Work continued this week on the north side of Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter Avenue North and the west side of SR 99 between Valley and Harrison streets. Construction also continued on Mercer Street at Fifth Avenue North and daytime lane restrictions on Mercer Street continued to accommodate lateral storm water connections beneath the roadway. [Read more…]
Archives for January 2014
Have a creative idea for a small public space in your neighborhood? Now is your opportunity to pitch that idea by applying to become a parklet host!
Seattle’s Pilot Parklet Program was launched in summer 2013 to explore how well parklets serve our neighborhoods. Parklets convert one or two on-street parking spaces into public open space and help to activate the right-of-way, promote economic vitality, and create more vibrant neighborhoods. They are privately funded and maintained but open for everyone to enjoy.
SDOT is extending the Pilot Parklet Program through 2014 and is now accepting applications for new parklets. We’ll permit five new parklet locations in 2014—successful applicants will be announced in mid-March—and then we’ll evaluate all of the pilot parklets after they’re installed.
Completing an application is easy! You’ll need to prepare a simple site plan showing the ideas for your parklet, collect at least two letters of support from businesses or residents near the proposed parklet, snap a few photos of the parklet location, and write a paragraph or two explaining why you want to host a parklet. Visit the program website for more information and to download the application guidelines.
Need a little more inspiration? Visit our parklet gallery to see photos of parklets in other North American cities. But don’t wait too long to develop your own parklet ideas…All application materials must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. on February 28, 2014.
We’re excited about our plans for the 23rd Avenue corridor – and we’ve taken our show on the road! This week we’ve been at the Douglass-Truth Library and SOAR having great conversations with Central Area neighbors.
We hope you can join us at our final session tomorrow, January 31 at the Miller Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Check out our project website for more info. See you real soon!
About our work in the 23rd corridor area
Beginning in fall 2014, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) plans to begin constructing corridor improvements on 23rd Avenue as well as implementing a neighborhood greenway in the area. Investing in these important projects means improving safety for drivers, pedestrians, and bike riders – plus faster and more reliable transit in the corridor.
The condition of 23rd Avenue creates a poor environment for the many vehicles, transit users, bike riders, and pedestrians who use the corridor today. Since early 2013, SDOT has been reviewing existing traffic data in the area and asking for community input about how improvements to the 23rd Avenue corridor could balance the needs of all users.
On streets with fewer than 25,000 vehicles per day, redesigning a street from four lanes to three can have many safety and mobility benefits, including:
- Reducing collisions
- Reducing speeding
- Allowing vehicles to turn without blocking traffic
- Managing drivers cutting in and out of lanes
- Creating space for wider sidewalks
- Making streets easier to cross, and
- Make it easier for larger vehicles (e.g. buses) to travel
After reviewing data and soliciting community input, SDOT will redesign 23rd Avenue between E John Street and Rainier Avenue S to three lanes – one lane in each direction with a center-turn lane.
(206) 684-7963 (Maribel Cruz, Outreach Lead)
CALL 206-733-9990 to request a translator or translated materials.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), in partnership with the University of Washington, starts the New Year with installation of two more storefront real time information systems (RTIS) signs. The two new signs are adjacent to major bus stops on Campus Parkway in the University District at Alder Hall (near Brooklyn Street) and at Elm Hall (near 12th Avenue).
The new signs add to SDOT’s inventory of similar signs in several areas of Seattle. In 2012, SDOT posted a short article about the initiative to make transit a more convenient travel choice in Seattle.
SDOT’s RTIS signs use data from OneBusAway to deliver predicted bus arrival/departure times for routes using the stop where the sign is located. When real-time information is unavailable, the signs display scheduled arrivals. A recent article in The Atlantic Cities explains why real time transit information is a cost-effective strategy for increasing transit ridership and transit users’ satisfaction with service.
SDOT seeks to install storefront RTIS signs where there is high boarding activity and willing partners who want to help with sign installation and operation. These projects are funded by Bridging the Gap and are owned and managed by SDOT.
For more information on SDOT’s RTIS program for transit, contact Jeff Bender at 206-684-8837.
Would you like to know more about all the work done in 2013 by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) thanks to your transportation levy dollars – Bridging the Gap (BTG)? Or learn what SDOT and BTG have planned for 2014? Like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged? If so, you are in luck!
The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for January 30, 6 – 8 p.m., in the Seattle City Hall Boards and Commissions Room (L-230). The committee is a dedicated group of 15 community members who meet quarterly to review and track the progress of the BTG transportation initiative that was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. They are charged with ensuring SDOT is delivering on the promises made to voters.
Committee members come from all across the city and from all walks of life. They take their oversight and accountability role seriously and they work closely with SDOT to ensure that BTG is not only meeting its goals, but that it is being integrated into the overall goals of the department and the City.
The committee members include:
- Ann Martin, Co-chair
- Kristen Lohse, Co-chair
- Ref Lindmark
- Betty Seith-Croll
- Allegra Calder
- John Coney
- Jeremy Valenta
- Barbara Wright
- Chisula Chambers
- Jessica Szelag, Bicycle Advisory Board member
- Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
- David Mendoza, Freight Advisory Board member
- Ben Noble, City Budget Director
- Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair
All committee meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend and share their views on BTG during public comment. If you are interested in how your tax dollars are allocated, why not mark your calendar and join us this Thursday for the first meeting of 2014.
For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.
