A major campaign has been launched in Seattle to raise money for biking, walking and transit projects. Streets for All Seattle is the result of a new and broad coalition of labor, transportation, and environmental advocacy groups that have come together to pressure city leaders to get serious about paying for multi-modal transportation infrastructure.
There’s a lot of talk swirling around Portland about how to pay for our big active transportation visions; but so far, the talk is happening between high-level advocates and City staff behind closed doors. What we lack is an organized effort to pressure City Hall and an accompanying campaign the general public can rally behind.
“We all recognize there’s a significant gap between the funding we need and the funding we have.”
— David Hiller, Co-Chair of Streets for All Seattle
When Streets for All Seattle launched on Friday, I got in touch with David Hiller. Hiller is the advocacy director of Cascade Bicycle Club and co-chair of the board of Streets for All Seattle. Calling the effort the start of a “big and public discussion,” he said, “We all recognize there’s a significant gap between the funding we need and the funding we have.”
In a letter to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and city council, the 24 members of the Streets for All Seattle coalition said they are seeking dedicated funding mechanisms to generate at least $30 million dollars in annual revenue for active transportation projects.
The campaign is likely to result in the formation of a bond measure effort similar to Seattle’s “Bridging the Gap” transportation funding initiative that voters passed four years ago.
Like Seattle, Portland desperately needs to figure out a sustainable funding source to build our long list of urban trails, bikeways, and other multi-modal transportation projects. Hopefully this effort from Seattle will provide some inspiration to finally make it happen.