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SDOT 2005 Budget Message

Mayor Greg Nickels has made his final decisions regarding his 2005 proposed budget, which he will be submitting to the City Council this coming Monday, September 27. I'd like to share with you some of the implications for SDOT's budget.

For the last several years, the City's budget has been in decline. Revenue shortfalls have forced the City to cut nearly $120 million from the General Fund since 2002. This year alone, revenue shortfalls will force a cut of an additional $20 million.

For the 2005-06 biennium, we will focus on delivering basic services as efficiently as possible. We will:

  • Continue to integrate our efforts with the major projects nearing or already under construction (such as the Monorail, the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement, and Sound Transit's LINK light rail).
  • Get more efficiency out of the systems already in place (for example, by optimizing our traffic signals in key corridors).
  • Work to ensure that the construction projects for the next two years are well coordinated and timed, with impacts to the public minimized as much as possible.

We're moving forward on a lot of important projects.

  • Construction will begin on the Lake City Way Multi-Modal project to provide transit, pedestrian, signal and street improvements.
  • The SR 519 project will move forward and will ultimately improve mobility for freight and other travelers near the stadium and the Port.
  • Another important segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail, from the Locks to NW 60th Street, will be constructed.

SDOT employees continue to do outstanding work, and I am consistently impressed by our ability to deliver quality projects.

Throughout the budget process, the Mayor has focused on the four priorities of his administration. These are priorities that I think we all share (especially the first one!): get Seattle moving; create jobs and opportunity for all; keep our neighborhoods safe; and build strong families and healthy communities. By focusing on these priorities, the mayor has been able to preserve many of the City's core services, and lay the foundation for continued wise investments in the future.

You can watch or listen to the Mayor's budget speech to the City Council this coming Monday at 2:00. For those who want to attend in person (seating will be limited), the speech will take place in Council Chambers at City Hall. For those who want to listen from their desks, just call the City Council Listen Line at 684-8566. Finally, for those with the ability to view streamed media on their computers, you can click here to view the Council proceedings live.

Grace Crunican
Seattle Department of Transportation

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