Summer approaches and Kids will be out of School and out and about soon

A friendly SDOT reminder that Summer break for kids is just a few weeks away and that they’ll be out and about, so please be mindful by watching out for them as you would at any other time by driving and riding safely.

Part of the city’s Vision Zero campaign launched earlier this year is to make our streets safer for all.

Int Walk to School MonthRESIZE

While the kids prepare for summer, pedestrian safety is a year round priority.

Here are some details about the School Road Safety Initiative

The School Road Safety Initiative is one part of the Road Safety Action Plan. This initiative aims to increase safety on streets near schools through a combination of education, street improvements, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation, and builds on work already being done through our Safe Routes to School program.

In fall of 2013, the planning process for a School Road Safety Plan began. This planning process consisted of several different tasks:

  • Best practices for school road safety reviewed, and changes to current programs recommended.
  • Existing funding sources and long-term implementation strategies reviewed, and methods for increasing capacity for school road safety recommended.
  • School road safety education and encouragement curriculum, materials, and implementation strategies developed, in conjunction with the Be Super Safe campaign.
  • School zones and walking routes for all schools reviewed, and adjustments recommended.
  • A toolkit of engineering treatments for increasing safety near schools developed.
  • Existing enforcement practices reviewed, and strategies for maximizing effectiveness recommended.
  • Conceptual plans for a minimum of 12 schools developed.

 

What is Safe Routes to School? Why Safe Routes to School?

Walking and biking to school has increased at 26 of 28 schools evaluated in Seattle from 2007 to 2013.

Engineering: To build new sidewalks and curb ramps, improve crosswalks, coordinate with neighborhood greenways, and promote safe driving.

Encouragement: To get more parents involved in their kids’ schools and get kids more familiar with their neighbors and community.

Evaluation: To make sure our programs are achieving their goals.

Safety is our number one priority at SDOT. If you notice a potential traffic safety issue near a school, contact SDOT’s Safe Routes to School Coordinator so we can address the issue: brian.dougherty@seattle.gov or 206-684-5124.

Vizion Zero

Connecting Families through Outreach and Cycle Tracks

The area around Westlake Avenue N is growing, which means more people are traveling to and through the Westlake area, whether for work or for fun. And like the rest of Seattle, a lot of those people are on bikes. Westlake is especially popular because it’s a direct, flat and scenic connection between Lake Union and the Fremont Bridge.

To provide a safer place for people biking, walking and driving in the Westlake area, SDOT is building the Westlake Cycle Track – a protected bicycle lane along Westlake that improves safety, connectivity and accessibility for all travelers.

We’ve been hard at work reaching a diverse group of community members – including the bicyclists of tomorrow: kids!

Last summer, we met some aspiring future bicyclists at the South Lake Union Block Party, and shared the importance of always wearing a helmet when riding a bike.

Interactive games such as Pin the Helmet to the Cyclist were used to engage kids and instill life-long riding safety habits such as wearing helmets.

Pin the Helmet on the Cyclist education game

Later in the fall at a project open house, we had hands-on activities for kids…

Open House attendees getting lessons in biking.

 

So they could learn the rules of the road…

Rules

And tell us what they love about their bikes:

Your Bike

On Tuesday, May 26from 4:30-6:30 p.m.  at the MOHAI – we’re hosting a “meet the artist” event. Westlake users will be able to meet Jennifer Dixon, the selected artist for the Westlake Cycle Track, share what they love about the Westlake area, and see Jen’s past art experience.  And, like all Westlake events, friends and families are welcome.

The Westlake Cycle Track will open in early 2016. We are looking forward to a safer, more predictable corridor that welcomes ALL ages and abilities!

Click here to sign up for email updates!

