Walkability Wins Part Twenty-Five: 2023 Election Round Up!

image of board that says voting day and I voted stickers

A new roundup of Walkability Wins. This week we’re showcasing the movement by highlighting more places across the country advancing pedestrian-friendly agendas.

Austin, Texas

The Austin City Council voted to eliminate parking minimums, making Austin the largest U.S. city to do so. The new development will no longer require mandatory parking, which drives up construction costs and enables car dependency. City officials expect this will incentivize the shift to alternative transportation options and transform parking into amenities, like green spaces and housing, for Austin residents.

Seattle, Washington

Two-thirds of the city voters approved the continuation and expansion of the Seattle Housing Levy, a win for affordable housing in the city! The levy will help the construction of affordable rental homes and homeownership developments, rental assistance, renovations for existing homes, services in subsidized housing, and wage boosts for front-line employees who work in supportive housing. 

Houston, Texas

Houston voters support Proposition B, which means Houston will negotiate for population-proportional representation in the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the region’s planning agency that distributes millions of dollars in federal funding. Due to its population, this would give Houston a larger voice in transportation and other local government decision-making. If negotiations fail, the city must pull out of the H-GAC.

Kansas City, Missouri

A win for public buses in Kansas City! Voters approved the renewal of a 3/8th cent tax over the next 10 years for funding that can only be used to operate, maintain, develop, and improve Kansas City’s bus system. The buses in KC have been free since 2019.

Boulder, Colorado

Voters in Boulder overwhelmingly support extending levies for affordable housing and open space lands. The affordable housing tax funds not only existing and additional affordable and attainable housing but also supportive services within Boulder County. The Open space tax is used for acquiring, improving, and maintaining open space, including trail connections. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico

A tax on mansions to fund affordable housing has been approved by Santa Fe voters. This tax will be imposed on property sales of $1 million or more. The revenue from the tax will help low-income buyers with down-payment assistance and rental assistance for those facing financial hardship and evictions. 

Northeast Ohio

A win for the outdoors and walkability in Northeast Ohio! Voters showed support for environmental levies in the region to promote access and conservation of the outdoors. In Portage County, the levy will generate more than $4.5 million to fund the Portage Park District’s continued maintenance, expansion, and conservation efforts. In Lorain County, the levy will fund the Lorain County Metro Parks. In Cuyahoga County, the levy will support recreational trails and sidewalks that will improve walkability along major thoroughfares of the City of Pepper Pike. 

To catch up on previous installments of Walkability Wins, visit our blog. Have a win? Send it to us: social@americawalks.org.