Have you been looking for a reason to start biking to work? Maybe you’ve had the best intentions but just haven’t got going yet. Well we’ve got the occasion to get you going. May is “Bike to Work” month and there are online resources to help you get your bike commute in gear. This month’s Way to Go newsletter offers suggestions on how to get involved. It’s just one of the many interesting and useful tips you’ll find. You can subscribe to the newsletter and read back issues by visiting the program’s website here and looking for the link in the upper right corner.
Archives for April 2010
SDOT has just published its 2009 Annual Report detailing the work the department’s been involved in over the past year. Each year the report highlights the programs and services SDOT offers and checks in on the progress of our initiatives. It’s a great resource to learn more about the vast body of work we’re regularly involved in to keep Seattle moving. We’re being environmentally and financially friendly by not printing hard copies, but you can view the report online here.
The first Summer Street event is only 4 weeks away; and we need volunteers. So if you have ever been secretly wishing to take over the street – now is your chance. Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets is a series of four events occurring between the months of April and September that open up streets for people to have fun, celebrate the spirit and personality of their community and support local businesses.
Here are some fun ways to volunteer – you can sign up here:
Community Organizer: Do you live in Ballard or Alki/West Seattle and are the kind of person that can walk into a neighborhood store and say ‘ can we put up a poster in your window? Say, your pet store could host a pet parade at Summer Street… (etc).” Or can you at least email all your friends who would love this and create a “buzz?”
Fun Creator: Do you want to organize that pet parade ? or create a “Free Store”? or just a hopscotch game ? It is your street, how do you want to play?
Intersection Guardian: The Day of, we need you to make sure cars don’t drive into where people are playing. While you are at your post; you can invite those drivers to leave their car behind and come play.
We have even more ideas on our volunteer page on the Summer Streets website. Let us know how you want to take over the street……
You don’t need to be a builder of solar panels or the newest electric car to go green with your business. There are many ways the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) can work with you to help you enhance your green image and reduce your carbon footprint. There’s a range of possibilities from beautifying the entrance to your business with trees and improving your planting strip with vegetation and permeable pavers to installation of a free bike rack. SDOT provides Client Assistance Memos (CAMs) to guide you through the city process and help you achieve your goals easily. For more information on greening up your doorway
Implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan is off and rolling in 2010. SDOT’s Bicycle Program recently completed the first three projects of the season with the goal of installing 20 miles of new bike facilities this year.
The Bicycle Master Plan envisions a 450 mile network of on-and off-street bicycle facilities that connect all parts of Seattle. And these first three projects are all about connectivity.
The first project, on S Alaska St between MLK and Rainier Ave S, completed an importation connection between Columbia City and LINK Light Rail by providing new bike lanes in both directions.
A short but important bike lane was installed on 3rd Ave S between the 2nd Ave Extension and S Jackson St. This new route, pictured at the top of this page, connects to Bikestation Seattle which provides secure bike parking, bicycle related services, and access to public transportation at King Street Station and the Metro Transit tunnel.
The third project installed an eastbound climbing lane and westbound sharrows on E Aloha St between 10th Ave E and 12th Ave E. This project linked existing bike facilities on 10th Ave E and 12th Ave E and extended bicycle facilities on E Aloha St.
Stay tuned to the SDOT Blog for updates on our progress!
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by driving less. Transportation is the biggest contributor to global warming in Seattle and the state of Washington. If everybody in the city drove 2,000 fewer miles a year, we would meet our climate goals by 2012. Here are 40 ideas to help save the planet and change the way you go:
- Roller blade
- Light rail
- Sounder Commuter rail
- Employer’s shuttle bus
- Combine trips
- Eliminate trips
- Compressed work week
- Form a walking school bus
- Sell one of your cars—or your only car
- Find a carpool partner on Rideshareonline
- Find a bike buddy on Rideshareonline
- Sign up for Cut a Couple Car Trips
- Sign up for the One Less Car Challenge
- Take a pledge to bike more
- Join Zipcar so you can leave your car at home
- Add OneBusAway to your mobile device
- Walk to the store
- Grow your own food and herbs and reduce the number of trips to the store
- Subscribe to the “Way to Go” newsletter for tips and tools to drive less
- Inspire a friend to walk, bike or use transit
- Travel in a way you’ve never traveled before (e.g. ride the streetcar, bike along Elliot Bay, take a train ride to Vancouver or Portland)
- Combine exercise with an errand
- Go to the library. Choose a book. Bring book on bus. Read book.
