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23rd Ave bikeway, First Hill streetcar connection plans part of proposed budget as Seattle continues economic improvement

Learn more about 23rd Ave improvements from the Seattle Bike Blog

Learn more about 23rd Ave improvements from the Seattle Bike Blog

job_growth_chart_LRGThe target of this November’s battle of progressives pitting liberal neighbor vs. liberal neighbor, the Seattle Mayor’s office Monday unveiled the executive’s proposal for how the city should spend its money in 2014 complete with line items for bike and transit investments for 23rd Ave and the First Hill streetcar.

You can view the proposed budget documents here. We’ve embedded the proposal summary, below.

The Seattle Times has details of the proposal that continues a path of recovery — including $65 million in “unanticipated revenue — from recent years following cuts in the wake of the economic slowdown to end the previous decade.

Under the budget proposal, the city would add 176 employees next year after laying off almost 550 between 2010 and 2012, the Seattle Times reports.

The Times also says Mayor Mike McGinn has added money for a new bikeway along 23rd Ave and a new pedestrian crossing for the Montlake light rail station. The mayor’s proposal includes $3.2 million to improve Seattle public transit including planning to connect the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcars as well as rapid transit on Madison.

Here is how the 23rd Ave project is described in the full budget document:

Supporting Multi-Modal Improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor: The 2014 Proposed Budget allocates $2.9 million of Real Estate Excise Tax and state grant funding to support improvements to the 23rd Avenue Corridor. This investment supplements an additional $13.8 million in other funding sources supporting the project. A vital multi-modal corridor, 23rd Avenue connects much of southeast and central Seattle with Capitol Hill, the University District, and other northeast Seattle neighborhoods. In response to community feedback, SDOT will change the street from four lanes to three lanes between East John Street and Rainier Avenue South and develop a parallel greenway route for bicyclists.
The three-lane design allows for substantial pedestrian improvements by reconstructing sidewalks and reducing the curb-to-curb width by eight feet in most places. It also allows SDOT to adjust the traffic lanes to conform to lane- width standards, as opposed to the narrow lanes existing today. SDOT will reconstruct pavement and upgrade signals to meet transit signal priority needs and accommodate ITS features, such as travel time information.

The mayor has been rolling out some of the more important budget proposals in recent weeks:

In addition to the increased policing budget, the two new Seattle Parks rangers patrolling Cal Anderson will also be part of the proposed 2014 line items. Meanwhile, an unfunded gardener position at the Volunteer Park Conservatory will be eliminated as fees collected by the new admission policy have not exceeded forecasts. At the Capitol Hill Library, a proposed line item will pay for expanding the children’s area at the facility.

The process for public feedback and City Council-sponsored modifications to the budget plan now begins. Here is how things shook out for Capitol Hill-related line items in 2012.

timeline2014 Seattle City Budget
Budget Documents, Agendas and Information

Do you have questions about the budget agendas or can’t find something? Search our City Council Budget Documents database or contact us at or 206-684-8344.


How does the budget process work?

The City Council conducts its official budget deliberations from late September to mid-November, but drafting the budget is a year-long process. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the office of Council Budget Chair Tim Burgess at or 206-684-8806.

Be involved

There are several ways for you to share your budget priorities. Help us create Seattle’s future by emailover the phone or at one of our two public hearings:

Be informed

  • Search the archive of budget documents

  • Watch this eight-minute audio slideshow from 2010 about City budget trends over the last 20 years


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7 years ago

Really hope the bikeway gets put into place. We really need safer facilities for our city’s cyclists.

7 years ago

Worth clarifying – the proposed 23rd avenue bikeway will run in parallel with 23rd, not ON 23rd. The illustration implies otherwise.

7 years ago

What you have written about the bikeway is misleading – the city is actually pursuing a parallel neighborhood greenway, with no cycle track planned on 23rd. Instead they plan to rebuild the sidewalks to be wider and make the three remaining lanes wider.


[…] goodies all around. Mayor Mike McGinn’s $1 billion proposed general fund budget for 2014 includes no major cuts and some spending increases for new and old programs. Of course, it’s not all politics – the King County budget proposals seem equally […]


[…] for the bike and greenway component is part of the 23rd Ave Complete Street initiative being pursued by […]


[…] city budget proposed by outgoing mayor Mike McGinn. CHS looked at the budget framework for 2014 here including $4.8 million for the 23rd Ave greenway project and lots of line items for citywide […]