Meeting the challenges of a rapidly growing city while improving safety, delivering its core services, and providing more options for travelers, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) focused on advancing key initiatives in 2016. With funding from the nine-year Levy to Move Seattle, SDOT has worked diligently in 2016 to deliver on work across the city.
With Seattle’s Vision Zero safety campaign to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, the city successfully lowered speed limits on streets in the center city from 30 to 25 mph and on all residential streets from 25 to 20 mph.
As part of SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, we added 15 blocks of new sidewalks, implemented crossing improvements at 17 intersections and improved 16 walking and biking routes to school throughout the city. To provide safer and more comfortable routes for walking and bicycling, we added more than 11 miles of neighborhood greenways, which are designated routes on non-arterial, low traffic volume streets with added safety improvements.
In partnership with King County Metro, the City of Seattle funded the extension of the RapidRide C Line to South Lake Union and the RapidRide D Line to Pioneer Square in 2016. The extension and splitting of the RapidRide C Line and D Line were designed to improve the reliability of the two lines, which carry more than 21,000 riders each weekday, while connecting riders to growing employment markets.
Examples of work funded by the Move Seattle Levy include more than 36 lane-miles of street paving, 120 curb ramps built, 770 crosswalks marked, 5,500 trees pruned and 560 lane-miles of arterial streets striped. Several neighborhoods across the city also benefitted from microsurfacing (36 lane-miles of streets), a preventative maintenance surface treatment that preserves roadways. Nearly 100 percent of pothole requests were filled within three business days.
Other accomplishments in 2016 include:
Bicycling facility improvements:
- Completed the Westlake Ave N Protected Bike Lane, which was named America’s Best New Bike Lane of 2016 by People for Bikes
- A new southbound protected bike lane on Roosevelt Way NE from NE 65th to University Bridge, as part of the Roosevelt Way NE Paving and Safety Improvements Project
- Upgraded the 2nd Avenue Protected Bike Lane between Pike Street and Yesler Way and extended it to S Washington St to improve safety and efficiency for people biking, walking and driving
- Retimed 260 traffic signals in the downtown core
- Connected 9.5 miles of arterials to Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology
- Permitted 4 new parklets/streateries
- Developed and implemented new Park(ing) Day +
- Hired 36 new inspectors in 2016, who are the eyes on the street for private and utility construction work, tasked with ensuring that mobility and right-of-way are maintained
- Access Seattle Construction Coordination Program implemented Director’s Rule 10-2015 Pedestrian Mobility in and around Work Zones, which provides ongoing safety standards for pedestrians around construction zones in Seattle
- Development in key freight policies: the Freight Master Plan, the South Lander Street Bridge Project and the Urban Freight Lab – a 3-year partnership with the University of Washington
- A successful year for grants – grant awards totaled more than $184 million in 2016, more than double the previous high of $87 million in 2010
In 2017 SDOT will be looking ahead to:
- The replacement of the historic Yesler Bridge over 4th Ave
- Extension of the 2-way protected bike lanes on 2nd Avenue
- Pilot adaptive signal system in South Lake Union, more responsive to real-time traffic conditions, with the Mercer corridor being the first application of adaptive signal control in the city
- The N 92nd Protected Bike Lane connecting the future light rail station at Northgate to North Seattle College and new elementary and middle schools opening Fall 2017 at the old Wilson-Pacific school site
- The Interbay Trail Connections Project which redesigns 20th Ave W, Gilman Ave W, and W Emerson Pl to include protected bike lanes linking the Ship Canal Trail, Elliott Bay Trail and Ballard Locks