City Launches Public Records Request Center

As part of the City of Seattle’s ongoing commitment to transparency and to make the process of obtaining public records as easy as possible, the City is launching the Public Records Request Center. This online public portal offers constituents one system for submitting and tracking public disclosure requests, downloading records, monitoring the status of their previously submitted requests, communicating with public disclosure officers, and making payments. It also identifies commonly requested records, and directs constituents to records that are readily available on

“Since the beginning of my administration I have pushed for an innovative, accountable City government that delivers on its public commitments smartly and transparently, while harnessing the power of technology,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The Public Records Request Center delivers on this commitment, ensuring the City has a consistent and efficient process and making public records more accessible to the entire community we serve.”

Public Records Request CenterOver the last several years, the City has taken major steps to improve and streamline management of the public disclosure process. In early 2016, the City initiated the first phase of the project, launching the Public Records Request Center specifically for records held by the Seattle Police Department, as nearly 70 percent of the approximately 8,800 annual requests for City records are for records held by SPD.

The City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services managed the second phase of the implementation on behalf of all other departments and offices, with a soft launch on Sept. 28. This new system is a cornerstone of our efforts to make Public Records Act compliance a sustainable line of business for City agencies while also creating a more efficient and consistent experience for our customers.

Many public records are readily available on Some records are not automatically posted online for many reasons, including that they may not be of widespread interest, they are simply too large or they contain confidential information. To assist customers with their search for records, we’ve collected commonly requested record types with links to where they can be obtained online when available. The City also posts a wealth of information on

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City encourages residents to prepare for weekend weather

With high-winds and rain predicted for Seattle and much of the Pacific Northwest this weekend, it is recommended that residents take extra precautions at home and when out. Residents should defer traveling during the storm, avoid and report downed power lines and trees, and be cautious near areas experiencing flooding.

Latest modeling shows a chance for heavy winds to arrive in the Seattle area as early as 5 PM on Saturday, October 15 and lasting throughout the evening. For the most current weather updates please visit the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office, Impact Briefing for Seattle. For up to date information impacting the City of Seattle please visit or

Storm Safety Information
• Please call 911 to report downed lines, do not touch or attempt to remove lines that have fallen during the storm.

• If you lose power at home, please call (206) 684-3000 to report the outage or call the Power Outage Hotline at (206) 684-7400 to hear a recorded message with power restoration updates.

• Because of the timing of tomorrow’s storm, there may be challenges with travel throughout the city tomorrow evening and Sunday morning.

• For individuals using life-sustaining and medical equipment, please contact and register with your utility company. For more information call (206) 684-3020.

• Remember to treat intersections that are impacted by power outages as four-way stops.

• Check the Metro and Sound Transit websites for any impacts to your transit routes.

• Maintain gutters, downspouts, rain barrels, private culverts by keeping them clean, flowing and directed away from properties and hillsides.

• Keep storm drains free of leaves and other debris to prevent streets from flooding. Be sure to stay out of the road when raking.

• All Seattle Parks and Recreation grass athletic fields, including West Seattle Stadium, will be closed through the weekend. Most importantly, please remember to safe and use extreme caution outdoors. Parks officials encourage residents to avoid Seattle parks entirely this weekend due to the high-winds.

• Seattle Parks has cancelled programs and activities in parks across the system. For the most up-to-date information please visit

• Generally, we want to remind you that if you do lose power, keep grills, camping stoves and generators outside. Fuel burning appliances are sources of carbon monoxide, a dangerous and poisonous gas.

• Have an emergency preparedness kit ready to help you get through until power is restored

• Storms can create a storm surge impacting high-tide. For information pertaining to tides visit NOAA.

• A temporary, emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness will be open at the Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion – near 2nd & Thomas, south of Key Arena. The co-ed adult shelter will open on Saturday and Sunday from 7 PM to 7AM. This shelter can accommodate 100 people.

• King County Shelter for adult males has expanded capacity to serve 50 additional men Friday through Tuesday, 10/14 – 10/18. The King County Shelter is located at the King County Administration Building at 500 4th Avenue in Seattle. The shelter opens at 7 PM.

