Talking about politics, government and the Tukwila community.
Move Ahead with Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge!November 24th, 2011 at Thu, 24th, 2011 at 12:32 pm by chuckparrish
My letter to city council regarding upcoming council meeting.
Tukwila Councilmembers and mayor
Item 4.G. on the council agenda for Nov 28
Supplement 9 with KPFF for theTukwila Urban Center Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge
On Nov 21 at a budget workshop focused on Capital Improvement Project
priorities, Councilmember Robertson suggested that the council
consider not moving ahead with the authorization to design the bridge.
Councilmember Ekberg indicated that he felt somewhat averse (negative)
on the project. The financials on this project, page 14 of 49 of the
packet available that day, show that the project is estimated to cost
$9.2 million with the majority to be paid for by grants and expected
park impact fees. City revenues required for this project are
anticipated to be in the area of $922,000. Grants of $1,496,000
already been awarded and are funded over the years of 2010 thru 2013.
If things go as planned, Tukwila residents will be paying
approximately 10 cents of every dollar on this project. It is a great
deal for Tukwila residents.
Everyone understands that the trend lines for the budget are not good
because there is a structural imbalance in the revenue stream versus
cost of conducting the city’s business on behalf of its residents.
However, this is not a project that should be on the cutting board.
This project is not in the same category as the Klickitat project or
other projects which there is an identifiable traffic flow
restriction. In such cases, it is appropriate to look at business
LID or business local improvement districts for partial funding as the
existing businesses will benefit greatly if the restrictions were
removed and traffic flow improved.
The bridge is a critical element to the feasibility of planned TOD
(transit oriented development) area east of the Southcenter mall. This
TOD area is a key component in the TUC (Tukwila Urban Center) plan
which is yet to be approved by council. Developers made it clear in
planning commission meetings in which I served (2006-2010) that it
would be necessary to see investment from the city of Tukwila in this
area before they could consider developing residential over retail.
Pedestrian friendly amenities and parking (most likely structured)
were discussed. The existence of the bridge will attract potential
residents to the TOD area because they will be able to easily walk to
the commuter train station in order to get to work in Seattle and
other places. Additionally, development will be more feasible east of
the river with the existence of the bridge. Asking staff to project
usage of the bridge based on any current patterns is not feasible and
off the mark.
The construction of this bridge will have both short term and long
term economically stimulative benefits to Tukwila. That is rare in a
project. City staff have done an excellent job of identifying and
submitting grant requests in a very competitive environment for such
grants. Ten cents on the dollar? Come on now. In particular it tells
us that those responsible for analyzing and granting such requests see
the justification and merit in the project and have agreed to put up
the dollars to fund it.
I suggest that the process that got us this far be respected, the go
ahead for the design be approved and that the council spend its time
and energy looking at how growth can be sparked and accelerated in our
business zones. Eliminating economically important infrastructure
projects is not the way to go in an attempt to address concerns over
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this meeting.