Mayor McGinn is committed to creating great neighborhoods, making them even more vibrant and walkable. In his first term he doubled the Families and Education Levy, making investments in neighborhood schools. He won voter approval of a new Library Levy, expanding hours and collections at neighborhood libraries. He restored the Neighborhood Matching Fund to pre-recession levels, expanded the Neighborhood Street Fund, and launched a new granting program for neighborhood business districts. He also expanded arts and culture funding to record levels, supporting neighborhood arts groups throughout the city.
In his second term he will work to renew the Parks Levy, continue to invest in neighborhood road maintenance, and work to connect our neighborhoods with rail.
McGinn is working to ensure that new development results in quality, affordable housing that provides significant public benefit. McGinn believes that new development should help provide affordability, be sustainable, and enhance the surrounding community.
Mayor McGinn strongly values neighborhood planning as a way to shape the development of neighborhoods. These bottom-up, inclusive planning processes have focused on the places that most needed detailed updates to neighborhood plans – for example, planning around current and future light rail stations, both in Rainier Valley and north of the Ship Canal, in the University District, Roosevelt, and Northgate. Those processes have involved stakeholder groups and work with public outreach and engagement liaisons. This effort is different than previous neighborhood planning efforts, but it’s more focused, more inclusive, and engenders the same values of neighborhood involvement.
McGinn has led 18 intensive neighborhood planning efforts since taking office:
- North Beacon Hill
- North Rainier/Mount Baker
- Rainier Beach
- Capitol Hill
- University District
- Broadview/Haller Lake/Bitter Lake
- North Seattle I-5 Light Rail Station
- Little Saigon
- 23rd Avenue Corridor
- Stadium District
- Lake City
- South Lake Union
In 2014 a new neighborhood planning effort will commence in Delridge.
Building a Sustainable Low Carbon City
Promoting sustainable urban neighborhoods: One of the keys to reducing our carbon emissions is to promote neighborhoods where people live close to neighborhood businesses and other daily destinations, making it easy to get around on foot, bike or transit. These neighborhoods have lower carbon footprints and protect our natural environment from new sprawl.
In his second term McGinn will continue to support neighborhood sustainability:
- Implement neighborhood plans to continue providing new housing, particularly near high capacity transit lines including rail
- Invest in neighborhood streets, including a renewal of Bridging the Gap
- Continue developing Safe Routes to School so students can walk or bike safely to class
- Invest revenues from school road safety cameras in infrastructure and programs that will increase safety near schools
- Implement Pedestrian Master Plan, including new sidewalks, crossings, and traffic calming
- Complete update to Bicycle Master Plan and continue its implementation, including a downtown cycle track network
- Renew the parks levy to support operations, maintenance, and new acquisitions for our neighborhoods
Expanding transit to connect our neighborhoods: Transportation makes up 40% of Seattle’s carbon emissions, the largest single source. McGinn is working to reduce that number by providing more and better transit options to connect our neighborhoods. In 2012 the City Council unanimously adopted McGinn’s Transit Master Plan. McGinn is moving ahead on implementing that plan:
- Working with Sound Transit to plan rail from downtown to Ballard, downtown to West Seattle, and Ballard to UW.
- Planning the Center City Connector streetcar project
- Completing the First Hill Streetcar and extending it to the northern end of Broadway
- Planning rail from South Lake Union to UW via Eastlake
- Planning a true Bus Rapid Transit line on Madison Street
- Bringing together 47 mayors to advocate in Olympia for state funding to save Metro bus service
- Investing city dollars in street improvements to improve speed and frequency of bus service
Transit oriented development: McGinn is working to bring transit oriented development to areas near rail stations to promote walkable, healthy, and sustainable neighborhoods. McGinn worked closely with Sound Transit and Capitol Hill residents to promote transit oriented development around the Capitol Hill light rail station. He is working to bring more residential units near King Street Station in Pioneer Square, one of the biggest transit hubs on the West Coast. Transit oriented development is inherently more affordable because it enables easy access to transit without the use of a car.
