We’ve been over the plan highlights, but it’s worth it to point out some of the details that can be gleaned from the plan documents. Appendix A is the one that gets into the weeds, although the header lists it as a “draft” for the July 24 board meeting. Random observations:
- The $17.8 billion figure is not $17.8 billion in new taxes — it includes over $2.3 billion in surplus left over from Sound Move in 1996, $895 million in assumed Federal Grants (which is much less than the $1.25 billion likely to be contributed to the UW-Seatac segment, and is therefore conservative), and over $200 million in operating revenues. In terms of cost to taxpayers, a better figure is $7.8 billion in taxes and $6.5 billion in bonds, presumably paid off mostly by taxes. In any case, we should just stick with the “$69 per person per year” figure, because that’s the number that actually means something to voters. But the daily newspapers should take notice.
- There are planning studies for: Downtown / West Seattle / Burien / Renton; Downtown / Ballard / UW, UW / Kirkland / Redmond; and Bellevue / Issaquah. Along with Everett and Tacoma, there are your ST3 possibilities.
- Sounder North “provisionally” gets stations at Ballard and Broad Street. This is a big deal for some Ballard residents, and all North Line commuters that won’t have to go all the way to King St and then work their way back up to SLU or Belltown. As for the “provisional” status, I suspect this has to do with the uncertainty of tax collection, federal funding, reserve fund leftovers, etc. There’s no other obvious place to spend North King surpluses of a few hundred million, except streetcar extensions and the long-forgotten Boeing Access Rd Station.
Appendix A goes into more detail about which P&Rs get improved, etc., as well as breaking out sub-area equity carefully. Have a look if you’re interested.
The one missing piece is exactly what bus lines will see the promised improvement. In particular, I’m curious to see what “BRT” means in the context of SR 520, since we all know that brand can be used to sell a fully grade-separated bus, or something totally indistinguishable from a standard Metro route. The 545 already has exceptionally high-frequency service in peak hours and an HOV lane, so there’s good questions about what more can be done.