Project Information Line: 206-909-8578
Project Email: WCT@Seattle.gov
SDOT Communications Lead: Dawn Schellenberg

 

There’s still time to take Madison BRT Survey

The Madison BRT project is an opportunity to provide neighborhoods with a faster, more reliable transit connection to key destinations, enhance walking conditions and the streetscape along Madison, and identify an alternate bike facility to be built as part of the project.
We are seeking input on:

  • BRT design options, routing, terminals, and station locations
  • Priorities for transit service and capital investments
  • Design concepts for a Central Area protected bike lane

Please tell us what you think via an online survey, available through May 24:

Online Survey

MadisonStreetCorridorOverviewvr3

Project Overview:

You may also email the project team at: madisonbrt@seattle.gov.

The Seattle Transit Master Plan (2012) identifies Madison Street between Colman Dock Ferry Terminal in downtown Seattle and 23rd Avenue E as a future high-capacity transit bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. The proposed transit investment is based on an evaluation of the Madison Street Corridor’s potential to generate ridership, supported by its land use and demographic characteristics, and a screening of potential transit modes, considering factors, such as passenger carrying capacity and constructability. SDOT and King County Metro are working closely to coordinate planning for the project.

Madison Street BRT service will be fast, reliable and frequent. It will serve densely developed neighborhoods in First Hill, the Central Area, and downtown Seattle, connecting dozens of bus routes, the First Hill Streetcar, and ferry service at the Colman Dock Ferry Terminal.

Madison Street BRT will use new state-of-the-art electric trolley buses (ETBs) that produce zero emissions and are extremely quiet. Surface rail transit is not an option for this corridor due to the steep east-west street grades.

Questions and comments can be directed to Maria Koengeter, Transit Strategic Advisor, at MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or (206) 733-9865.

 

Hey All, Did you see Streetcar on Broadway last night?

Yes, that was the New Streetcar you saw out and about last night.

The Streetcar made low speed test runs last night and traveled from the Maintenance Facility Yard and proceeded north on 8th Ave S, and entered the mainline at S Jackson St, then traveled west to the end of the line.  The streetcar then reversed direction and proceeded outbound on the “on-wire” track to the other end of the line, changing to the “off-wire” track and returned to 7th Ave S and S Jackson St, and then returned to the Yard via 8th Avenue S. Please check out these video clips below.

Streetcar on Broadway Avenue

Streetcar on Broadway Avenue

2nd Ave and Marion Street

2nd Avenue and Marion Street

 

The Test Crews completed the tests and will be back out soon. #TheStreetcar

Streetcar Map

The First Hill Streetcar is an important link in the regional transit system, and connects the diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown ID and Pioneer Square. For more on the streetcar please visit: www.seattlestreetcar.org.

New Crowdsourcing App Launched to Collect Feedback on a Neighborhood Greenway in Rainier Valley

DOT has launched a crowdsourcing app www.tinyurl.com/rainierNGW so community members can give feedback using a computer or mobile device. The app makes it even easier for you to submit comments on three possible north-south neighborhood greenway routes in the Rainier Valley. Comments must be submitted by June 12, 2015 for consideration. We’ll use your comments and technical analysis to select the most promising route. Once it is built in 2016, the greenway will be another connection between Rainier Beach and the I-90 trail for people of all ages and abilities to walk and bike.

RNG Map1

Using the app you can zoom in to areas of interest and make a comment or recommendation by clicking the box in the upper right corner. Next, select points of interest from a drop-down menu, or type your own comments and recommendations. Once a point of interest or recommendation has been entered, you’re given the option to be contacted by the project team, or to be added to the project email list.

RNG Map2

Figure 2 – Screenshot of drop down menu

After contact information is entered, users are required to pin down their recommendation or point of interest by clicking on the location. Once a recommendation is submitted it can’t be edited, so make sure the right location is chosen prior to clicking “Submit Recommendation” at the bottom of the form.

Screen Shot

Figure 3 – Screenshot of point of interest placed on map and Submit Recommendation button

These steps can also be repeated to make additional recommendations. After comments are submitted on the right side of the form, you’ll see a list of all posted recommendations and comments. The list, which can also be hidden, shares what others are saying. You can like a recommendation and even add other comments to existing recommendations. This makes it easy for the project team to consider solutions and address concerns.