• The City Hall Co-ed shelter at 600 4th Ave in Seattle will expand capacity Friday through Tuesday 10/14 – 10/18 with an emphasis on accommodating women seeking shelter. The shelter is open from 7PM to 6AM.

• Sign up and use AlertSeattle at for up-to-date information from the City of Seattle

• The City will have additional staff and crews available throughout the evening and weekend to respond to emergencies as they arise. The Seattle Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center will be activated throughout the weekend.

Additional preparedness information can be found at: Take Winter by Storm – or What to do to make it through –

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Mayor Murray launches ‘Resilient Seattle’ Initiative with 100 Resilient Cities


Today Mayor Ed Murray, joined by 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) and community leaders, launched a new effort to make Seattle more resilient to shocks—catastrophic events like earthquakes and floods—and stresses, slow-moving disasters such as inequity, homelessness, and climate change—which are increasingly part of 21st century life.

Seattle was selected to join the 100RC network earlier this year and joins cities such as London, New York, Bangkok, and Rio de Janeiro that have demonstrated a strong commitment to resilience planning in order to be better prepared when disruption hits.

image2“How we respond to the complex issues of climate change, affordable housing, and inequity will have profound implications for generations,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We must consider the impact of each of these things, particularly on communities of color, who are often disproportionately impacted. Seattle is prepared to work in partnership with 100RC and our community on innovative ways to lay the groundwork for Seattle to become the most resilient city in North America.”

Cities in the 100RC network have realized a host of benefits even over the relatively short lifespan of the program. These include improved bond ratings, additional federal investment, better collaboration with surrounding municipalities, more cost efficient plans to deal with disasters, and national recognition of their resilience work. The workshop will lay the groundwork for Seattle’s comprehensive Resilience Strategy and address challenges such as rapid population growth, transportation, economic and racial equity, and earthquake preparedness.

The ‘Resilient Seattle Workshop’ is Seattle’s first engagement in our partnership with 100RC. The workshop brings a diverse set of stakeholders from community-based organizations, the private sector, government, academia, and the arts community into the planning process. Workshop participants will explore the range of threats the city faces as well as opportunities to work together to become stronger. In the coming weeks, Seattle will name a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) – a new position that will lead the city’s resilience efforts and continue to engage stakeholders, resilience experts, and 100RC staff in drafting a comprehensive Resilience Strategy.

“Seattle is helping fuel global momentum around building urban resilience, and leading by example,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “The work from the agenda workshop will clarify the city’s needs, surface innovative thinking, and give us a blueprint for engaging partners from across sectors to bring Seattle the tools and resources needed to become more resilient.”

Seattle was selected as one of 37 members of the final cohort of what is now a 100-city global network, and will receive technical support and resources to develop and implement a Resilience Strategy. Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete types of support:

  • Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
  • Technical support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy;
  • Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
  • Membership in a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

Seattle’s resilience strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented plan to build partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to advancing racial and social justice. The workshop begins the process of identifying priorities, actions, and metrics, and the plan will be drafted over the next 6-9 months.

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Mayor releases plan to guide growth, investments in U District

After five years of community engagement and more than 90 public meetings, the City of Seattle today released the plan for growth and coordinated public investments in the U District. As the neighborhood continues to change rapidly, today’s announcement will guide future density for affordability and livability.

“This is an exciting day for the U District as we roll out our shared vision for the future of the neighborhood,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Over the last five years, hundreds of U District residents have contributed their opinions on how to build a more livable, walkable neighborhood as Sound Transit light rail comes to the community. And for the first time, all new development will contribute to affordable housing. Together we can shape a U District that reflects our values.”

With the Sound Transit’s U District Link light rail station opening in 2021, the City’s plan focuses future housing and employment density in areas with excellent access to the transit station.

The plan’s proposed zoning changes respond to community priorities for rigorous design standards that requires new public spaces, attractive buildings, and active street fronts. New incentives will encourage sidewalk improvements, space for social services, and childcare centers in private development. Other incentives will help preserve historic buildings and the pedestrian shopping district of the Ave.

