As Part of Her 2020 Budget, Mayor Durkan Announces $31 Million in New City Investments in “Vision Zero” Transportation Safety Projects and Transit Improvements

City Will Invest $16.7 Million Safety Projects Like Sidewalks, Protected Bike Lanes; Over $14 Million on Additional Transit Service and Enhancements 

SEATTLE (September 23) – As part of her 2020 budget, Mayor Durkan announced today nearly $31 million between 2020 and 2023 in new City of Seattle investments in “Vision Zero” transportation safety projects and transit improvements.  

The Mayor’s budget includes $16.7 million of revenue from the sale of the City-owned properties on Mercer Street that will now be invested in the City’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injustices on City streets by 2030. 

The Mayor’s budget also includes a one-time increase for the City’s purchase of Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) transit services operated by King County Metro in 2020. The increased appropriation funds 25,000 in additional transit service hours in March 2020 ($2.6 million), First Mile-Last Mile Service ($4 million), and transit capital enhancements to improve speed and reliability ($10 million). 

The Mayor’s 2020 budget invests $725.9 million in the Seattle Department of Transportation overall to advance transportation and transit priorities.  

“We must continue to build a more connected city,” said Mayor Durkan. “A world-class city like Seattle needs a world-class transportation and transit system. Taking transit, biking, walking, rolling, and carpooling must be a real alternative to driving, especially if we want to achieve our climate goals. We will continue to invest in a city of the future that has safe, reliable transportation choices.” 

The Vision Zero safety projects that Mayor Durkan’s 2020 budget invests in with proceeds from the sale of the Mercer properties include: 

  • $2.2 million for priorities in the Pedestrian Master Plan, including new sidewalks, curb bulbs, and curb ramps at five intersections; 
  • $650,000 to construct a new pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-only street on NE 43rd Street between the University of Washington and the Link Light Rail Station; 
  • $2 million in greenway projects in the Bike Master Plan, including traffic calming, new curb bulbs, curb ramps, and wayfinding near Seattle Center; 
  • $3.5 million in the Highland Park Way Safety Project, including intersection modifications at Highland Park Way and SW Holden Street with traffic calming, new sidewalks and curb ramps, and new transit stops; and 
  • $8.35 million in protected bike safety projects in the Bike Master Plan, with funds prioritized for projects listed in the 2019 Bike Master Plan Implementation Plan as funded through design and/or planning, including protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways, and trails. 

New investments in transit will include:  

  • An estimated 90 new blocks of dedicated bus lanes including Rainier Ave, a new northbound bus lane on Lake City Way at NE 98th St. and other locations across the city; 
  • Signal timing improvements on Rainier Ave; and 
  • $5 million devoted to new bus stop benches, landing pads, and shelters across the city. 

Over the last two years, the City has increased its investments in King County Metro bus service by 71 percent. 

The Mayor has also identified funding to close the $56 million gap for the Center City Connector streetcar.