Sidewalks and Pedestrian Safety
For the city as a whole, McGinn supports increasing the level of funding for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation and have worked to do so each year in office. He included $100,000 in the proposed 2014 budget for a minor update to the Pedestrian Master Plan. McGinn recently announced an increase of nearly $15 million in neighborhood transportation investments, as well as $14.8 million in investments in school road safety; these benefit neighborhoods throughout the city. McGinn will continue to utilize one-time funding boosts (such as rubble yard proceeds or Spokane Street Viaduct savings) as well as ways to set up long-term sources for investments. As the economy continues to improve, we will be more able to allocate funding toward infrastructure, and he supports increasing funding for Pedestrian Master Plan implementation incrementally through the city budget. Earlier this year when Spokane Street Viaduct savings became available, McGinn elected to spend $1.9 million of those funds on pedestrian or bicycle safety projects – namely Northeast 75th Street, East Marginal Way, and Admiral Way and 47th. Long-term, there may be other funding options (such as a Bridging the Gap Levy renewal that will begin to be discussed in 2014) that can be utilized as well. A new local funding option, which McGinn rallied 47 Washington State mayors around, could also increase funding for local streets if passed by the legislature.
School Road Safety: He launched the School Road Safety Initiative earlier this year, adding one more ongoing source of funding for pedestrian and bicycle safety projects (as well as education), due to the revenue from school zone speed cameras. Even prior to establishing this revenue source, which allows for several million dollars in revenue per year, McGinn increased funding for Safe Routes to School. While these projects are all near schools, they are a benefit to the community as a whole and focus on the most critical improvements needing to be addressed (usually sidewalks, crossings, or traffic calming) that are near a school but not necessarily in the school zone. Schools that will (or have) benefitted from this revenue in Northeast Seattle include Olympic View Elementary (which is a school zone camera school), Sacajawa Elementary, Rogers Elementary and Nathan Hale High School, Wedgwood Elementary, Thornton Creek Elementary and Eckstein Middle School, Bryant Elementary, and Olympic Hills Elementary.
Safe neighborhood infrastructure: Neighborhood greenways implementation is also a boost to neighborhood walkability and bikability, and frequently includes sidewalk segments. The 39th Avenue greenway in Northeast Seattle was one of the earliest greenways implemented. Planning and design for a Northeast 68th Street greenway is underway in 2014. And, construction of a Lake City/Olympic Hills greenway will also occur in 2014. Major road or repaving projects are also an opportunity for sidewalk investments or other pedestrian safety elements. Both the Northgate/105th repaving project and the Northgate/5th Avenue major reconstruction projects resulted in considerable investments for pedestrians in the form of curb ramps, new sidewalks, and better crossings. Also in Northeast Seattle, Northeast 75th Street is a good example of a project done primarily for pedestrian safety but that has benefits for all users of the road.
We have have transit-priority streets, we have streets that are a priority for bicyclists, and we have streets that are very heavily utilized by trucks. McGinn’s priority is to ensure that each type of street is safe for all people that use it. And, as one of the people who lobbied City Council in 2007 for our current Complete Streets policy, he believes that it needs to be a complete street for everyone as well.
McGinn continue to seek further funding opportunities for implementation of our bicycle, transit, and pedestrian master plans. This fall we’re beginning a Freight Master Plan process. Projects like 23rd Avenue Corridor Complete Street project (in progress) or the Linden Ave North Complete Street (finished earlier this year) are a good example of how we can best address the challenges we face in providing for multimodal access.
Neighborhood Public Safety
McGinn believes in bringing government to the people, including public safety. For example, by working with the community, SPD reduced crime at 23rd and Union by 80 percent from 2008 to 2013. McGinn has taken that model around the city with the Safe Communities initiative, and will begin implementing the recommendations developed by community members in partnership with the police.
In his second term he will work with residents to update the Neighborhood Policing Plan to reflect our current public safety needs.
Since the end of 2012 McGinn has added funding for 52 new police officers, and will continue to expand the police force as funding allows. McGinn is working to recruit new officers from Seattle’s diverse communities, train them in modern policing techniques that conform with our reform goals, and providing all officers with the tools they need to use data to track crime and make smart patrol decisions.