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Seattle to use $1.2M in federal dollars for low-pollution neighborhoods plan

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(The Center Square) – The City of Seattle has been awarded $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation towards the city’s plan to reduce transportation emissions in Seattle neighborhoods.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is leading efforts to bring together the Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Sustainability and Environment, Office of Planning and Community Development, Office of Economic Development, and Seattle City Light in collaboration.

The departments will work to drive climate action by making walking, biking and transit the preferred options to travel within the city, accelerate electrification of its roads, and achieve a measurable decrease in transportation-related air pollution, according to the city.

To reach the full funding package for the planning phase of the city’s Low-Emission Neighborhoods project, a total of $1.5 million is necessary. The new $1.2 million federal grant will be matched by the city with $300,000 from its vehicle license fee revenue source.

“By partnering together to plan for low-pollution neighborhoods, the city will be able to deploy a variety of policy, program, and built environment interventions that improve air quality, mobility, and community health, while helping the city achieve its ambitious climate goals,” the City of Seattle department directors said in a joint statement.

Seattle claimed in the plan that local governments are not in a position to significantly reduce the footprint of their transportation assets, but “mature cities” can strategically rethink the use of assets to reduce the constant pressure to expand. The city emphasized the phrase “do more with less.”

Through the city’s project, Planning for Low-Emission Neighborhoods, the city said it can advance its low-pollution goals by proactively promoting the use of compact, space-efficient modes of transportation for short trips. This includes walking and riding bicycles. For longer distances, the city is seeking more riders to use its public transit.

Seattle is aiming to finish the planning process for the Low-Emission Neighborhoods project in 2025. Implementation of the program is expected to be completed by 2028.

Later this summer, the city will conduct community outreach in low-pollution neighborhoods to align with the goals of the plan and inform future transportation funding decisions.

“This funding will allow for communities to address the climate crisis at the local level, complementing the work of state and federal partners,” U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell said.

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