The 2012 Traffic Flow Data Map is now online and the 2013 map is in the works. The map is a great general reference tool. It can be used as a quick reference for the traffic volume on a specific arterial and to compare traffic volumes between two arterials. It gives users a good idea of the distribution of traffic across the city. As you zoom in on the map you’ll see numeric labels placed on the arterials. The numeric labels are placed as close as possible to the actual count location used for each flow segment. As you get further from the count location on the arterial, the value shown on the map is less likely to represent the actual volume on the street.
At each location a one week count is collected. These in turn are collected throughout the year. This count is then adjusted based on the month of the year in which they were collected to make it possible to compare counts collected in different months. These adjustment or expansion factors cannot be computed until after the end of the year since they require data from all months of the year to be compared. The data used to generate the adjustment factors comes from monthly counts at selected locations. The data on the map represents the Average Annual Weekday Traffic. This is the data averaged to show the 24 hour weekday volume. Weekend volumes are generally lower.
Comparisons to past maps is possible since the collection locations and methods remain consistent, but keep in mind that major construction projects may have influenced traffic volumes on a specific segment in certain years. These can lead to inconsistent changes in traffic volumes.
Cheese platters are in high demand. Products containing the colors blue or green are sold out. And people across the region are busy planning parties for the big game. If drinking alcohol is part of your game plan next Sunday, be sure to make transportation arrangements in advance. Here are a few tips to ensure every football fan stays super safe next weekend:
1. Have a wing-man (or wing-woman). Whether you’re walking, biking, driving, taking the bus or a cab to watch the game, travel with a buddy and look out for each other.
2. Choose a Designated Driver. Operating a motor vehicle properly while under the influence is not possible. It’s a well known fact. Make arrangements for you or a friend to stay sober if driving is part of your plans.
3. Park it. If you have too much fun, and don’t have a sober friend around, do what’s right for yourself and everyone else – leave your car parked. Spend the night at your buddies house or call a cab. The same is true for Hawk fans biking to big game festivities.
4. Walk safe. Walking while intoxicated is an extremely bad idea. Make sure you have someone to lean on if you’ve had too much to drink. Perhaps that aforementioned wing-person?
Let’s make sure championship Sunday is all about football. Go Hawks!
Oh, and if you decide to make the bad choice of driving drunk, this guy’s gonna get you:
As the crow flies, there isn’t much distance between the Northgate Mall and the North Seattle Community College. But crossing I-5 requires using either the overpass at N 92nd Street or the underpass at N Northgate Way (N 110th Street). That’s quite a trek for those using the Northgate Transit Center – or the soon to be built Northgate Link Rail Station – between NE 103rd and NE 100th Streets.
Since it will apparently be awhile before we get personal jetpacks, building a bridge for non-motorized traffic seems like the way to go. So SDOT has hired a team of consultants to help identify the best route and bridge type, given the complex contours of the area with its on/off ramps, north and south bound lanes, express lanes, medians, embankments and swales.
The map below illustrates the Northgate area and the rough location of the bridge (in the yellow bubble at the center). The pink zone shows what would be within 15 minutes by foot of the future Northgate Link Rail Station, and the blue zone that within 15 minutes by bicycle. Also shown are the locations for other improvements called for in various transportation plans or by the community.
Briefings will be held for interested communities throughout the project; if you’d like to arrange one for your group please email email@example.com for arrangements.
Don’t miss your chance to get funding to improve a sidewalk, park, or street in your neighborhood! February 3 is the deadline to apply to this year’s Neighborhood Park and Street Fund.
In 2014, the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund has $1.2 million to support projects that are proposed by the community. Funding can be used for projects valued up to $90,000. Examples of transportation improvements include:
- Marked crosswalks, curb ramps, and pedestrian countdown signals
- Traffic circles, media islands, and speed feedback signs
- Sidewalk repair and minor sidewalk construction
Any individual, neighborhood group, or business group is eligible and encouraged to apply. Learn more at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npsf/.
Have a problem to report – who ya gonna call?
Well that depends… Say for instance, you call the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) about a pothole needing to be filled on N 145th. We would first ask if it is on the south or north half of the street. Why? Because before we can fix the problem, we first have to determine if it falls within our jurisdiction. And on N 145th, crazy as it might seem, the center line of the street is the City’s northern boundary. So, if the hole is on the south of the street’s center line impacting eastbound traffic, the SDOT will fill it. If the hole is on the north side of the dividing line (impacting westbound traffic), it falls under the jurisdiction of unincorporated King County and the County’s Road Services Division will address the problem. To make it even more confusing, if the problem is north of the north edge of the sidewalk on the north side of the street, King County would not respond, but rather the City of Shoreline would as that is Shoreline’s southern border line. That border runs from the water on the west to Lake City Way NE/Bothell Way NE on east. The land on the north edge of the north sidewalk of NE 145th which is east of Lake City Way NE/Bothell Way NE to Lake Washington is the City of Lake Forest Park. Oh, heck – just take a look at this map:
Should you have a street problem to report in the future, here are the contacts for your reference:
To report a pothole in Seattle call: 206-386-1218 or 206-684-7623 (206-684-ROAD) or fill out a service request form online.
To report a roadway concern to the King County Road Services Division, call 206-296-8100 or 1-800-KCROADS.
To contact the City of Shoreline regarding a non-emergency location-specific issue, complete the Online Service Request. For general information call 206-801-2700.
To report concerns just inside the City of Lake Forest Park city limit on the northeast end of NE 145th Street, call the Public Works Department at 206-368-5440.