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Seattle Proposition 1 (2007)

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Seattle Proposition 1 or the "Bridge of the Gap" initiative is a transportation bill proposed by Mayor Nickels and the City Council for the November 2007 ballot. The bill would:

  1. Give $500 million of deferred maintenance
  2. Expansion of roads to allow for 4.9% increase of congestion relief
  3. Building 50 miles of light rail to Snohomish County, the Eastside and Tacoma
  4. Bicycle, pedestrian and safety programs
  5. Neighborhood street program: the first $1.5 million each year would be appropriated for the planning, design, and construction of sidewalks, walkways, pedestrian crossings and traffic speeding cameras.[1]

This would be financed through a higher by tripling the car-tab and increasing the sales tax to 9.5 percent, 10 percent at restaurants.[2] This would raise $38 billion over the next 20 years and an increase in the regressive property tax levy. It is the largest tax proposal in state history.


Yes on Roads and Transit is the group that is advocating Proposition 1, though they have a long list of supporters backing them. The campaign has raised $4.9 million dollars, roughly 5 times the amount of the opposition.

Top backers of the initiative:

  1. Washington Association of Realtors, $300,000
  2. Microsoft Corp., $300,000
  3. The Boeing Co., $175,000
  4. Laborers International Union, $155,000
  5. Operating Engineers Union locals, $135,000
  6. Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, $100,000
  7. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, $100,000
  8. Washington Mutual Inc., $100,000
  9. Seattle Mariners, $89,000
  10. Washington State Labor Council, $60,000[3]

Some of the contributors include:

Newspapers Environmental Political Civil Groups Business
Everett Harold Washington Conservation Voters King County Democrats Washington State Council Architects and Engineers Legislative Council
Seattle Post Intelligencer Transportation Choices Coalition Pierce County Democrats Friends of Seattle Auburn Chamber of Commerce
The News Tribune, Tacoma Washington Environmental Council Snohomish County Democrats Lake Washington GreenMap Bayliss Architects
Puget Sound Business Journal Futurewise 1st Legislative District Democrats League of Women Voters of Snohomish County The Boeing Company
NW Asian Weekly Tahoma Audubon Society 2nd Legislative District Democrats North Central Regional Transportation Planning Organization Microsoft

Arguments supporting the measure

  • Addressing major chokepoints will reduce congestion.
  • Building a fast, safe and reliable light rail system across the region will help lift people out of congestion and make it easier to live and do business here.
  • Creating nearly 12,000 park and ride slots at bus, commuter rail and light rail stations will help commuters get out of their cars.


NoToProp1 is the official group that opposes the measure. King County Executive, Ron Sims, Mark Baerwaldt[4] and Kemper Freeman are public faces of the opposition.

Others against Proposition 1 include: the Sierra Club, Seattle City Council member Nick Licata[5], Eastside Transportation Association, Washington Traffic Institute, Coalition for Effective Transportation Alternatives, Public Interest Transportation Forum[6] and Seattle Times Newspaper

Top backers in opposition of Proposition 1

  1. Mark Baerwaldt, $200,993
  2. KF & DS Partnership, $124,402
  3. Kemper Development Co., $110,000
  4. Bellevue Square Managers, $100,000
  5. Bruce McCaw, $25,000
  6. Oak Harbor Freight Lines, $15,000
  7. Donald F. Padelford, $10,000
  8. Hoglund Transfer Co., $5,000
  9. Peninsula Truck Lines, $5,000
  10. Margaret C. Simpson, $5,000
  11. Charlotte Tochterman, $5,000
  12. Washington Traffic Institute, $5,000
  13. Michael J. Wensman, $5,000[7]

The opposition raised $794,000 for their campaign.

Arguments for the Opposition

  • Expanding highways will promote more cars and less use of public transportation
  • It'll increase highway capacity in 9 years by 4.9 percent when traffic is expected to grown eight times faster
  • Project use of the light-rail is "lackluster" because of indirect routing[8]
  • Highway 520 is only partially funded and will still need the use of tolls
  • The benefits will not be seen for a long time. Only 60 percent of the light-rail will be completed (on schedule) by 2027 and will not be paid off for 50 years.
  • Many, like Mark Baerwaldt do not support the regressive tax


Seattle Proposition 1 will be approved or rejected by voters on November 6, 2007.


External links