King County Transportation Benefit Districts Testimony

My testimony spoken to the King County Council’s Mobility & Environment Committee in February 2020 on behalf of the Sierra Club Washington State Chapter:

Hello, my name is Kelsey Hamlin. I’m here today representing Sierra Club Washington to talk about the Transportation Benefit Districts with you all as you start that conversation. I was actually with KC Metro just yesterday down at the legislative capitol and they said they just bought their last hybrid bus–that would be, electric and diesel–and will be buying electric from now on.

As we transition into transportation considerations, what we’re ultimately dealing with for funding is looking at whether we’re going to fund a cleaner planet, cleaner air.

Those impacts really connect with lower-income folks and folks of color who are disproportionately impacted by these air qualities and arterials as we look at Transit-Oriented Development.

So I would hope that you deeply consider that as you look at the funding package.

It is also vitally important that we fund our county’s transit after the funding cuts of I-976, as you well know. We are a job center, and we’re focusing on TODs. And since we’re a job center, our transportation emissions are lofty. Our transportation emissions account for the majority of Washington state’s GHGs.

So if we want to continue having a planet to live on, we need to look at prioritizing moving people over moving vehicles when we’re talking about capacity. 

The climate crisis is here and it is right now. It will only get worse, especially with the status quo. Now is not the time to limit our clean and most efficient transportation options.

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