Trump’s “America First” budget outline would throw a major wrench in many proposed transit developments in King County and the greater Puget Sound area. This is coming at a time when Seattle construction and development is at an all-time high with no signs of slowing down. Trump’s new blueprint would take away over a billion dollars in federal funds that were previously being allocated to the Sound Transit light-rail expansion, particularly from Northgate to Lynnwood, an area that sees horrific commute times and congestion 7 days a week. This new presidential proposal aims to move towards a system where new developments are funded by the local residents who use and benefit from the projects. Realistically, that is money that the city does not have and absolutely has not been planning on using for these critical transportation improvements.
Seattle is growing at an astounding rate and is becoming denser and larger each year while public transportation struggles to play catch-up. There are 68 construction projects currently taking place in Seattle and the majority of them are actually creating new residential space to accommodate the massive amount of office space that has been pouring into the market in recent years. Defunding transit routes and proposed advancements to the city’s transportation infrastructure will do nothing but hinder these developments, further congest our city, and in turn make the billions of dollars pouring into the advancement of the city less accessible. This budget proposal is exactly that; a proposal, and will now essentially be up to congress to hash out the details. Not much can be said for certain at this point in the process except that if you live out in an area where the light-rail will hopefully be expanding to in the near future, expect more of the same; budget fluctuations, delays, and of course, headaches.