RNG Map4

Figure 4 – Screenshot of submitted points of interest and comments made

SDOT will continue to add features to this new tool and it will be used to gather public feedback on other projects. Please use the app to provide comments or recommendations and help the project team decide on the most promising route for the greenway.

Project Contacts

Emily Ehlers, Project Manager at Emily.Ehlers@Seattle.gov or (206) 684-8264
Dawn Schellenberg, Community Engagement Liaison at Dawn.Schellenberg@Seattle.gov or (206) 684-5189

Seahawk Michael Bennett, Mayor Murray celebrate Bike to Work Day

Seahawk Michael Bennett and Mayor Ed Murray celebrated Bike to Work Day by riding along the Lake Washington Ship Canal near Fremont and were joined by community members.

Seahawk Michael Bennett (on SPD bike) Mayor Murray and Elizabeth Kiker, Cascade Bicycle Club on Bike to work Day ride.

Seahawk Michael Bennett, Mayor Murray, Elizabeth Kiker with Cascade Bicycle Club and community members on Bike to work Day ride.

Bennett famously took a victory lap around Century Link Field on a Seattle Police Department bike after the Seahawks won the NFC Championship game on the road to the Super Bowl last season. SPD again provided Bennett with a bike to use on today’s ride.

Bennett supports biking and recently launched the Bennett Foundation to battle childhood obesity, he encouraged everyone to get out and ride because it’s a healthy and fun way to get out and enjoy the city. He bikes with his family and gets out at least twice a week.

Michael Bennett and Mayor Murray encourage biking; SPD loan Michael a helmet and bike for the ride.

Michael Bennett and Mayor Murray encourage biking; SPD loan Michael a helmet and bike for the ride.

Bike trips on Seattle’s major bike routes are up 12 percent during the first 4 months of 2015, compared the same period last year. On the 39th Ave NE greenway, which provides a bike friendly corridor through Seattle neighborhoods of Wedgewood and Bryant to the Burke-Gillman trail, bike traffic has increased 40 percent.

Fremont Bridge’s bike counter tallied more than one million riders in 2014. The Pronto! cycle share program now has 50 stations throughout Seattle, and will be adding two new stations this month.

The Mayor transmitted his proposed Transportation Levy to Move Seattle to the Seattle City Council, which will consider sending the measure to the voters in November. Move Seattle will implement major pieces of the Bicycle Master Plan, including funding for 170 miles of neighborhood greenways and protected bike lanes over 9 years.

SDOT continues to improve bicycle access and mobility enhancements throughout the city. Last year SDOT completed the 1.2 mile Second Avenue protected bike lane now used by more than 1,000 cyclists a day.

This year, SDOT begins construction of the permanent Roosevelt Way protected bike lane and the Westlake cycle track. The department will build a total of 12 miles of neighborhood greenways and seven miles of bike lanes in neighborhoods throughout Seattle in 2015.

Mayor and Michael Bennett BTWD 5-15-15

Thanks to everyone that participated in today’s ride. For useful bicycling information and an online bike map, please visit SDOT’s biking webpage.

 

How Should Seattle Grow? You Tell Us!

Today’s an important milestone in planning the future of Seattle. Why, you ask? Because the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has  released the Seattle 2035 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for review and comment!

DEIS DPD

Hold on, don’t leave! Yes, the name is super technical, but the Draft EIS is something you need to pay attention to.

  • Do you care about traffic and wish that it was easier to get around Seattle?
  • Do you ever wonder about where you might live in the future and whether you’ll be able to afford it?
  • With so many new people moving to Seattle, do you want to know where all that growth might go?
  • How can we minimize impacts to low-income people, people of color and English-language learners and ensure that everyone in Seattle benefits from growth?

 

The Draft EIS looks at several different ways that Seattle could grow over the next 20 years and potential impacts and mitigation measures for each.

