October is Walk to School Month!

Or “Walktober,” as those in the know like to say!

Walktober is a time for kids, parents and teachers to celebrate walking to school with fun events and activities. The goals of this month are to promote walking to school safely while having fun.

Want to set up a Walk to School month at your school? Checkout Feet First’s guide to setting up a Walktober event. Or you can participate on the biggest walking day – International Walk to School Day is October 5!

SDOT is offering free incentives to help encourage more kids to try out walking to school!


We have whole assortment of goodies that include stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps. All schools and PTA groups within the Seattle city limit are welcome to request materials.

Just go to our incentives page and filling out an order form!

Incentive packages include:

  • Option A: An assortment of stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps
  • Option B: 1,000 stickers
  • Option C: 1,000 temporary tattoos
  • Option D: 2 hand stamps
  • Option E: 1,000 wrist bands

Incentives are offered to promote walking to school as part of our Safe Routes to School Program. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project coordinator, Serena Lehman at Serena.Lehman@seattle.gov.

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Fall Mini Grant Funding Now Open for Safe Routes to School Projects

The Seattle Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the Safe Routes to School Mini Grants of up to $1,000 to fund projects that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety and encourage walking and biking to school. Public and private schools, PTAs, and other non-profit organizations may apply.

Mini Grants can fund a wide range of projects and programs at schools that improve conditions for walkers and bikers, educate kids on safety walking and biking behaviors, or encourage more kids to ride their bikes or walk to school. Examples of projects funded in the past include student safety patrol equipment, crossing flags, after school bike clubs, traffic circulation plans, walking school buses, bike trains, bike rodeos, and bike and walk to school campaigns.

Visit our website: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/ped_srts_grant.htm to download the application or apply online. In addition to the application, a letter of support from the school principal must be mailed or emailed by the application due date. If you have questions, please contact Serena Lehman at Serena.Lehman@seattle.gov. Completed applications are due October 31st, 2016 by 5p.m. Applicants will be notified of awards the first week of December 2016 and funds will be distributed in January 2017.

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Design Update for the S Lander St Bridge Project

The plan for the S Lander St Bridge Project is to build a bridge on S Lander St between 1st Ave S and 4th Ave S to reduce traffic delays while increasing safety and mobility for all users in that neighborhood. We’ve been hearing feedback from the community about its new design.


Lander Project Open House on Thursday, September 22.


A rendering of what the future S Lander St Bridge could look like.

At an open house last Thursday, about 40 people from the community, local businesses, and property owners joined us in SODO to hear the latest updates on the bridge’s design, which is now 30% complete. The current design is a result of feedback from stakeholders, as well as residents after an initial open house and online open house in June.

People at the open house learned about how public input was incorporated into the current design, which includes a multi-use path on the bridge’s north side, as well as improved access on 3rd Ave S and Occidental Ave S.  They also got a chance to see visualizations of what the bridge could look like. Comments at the meeting focused on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity and safety, parking, and business access.

Still Time to Give Feedback

The project team will consider this latest round of input, including urban design preferences, as we move forward in the design phase. Thanks to all who attended the meeting or have submitted comments. We’re committed to building a bridge that meets the needs of the community, and your feedback helps us get there!

For more information about the S Lander St Bridge Project please visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/lander_bridge.htm.

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How do the Fremont and Ballard Bridge Openings work? (Updated)

Here’s an updated and shortened Blog Video of our behind-the-scenes look at the Fremont and Ballard Bridge openings, and how they work:

(Click on HD in Settings to view in High Definition)


SDOT operates and maintains over 149 bridges throughout Seattle, including four movable bridges. Three of SDOT’s movable bridges are draw bridges, known as bascule bridges. These are the Ballard Bridge, Fremont Bridge and University Bridge.

