Late Afternoon Fizz: The Mayor's Race and Driving Alone
1. A new independent-expenditure group has formed to support mayoral candidate state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill).
The group, called "People for a New Seattle Mayor," has no contributions yet, although it shares a treasurer, campaign veteran Phil Lloyd, with People For Ed Murray, the largely Chamber-funded pro-Murray IE.
Dean Nielsen, the local Democratic Party political consultant who also manages People for Ed Murray, responded to emails to Lloyd about the new group.
He told PubliCola, a bit abstruesly, that it was a "smaller and more nimble group" than People for Ed Murray, and said the group hadn't started raising money yet.
2. The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey was released today and Seattle stands out for lowering its single-occupancy vehicle commutes.
Our drop from 53.6 percent to 49.2 percent between 2011 and 2012 for single-occupancy car commutes was the biggest drop for any major city in the U.S.
And what's more: The decline in driving alone nudged the percentage of commuters who drive alone below 50 percent for the first time in decades. In other words, less than half of Seattle's commuters are in single occupancy vehicles.
Meanwhile, the data also showed that the "mode split" for transit—that is, the percentage of commuters who used transit—increased 2.3 points, from 17.4 percent in 2011 to 19.7 percent.