“The University District has such a unique character – our students, faculty, and staff of the University bring a vibrant diversity to the community, and the neighborhood’s access to public transit, jobs, and local businesses make it an attractive place to live,” said Councilmember Rob Johnson. “But due to the pace at which Seattle is growing, we need to take bold and critical action to ensure that it remains an affordable place to live.

The proposed zoning changes here in the University District are the result of a four year process which has involved over 90 meetings and hundreds of participants. I want to thank everyone who, through their hard work and their feedback, has gotten us to this critical milestone today.”

As the neiaffordable-housingghborhood grows, Seattle’s new Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) ordinances will require all developers of multifamily and commercial buildings to build or fund affordable homes.

The City estimates that the MHA requirements that come with greater development capacity will create hundreds of new affordable homes. Without the proposed zoning changes that trigger MHA requirements, Seattle’s existing incentive zoning programs are projected to yield only an estimated additional 20 income-restricted homes built by private developers.

“As an organization that provides housing for low-income people every day, Bellwether is very excited to see the passage of this important legislation,” said Susan Boyd of Bellwether Housing. “By implementing MHA, we can create high quality, affordable homes for more low-wage working families in neighborhoods like the University District – close to great schools, great public resources, and rich job centers.   Funds from the MHA’s predecessor, the Incentive Zoning Program, is what made our 133-unit Arbora Court project in the heart of the University District possible. MHA implementation in the U District will expand the capacity to create affordable housing like this in the U District and across the City.”

Through the existing Housing Levy and incentive zoning programs, the Office of Housing recently has funded 182 new affordable homes the U District, 49 of which have already opened.

The University of Washington has been engaged in the plan as an active partner in the future of U District. The City and University continue to discuss their shared interests in improving connections to the new Burke Museum and the rest of the campus, expanding faculty and employee housing, creating jobs, providing additional childcare and creating a new public plaza adjacent to the light rail station.

“UW is proud to be a partner with the City of Seattle and the U District community in making this Seattle’s best neighborhood,” said UW Vice President Randy Hodgins. “The UW has sat shoulder to shoulder with City staff and U District residents to review and shape the ideas that have informed Mayor Murray’s proposal. We believe it’s the way to ensure the growth that’s coming will produce the great, inclusive neighborhood our students, faculty and staff want.”

As the neighborhood grows, the City of Seattle has made, and will continue to make, significant investments in the U District:

  • New parks and open space to serve the neighborhood, including upgrades at University Playfield, the new University Heights Plaza, the Christie Park expansion, and the future park on the Portage Bay waterfront.
  • A network of new bike lanes on 11th Ave NE, Roosevelt Way NE, NE Campus Parkway and NE 40th
  • Expanded sidewalks on NE 43rd connecting the light rail station to the Ave and campus.

“University Heights partners with the City of Seattle to ensure that everybody has a place to play, learn and grow in the U District regardless of their age, ability or economic status,” said Maureen Ewing, Executive Director of University Heights Center. “With the support of the City, we have saved our historic building from demolition, increased open space in the U District and are currently expanding arts and cultural opportunities that are accessible to all.”

The City is also expanding social service and public safety partnerships to make the U District more welcoming and safe for families and students:

  • The University District Partnership’s Clean and Safe initiative helps address vacant properties, graffiti and trash, making the neighborhood safer and more pleasant.
  • The Mayor will seek to expand his Youth Employment Initiative with the local non-profit ROOTS to build a “shelter to employment” program for homeless youth.
  • The Seattle Police Department and University Police continue to deepen their collaboration to support neighborhood safety.

“The City has played a critical role in this neighborhood’s plans for renewal,” said Kristine Cunningham, Executive Director of ROOTS. “ Once divisions and short-term thinking hampered our capacity to affect real change.  Now we are supported to combine diverse views and tackle the social, economic, and housing issues in the U District.  It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve made real progress.

Mayor Murray will transmit U District legislation to City Council next week.



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Seattle Sound Transit board members propose improvements to ST3 package

Sound Transit Board members Mayor Ed Murray and City Councilmember Rob Johnson introduced amendments to the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) plan during today’s Board meeting in conjunction with other board members around the region.  The amendments effectively expand light rail and other transit services throughout the region.