The city is required to open the bridges to marine traffic when requested, but is allowed to restrict boat and marine traffic openings during the morning
(7-9 a.m.) and afternoon (4-6 p.m.) commutes on weekdays (except national holidays). The openings average about four minutes, from stopping traffic to letting traffic resume. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience during the openings as marine traffic passes through.

The Ballard Bridge, located at the west end of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Salmon Bay, is the fourth and last of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridges to be passed before entering Puget Sound from Lake Washington. Built in 1917 with a length of 2,854 feet, the Ballard Bridge links the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods with Ballard.

The Fremont Bridge crosses the Lake Washington Ship Canal and connects the Fremont and Queen Anne neighborhoods. The bridge opened on July 4, 1917, it is the only blue and orange bridge operated by SDOT. The Fremont Bridge’s current color was chosen by a 1985 poll taken among Fremont residents and the Fremont Arts Council.

The Fremont Bridge also connects the Lake Washington Ship Canal Trail to the Burke Gilman Trail and has one of Seattle’s nine bike counters (here’s our previous blog about the Fremont Bridge Bike Counter and how it works). The Fremont Bridge has celebrated over 610,000 openings and counting as of January 2016. The bridge sits just 30 feet above the water, and rises for marine traffic on average of about 35 times a day, making it as one of the busiest bascule bridges in the world.

Here’s a link to our SDOT Bridges page: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridges.htm

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Transit Kiosks on 3rd Avenue Getting a Makeover

A crew of SDOT and King County Metro personnel have begun a refurbishing project on the 3rd Ave transit kiosks, swapping out 6 of the 10 kiosks along 3rd. This joint effort was needed to retrofit the kiosks with new equipment.

SDOT had 6 temporary kiosks that can be used in the interim until the kiosks can be repaired and placed back into the field. The 6 locations were 3rd Ave & Prefontaine (NB), 3rd Ave & Seneca St (NB & SB), Seneca St & 3rd Ave (EB) and 3rd Ave & Pike St (NB & SB).


Crews used a crane to pick up each kiosk and position them on the street.

The retrofit of the kiosks on 3rd includes new monitors that will perform better in outdoor conditions, and new computers to push the One Bus Away data to the kiosk. Utilizing off the shelf technology gives SDOT the ability to quickly replace malfunctioning hardware.


An SDOT electrician wiring the kiosk for power.

Upgrading the monitors from 32 inches to 42 inches will also provide more transit information than they did before.


Crews putting the final touches on a kiosk at 3rd Ave and Pike St.

The 3rd Ave kiosk retrofit project is expected to be completed in early 2017.

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Your Voice Has an Impact

It’s National Voter Registration Day today, a day to remind people of the importance of their voice – and not just when you vote for a President. Your voice has a local impact too. It shows in your votes for City Council members, the Mayor, and even program options we present as part of new initiatives. One example is the new Pike People Street pilot program. The main goal of the program is to promote a more pleasant and pedestrian-friendly environment in the busy Pike/Pine Street area.

The Pike People Street program creates a series of pedestrian-only street closures along the Pike/Pine corridor during times of high pedestrian activity. After a series of public workshops, meetings, and personal conversations, SDOT will be testing different options for the Pike People Street project on:

  • October 7, 2016 | Late Night: 11pm-3am
  • October 13, 2016 | Art Walk: 4pm-10pm
  • October 16, 2016 | Daytime: 12pm – 4pm

The three test runs focus on comments we heard from you, including testing programming in the daytime, reconfiguring the space to better relieve congestion and involving local events, like the Art Walk. We’re also looking to add more daytime activities, so feel free to apply with your street performance, sidewalk cafe or other fun idea right herepikepeopletestsFor more info on these testing events, check out our Action Plan 2016. This plan was informed by community feedback collected through emails, personal conversations, and a community design workshop. Your voice has an impact and directly drives many public service efforts. Thank you for taking part!

For more information on the Pike People Street Program, visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/pikeped.htm.

