This year, the "Bridging the Gap" levy expires. The mayor’s proposed Transportation Levy would replace Bridging the Gap, but it surprisingly fails to mention one of Seattle’s most important transportation modes - our city’s extensive stairway network! Funds needed to keep our stairs functioning safely might well disappear unless we act quickly.
As you probably already know, Seattle possesses a historic built legacy of more than 650 publicly accessible stairways. Many of them are more than one hundred years old, yet even today they still connect our citizens to transit, parks, and everyday neighborhood businesses.
Stairways provide scenic byways in the city for exploration and outdoor exercise. They’re a “third place” for neighbors to meet casually. In short, our stairway network remains incredibly relevant to our city’s function and quality of life.
Back in 2011 the city’s budget for stairway maintenance was only about $1.1 million. This inadequate funding shows (see picture below) - despite the dedicated efforts of SDOT stairway rehab and replacement crews. When the current Bridging the Gap levy expires, even this paltry budget looks like it will disappear!
We’re appealing for you to take action in two, fairly easy ways:
1) Please take a moment to give your feedback to Mayor Murray and the city, using the brief SDOT online survey here.
As you go through the survey, you'll see this question: "Are there other transportation investments you feel should be a top priority for funding through this levy?” Just add a quick note here, such as “The levy must add specific funding for our deteriorating public stairways, to make walking easier and safer." Your action in doing this could go a long way, if we all pitch in together.
2) Amplify your voice! Please send a link to this post to your own networks.
That’s it! Thanks so much for your efforts to protect our precious stairways from this fate: