Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board
February 22, 2002
Mayor Greg Nickels
Dear Mayor Nickels:
Thank you for your recent action to re-instate $500,000 in the SeaTran budget for 2002 to implement the projects prioritized through the Neighborhood Street Fund.
In January the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board (SPAB) communicated with the Mayor, the City Council Transportation Committee, and SeaTran administration to recommend the reinstatement of the Neighborhood Street Fund. SPAB members felt that zeroing out this line item could be a policy change statement.
For the short term SPAB's rationale was the same as that mentioned to support the 2002 restoration: It is poor policy to take away funding from neighborhood prioritized projects which have already been publicly announced as approved for implementation.
Considering the longer term, SPAB supports funding by all city departments of the implementation of neighborhood prioritized projects. Most valued in many cases are the projects or tasks that are identified in the 37 neighborhood plan matrices.
SPAB has received authoritative testimony from neighborhood groups indicating their strong support for continued neighborhood plan implementation. In addition, the responses received by SeaTran and other departments indicate that neighborhood plan implementation has resulted in pedestrian improvements that serve neighborhoods in a demonstrably excellent, cost-efficient manner.
A further result has been to raise voters' perception that Seattle City Government is functional and responsive to neighborhood needs. The act of neighborhood planning has drawn communities together in purpose and has given them a new, positive, and much more informed relationship to City Government.
Transparent, non-political prioritization processes have been in place for some time for projects under the Neighborhood Matching Fund (DON), Neighborhood Street Fund (SeaTran), and Consolidated Reserve Fund (Parks/Rec and SeaTran).
Therefore SPAB recommends that in the 2003-2004 City Budget each appropriate City department have line items that provide for neighborhood relations staff and funding for Neighborhood Plan implementation projects that affect pedestrian safety and mobility.
The pedestrian experience is the most positive and memorable way Seattleites and visitors experience our unique city.
cc: Megan Hoyt, SeaTran