“These changes are big wins for West Seattle, Ballard, and the neighborhoods near Graham Street and North 130th Street,” said Mayor Murray. “The public told us we need more light rail connections and we want them sooner. This expanded service and shorter timelines will help Seattle grow more sustainably and affordably.”

“As a daily transit rider, I’m proud to have worked with my fellow board members to deliver more transit to Seattle residents in a faster timeline than originally proposed – all while incorporating important public feedback on lines in West Seattle and Ballard, and infill stations at Graham Street, Boeing Access Road, and N 130th Street,” said Johnson, who also chairs the City Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning committee.

Murray and Johnson, joined by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, put forward changes today that are consistent with the stated priorities of the City of Seattle:

  • Fully grade- separated light rail to West Seattle and Ballard three years sooner than the initial plan;
  • Improve access to existing or previous planned routes with new stations at Graham Street, Boeing Access Road, and N. 130th Street; and,
  • Address immediate transit needs with investments in the RapidRide C and D Lines and Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit.

“Today’s decision to expedite the Graham Street Station by five years demonstrates our commitment to social equity and investments in District 2,” said Council President Bruce Harrell, District 2 (South Seattle). “The station will serve approximately 81% of minorities living within half-a-mile of the station. This will significantly enhance access for our seniors, walkability and transit use. I am thankful for the support the community has shown for this project. If it wasn’t for them this wouldn’t have been possible.”

“ST3 is a once in-a-generation opportunity we must not take lightly,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, District 7 (Pioneer Square to Magnolia).  “Our Ballard, Magnolia and Queen Anne neighbors deserve a grade-separated alignment to keep cars, freight, transit and commuters predictably moving.”

“As a city-wide representative and West Seattle resident I am incredibly pleased with the accelerated timelines, commitment to city-wide stations and the expanded service of Rapidride lines in the interim,” said Councilmember M. Lorena González, Position 9 (Citywide).

“I’m thrilled that Sound Transit has found a way to reduce the projected timeline by 3 years to deliver light rail to WS. Additional funding for near-term C line improvements is also a welcome improvement,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, District 1 (West Seattle).

“With full grade separation and an accelerated timeline to Ballard, I am happy to see that the ST3 package reflects what I’m hearing from Ballard, Crown Hill, Fremont, Greenwood, Green Lake and Phinney Ridge,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien, District 6 (Northwest Seattle). “The draft plan remains flexible enough that if our communities continue to be united, I am confident we can make significant improvements even after the passage of ST3, in the years to come.”

The Sound Transit Board is scheduled to adopt these and other sub-area amendments at special meeting Thursday, June 2nd, and send a complete package to voters on June 23rd.  More information about Sound Transit is available online:

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Mayor Murray releases 20-year growth plan for Seattle


Mayor Ed Murray today transmitted his proposal to update Seattle’s 20-year Comprehensive Plan to the Seattle City Council. Seattle 2035 focuses on equitable growth as Seattle expects gain 120,000 residents, 115,000 jobs, and 70,000 housing units over the next two decades.

“Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and while this growth provides a booming economy, we must continue to focus that development in livable, walkable neighborhoods with the amenities that help people thrive,” said Murray. “With this comprehensive plan, we will build a more equitable future for all residents with better access to the affordable homes, jobs, transit, and parks that make Seattle vibrant.”

Development of Seattle 2035 has been ongoing since 2013. The final proposal was informed by thousands of comments, 57 public presentations and 2,600 people participating in public meetings.

Seattle 2035 includes goals and policies, including those that:

  • Guide more future growth to areas within a 10-minute walk of frequent transit
  • Continue the Plan’s vision for mixed-use Urban Villages and Urban Centers
  • Monitor future growth in greater detail, including data about racial disparities
  • Increase the supply and diversity of affordable housing consistent with the Mayor’s Housing Affordabibility and Livability Agenda (HALA)
  • Update how we measure the performance of the city’s transportation and parks systems
  • Integrate the City’s planning for parks, preschool, transit, housing, transportation, City facilities and services

Seattle 2035 incorporates principles of the City’s Equitable Development initiative and new policies in almost every element of the plan specifically identify ways in which the City can reduce the risk of displacement for marginalized populations and improve their access to opportunities.

