Such was the case in Burien where, earlier this month, residents voted on whether vehicle owners should pay an extra $25 car-tab fee to fund the construction of sidewalks and bike lanes. It was the first time a Washington city has voted on taxing cars to pay for such amenities, according to a Seattle Times article.
In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults by the National Association of Realtors and Smart Growth America, more than 80 percent of respondents favored building more walkable communities. Based on these results, which were published in the January 2008 issue of Realtor magazine, you’d think that Burien voters would have delivered a slam-dunk win for the suburb’s bicyclists and pedestrians.
But you’d be wrong. A whopping 74 percent of voters rejected the proposition.
Members of the City Council could have OK’d a $20 fee without going to the voters, but asked for $25. “We need to know what our community wants to do,” Mayor Joan McGilton told the Times.
City Hall clearly found out.
Marc Stiles covers transportation for the DJC.