As we previously mentioned, this week the Mayor proposed a supplemental transportation budget to balance car, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit needs using the $11.75 million in savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct project. Bruce’s piece this morning showcases one of the great transit options this planning work could help build.
Unfortunately, the Seattle Times, with guest Sally Clark, has continued its campaign against any transit the Mayor proposes. Let’s have a look at their reaction to the supplemental budget ($).
On the high capacity transit studies, we begin with:
“Déjà vu,” said council President Sally Clark. “It seems like we just discussed this.”
In fact, we did just discuss this. In the first paragraph of Council’s Statement of Legislative Intent with 2013 Transit Master Plan implementation, they said:
It is also the Council’s intent that SDOT continue planning for the High Capacity Transit (HCT) corridors identified in the TMP, including the Eastlake corridor, in a timely manner so that Seattle can meet longer-term growth in transit demand. Following the City Budget Office 1stQuarter update of revenue projections and upon review of the 1stQuarter Supplemental Budget, Council will examine prospects to move up the Eastlake HCT corridor planning to begin in 2013.
This is exactly the time that the Council asked to review bringing this transit planning work to 2013 – and now there’s extra money to do just that. Perhaps Clark, busy in her role as Council President, simply forgot that her legislative body asked for this?
It doesn’t end there. The piece (and Clark) continue:
The council has been listening, Clark said, and trying to balance the mayor’s pitch with the need for projects in Lake City, southeast Seattle and other neighborhoods such as Wedgwood, where two pedestrians were recently killed by a driver who has been charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving.
That accident and others are reminders that safety improvements on some roads would “make a difference in people’s lives right now,” Clark said.
The piece, and Clark, carefully omit the fact that this same supplemental budget has more money for pedestrian improvements, especially in Lake City, than it does for transit:
This item increases appropriation authority by $1,000,000 in the Mobility Capital BCL (19003) for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation project (TC367150). This funding will be used for new pedestrian safety projects. Projects will be selected from community–supported planning efforts, including the Lake City Traffic Safety Corridor Project (underway)…
SDOT is also collecting safety improvement ideas from Wedgwood through a series of public meetings, and the Mayor’s office has laid out a specific work plan for improving 75th Street. The funding for “community-supported planning efforts” would go directly to these improvements and others like them.
The piece ends with an ironic statement:
As for McGinn’s renewed push this year, Clark wouldn’t speculate on its relevance to the mayor’s re-election campaign. “I am not even going to go there. There may be candidates who want to go there, but I’m going to leave that to them.”
The Council asked for this “renewed push,” and now Clark uses her apparent lapse in memory to tee this up as an opportunity for her friends on the Council to attack the Mayor. I’d have talked to Clark’s office for this piece, but the last time someone did that, she gave them the run-around and wouldn’t answer questions.
To the Times: please fact check your interviews. To Clark: this kind of thing is obvious, and reflects poorly on you and the Council.