The policies in the plan governing industrial lands remain relatively stable. The mayor has begun a series of conversations with industrial and maritime stakeholders to develop new supports for their industries while balancing other pressures on land use in the City.

The plan and related legislation will be introduced to the Seattle City Council’s Planning Land Use and Zoning committee, chaired by Councilmember Rob Johnson, later this month.

Seattle 2035 represents years of work by so many here at the City and also reflects the feedback of thousands of Seattle residents,” said Councilmember Johnson. “The City of Seattle has always used the Comprehensive Plan to set ambitious goals related to sustainability, and I am so glad to hear that this update reflects a similar degree of ambition to combat Seattle’s equity and affordability crisis. I look forward to seeing the final plan and bringing it before my fellow Councilmembers.”

Seattle is required by Washington State’s Growth Management Act to periodically update its Comprehensive Plan. The last major update of the plan was in 2004. Seattle 2035 is consistent with State and County growth policies.

In 1994, Seattle’s first Comprehensive Plan was approved. The 1994 Comprehensive Plan was based around an Urban Village strategy. The Urban Village strategy designated certain neighborhoods as Urban Centers or Urban Villages and encouraged the development of new housing, jobs, and transit options within these areas. Over the past 20 years, about 75 percent of new housing and jobs have located in Urban Villages or Urban Centers, consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

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Levy to Move Seattle’s first 100 Days

Move Seattle logo

The Levy to Move Seattle recently passed its first 100 days of implementing new projects that enhance transportation in Seattle. Through the levy, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has already completed dozens of safety, maintenance and congestion relief projects throughout the city.

“When Seattle voters approved these transportation investments last fall, they sent a clear message that they wanted to see our bridges and roads repaired, more transit options, and safer streets,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I am pleased with the progress we’ve made in the past three months on these first projects.  As we move Seattle forward, we will continue to provide residents with accountability and transparency as we build a more interconnected and safe city for all.”

Approved by voters in the fall of 2015, the nine-year, $930 million levy provides roughly 30 percent of the City’s transportation budget and provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for our growing city.

“We supported the Levy to Move Seattle because it will provide increased access to transit and reliability,” said Shefali Ranganathan, Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition. “The transit-only lane in South Lake Union on Westlake and the improvements to bus stops near the new light rail station in the U District are already helping transit riders on a daily basis. I am happy to see both were prioritized for completion in the first 100 days and look forward to many more over the next nine years.”

A range of projects have been completed in the first 100 days of the Levy to Move Seattle.

Safety Projects:

  • Safe Routes to School projects at seven  schools:  Mercer Middle School, South Shore K-8, Rainier Beach High School, Hazel Wolf Elementary, Salmon Bay K-8, BF Day Elementary, and Bryant Elementary
  • Sidewalk repairs around six schools: Olympic Hills, Lowell, Bailey Gatzert, West Seattle, Leschi, and Franklin High School
  • Rainier Avenue safety improvements
  • Replacement of 500 street signs
  • Center City Bike Network implementation – 2nd Ave Safety Project public outreach and design initiation

Maintenance Projects:

  • Two pedestrian stairway rehabilitation projects
  • 104 bridge structural repairs
  • Magnolia Bridge expansion joint replacement project
  • A pedestrian safety rail improvement project in SODO
  • 30 trees planted on Renton Ave S

Congestion Relief Projects:

  • South Lake Union bus stop improvements to support the Rapid Ride C & D lines
  • Montlake Triangle bus stop improvements to support the new U-Link station
  • Upgraded signals at California Avenue & Stevens, Fauntleroy Way & Myrtle St, and S Forest & 6th Ave S
  • New traffic cameras for real-time traffic information and incident management at 23rd Ave & Rainier, Pacific St & 15th Ave NE, 15th Ave NE and Campus Pkwy, and 15th Ave NE and NE 45th St
  • 196 new bicycle parking spaces
  • Upgraded traffic signals on Second Avenue at University St.

“Better signals, signage, and sidewalks are among the many improvements delivered in the Move Seattle levy’s first one hundred days,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “My thanks to Seattle voters for providing these critical funds and to SDOT’s team for getting the work done.”

