Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Projects – Frequently Asked Questions

What projects are eligible as NSF Projects?

Any transportation improvement in the public right-of-way with an anticipated cost greater than $100,000 is eligible. Projects typically cost less than $1 million, but any project can be considered.

Past projects have included:

  • sidewalk repair or construction along multiple blocks
  • pedestrian lighting
  • pedestrian and bicyclist safety improvements
  • festival streets

Review Past Projects and a sample of before and after photos of successful proposals.

Are there limits to the type of transportation projects that can be considered?

Really expensive projects and ones that require permitting that would take a long time are not good candidates.  Projects must be located on city streets or sidewalks. Projects that change the number of lanes on a roadway or propose a change to traffic control (stop signs or traffic signals) must also be evaluated by SDOT for feasibility.

During conceptual design, SDOT may also refine the scope of the proposed project in consultation with the applicant. For example, an original project might assume building sidewalks on both sides of the street while the project purpose may be met with a sidewalk on only one side of the street, reducing the project cost and making funding more likely.

Who can apply?

Anyone!  Residents, businesses, community groups, and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply for their neighborhood transportation priorities.

How do we apply?

Applications should be submitted using our online application.  Applicants who do not have online access, or who need language assistance with submitting an application can contact SDOT for help at or by phone at 206-733-9361.

Supplemental materials will be accepted by email. Both applications and supplemental materials are due Sunday April 17, 2016.

I applied in a previous year. Do I need to apply again?

Yes. Previously submitted projects are eligible, but you’ll need to submit a new project application.

How are projects selected for funding?

Seattle’s Neighborhood District Councils and the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee each play a role in selecting projects for funding by the NSF Program.

April 17, 2016

Deadline for submitting NSF Proposals to SDOT

May 2016

Screening of proposals by SDOT and selection of 5 projects by each of the 13 Neighborhood District Councils for further evaluation

June - August 2016

SDOT conducts a high level design & cost estimate of the 65 projects selected by the neighborhood District Councils.

September 2016

Each Neighborhood District Council prioritizes its own list of projects.

September – October 2016

The Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee evaluates all proposed projects and makes funding recommendations to the Mayor & City Council.

Do I need to meet with my local District Council about my project?

Since your District Council will conduct the first round of prioritization, you may want to check directly with them to see how much information they would like from you.

How will the Oversight Committee prioritize these projects?

The Move Seattle Levy Oversight committee will prioritize Neighborhood Street Fund projects using criteria developed from the five core values listed in Move Seattle  - Safe, Interconnected, Vibrant, Affordable, and Innovative.

How many projects will be funded in this cycle?

The number of distinct projects funded in this NSF cycle depends on how expensive each project is. In past years, 10 to 12 projects have been funded per cycle.. The 2016 application period will be the first of three funding cycles through the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle.

Do I need to have a conceptual design for my project?

The only information needed for a complete application is a location and a problem statement. However, District Councils may prioritize projects with more information or a conceptual design. Similarly, letters of support for your project are not required, but if available, can demonstrate broader community support.

If you do want to propose a solution, SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program recently published a toolkit that explains many of the standard improvements we build in neighborhoods.

How do I know how much my project will cost?

Until a project is fully designed and built, it’s difficult to know how much it will cost, but here are a few benchmarks that might be helpful in estimating costs while at this early planning stage. Please note that these costs include design, construction, and all the costs associated with overseeing the project.

  • $10,000 - $12,000 per linear feet of stairway, including handrail
  • $10,000 - $92,000 per marked crosswalk (depending on the number of curb ramps)
  • $60,000 - $75,000 per curb bulb (when a curb is extended into the street)
  • $100,000 - $250,000 per new traffic signal
  • $350,000 - $500,000 per block of new sidewalk (includes curb, gutter and landscaping)

In general, the following projects will cost less than $100,000 and are more appropriate for funding through the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund (NPSF):

  • Fewer than eight new curb ramps
  • Single curb bulb
  • Small sidewalk or trail repair projects

Are traffic calming projects eligible for NSF Funding?

SDOT has established a program for traffic calming in neighborhoods. Before physical traffic calming measures (such as traffic circles, speed humps and radar speed signs) are introduced, we’ll work with you to develop other approaches such as signs, parking management and educational tools (after enrolling in the program and collecting information about current speeds).

The Neighborhood Street Fund can only serve as a source of funding for traffic calming elements that SDOT staff have already determined would be effective and suitable in Phase II of the program. Learn about the Traffic Calming Program if your project is primarily meant to reduce speeds on a non-arterial street.

When will the funded projects be planned, designed, and built?

Projects will be selected in 2016, designed in 2017, and built in 2018.