The transportation team’s mission is to hasten the transition to fossil-fuel-free transportation here in the Seattle area. Right now, half our carbon emissions come from transportation: focusing on this is essential. Our vision also includes transportation that is affordable, safe, convenient, resilient, and community-enhancing. We want pedestrians and bicyclists to have safe routes, good bike-parking, and gathering spaces. We want to expedite planned transit improvements, and add to the systems. These transformations are cultural as well as technical. So, the transportation group engages in a range of activities—artful activism and sign creating, messaging and outreach, as well as (of course) honing technical arguments in transportation policy.

What we’re up to right now:

1. Supporting and improving Seattle’s proposed off-street parking ordinance

Join us for the public hearing on Feb. 21 at 9:30am. Here is the City Notice. The proposed ordinance reduces the amount of off-street parking that new buildings need to construct. It would expand the areas defined as “frequent transit service areas” — in these areas, no parking is required. It would also allow building owners to rent nearby underused private parking (called “flexible parking”) in lieu of constructing new parking. The ordinance also increases the amount of bicycle parking places.

Requiring off street parking is expensive — according to the City, including parking in a modern building can add up to $500 a month to the rental cost of a unit — which makes housing less affordable. Also, by making us all pay for the cost of parking (not only in rent for housing but in the cost of goods and services for retail), our current system subsidizes driving and prioritizes it over walking, transit, and biking. This ordinance begins to change that. Reducing the “parking subsidy” will promote walking, biking and transit, and this, in turn, will reduce greenhouse gases and local air pollution; promote public health; promote safety; and grow resilient and connected communities.

If you can’t make the February 21 public hearing, write or call your council member (email addresses here), to tell them you support the neighborhood parking ordinance.

2. Researching congestion pricing and planning for a future campaign

Congestion pricing has resulted in immediate significant drops in emissions in cities around the world, and immediate improvements to air quality. How might we do the same in Seattle? Contact Andrew Kidde if you’d like to be involved.