FASTER BUS SERVICE/CONNECTED RAPID RIDE BUS LANES
We need a transit system that is inexpensive, efficient, safe, and easy to use. Buses carrying hundreds of people shouldn’t be bogged down in the same traffic as single-occupant cars. I will require SDOT to design streets that prioritize transit speed and capacity, including simple signal changes I’ve been advocating for at John & Broadway. Let’s move cars and buses along faster and make it safer for all forms of transportation, including those using our crosswalks. I will champion connected rapid ride bus lanes, starting with the Madison Street BRT which is in development now between MLK Jr Way and 1st Avenue. Faster transit and reduced congestion will benefit all road users and help everyone move around the city more efficiently.
IMPROVE BIKE AND MICRO-MOBILITY SAFETY
Safety is the number one barrier to cycling and other micro-mobility options like e-scooters. The best way to incentivize more ridership is through building more bike lanes, starting with the Pine Street Protected Bike Lane (PBL) connecting downtown and Broadway, the Union Street PBL connecting the Central District to Broadway, and new north/south PBLs connecting the future light rail station at Judkins Park.
Right now our streets and bike paths are either incomplete or unconnected and when forced out onto roads, cyclists and micro-mobility users have to dodge potholes, car traffic, and doors opening on parked cars. SDOT’s approach isn’t working and it’s time for the council to step up. Seattle deserves a connected, citywide bike network so people can travel to home, school, and work, and back safely and efficiently, whether on a bike or an e-scooter.
BUILD THE CITY CENTER CONNECTOR STREETCAR
The “Connector” will quickly become one of the most used streetcars in the city. Let’s keep costs from further increases by no longer stalling. Dedicated right-of-way means this line will move faster than the existing bus and car times and because it’s connected to two existing lines, it will be a natural fit in the transportation infrastructure of Downtown Seattle. At a one-time capital investment of around $10k per daily rider, it is considerably cheaper than other mass transit projects in our area and will improve the travel experience through one of our densest corridors of residents, tourists, and individuals with disabilities.
EXPAND LIGHT RAIL SHUTTLE SERVICE TO MONTLAKE AND OTHER COMMUNITIES
Currently, a local shuttle service (Via) is operating in the south end, but there are other areas that need similar shuttle service, most notably Montlake. With the elimination of the 25 bus route, many in Montlake and Portage Bay are left in a transit desert. Until KC Metro restores bus service there, I will expand Via or a similar service to serve our neighbors in this community and then expand the service area so that everyone can get to a light rail station more easily and get around the city faster.
ELECTRIFY OUR ENTIRE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Seattle should be leading on climate change policy, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to electrify all of our public transit. Massive progress in battery capacity means the technology of the future is coming online today. I will work with King County to electrify all Metro routes in Seattle with battery-electric or trolleybuses.
EV CHARGING STATIONS AND CITY FLEET CONVERTED TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES
More people are converting to electric vehicles and the city has to do more to make charging easier. I’ll work with SDOT and Seattle City Light to expand privately-run EV charging stations for on-street parking in commercial areas and have the city install public L2 chargers on residential streets. Furthermore, I will ensure we comply with state law and finally convert all of our city fleet (first cars and then trucks as the technology supports it) to electric. Seattle should be leading by example.
All students in public or private school should have access to free public transportation, and large employers should provide free Orca cards to all full time employees.
PLAN SMARTER FOR EVEN MORE LIGHT RAIL
In planning for implementation of already-approved light rail expansions, let’s be smart. Save $700-800 million by building an elevated light rail track to West Seattle, not a tunnel, and build what’s most financially feasible and neighborhood approved for Ballard (either tunnel or high bridge). The Seattle Center and South Lake Union Stations should be designed in anticipation of a future extension up the Aurora corridor.
STATION/STOP SPONSORSHIP AND BUS SERVICE EXPANSION
Most cities in the country allow for bus stop sponsorship and activation, resulting in reduced costs for maintaining those stops (street furniture, WiFi kiosk, digital signage, garbage collection) as well as significant sponsorship and ad share revenues that would enable KC Metro to restore bus service to transit deserts and increase service for routes needing greater frequency. For example, a recent plan was a combined sponsorship and ad share fee of $25 million/year to the city. My plan would pair the sponsoring company with a local 501c3 non-profit organization so that that org can both benefit financially from the sponsorship and advertise their organization and services at the stop. Data collection at WiFi kiosks will be customized to allay privacy concerns, as they’ve done effectively in New York City.
100% WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS
New people move to Seattle every day, and some of them have cars, adding to an already congested city. We need to give people non-car options for meeting their daily needs. The easiest and safest way to do that is to encourage people who are able, to use their legs and feet instead. In areas of the city that are car-dependent, creating walkable neighborhoods with grocery stores, cafes, shared workspaces, and affordable childcare will be one of our biggest priorities. It not only helps alleviate pressure on our transportation system, but it also improves livability. Walkability also promotes healthy and vibrant neighborhoods where people are connected to each other more deeply, and connected neighborhoods are safer neighborhoods. Imagine being able to tackle climate change, reduce commute times, and make communities safe, all by prioritizing walkability.