In our last post we asked all Seattle stairway lovers to weigh in on the City's citizen survey regarding the proposed Transportation Levy to Move Seattle. The new levy will replace the old Bridging the Gap levy (BTG), which supplied just over 40% of the funds used to rehabilitate and maintain our large, historic and useful stairway network over the last nine years.
Since then, we've received more information from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) about funding for stairway rehabilitation and maintenance. The new levy proposal will maintain the old level of investment in stairway rehabilitation and maintenance, enabling the rehabilitation of about 45 stairways over the new levy's 9-year lifetime.
It's been our observation that the network of 490 SDOT-owned stairways is undergoing a slow process of deterioration. Even stairways that are structurally safe and sound still need periodic and systematic cleanup to keep them attractive and secure for everyday users. Just maintaining the same level of investment as before won't be enough to ensure that our stairways continue to play their vital role in providing a "safe, interconnected, vibrant" Seattle - the Mayor's stated goal for the new levy.
Here's where you can help! The City is still taking citizen feedback on the proposed levy through the end of the month. Take a quick moment to answer the brief SDOT online survey here. As you go through the survey, you'll see this question: "Are there other transportation investments you feel should be a top priority for funding through this levy?” Just add a quick note here, such as “The levy should at least double its current level of funding for the rehabilitation, maintenance and upkeep of our deteriorating public stairways. This is essential to make pedestrian connections and recreation in Seattle easier and safer."
Your action in answering the survey will go a long way, if we all join together!