Surprise! $930 million “Move Seattle” transportation levy is not meeting stated goals

government solve all problems

Guess how much it costs (per mile) to build a bike lane in Seattle…

Take. A. Wild. Guess.

And then imagine a private construction firm trying to justify their inability to magnificently under estimate projected costs.

From Seattle Times: Move Seattle, the $930 million transportation levy approved by Seattle voters in 2015, is falling behind on a number of its promised street and sidewalk improvements, and funding shortfalls will likely force some projects to be downsized or abandoned, according to a new review by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

SDOT, which is tasked with completing the levy’s projects, blamed higher costs from the booming local-construction market as well as new priorities since the levy was passed and uncertain federal funding.

The agency also undersold the costs of the projects it was promising during the push for public approval in 2015, SDOT officials said.

“We do not have enough funding right now to do everything that was promised, we just don’t,” SDOT interim Director Goran Sparrman said Tuesday at a Move Seattle levy oversight committee meeting. “Some of those dollar amounts estimated for what projects would cost were clearly insufficient, even at the time.”

He said that the agency was not prepared, in 2015, to execute projects on the scale that the levy and the city promised. The 10-year, property-tax levy is twice the size of its predecessor, the Bridging the Gap levy, which expired in 2015.

SDOT gave no actual numbers or estimates of the size of the funding shortfall.

“I’m not surprised by the findings, but I still don’t really know the scale,” said Alex Krieg, co-chair of the levy’s oversight committee. “This is dollars and cents but we don’t have dollars and cents on this assessment.”

The new review, ordered by Mayor Jenny Durkan earlier this year, says the levy is achieving many of its goals, but points to eight program areas that need “further review and adjustment” because the cost of the promised projects is now greater than the available funding.

The areas short on money include: building new protected bike lanes, repairing damaged sidewalks and building new ones, building curb ramps at intersections, repaving arterial streets and creating seven new RapidRide bus routes.

“Costs have increased due to rising local construction costs,” SDOT writes in the review. “Additionally, in several levy sub-programs, cost estimates included in the original budget were insufficient to meet the levy commitment.”

For instance, the levy originally estimated that bike lanes would cost about $860,000 to build, per mile. While costs vary significantly by project, a nearly complete four-block extension of the Seventh Avenue protected bike lane through downtown has cost about $3.8 million to build, or nearly $13 million per mile.

The recently completed Second Avenue protected bike lane cost $12 million a mile, Sparrman said.

“I thought the mayor was going to have a heart attack when I showed her,” he said.

Read the whole story here.


16 responses to “Surprise! $930 million “Move Seattle” transportation levy is not meeting stated goals

  1. Reblogged this on On the Patio and commented:

    Now this is what I believe can be classified as a boondoggle!
    boon·dog·gle [ˈbo͞onˌdäɡəl] – work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.
    Beyond that $12-13 MILLION a mile!? Way to go Seattle! And it may be abandoned?! Just frickin stellar!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow, just wow! Tax payers money being put to good use; NOT! I wonder who’s pocketing some of it under the table.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That’s how the democrats do things, this is they’re exact MO. They all subscribe to that new trendy movement….#I GOT MINE.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Here’s how the Dem’s do it in Ct. This out yesterday, they use that “New Math”…
      WINY Radio
      Yesterday at 3:55am ·

      FROM THE NEWSROOM: HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State auditors say the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development provided inaccurate or unsupported information about job creation and tax credits tied to various state initiatives designed to grow or retain jobs.

      In a preliminary audit released Tuesday, the Auditors of Public Accounts found problems with a laundry list of DECD programs that provide state assistance to manufacturers, small businesses and others.

      The auditors say some data used by the department overstates the economic impact of each program.

      DECD says in the audit report that the agency “will be making many improvements in securing accurate and timely data and correct formulas for future annual reports.” The agency says it plans to reissue its 2017 annual report with corrected data.

      Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano calls Tuesday’s audit report “disturbing.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • Stovepipe . . . . How about typing one’s compensation to correct, on cost, and timely completion of various endeavors? It’s always the tax payers who get hosed in these boon doggles.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. All government sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well,not ALL government sucks-there’s some we need,but a LOT of it sucks,both in general and they suck money out of the Taxpayers.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Forgive me, I should have said all government bureaucracies suck. I have studied several local/state/federal departments with various responsibilities, and I have yet to find a group that is efficient, competent or cost-effective. Tragic.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Tyranny of the wallet on a grand scale. The loony left and their ideas. God save us from this doom of idiocy.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Long Beach, Ca. has similarly extravagant bike lane costs for
    its network of bike paths, all accomplished by closing motor
    vehicular lanes for bike use only and building protective berms
    between bike and car lanes. RESULT: empty bike lanes paralleling
    lanes of angry motorists in miles long congestion daily.
    Another brilliant leftist idea! Real objective according to bike
    lane pioneer, former New York Mayor Bloomberg, is to
    discourage motor vehicle use by us peons while he and his
    peers literally fly above the congestion in their helicopters.
    Additionally UN agenda 21 calls for families to be jammed
    into dense housing area with 200 square feet allotted per family.
    Mission already accomplished in parts of Long Beach. Due
    to skyrocketing rents resulting from unlimited immigration
    encouraged by Governor Moonbeam Brown many families of four
    and five live in one-bedroom apartments.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Gary Jones . . . . Oregon has put in more than enough “bike lanes.” Unfortunately, since we only have about 3.5 months of dry weather–they virtually go unused the majority of the year. It is an outrage.

      Liked by 4 people

  7. Another result of these bike lane nightmares was evident during the
    annual Long Beach Grand Prix, which attracts tens of thousands of
    affluent drunks to cheer on the race cars. This year’s race was
    accompanied by endless police car and ambulance sirens with
    thousands of motorists honking due to near-grid-lock congestion.
    Better not to leave your home during the festive weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Why of course. I guess they’ll just have to RAISE TAXES! This is how they got the S.L.U.T. and the “train to nowhere”. Oh, let’s not forget the stuck boring machine.

    Why would anybody have a levy for bike lanes? Oh, that’s right. If you build a bike lane (or a traffic circle), you get federal A-21 money. They probably spend that on gay parades and lawsuits.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Is there no one up there in Seattle leadership with an IQ over 50? From all the scams and strange election results and taxes on taxes and very strange new rules. that DCG has alerted us to, Seattle is not on my move to list. Kind of sad, I remember when it was a decent place.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Seattle is spending $12-13 MILLION per mile for a bike lane. Yet there’s this:

    “According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, an organization funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the cost of a five-foot, one-mile bike lane costs between $5,000 and $535,000. The average cost is about $130,000.”

    The taxpayers should be DEMANDING answers.

    Liked by 1 person

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