our sidewalk crisis and commit to changing the status quo. If passed, the levy will increase Seattle’s rate of new sidewalk construction by over 40% and creates a pathway for a longer-term funding plan that can adequately address the scale of the need. We still have a long way to go but I am hopeful that this levy is a first step to creating an accessible transportation system within my lifetime.”

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Kirk Hovenkotter, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition 

“No matter who you are, this levy will make it safer and easier for you to get around Seattle. In addition to making a historic investment in sidewalks, this levy will fund transit improvements and bike lanes, neighborhood-identified safety projects, and the basic maintenance of our transportation infrastructure. Voters will soon have the opportunity to make a generational investment in our city’s transportation future.”

Seattle Department of Transportation’s Transportation Equity Workgroup

“SDOT’s Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW) is excited by the contents of the Seattle Transportation Levy. The TEW worked closely with SDOT to integrate the values of the Transportation Equity Framework (TEF) into the levy proposal so that our most overlooked communities can benefit from levy investments. We thank community members, allies and transportation advocates who championed the $41 million dollar Neighborhood Initiated Safety Partnership Program, which empowers marginalized community members to drive decisions and planning processes. Community-led equitable investments in transportation that center low-income, BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, disabled and aging communities is essential to uphold the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) Ordinance. The levy ensures that future transportation developments reflect community identified concerns, putting resources into people and places historically underinvested in, leading to informed decision making and a city that works for everyone.”

Don Blakeney, Executive Director, U District Partnership

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“The Seattle Transportation Levy is a critical investment in the future of Seattle’s neighborhoods, like the U District. As one of the fastest growing economic centers in the region, the U District will greatly benefit from much-needed levy projects that aim to improve safety and mobility for everyone who walks, rolls, drives and rides to and from the neighborhood.”

Alex Hudson, Executive Director, Commute Seattle

“Making sure our transportation system is reliable, safe, and efficient is critical for Seattle’s health and prosperity. As more and more people choose and rely on walking, biking, and public transit for their commute and other trips, investments in a seamless experience mean less time stuck in congestion and keep Seattle connected to opportunity and each other. This levy package supports the infrastructure needed to keep people and goods flowing around the heart of our city, and that’s essential for downtown’s continued revitalization.”

Goran Sparrman, Interim CEO, Sound Transit

“Infrastructure improvements funded by the Transportation Levy will improve transit connections and support Sound Transit’s mission to connect more people to more places. Sound Transit and the City are working together to create a more connected, more productive region by making it easier and safer for people to take transit to jobs, housing, and the many opportunities the Seattle area offers.”

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Toshiko Hasegawa, Vice President, Port of Seattle Commission

“The Port of Seattle relies on a robust transportation system that moves people and goods throughout our city. The freight moving through our Northwest Seaport Alliance cargo terminals, passengers traveling to and from SEA, and recreational activities at our cruise terminals and marinas all rely on the city’s transportation network. A strong transportation system promotes the economic vitality of the city. We look forward to working with the City on implementing the significant investments that will serve our ground, air, and maritime transportation sectors which will ultimately encourage further investment by the private sector in the movement of freight and will support the economic, sustainability, and livability goals enumerated in the Seattle Transportation Plan.”

César García, Co-Director at Lake City Collective 

“We commend the Select Committee on the 2024 Transportation Levy for their thoughtful consideration and deep discussions of the Mayor’s proposal, and the City Council at large for approving it. Our City deserves better infrastructure now for you and me and for the future of our kids, especially those who, in every corner of the city, have been left behind. It will be in the hands of our fellow Seattleites to join us in that effort, to make Seattle the safest, and the most equitable it can be across transportation modes for many years to come.”



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Seattle, WA

Seattle mayor proposes sending some misdemeanor offenders to Des Moines jail

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Seattle mayor proposes sending some misdemeanor offenders to Des Moines jail


Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has proposed a plan to send some misdemeanor offenders in Seattle to South Correctional Entity (SCORE) in Des Moines.

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According to a press release from the Mayor’s office, this pilot program would use 20 beds at SCORE which would cost between $1.5 to $3 million per year, allowing the City of Seattle to “more consistently book individuals who have engaged in misdemeanor criminal offenses”

Though SCORE would temporarily hold misdemeanor offenders for 24–48 hours under this Interlocal Agreement, groups like SEIU 925 are concerned about how people would get to SCORE and what happens to them at the facility.

“Our biggest fear is that our attorneys will not be able to access our clients and our clients will not be able to appear appropriately in court to have their cases adjudicated,” said Molly Gilbert, Chapter President of the union representing King County Public Defenders under SEIU 925.

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When King County had a deal with SCORE, Gilbert says SCORE turned away social workers, attorneys trying to visit defendants and defense experts who tried to conduct evaluations.

“We had internet issues and then getting clients to court was a constant problem as well.” said Gilbert. “We had problems with in-person visits and remote visits, and we never found a solution before the county canceled its contract.”

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Gilbert says concerns were raised over deaths that happened while King County used SCORE.

“There had been deaths that had not been reported to the county during the county’s contract with SCORE,” said Gilbert. “Additionally, it didn’t appear that SCORE was following the DOH and RCWs on how to report these unexpected fatalities, there were no reports submitted to the state and there were no public announcements of those deaths as well.”

Gilbert doesn’t believe Mayor Harrell’s agreement would work for Seattle Municipal Court, citing concerns with transportation and for clients held at SCORE that would potentially be released outside the facility.

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“In the Seattle Municipal Court system, many of the people being arrested are homeless, so we are removing them entirely from the city where they live and removing them from a lot of the support services that they access,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert believes Seattle Municipal Court judges need to speak up about whether courtrooms can operate with people being sent to SCORE and that more analysis needs to be done on what happens after people are booked into SCORE.

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According to Mayor Harrell’s office:

“The City will continuously assess the effectiveness of this program and reserves the right to terminate this program if it does not meet the needs and expectations of the City. SCORE jail beds used this year would be paid for with underspend from the King County jail contract and in 2025 would be paid for as part of the City’s general fund.”

For now, Mayor Harrell’s office says his legislation will be sent to City Council for approval, but it won’t go into effect until operational issues are addressed, and the City officially notifies SCORE.

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Report: Seahawks to extend Julian Love

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Report: Seahawks to extend Julian Love


The Seattle Seahawks hit the practice field for the opening day of training camp Wednesday, and then head coach Mike Macdonald met with the media to provide insight and perspective on several topics.

However, some of the biggest news of the day for the team may be coming off the field, as NFL insider Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that after releasing both Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams for cap reasons in March, the Hawks have reached an agreement to sign Julian Love to a three-year contract extension.

The three year, $36M deal, combined with the one season left on the original two year contract he inked in the spring of 2023, would keep Love in Seattle for four more seasons for a total of somewhere right around $44M.

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Given the way the Hawks tend to structure their contract extensions, the move likely free up a small amount of cap space for the team, though with a new salary cap analyst in house, the amount freed up could be more substantial if John Schneider wants to get aggressive.





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Is the Seattle Seahawks Passing Game a Concern Heading into 2024?

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Is the Seattle Seahawks Passing Game a Concern Heading into 2024?


The Seattle Seahawks are hoping to improve on the offensive side of the ball this upcoming season, specifically in the passing game.

After a historic 2022 campaign, Geno Smith didn’t meet those same standards in 2023, leading the Seahawks to trade for Sam Howell from the Washington Commanders. On top of that, there’s a new coaching staff in town. The offense will be led by Ryan Grubb, and he hopes his adjusted college passing attack can translate to the NFL.

“Ryan Grubb’s explosive passing game helped the University of Washington make it all the way to this past season’s College Football Playoff National Championship Game,” NFL.com’s Eric Edholm writes. “Will the offensive coordinator’s scheme translate to the professional team in town? Seattle’s receiving corps — headlined by DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba — gives Grubb plenty of firepower, even if there are big worries with other elements of the offense.”

The Seahawks may boast one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, but that will mean nothing if Smith cannot learn Grubb’s new system the way he needs to. It may be a little different than what the Seahawks were running before, but there’s potential for it to be even better.

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It all comes down to whether Smith (or Howell) can run the offense effectively. If the Seahawks have a steady hand leading the way, they could make a return to the postseason in 2024. The Seahawks are set to begin training camp practices on Wednesday.



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