One of Transportation Choices’ key strategic goals (from our soon-to-be-released updated strategic plan!) is to support local funding initiatives that prioritize safety, carbon-neutral multimodal investments, and transit service. Until we have ongoing statewide funding support for multimodal transportation, a lot of local infrastructure funding will continue to require voter approval. 

With the upcoming expiration of the Move Seattle Levy, there’s a huge opportunity to bring partners together to shape and ultimately pass a new multimodal transportation ballot measure that invests heavily in safety, equity, climate, and accessibility. A new or renewed Levy is a key way to bolster great transportation investments in the Seattle area that benefit all of Puget Sound. Helping to inform and pass this Levy is one of Transportation Choices’ top priorities for the upcoming year!


Status of current Levy: Progress and room to grow

The 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle was approved by voters in November 2015 and included funding for three big buckets of investments: Safe Routes; Maintenance and Repair; and Congestion Relief (which includes transit improvements). The Levy provides roughly 30% of the City’s transportation budget, which makes renewing it critical for keeping up with the transportation needs across our nine districts. 

While the Levy has delivered many crucial projects around Seattle, it hasn’t always been smooth. In 2018, under the direction of Mayor Durkan, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) had to complete a comprehensive reassessment of the Levy to Move Seattle to adopt more realistic cost assumptions than initially used in 2015. Due to these budgeting constraints and other factors, multimodal and safety projects were reduced in scope during design and delivery, disappointing many advocates. 

Last year, the City published the 2022 Annual Report, which gives an overview of how project delivery has gone so far. As the Levy comes to a close, we anticipate more comprehensive analyses and summaries of performance. 

What’s happening now: Seattle Transportation Plan and a possible ballot measure

Much as the package of investments in the Move Seattle Levy drew heavily from the 2015 Move Seattle strategic plan, next year’s likely ballot measure will draw from an updated city-wide transportation plan called the STP, or Seattle Transportation Plan. SDOT is currently revising a draft version of this plan based on community input they have gathered over the past year. SDOT and the Mayor’s office anticipate getting a final plan adopted by City Council early next year.

At the same time, the City is exploring which STP investments could be included in a ballot measure and how those investments could be funded. Building off the STP and working with a range of stakeholders, SDOT and the Mayor will develop several funding and programmatic scenarios, ultimately finalizing and transmitting one to City Council, who would most likely vote on it in May to send it to the ballot in November. 


What should be in the plan? Safety, equity, accessibility, and sustainability!

Transportation Choices, along with five other nonprofit organizations interested in safe, equitable, sustainable, and accessible transportation, recently submitted a letter to Mayor Harrell, City Council, and SDOT to offer our early thinking on possible scenarios. 

As advocacy organizations, we are committed to throwing our weight behind a package that meaningfully tackles the safety, equity, and climate challenges we have collectively agreed our city faces.

Get and stay engaged

We’ll keep you updated with opportunities for engaging in the plan and package development. Currently, you can visit the Seattle Transportation Plan Online Engagement Hub to share general comments on the STP and learn about upcoming events.

UPDATE 10/30/2023: Transportation Choices Coalition and Cascade Bicycle Club submitted our joint comments on the STP — read them here!

We anticipate public engagement on the possible ballot measure scenarios to ramp up in the Fall of this year.

If you are interested in learning more about our work on the potential ballot measure, or your org would like to work together on this effort, please email matthew@transportationchoices.org

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