City Council to discuss adding $20 to car license fees to fund sidewalk repair

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Damage to sidewalk from street tree roots
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
At its meeting on Monday, November 27, 2017, the Shoreline City Council will discuss Ordinance No. 772, which would authorize an additional Vehicle License Fee of twenty dollars to preserve, maintain and operate the transportation infrastructure of the City of Shoreline, including funding for sidewalk repairs and retrofits.

According to the staff report, there are approximately 75 miles of existing sidewalks throughout the City. These sidewalks were built at different times under different standards and are in need of repairs and retrofits.

Preliminary review and analysis of the inspections indicate over $110 million is needed for repairs, including replacement and retrofitting existing sidewalks and curb ramps to meet ADA standards.

The City’s current funding levels do not meet the need for repair and replacement of existing sidewalks. After evaluation of alternative revenue sources, staff determined that increasing the vehicle license fee by $20 would generate sufficient funds to dedicate $680,000 per year to repair existing sidewalks.

The council is scheduled to vote on the Ordinance December 11, 2017.


Anonymous,  November 27, 2017 at 6:05 AM  

How about not wasting money on changing the lanes on Richmond Beach road? That would surely provide the funding for sidewalk repair.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2017 at 10:31 AM  

Is there some reason this increase wasn't put on the ballot!?!?!?

If this is the first city specific car tab add on (on top of the exorbitant ST3 increases) it will be opening up a can of worms. It will be double, tripled, and quadrupled by the time the light rail stations open and it will one thing after the other, especially now that Sound Transit (Our beloved Transit Corporation AND Real Estate Agency) is having to delay and make cuts because they can't manage their money.

Remember when Sound Transit was going to pay for sidewalks and infrastructure improvements in the walk sheds of the stations? Guess that's not happening and we're now expected to subsidize that, too. Who knows if the pedestrian/bike bridges are going to happen now. But they have all the money in the world for this "bum trail along the rail", ruining Ronald Bog Park, and leasing five more office space locations in the most expensive downtown areas in the nation, instead of a more affordable area in their taxing district.

This car tab add-on is pretty perverse considering developers are getting away with their 12-year "welfare for the wealthy" program that WE now have to subsidize. This is just going to be a blank check with limitless increases for one thing after the other.

I find it awfully suspicious that the discussion of this is surfacing after the election and during the busy holiday season when they think they can just slip it on by when they think no one is paying attention.

Anonymous,  November 27, 2017 at 11:50 AM  

No way! Use the money set aside for taking away half our lanes on Richmond Beach Road. How can a car license fee be imposed on a city when it is a state item? What about the low income who would be paying as much as the rich? I am tired of the lack of transparency of the Shoreline City Council. They seem to be able to do whatever they want with no input from the tax payers!

Anonymous,  November 27, 2017 at 3:29 PM  

I still think traffic cameras could raise enough revenue that none of us would have to pay taxes. If you don't want the ticket, stop for pedestrians! Drive the speed limit! Stop at the red light! What a concept - Totally voluntary revenue stream - if you don't want to pay, follow the law!

Anonymous,  November 27, 2017 at 7:17 PM  

I think not. Stop wasting monegg elsewhere!

E November 28, 2017 at 6:40 AM  

Okay...first off, NO. Secondly time for some lights to capture the folks running reds and flying through our school zones with such a pitiful police presence perhaps time for traffic cameras as stated above. Use that funding for sidewalks. And if you want more than that...come to us and don't assume and put stuff on us like another fee. This is an unacceptable decision and downright maddening.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2017 at 8:21 AM  

NO!! I am already paying $100 for a 35-year old car that I use basically to drive to the store. We have 2 high school kids, so there are 4 cars in our family (none are new -- all are at least 15 years old). It's not just $20. It's an additional $80.

Anonymous,  November 28, 2017 at 10:52 AM  

The dreadful state of the sidewalks is in part the fault of poor planning by the city: We are fortunate to have a sidewalk in front of our house but it is unusable because of the damage done by city trees which are totally inappropriate for the location. We have been badgering the city to address this for years, with no success.

Anonymous,  November 29, 2017 at 6:49 AM  

Last night, we stepped around massive leaf filled puddles and dodged oncoming cars along 20th at the block entering the Saltwater Park. This poor excuse for a "walking path" is an accident waiting to happen. Parents with strollers and young children walk this path everyday and the city never devotes an ounce of money toward improving it. It's clearly a problem, but we wait for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn as "sidewalk committee" discusses where to put sidewalks. Meanwhile, it's a done deal that Richmond Beach road will be redesigned for no apparent reason. Makes you cynical.

Anonymous,  November 29, 2017 at 8:18 PM  

I'm a walker and love using the interurban trail to get to Trader Joes, Central Market, the Farmers Market and generally around town. I know that many others are becoming more green and walking more often rather than driving. My family only uses one car because I can walk to work sometimes. I would gladly pay 20 or more dollars a year to see the sidewalks repaired.

Bill Nieman November 30, 2017 at 9:08 PM  

What does car usage have to do with sidewalk repair? No! I’m all for finding a way to pay for our sorry sidewalks needing much repair. But come on; come up with a method that at least makes sense.

Anonymous,  December 1, 2017 at 10:05 AM  

Agreed about the walkway to Saltwater Park, however, this fee is not for "new" sidewalks. It's just for repair of existing ones. This decision really should wait until the regime change at City Hall.

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