While the projects completed in the first 100 days are not comprehensive of all projects currently underway, they support SDOT’s mission to deliver a high-quality transportation system that is accessible, safe, and interconnected for all residents.

Additionally, Mayor Murray and the Seattle City Council are convening a Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee. The resident-led group will review how levy revenues are spent, make recommendations on project priorities, and respond to potential project cost savings or overruns. The Mayor and City Council will announce appointments to the oversight committee by May of 2016.

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Join Mayor Murray for this year’s Find It, Fix It Community Walks

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Today Mayor Ed Murray announced the schedule for his 2016 Find It, Fix It Community Walks to occur in seven neighborhoods this summer and fall. Now in its third year, the walks bring together City officials, business owners, and community members to address each neighborhood’s needs.

“These walks provide a unique opportunity for community members to identify neighborhood needs and discuss challenges directly with City leaders,” said Mayor Murray. “Together we invest in a spirit of engagement and community volunteerism. Find It, Fix It Community Walks are one way the City can support neighbors committed to improving their own communities. I look forward to working with community members this year to make these walks a success.”

This year’s Find It Fix It walks will be held in:

  • Aurora/Licton Springs– Early June
  • Belltown – Late June
  • Roxhill – July
  • Judkins Park – August
  • Crown Hill – September
  • Georgetown – October
  • Wallingford – Mid-November

Each walk will follow a route determined by community members on Community Walk Action Teams convened by the Department of Neighborhoods. Specific dates and locations will be announced two weeks prior to each walk.

If you are interested in becoming part of a Community Walk Action Team to help plan a walk in one of the seven neighborhoods, contact the Find It, Fix It Program Coordinator, Hilary Nichols, at, (206) 386.1907.

The City will continue to offer Community Project Grants for every walk, which provide up to $5,000 to support community-led revitalization and beautification projects. In 2015, 166 community volunteers, with assistance from City staff, completed 18 projects around the city. Projects included painting a mural on a public staircase in South Park, constructing a community kiosk in Cascade, and planting flowers in Hillman City.

Mayor Murray spearheaded the Find It, Fix It Community Walks in 2014 in partnership with Cities of Service, a national nonprofit that works with cities to provide support and training to encourage civic volunteerism.

Whether your neighborhood is part of this year’s walks or not, community members can report safety needs or city maintenance issues anytime with the Find It, Fix It mobile app. Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store and iPhone users can download it from the App Store.

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New bus service rolls out across Seattle


Thanks to voter approval of Transit Proposition 1, today Mayor Murray and transit supporters celebrated the first day of expanded weekday Metro bus service in neighborhoods across Seattle. In just nine months, since the first round of Proposition 1 funded investments hit the street last summer, Seattle has seen the largest increase in transit service in more than 40 years.

“Thanks to the voters, today more than 70 percent of Seattle residents live within a short walk of frequent bus service,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Taking the bus has never been more reliable and convenient. Improved RapidRide service to Ballard and West Seattle, as well as bus only lanes through South Lake Union, are transforming the commute for thousands of workers.”

Seattle voters approved Transit Proposition 1 in November 2014 and provided the City of Seattle with approximately $45 million annually for the next six years to purchase additional bus hours from Metro to improve and expand in-city bus service. Instituted on March 26, these last service additions will improve the reliability of the two RapidRide lines while connecting riders to growing employment markets in South Lake Union and Pioneer Square.

Bus lines seeing more frequent and reliable service in this expansion include: improved connections and frequencies on many routes that serve the new light rail stations at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill; more reliable service on Route 8 to Capitol Hill and Mt. Baker, Route 38 to Martin Luther King, Jr. Way South, Route 45 to Loyal Heights, and Route 48 from 23rd Avenue to the U District; new east-west connections on Route 62 from Sandpoint to Fremont; and new connections from Northeast Seattle to South Lake Union and First Hill on Route 63.

The City’s Transit Proposition 1 also funded the splitting of the RapidRide C and D lines, extending the RapidRide C Line to South Lake Union and the RapidRide D Line to Pioneer Square.

