The Bicycle Alliance Board adopted positions on two transportation measures - one state, one local - appearing on the November ballot:
“No” on State Initiative 1125
I-1125, the latest scheme from initiative pro Tim Eyman, prohibits variable tolls and congestion management of tolled facilities. It will take tolling authority out of the hands of an independent, non-partisan commission and put it in the hands the state legislature - making Washington the only state in the country to put tolls in politicians' hands. That means Seattle legislators can set tolls on projects in Wenatchee, and Spokane politicians will have a voice on Puget Sound decisions. Projects that will be in jeopardy if I-1125 passes include the SR 520 bridge replacement - and its cross-lake bike path - across Lake Washington and Vancouver’s Columbia River Crossing, which also includes a bike facility.
But wait, there’s more. If passed, I-1125 will kill the expansion of light rail across Lake Washington to Bellevue, Redmond and other east King County communities. Why? Because the initiative includes a clause explicitly restricting light rail's use of I-90 as it crosses Lake Washington.
“Yes” on Seattle Transportation Benefit District Proposition 1
Proposition 1 is a 10-year $200 million investment package that will fund bicycle, pedestrian, transit and street improvements. Nearly half the funding is targeted to improvements that will speed up bus service around Seattle. Notably for cycling, it increases current bicycle funding by 33%.
These investments are significant because they prioritize family-friendly bike infrastructure, increases in safety for everyone with new sidewalks, better crosswalks, repave and repair local streets to make them work better for everyone. For each year of its 10-year life, Proposition 1 will directly dedicate $1.4 million to bicycle improvements, $3 million for pedestrian and neighborhood improvements, up to $7 million in roadway maintenance improvements that can include Complete Streets elements, and close to $10 million in transit improvements.
Apart from the Bicycle Alliance's interest in supporting local measures across the state that improve bicycling conditions, this vote is important in the statewide context because it shows that we want more investments in transit, street maintenance & operations, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
Join us in voting next Tuesday for a better transportation future!