LETTERS | Vote yes for faster transit, safer streets

The Oct. 19 editorial regarding Seattle Proposition 1 contained so many inaccuracies it did not provide an honest assessment of what Prop. 1 actually does. 

Four decades ago, Seattle could have made the decision to become the next great American city, but we made the wrong choice when we failed to pass the Forward Thrust ballot measures. As a result, we’ve struggled through four decades of political paralysis and gridlock, fiercely battling over every incremental transportation improvement.

Making matters worse for Seattle, a decade’s worth of Tim Eyman-backed state initiatives have eliminated many traditional transportation funding sources, leaving our transportation system in a state of disrepair and our city with few options to fund necessary investments like improving transit and filling potholes.

Seattle faces a clear choice. We can choose to struggle through another four decades with inadequate infrastructure where it’s not safe for our kids to walk or bike to school, crossing the street is a life-threatening event, it’s bone-jarring to drive or ride down our pothole-riddled roads and traveling from one neighborhood to another on transit takes half the day, if you can get there at all. 

Or we can choose to make a down payment on becoming a 21st-century great American city by voting yes on Prop. 1. 

Designed by a citizen panel, Prop. 1 is a balanced $204 million investment in thousands of smart, simple improvements that will make our transportation system work better for everyone. 

A $100 million investment in transit will fund speed and reliability enhancements on major transit corridors, helping move buses 20-percent faster and on schedule. It will expand the electric-bus network to provide more service at lower cost with less pollution. It will improve neighborhood access to transit, making short trips from neighborhood to neighborhood even more convenient.

Fifty-nine million dollars in dedicated funding for basic road maintenance will nearly double the number of repaving projects we can do every year, fix thousands of potholes and maintain crosswalks, signals, traffic cameras and signs.

And a $44 million investment in our neighborhoods will double our city’s annual investment in new sidewalks, build hundreds of crossing improvements and new pedestrian countdown signals, expand family-friendly bicycle infrastructure and increase the Neighborhood Street Fund by nearly 50 percent.

Prop. 1 is our opportunity to build a city where we can rely on the bus to get us to day care and pick up our kids on time, the roads are smooth, we can safely cross the street to get to the neighborhood park and our kids can walk or ride their bikes to school.

That’s why Prop. 1 has united our city and is endorsed by a diverse coalition of more than 55 social justice, low-income advocate, environmental, community, labor and business organizations and more than 1,100 Seattle residents.

For faster transit and safer streets, vote yes on Prop. 1.

Craig M. Benjamin

co-chair, Streets for All Seattle 

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