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Costly transportation program falling short on key items in Seattle

Proponents of Seattle bike lanes score a huge win. (SDOT)

The City of Seattle doesn’t have enough money to complete transportation projects promised years ago.

SDOT: Streetcar project is, perhaps, an example of poor management

An assessment of the Levy to Move Seattle, a program funded by a $930 million transportation levy, found “cost estimates included in the original budget were insufficient to meet the levy commitment.”

Included in the “sub-programs” short on funding are pedestrian and bikes projects, street maintenance, and the plan to design high-priority bridge replacements.

During a meeting Tuesday, Seattle Department of Transportation’s interim Director reportedly said they do not have enough to do everything promised to the taxpayers. He added that cost estimates for some of the projects were insufficient.

The projects facing a funding shortfall include:

  • Constructing about 50 miles of protected bike lanes and 60 miles of greenways
  • Repairing up to 225 blocks of damaged sidewalks
  • Making curb ramp and crossing improvements at more than 700 intersections
  • Repaving up to 180 lane miles of streets
  • Repaving 65 targeted locations every year
  • Planning and designing high-priority bridge replacements to begin construction after 2024
  • Multimodal improvements, including the completion of seven RapidRide corridor projects
  • Build 150 new blocks of sidewalks

It’s currently unclear just how short the city is on fulfilling its promises.

Chokepoints: What slows you down each day?

Despite the shortfalls, the city notes more projects have been completed than not. You can read a full list of the projects on pages 3-4. Click here to read the report.

Seattle voters approved Move Seattle in 2015. SDOT assumed a total of $1.77 billion in funding, including the money from taxpayers, $285 in local funding, and $564 million in regional and federal grants, as well as partnerships.

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