City Council endorses effort to fund transit and roads through new tax | Community briefs

City Council endorses effort to fund transit and roads through new tax

With the City Council’s endorsement, Mayor Bassett joined elected officials from 14 regional cities to sign a letter of support. He described the measure as the only available option to solve the looming transit funding crisis.

The City Council and other county agencies say that funding for transit funding in King County has shrunk dramatically. Metro is faced with significant cuts to bus service as the only way to cover the shortfall. If the cuts take effect, it’s likely that Islanders will lose several bus routes including the 202, 203, 205, and the 213, and see modifications to route 204.

In the absence of any progress on transportation funding options at the State Legislature, the King County Executive has proposed the creation of a countywide transportation benefit district (TBD).

The funding tool will appear on the April 22, 2014 ballot and, if approved, would institute a 0.1 percent sales tax and a $60 car tab fee (replacing an expiring $20 fee).  The revenues would preserve local bus service and generate approximately $500,000 annually for Mercer Island road improvements.

Public comments sought for city TIP Transportation Improvement Plan

Mercer Island and other cities in Washington state are preparing annual updates to their six-year transportation improvement program, known as a "TIP.”

The TIP includes roadway, pedestrian, and bicycle projects planned for the six-year period beginning in 2015. The process of updating Mercer Island's TIP includes opportunities for the public to provide input on what they would like to see in the update. The public comment period begins April 1 and runs through the end of the month.

Those who are interested in learning more about the TIP, viewing the TIP adopted by the City Council in 2013, or submitting an on-line comment for consideration in the 2015-2020 TIP, can visit the City's special TIP web page.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the draft 2015-2020 TIP at the May 19, 2014 Council meeting, with the purpose of receiving public testimony.  Interested individuals may appear and provide input at the hearing or provide written comments in advance via the TIP web page.

The TIP is scheduled for adoption by the City Council on June 16, 2014. Contact City Engineer Patrick Yamashita, or call (206) 275-7722.


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