Supported by infrastructure investments from the Levy to Move Seattle, the number of rush-hour transit trips has more than doubled on Westlake Avenue North due to:

  • New RapidRide C Line service, every 7 to 12 minutes from West Seattle via Downtown
  • More service on Route 40, every 9 to 15 minutes from Northgate via Ballard/Fremont to Downtown seven days a week
  • A shifted Route 40 to Westlake Avenue for ease of access and use
  • More peak time service for Route 70 from the U District to Downtown
  • More service with a reliable, shortened route for Route 8 from Seattle Center to Capitol Hill/Rainier Valley
  • More service on routes 26, 28, 62 and the E Line
  • Dedicated transit lanes on Westlake Avenue North
  • Transit stop upgrades such as real-time transit information signs, shelters and wider sidewalks

“South Lake Union is one of the fastest growing parts of our city. In the Center City 31 percent of commuters travel alone by car, while in South Lake Union almost half of commuters do so,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “For the neighborhood to continue to grow, we need to rapidly increase transit service and provide commuters better options than driving alone. This investment in transit and on-street bus facilities, with a bus or streetcar arriving every two minutes, is a major step.”

To ensure the reliability of the new service, SDOT changed the way Westlake Ave N operates so buses can get through heavy traffic more efficiently. Changes include:

  • North end – A southbound transit only lane on Westlake Ave N between Ninth Ave N and Valley St (by restricting southbound on-street parking between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.)
  • Mid-section – Transit only lanes on both sides of Westlake Ave N between Valley and Lenora streets
  • South end – A northbound transit only lane between Lenora and Stewart streets

“Our neighborhood has been growing exponentially and these transit updates are welcomed with open arms,” said Danah Abarr, executive director of the South Lake Union Chamber. “Just in time for spring, added bus service and improved streets will make getting around South Lake Union more efficient. This is a win-win for everyone – employees, residents and visitors alike.”

For more information on the project and a map, please visit:

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Center City Connector streetcar recommended for $75 million grant

Today the City of Seattle’s Center City Connector Streetcar Project was recommended for a $75 million grant in President Obama’s 2017 Budget. The project would link the existing South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcar lines, creating a system that would connect over a dozen Seattle neighborhoods in Seattle’s Center City.

If approved by Congress, this $75 million grant would be one of the largest federal grants the City has received for a transportation project in recent history.

“Seattle thanks President Obama and our Congressional delegation for the incredible support so far for downtown transit,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We look forward to working with our supporters in Congress to change how downtown residents, workers and visitors move around the urban core. With a dedicated lane for the new streetcar, as well as connections to existing streetcar lines and transit hubs, the Center City Connector would deliver frequent, reliable service for thousands of riders every day.”

By linking existing streetcar investments, the Center City Connector is designed to provide a seamless streetcar system that will serve major visitor destinations, employment centers, and areas where the city is experiencing significant growth. The fully integrated system is projected to carry up to 30,000 average weekday riders.

Once completed, the Connector will serve Seattle’s three intermodal hubs at Westlake, Colman Dock and King Street Station. The system would provide convenient transfers to the Third Avenue Transit Spine at both ends of Downtown, to Link Light Rail via multiple Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel station entries, and to Sounder Commuter Rail at King Street Station.

The project would:

  • Address current and future mobility needs for residents, workers and tourists
  • Meet the growth in demand for Center City circulation trips
  • Address constraints on expansion of Center City transportation
  • Provide affordable transportation access to key social and human services located in the Center City
  • Mitigate greenhouse gas emissions resulting from vehicles and traffic congestion

“With these critical grant funds, we can connect our South Lake Union and First Hill lines and create a far reaching streetcar system for Seattle,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “I would like to express my appreciation to the Obama Administration and Washington’s congressional delegation for supporting this important project.”

The line is estimated to cost $135 million and the City will present funding options for its local match later this year. The local match will include $6.8 million in previously appropriated funds, $17.8 million in utility funded improvements, and $34.4 million in City Capital Improvement Program funds. The City also previously received a $900,000 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant. Pending congressional appropriation of Small Starts Grant funding, the City will work with FTA to complete an agreement for these grant funds.

Additional information about the Center City Connector can be found here:

To review the successful Small Starts application for the line, please visit:

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