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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor Names 'Dirty Dozen' Mean Streets

7/12/2006  10:00:00 AM

Mayor Names “Dirty Dozen” Mean Streets
You helped find them, now the city will fix them

Seattle- Mayor Greg Nickels today announced his list of the “Dirty Dozen” bad roads, missing sidewalks, ill-timed traffic signals and faded bike lanes around the city.

Topping the rogues’ gallery was Wallingford’s notorious 45th Street corridor, which carries an average of 23,700 cars a day.

“Last month, I said, ‘You find ‘em, we’ll fix ‘em,’ and we are going to start right here,” Nickels said. “Later this summer, we are going to repave this stretch of road. That’s one down and 11 to go.”

In June, the mayor asked people to nominate their choice for the worst transportation headaches in the city. More than 700 people submitted their pick of streets, sidewalks, bike trails and signals they wanted to see repaired.

The mayor worked with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to select the projects on the “Dirty Dozen” list. In addition to 45th Street, the city will fix the following trouble spots around the city:

• California Avenue Southwest (between Admiral Way Southwest and Southwest Edmunds Street)
• Northeast 65th Street (between Northeast Ravenna Boulevard and 35th Avenue Northeast)
• South Holgate Street repairs (between 6th Avenue South and Airport Way South)
• Montlake Boulevard East and East Lake Washington Boulevard repairs
• West McGraw Place (between Fifth Avenue West and West McGraw Street)

Signal Retiming:
• 12th Avenue South (between East Yesler Way and South Weller Street)
• North 46th Street (west of Aurora Avenue North)

Improving Bike Trails and Cyclist Safety
• Dexter Avenue North will be re-striped to make it safer for cyclists.
• Chief Sealth Trail improvements
• New signal at North 145th Street and Linden Avenue North

• Building sidewalks 30th Avenue Northeast

Some of these projects will be completed this year. The remainder will be in the mayor’s 2007 budget proposal. All of them will be scheduled for completion over the next year.

More than 100 potholes were also included among the “Dirty Dozen” nominations. All of them have been repaired.

The “Dirty Dozen” represent just a small portion of the city’s transportation backlog. Currently, one-third of Seattle's bridges need major repair or replacement, and two-thirds of Seattle’s primary streets are past their intended life. Furthermore, one-third of city sidewalks are in poor condition, and most of the city's 586 retaining walls are in desperate need of replacement or repair.

“This list is just the beginning,” Nickels said. “We have under-invested in our transportation system for decades, and the results are all too apparent. It’s time we take care of the problem and get our roads working again.”

On May 22, Mayor Nickels unveiled a 20-year plan to eliminate Seattle’s $500 million transportation maintenance backlog and make investments in major transportation projects, such as fixing the Mercer Mess. The plan addresses mounting problems spanning the past 35 years resulting from declining transportation investments and deferred maintenance. Because of court decisions, citizen initiatives, and the state's funding formula, dedicated transportation revenue has fallen 66 percent in the last ten years -- from $37.5 million in 1995 to $11.8 million in 2005.

The mayor’s plan is before the City Council for review and consideration for placement on the fall ballot.

View a map of the “Dirty Dozen” locations -Adobe PDF

To find out more about Mayor Nickels’ 2006 Transportation Initiative, visit

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Office of the Mayor

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