DEIS-Featured-Image

Ok, so how can I actually see what’s in the Draft EIS and share my thoughts? Here’s what to do:

  • If you’ve ever thought about any of these things for even a few minutes, then you need to know what’s in the Seattle 2035 Draft EIS.
  • “Seattle’s new Comprehensive Plan will be our blueprint for a more walkable, livable community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Race and social justice must be a foundational value as we update our plan. In the coming years, we need to encourage healthy growth and prosperity for all our diverse communities.”
  • From now until June 18, you can check out the Draft EIS and provide your comments.

Seattle 2035_Page_001

  1. Don’t have hours to spend reading a Draft EIS? Click here to check out our online open house and take the survey.
  2. Have questions you want to ask us? Attend our Draft EIS Open House and Public Hearing on May 27 and chat with us in-person
  3. More of a policy wonk? You can view the full Draft EIS here

 

And here’s how to submit a comment…

  • Email: Send comments to 2035@seattle.gov
  • By mail: Send comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Gordon Clowers, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124.
  • In Person: Attend our open House and public Hearing on May 27, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall and provide a comment in person.

 

All surveys and written comments must be submitted by June 18, 2015. Written comments will be addressed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which is scheduled to be released in fall 2015, and which will inform future goals, policies and guide how Seattle grows over the next 20 years.

Seattle 2035 is a yearlong, citywide conversation about change – where we’ve been, where we are now, and where want to go over the next 20 years. Connect with Seattle 2035 so you can help shape the future of Seattle.

 

Reminder: Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project Open House is Thursday 5/14 from 4-7pm

Join us for tomorrow’s Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Open House:

Where: Yesler Community Center, 917 E Yesler Way

When: Thursday, May 14, 2015 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.

  • View the bridge design
  • Learn more about anticipated construction impacts and detour routes
  • Talk to project staff and designers
    YeslerBridge_4thAveS_south

The bridge is located at the intersection of Yesler Way and Terrace St over 4th Ave S, a few blocks north of King Street Station.

The Yesler Way Bridge is vital in connecting residents, commuters, workers and businesses in the surrounding area and neighborhoods. In addition to being a major connector, the bridge displays unique and historic design elements which include decorative pedestrian railings, ornamental capitals, casings, and corbels on the exterior “fascia” girders.

Improvements to the bridge include:

  • Remove interior steel columns to form a single span superstructure
  • Rehabilitate east abutment wall and replace west abutment wall
  • Reconstruct the northwest staircase
  • Rehabilitate and preserve the key historic features of the bridge, which include:
    • North and south fascia girders, columns, cladding, capitals and corbels
    • North and south pedestrian railings
    • Decorative lighting on north fascia girder
  • Improve intersection design to reduce crosswalk distance, accommodate ADA and increase user safety
  • Provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps at crosswalk locations within the project area, where feasible

YeslerBridge_Basemap

We hope to see you at our open house tomorrow from4:00-7:00 p.m.

For more information on the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project, visit the project’s website.

If you have questions or comments about the Yesler Bridge Rehabilitation Project, please contact us at: YeslerBridge@seattle.gov or 206-684-8684

Free Public Tours of construction along the SR 520 corridor for Summer 2015

WSDOT is hosting tours of the new floating bridge. The tours begin May 30, and will access the construction site from Evergreen Point Road in Medina.  Participants will learn about WSDOT’s efforts to replace the floating bridge and will be treated to tours led by SR 520 project engineers on the new bridge in the current construction zone. Construction began in early 2012 and the new bridge now extends more than a mile from the Medina shoreline.

SR 520 Tour Map

SR 520 Tour Map

Separate tours of the West Approach Bridge North will begin in June and will take place in Seattle.  Visitors will learn about the State’s efforts to replace the vulnerable west approach bridge through a guided tour of the project site. For the safety of the guests, tours will be led by SR 520 project engineers around the project site on public trails and sidewalks, not through active construction zones. Construction began in fall 2014 and progress can be seen on Lake Washington and around Montlake.

SR 520 Aerial View.

SR 520 Aerial View.

SR 520 West Approach Tour Map

SR 520 West Approach Tour Map

Tour sign-ups are open to those 18 years or older; however, signing up does NOT guarantee you a spot on the tour. Tour group size is limited and we anticipate high levels of interest. Please see below for additional rules of participation.

