Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
CITY BUDGET PROPOSAL
SPAB POSITION PAPER
For many reasons including getting more people out of cars, the City of Seattle should be strongly supporting pedestrian mobility. It is a sorely neglected facet of the City's transportation thinking. For all the benefits that accrue, walking should have the highest priortiy in the City's transportion thinking. Health, transit mobility, peak congestion relief, and an enhanced sense of our city by the citizens are all benefits of pedestrianism.
The neglect of pedestrian routes and pedestrian environment is nowhere more evident than in the City's funding for pedestrian facilities. The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board has noted that in recent years the Seattle Transportation Budget has significantly increased, but funding for pedestrian matters has remained flat and has shrunk in proportion to the total Seattle Transportation budget.
Our strongest recommendation to the City is that it formally recognize the value of pedestrian mobility by adopting a formula that specifies that a substantial proportion of every Seattle Transportation budget be devoted to the betterment of the pedestiran routes and environment. This is particulary important as major transit improvements are being considered. Let the budget reflect how much the City values pedestiranism, an alternative mode of transportation.
ADDRESSING THE CURRENT BUDGET WRITING PROCESS
The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB) adopted a mission statement in September, 2001: SIX STEPS TO A MORE WALKABLE SEATTLE. In the section "Proportional funding equity for pedestrian improvements" it is stated, "In the last few years the City has significantly increased funding for transportation. However funding for pedestrian improvements such as curb bulbs at corners, crosswalk upgrades, and sidewalk repairs has apparently not kept pace."
The desired outcome which SPAB seeks is to increase CIP funding for pedestrian improvements.
The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board at its February, 2002 meeting voted to support the funding of pedestrian facilities and their maintenance in the City's 2003-2004 budget writing process.
At that time SPAB also supported the reinstatement of 2002 Budget line item that funds the existing priority list of Neighborhood Street Fund projects.
SPAB now advocates for adequate funding in 2003-2004 of three categories of pedestrian facilities and their maintenance:
We, appointed citizen board members of SPAB, agree that 2003-2004 budgeted funds for pedestrian facilities should be applied in the following ways and appropriated at the recommended levels:
1. ANNUAL PROGRAM: NEIGHBORHOOD-PRIORITIZED SMALLER PROJECTS $2 million per year needed in 2003-2004. $1.4 million was available in 2002.
A. Neighborhood Planning Implementaton and Neighborhood Priorities
Typical neighborhood prioritized pedestrian facilities projects currently supported by the Neighborhood Street Fund include:
B. Safety Improvements Responding to Citizens' Communications
C. Safety Improvements Responding to Schools' Needs
Seattle Transportation has recently performed a study of uncontrolled, marked pedestrian crosswalks. This study reveals a large body of crosswalks that need improvements in order to continue to function safely.
The background rise in vehicular traffic on Seattle's streets often changes the safety requirements of individual crosswalks.
As the population of school-aged children increases in some neighborhoods, up-grading of pedestrian crosswalks near the schools becomes more important.
Seattle Transportation response to School requests for crosswalk safety improvements will be more important in 2003-2004 than in the past.
The Joint Action for Development of Playgrounds (JAFDP) plan by Seattle Public Schools and the Department of Parks and Recreation for improving playfields on School grounds will bring more children and adults to playfields co-located with schools in the afternoon and evening hours. Pedestrian crosswalk safety challenges will be greater.
2. ANNUAL PROGRAM: LARGER CAPITAL PROJECTS
A. Improve Pedestrian Facilities on arterials that serve Transit Buses:
B. Repair and Improvment of Pedestrian Facilities in Neighborhood Business Districts
$200,000 per year in 2003-2004 is needed to make essential repairs for safety in neighborhood business districts:
The long-term goal should be to make essential repairs to pedestrian facilities in neighborhood business districts within ten years.
2.a NEW SIDEWALK FUND
3. A GRANTS MATCHING DOLLAR RESERVE FUND
The goal is to establish a fund from which Seattle Transportation can draw dollars to make up competitive matching dollar offers in federal/state grant applications.
Many grant programs state the minimum proportion of local matching dollars that are required. Often to win the grant, more than the minimum proportion of matching dollars must be committed by the City in the application to receive the grant. Pedestrian facilities grants typically have many competitive local government applicants.