Record No: Res 31830    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 8/13/2018
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION related to the Move Seattle Levy; establishing principles for developing a revised workplan for Move Seattle Levy projects to ensure transparency, accountability, and thoughtful community outreach.
Sponsors: Mike O'Brien
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Proposed Amendment (added; 8/14/18), 3. Signed Resolution 31830, 4. Affidavit of Publication


RESOLUTION __________________


A RESOLUTION related to the Move Seattle Levy; establishing principles for developing a revised workplan for Move Seattle Levy projects to ensure transparency, accountability, and thoughtful community outreach.


WHEREAS, Seattle is one of the fastest-growing major cities in the country, gaining over 100,000 new residents and more than 50,000 jobs in the last 20 years, and this growth is a boon to our economy and a test for our transportation system; and

WHEREAS, Seattle families’ transportation-related spending is second only to their spending on housing, and a well-functioning transportation system that provides many alternatives to the expense of car ownership can make living and working in Seattle more affordable; and

WHEREAS, the safety, health, economic, environmental, space efficiency, and equity benefits of non-automobile transportation options, including transit, walking, and biking, are well established and reflected in The City of Seattle’s (“City”) transportation, climate, and land use policies; and

WHEREAS, Seattle has adopted four modal master plans including the Freight Master Plan (2017), the Bicycle Master Plan (2014), the Transit Master Plan (2012), and the Pedestrian Master Plan (2009); and

WHEREAS, in 2013 the City adopted the Climate Action Plan, which recommends prioritizing transit, walking, and biking over auto travel; and

WHEREAS, in 2014, the City affirmed and expanded the Race and Social Justice Initiative to eliminate racial disparities across programs and services and in outreach, and the need for affordable and accessible transportation options is a well-established facilitator of opportunity; and

WHEREAS, the 2017 City Comprehensive Plan sets non-single-occupancy vehicle mode-share goals for downtown work and non-work trips as 85 percent and 90 percent, respectively, by 2035; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, the City Council adopted Resolution 31773 affirming the City’s commitment to racial equity and social justice and recognizing the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Transportation Equity Program, with the intention to eliminate racial disparities in access to transportation options; and

WHEREAS, in 2006, voters approved the nine-year, $365 million Bridging the Gap Levy to maintain Seattle’s transportation infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, in 2015, voters approved the nine-year, $930 million Move Seattle Levy investing in Seattle’s transportation infrastructure to move more people and goods in and around a growing Seattle, by implementing the City’s adopted modal plans; and

WHEREAS, the Move Seattle Levy committed to investments in Safe Route Programs, Congestion Relief Programs, and Maintenance and Repair Programs, and provided an illustrative Spending Breakdown of the anticipated project deliverables; and

WHEREAS, the City’s Modal Boards, appointed by the City Council and Mayor, are responsible for overseeing implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan, Pedestrian Master Plan, and Transit Master Plan by making recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on how to prioritize investments and project implementation; and

WHEREAS, the City established a Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee made up of Seattle residents, appointed by the Mayor and City Council, to monitor levy expenses and revenues, review program and project priorities, and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on how to spend levy proceeds; and

WHEREAS, in 2018, after two years of implementation, SDOT began a comprehensive assessment of the department’s implementation of the Move Seattle Levy program; and

WHEREAS, SDOT’s initial assessment determined that at the current funding levels, with current cost estimates, and using current accounting practices, the department is unable to deliver the full scope of Move Seattle Levy projects as described in the levy’s Spending Breakdown; and

WHEREAS, SDOT’s review identified that construction costs across the Puget Sound region and nationally are rising and have changed the cost estimates of Move Seattle Levy projects and that the change in federal administration has created uncertainty in the likelihood and timeliness of receiving external funding that was anticipated to leverage funding in the levy; and

WHEREAS, SDOT’s review identified that accounting practices have been unclear and/or inconsistent across programs and projects; and

WHEREAS, SDOT released a comprehensive assessment in April 2018, released a detailed set of sub-program data sheets in May 2018, provided an update to the Sustainability and Transportation Committee in May 2018, held five public Levy Oversight Committee meeting and attended 11 modal advisory board meetings between April and August 2018, and published all meeting materials; and

WHEREAS, the public trust is best retained through transparency and delivering on the promises made to voters; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. In developing a revised workplan for delivering Move Seattle Levy projects, the City Council (“Council”) requests that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) adhere to the following Principles for Process:

A.                     Identify and document the guiding principles, processes, and tangible goals used to prioritize projects; with a focus on social equity and justice.

B.                     As part of the corridor planning process, identify options for project scopes within a range of secured and identified funding opportunities, based on transit speed and reliability and community priorities, so the public can understand tradeoffs between project scopes and outcomes. This work should clearly identify the non-motorized components of the corridor project scope.

C.                     Establish clear cost estimates and identify opportunities to reduce costs. Consider value engineering options and identify project efficiencies across programs.

D.                     Establish program funding allocation guidelines to improve the public understanding of SDOT budget practices and identify opportunities to detail project elements in a manner that more accurately reflects that a single construction project may contain improvements across multiple modes and multiple Move Seattle funding sub-areas.

E.                     Build trust and public support through ongoing public engagement, coordinating not only with modal boards, but the City’s transportation equity committee, and other community and advocate stakeholders. Provide information to stakeholders that enables thoughtful feedback on how best to prioritize projects. Include targeted corridor engagement to ensure community needs are integral to project element prioritization.

F.                       Revise the framework of performance measures, trends and targets that can be used to assess levy progress and include true outcome-based measures that track performance changes resulting from levy projects when feasible, especially related to safety and congestion relief, and report on this revised framework annually.

G.                       As required by Ordinance 124796, which authorized the Move Seattle Levy, establish a specific schedule for publishing an annual report to the public on levy progress indicating both initial and revised goals and objectives of levy progress in all three major levy funding areas.

H.                     Coordinate with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to take into consideration SPU’s Strategic Business Plan, the impact of SDOT capital projects on the SPU rate path, and the City’s ability to efficiently deliver complimentary public investments with the revised Move Seattle workplan.

Section 2. Following the process and outreach efforts, Council requests that SDOT document the specific project commitments that can be delivered within the term of the Move Seattle Levy in the form of a final report to the Chair of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee, no later than December 1, 2018. In preparing the final report, Council requests that SDOT:

A.                     Clearly identify revised funding levels, project commitments, and timelines for each element of the Move Seattle Levy identified in the 2015 Spending Breakdown.

B.                     Document any elements in the 2015 Spending Breakdown that the department cannot deliver, with an explanation for the project change or funding shortfall.

C.                     Submit a plan for regular status report updates to the Sustainability and Transportation Committee on Move Seattle Levy sub-programs and projects for the remaining years of the levy.

D.                     Submit documentation regarding grants applied for to leverage Move Seattle funding to date, and a strategy for pursuing additional grant funding for future levy projects.

Section 3. Council requests that SDOT and SPU document the impact of the revised Move Seattle spending plan on SPU’s Capital Improvement Program and the efforts taken to coordinate between the two departments in writing to the Chair of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee and the Chair of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, and Arts Committee. Council requests that an initial assessment report be provided no later than December 1, 2018, with a final report no later than March 1, 2019.

Section 4. Council requests that, should additional transportation revenue come available, SDOT provide a status update on project delivery and assess the appropriateness of filling remaining funding gaps with any additional revenue.

Adopted by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2018, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this ________ day of _________________________, 2018.


President ____________ of the City Council

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2018.


Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk