5 of Seattle’s main mayoral candidates weighed in on free transit, traffic-ticket cameras and greenhouse gasoline emissions throughout a discussion board held 4 weeks earlier than ballots are mailed for the town’s Aug. 3 major election.
Jessyn Farrell, M. Lorena González, Bruce Harrell and Andrew Grant Houston agreed that Metropolis Corridor ought to attempt to make public transportation fare-free for everybody in Seattle in the course of the discussion board on transportation and environmental points hosted Wednesday evening (over Zoom) by the Transfer All Seattle Sustainably coalition.
Lance Randall expressed skepticism in regards to the thought. Colleen Echohawk and Casey Sixkiller have been invited to the discussion board however stated they couldn’t attend.
The candidates are competing to succeed Mayor Jenny Durkan, who isn’t working for reelection. The MASS coalition consists of transit and environmental organizations just like the Sierra Membership, Transit Riders Union and Cascade Bicycle Membership.
Randall, who’s labored in financial improvement for the town, additionally was the one candidate on the discussion board to oppose the decriminalization of fare nonpayment on Sound Transit’s light-rail system.
Free transit ought to be a “core part” of the area’s efforts to cut back carbon emissions and advance racial fairness, stated Farrell, a former state lawmaker, noting that downtown for many years was a no-fare zone for bus riders.
Fares contribute income for King County Metro and Sound Transit, however the area ought to soak up the lack of that income with increased taxes the following time Metro service is on the poll and thru “efficiencies,” Farrell stated.
González, Seattle’s present Metropolis Council president, agreed free transit ought to be the aim, citing Kansas Metropolis for example. Harrell, a former council member, pressured the necessity for “incremental steps” alongside the best way; he stated the town ought to encourage the usage of electrical automobiles and carpooling and will ask giant employers to assist scale back gridlock by staggering commute instances. Free transit is required, however enhancing transit entry will do extra to extend ridership and reduce emissions, stated Houston, an architect.
Randall stated he helps fare subsidies for folks “who want help” and known as the thought of free transit fascinating. “However somebody has to pay the payments,” Randall stated, suggesting rich straphangers ought to proceed to pay.
All 5 candidates who took half Wednesday stated they might, as mayor, search to broaden the usage of cameras for automated site visitors enforcement. González stated she would guard towards disparate impacts of site visitors tickets on low-income motorists and motorists of coloration, whereas Farrell, Harrell and Houston pressured the town shouldn’t depend on cameras over street-safety modifications.
Requested how they would scale back greenhouse-gas emissions usually, González stated Seattle should change its zoning legal guidelines to make each neighborhood walkable and transit-rich, just like the West Seattle Junction, the place she lives and barely makes use of a automotive.
Harrell stated the town wants to purchase extra bus hours from Metro, use ride-share providers and shuttles to assist residents entry mild rail and construct sidewalks faster, probably with company donations, whereas Houston stated Seattle should get extra residents busing and biking.
Randall stated the town must put money into electrical automobiles, and Farrell touted the College of Washington’s sponsored transit program as successful that may be replicated citywide. To cut back pedestrian and bike accidents and deaths brought on by automobiles, the town ought to switch avenue area to folks strolling and biking, Houston stated.
Harrell talked about digicam enforcement and promised to “evangelize” the necessity for motorists to decelerate, whereas Randall talked about sign enhancements and Farrell stated the town ought to shut 100 miles of streets to pass-through car site visitors. González stated such streets shouldn’t even have pass-through site visitors.
All of the candidates expressed help for lidding Interstate 5 subsequent to downtown Seattle, and all of them aside from Randall expressed help for finishing the downtown streetcar line that Durkan has paused.
Randall, González, Farrell and Houston stated they largely take transit, with Houston not understanding how one can drive. Harrell largely drives an electrical car.
González and Houston set themselves aside by saying police shouldn’t have any function in site visitors enforcement. Randall and Houston set themselves aside by saying they oppose establishing a downtown zone with avenue tolls.