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Join the Street Scrabble Tournament on Capitol Hill, Wed. 9/28, 1-3pm

Seattle is hosting NACTO (National Association of Transportation Officials) Designing Cities Conference this week.

Join the Street Scrabble Tournament

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1 – 3 PM,
Where: Denny Way at Broadway in Capitol Hill

Street Scrabble!

Street Scrabble!

To sign up for the tournament, e-mail: streetscrabble@seattle.gov or go to the NACTO walkshop registration booth

Come play or watch a life-size Scrabble game on Wednesday from 1-3 pm in Capitol Hill! Learn more about Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Public Space Management program and how this future Festival Street will help activate the new Capitol Hill light rail plaza space.

How will the tournament work? Scrabble participants will be determined by lottery. We will draw 16 participants from a “hat” at the event and pair them up into teams. Each game will be 30 minutes. The tournament will have a referee and scorekeeper, and is a single elimination format.

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Local Jazz Legend Honored with Street Name Signs in the Central District

Ernestine Anderson was a legendary American jazz and blues singer who grew up in Seattle’s Central District and graduated from Garfield High School. Ms. Anderson’s prolific singing career spanned more than five decades and included more than 30 albums. She was a four-time Grammy nominee and performed at Carnegie Hall and around the world. In short, her creative talents and musical accomplishments helped shape the Seattle music scene.


That’s why, at the request of the Historic Central Area Arts & Cultural District and the Mayor’s office, SDOT has installed honorary street name signs for Ernestine Anderson along S Jackson St between 20th Ave South and 23rd Ave South.

The honorary signs were installed adjacent to Ernestine Anderson Place, which provides housing and serves homeless and low-income seniors, and was built in 2012. Ms. Anderson’s family, including her daughter, attended the sign ceremony.


Ms. Anderson’s family (from left to right): Falana, granddaughter, Sophia, granddaughter, and Shelley, daughter.

With these new honorary signs, Ernestine Anderson’s legacy can continue to inspire new generations of musicians in Seattle and around the world.

Honorary signs do not change the legal street name or addresses. They differ from regular street signs in color – they are brown. In Seattle, brown street name signs are used for honorary street name signs, Parks Department roads, and Olmsted boulevards.

For more information about street name signs please visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/new_streetsigns.htm.

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Worker’s Solutions Help SDOT Improve Safety

We are working hard to decrease the number, and severity, of accidents at SDOT. Whether someone is out in the field installing new pedestrian features, fixing potholes, pruning trees, or planning a new bike lane, safety is our top priority.


As part of this effort, we’ve revamped our Accident Prevention Program to encourage solutions directly from the workers engaging with a potential hazard. We’ve had great success so far, and are currently ahead of our goal for work-related injury and illness rates.safety-3

By getting all employees focused on safety, we’ve been able to come up with new strategies, encourage new people to get involved, and helped activate individuals to serve as safety role models for their co-workers. Not only can this shift produce great ideas and decrease accidents, it can also improve morale without incurring unnecessary costs.


The revamped Accident Prevention Program is being incorporated into new employee orientations, safety meetings, and classroom training sessions.


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SDOT at the Mount Baker Hub Fest!

The Mount Baker Hub Festival celebrated the transformation of that community with music, food, and fun last weekend at the Sound Transit Link Station and ArtSpace Plaza.


SDOT had a table at the event and we shared information on our Accessible Mount Baker project that will engage and interact with the community to better understand how the existing transportation system functions and how it can be most readily improved.

The project identifies safety improvements for the community near the Link light rail station and the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Rainer Avenue. A second project outcome is the development of a long-range integrated multimodal plan for the Mount Baker Town Center.

While there were several participating agencies, many resources and a lot of important information, there was also plenty of fun at Hub Fest, including local vendors, live music, artists and performers. About 400 people showed up to this fun community event!

Hub Fest was presented by the Mount Baker Hub Business Association, sponsored by SouthEast Effective Development; and Friends of Mount Baker Town Center, sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation.

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