Seattle voters reject car-tab fee that included bike projects

Facebook Twitter More...

A proposal to raise $204 million for transportation projects over the next 10 years in Seattle, including bicycle infrastructure, failed on Tuesday.

Voters in the city resoundingly defeated the measure that would have required car owners to pay an extra $60 car tab fee per automobile. Six out of 10 voted against the measure.

Half of the money raised by the issue, Proposition 1, would have paid for transit improvements and 30% would have gone to deferred maintenance on the city's streets.

Bike project funding

The remaining 20% — about $4 million a year — would have been shared by projects to install sidewalks and expedite some projects in Seattle's Bicycle Master Plan. The Seattle Times reported recently that a potential $900,000 a year could have gone toward building two miles of greenways a year.

The so-called greenways are residential streets redesigned to encourage bicycle traffic; speed bumps are installed, streets are constricted at points with landscaping, and stop signs give bicyclists priority over cars.

In spite of the loss of Prop 1, the city still raises $3 million a year for bicycle improvement from the 2006 “Bridging the Gap” tax levy.

More transit

Some see the rejection as  a repudiation of the policies of Seattle's bicycle-commuting mayor, Mike McGinn.

McGinn, however, laid the loss to the regressive nature of the car-tab fee — everyone paid the same regardless of income on condition of the car. Also, he said a “stronger transit component” would have appealed to more voters, according to the Seattle Times.

The Cascade Bicycle Club and Bicycle Alliance of Washington both endorsed the car-tab fee.

Permanent link to this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.