Participants will be selected by random drawing and notified of their selection approximately two weeks prior to the tour date. We will try our best to accommodate as many interested parties as possible.

SR 520 Floating Bridge Tour Dates

Tours will be held monthly from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month. The current tour dates (which are subject to change if needed) are:

  • May 30, 2015 ( Registration Open, closes 10 a.m., Wednesday, May 13 )
  • June 27, 2015
  • July 25, 2015
  • August 29, 2015
  • September 26, 2015

SR 520 Floating Bridge Tour Details

  • The tours include a walk of approximately two miles round trip. Visitors must be able to walk over uneven, steep terrain and climb up and down about 70 stairs.
  • Tours last approximately two hours.
  • Tours begin at the Evergreen Point Road Lid Park and Ride: SR 520 & Evergreen Point Road in Medina.
  • Photography will be allowed on tours.
  • Tours will be conducted rain or shine. Please dress for the weather. In cases of severe weather, such as snow or ice, tours may be canceled with short notice.
  • Tours may be canceled and dates may change for any reason due to the dynamic nature of construction activities.

SR 520 Floating Bridge Rules of Participation

  • Advanced sign up is required.
  • Participants must be 18 years or older, minors are not allowed on site.
  • Participants may sign up once per month to be randomly selected for a tour.
  • Participants may sign up two participants at once (themselves and one additional guest).
  • If selected, sign up is not transferrable.
  • Due to high demand, participants may only attend one tour.
  • Participants must wear proper footwear (sturdy work boots or hiking boots only). Those without proper footwear will not be allowed to enter the construction site.
  • In order to enter the active construction site, participhttp://sdotblog.seattle.gov/wp-admin/post-new.php#ants must sign a liability waiver on the day of the tour.
  • Pets are not allowed on the tour.

Questions? Contact the project information office at: SR520bridge@wsdot.wa.gov or 206-770-3554.

28th Ave NW Community Planting Party Update

This past weekend, community volunteers gathered at the south end of 28th Ave NW in Ballard to put the finishing touches on a four-month shoreline restoration project. Part of SDOT’s Shoreline Street Ends Program, the project has transformed the area where 28th Ave meets Salmon Bay into a vibrant public access point that also contributes to the local ecology.

In February of this year, nearby Sea & Shore Construction generously donated the boulders, logs, lumber and gravel seen in the photo below, as well as the labor needed to move all these elements into place! For design help, Sea & Shore tapped the expertise of Mark Garff and Marina French, landscape architects with The Watershed Company. The result is nothing short of awesome. What used to be a simple street end marked by two wooden guardrails is now a small community park providing access to the water’s edge, ample seating, and even a kayak/paddleboard launching area.

Photo credit: Groundswell NW

Photo credit: Groundswell NW

But what would a community park be without some beautiful landscaping? That’s where this weekend’s volunteers come in. Organized by Groundswell NW, several members of the surrounding community came together on Saturday to mulch and plant the beds seen above. Using a palate of native plants, and many wheelbarrows full of mulch, the work party brought the space to life in a single afternoon! We can’t wait to see what this shoreline will look like after the plants have had some time to grow into their new home.

Before Photo Credit: SDOT; After Photo Credit: Groundswell NW

Before Photo Credit: SDOT;
After Photo Credit: Groundswell NW

But the benefits of this project don’t stop at the shoreline. The trees, shrubs and thick layers of mulch will help to filter runoff from the street above, thereby keeping pollutants out of Salmon Bay. And beyond the planting beds, in the water below, there now lies a bed of gravel in which salmon can spawn. Together these elements not only create vital new habitat for fish and other sea life, but they also help to keep the water clean for human swimmers too!

Volunteers reported that within an hour of completing the plantings, community members were already showing up to check out their new street end. One resident even walked down from his house with kayak in hand to try out the new launch step for himself.

Photo credit: Groundswell NW

Photo credit: Groundswell NW

So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by to check out Ballard’s newest public space!