- Get a job closer to home
- Find a way other than driving alone to get to Summer Street events
Tommorrow is Earth Day, and as the saying goes ” Every Day is Earth Day” here at SDOT. What we do, and how we do it, has a big impact both locally and globally. We also recognize that environmental stewardship is not only the right thing to do; it’s a good business practice and saves money. We have a cute logo for our environmental efforts, called GreenDOT.
What are we up to this year to make a differerence? One GreenDOT target for 2010 is to maintain the great fuel savings we achieved last year. Pollution from vehicles is a big contributor to global warming. So far we’ve used 7% less fuel in the first quarter 2010 than in the same period last year (and we used 8% less fuel last year than the year before, saving $70,000). The rest of our todo list can be found on our GreenDOT website
If you’d like to know about the many ways you can change your travel habits and help reduce your carbon footprint both on and off the job, please take a look at the WaytoGo newsletter at: http://www.seattle.gov/waytogo/
We announced last week that King Street Station is one of 25 historic sites participating in the 2010 Partners in Preservation (PiP) program with a chance to win vital grant funds. PiP offers the public the opportunity to vote DAILY between April 15 and May 12 for their favorite project. The winner of the popular vote is guaranteed funding for their project. You can help restore King Street Station by simply voting every day (and telling your friends to). It’s a quick and simple process to vote. All you have to do is the following:
- Click here to visit the Partners in Preservation website
- Click “vote” on the left hand side
- Click “sign up” under the “login” button
- Fill out the brief online form and click “register”
- Click on the image of your favorite site (a.k.a. King Street Station)
- Repeat every day until May 12, 2010 (and tell your friends to as well)
Once you’ve created a profile, all you have to do is vote. You can check out our Facebook page for photos and videos of the station and opportunities to win giveaways. Thanks for preserving a central piece of Seattle history.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this coming Thursday, April 22, we thought you might like to know that SDOT is constantly looking for ways to lessen its impact on the environment. Not only are we transforming the transportation system into one that makes it easier to walk, bike and take transit in Seattle, but SDOT is regularly reviewing and revising all that it does to “green up” its way of doing the department’s day-to-day work.
Here are just a few examples of green steps we have implemented:
We use “eco pans” at our construction work sites. These pans catch the concrete wash-off from our equipment. The Eco Pan vender picks up the tray, puts a lid on it and takes it to be recycled. When the concrete hardens, the lid is removed from the pan and the waste concrete is then popped out of the flexible pan much like an ice-cube from an ice cube tray. The concrete is then recycled into eco blocks (aka jersey barriers) that are used to divert traffic around construction sites.
The Signs and Markings department has been steadily replacing all the old cedar street sign posts with Telespar posts. Telespar is made from 30% recycled material, lasts up to 40 years versus the typical ten-year life of cedar wood posts, reduces the demand on natural resources, and is less prone to vandalism and theft.
SDOT ‘s paint trucks are specifically designed to disperse waterborne paint. The faster-drying paint, that is both environmentally-friendly and cost-effective generates no hazardous waste. Left-over paint is either returned to the vendor or passed on to another municipality for use.
We continue to look for and implement greener techniques to keep Seattle moving.
Work Zone Safety Week kicks off on Monday, April 19th, and with construction season ramping up, this is an ideal time to remind everyone to slow down and pay attention when passing through a work zone.
Drivers often think that transportation professionals and construction contractors working on the road are most at risk in the work zone. But the truth is that 99 percent of the people injured or killed in work zone collisions are drivers and their passengers. Most of these injuries and deaths are caused by rear-end collisions which can often be attributed to inattentive drivers that are not prepared for sudden slow downs and last minute lane changes in work zones.
What can you do to prevent work zone collisions? The Washington State Department of Transportation recommends that drivers slow down to the posted speed limit, pay close attention to the roadway, and merge as soon as possible. You should also expect delays, plan for them, or use an alternate route if one is available.
Show your support for the people working to improve your roadways by Going Orange for Work Zone Safety. To learn how, click here.