Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
9/11/2007 1:00:00 PM
Richard Sheridan (206) 684-8540
Mayor to add $2 million for Neighborhood Road Projects
City plans to invest more than $10 million over the next three years
SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels plans to increase spending for neighborhood transportation projects to enhance public safety, and improve neighborhood streetscapes. Following an unprecedented city outreach effort, Nickels responded by adding $2 million to the city’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) in his proposed 2008 budget. This addition means the fund will grow to $10.1 million over the next three years.
“We listened carefully to neighborhoods, and expanding this program was clearly a top priority,” Nickels said. “The Neighborhood Street Fund is an effective tool to help communities build sidewalks, traffic circles and other improvements to make their streets safer and their neighborhoods more livable.”
The NSF was originally designed to fund small community-selected road projects, such as traffic circles, curb extensions, and streetscape improvements. This year, the city budgeted about $1.2 million for NSF projects.
Under the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation levy, the city expanded the NSF to also fund larger projects, such as new sidewalks, center medians, and street resurfacing. Bridging the Gap includes $1.5 million annually for these larger scale projects and the mayor’s proposed budget adds $1.5 million from the general fund to this program in 2008. In addition, the mayor’s proposed budget shifts another $500,000 to the NSF fund for a total one-time add of $2 million. With this additional $2 million above the levy funding, the city now plans to invest $10.1 million in neighborhood transportation improvements over the next three years.
“Some neighborhoods want new sidewalks, so we are going to build new sidewalks,” Nickels said. “Other neighborhoods want road improvements, so we are going to do that too. These investments directly answer the specific needs of each neighborhood.”
This year the city expanded its public outreach efforts to seek a broader range of input and ideas for neighborhood transportation projects. The city focused on reaching out to lower income and diverse communities, in addition to contacting established resident groups and neighborhood councils when seeking project applications.
In response, the city received nearly 500 applications, or four times the number received in previous years. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is holding six open houses around the city over the next two weeks to seek public input on which projects should receive priority. A representative committee will review the projects and public input, and make funding recommendations to the mayor. The committee will meet annually to receive project status reports and updates.
Visit the mayor’s web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm
- 30 -