Safe Routes to School: Mini Grants and Free Bikes for Kids

SDOT’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program has been busy!

The SRTS Mini Grant Program has chosen its grant recipients for the fall 2016 cycle. Twenty-two schools, PTAs and community groups will receive mini grants, which provide up to $1,000 to support biking and walking to school safely.

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  • Alki Elementary received a $1,000 grant to start a neighborhood Walking School Bus
  • North Beach Elementary will update student safety patrol gear and promote May’s Bike to School Month
  • Eckstein Middle school will continue hosting “Biker Breakfasts” and promoting bicycle safety and sustainable transportation
  • Beacon Hill International School will invest in: new safety vests for kids and walking leaders, crossing flags, new signage, maps, and incentives for students when they get to school

The next mini grant application period for spring runs April 1 – 30, 2017. PTA members or principals are encouraged to apply. For questions contact Serena Lehman: serena.lehman@seattle.gov.

Here’s an update on another SRTS program, “We Create the Wheel,” recently teamed up with Bike Works‘ “Kids Bike-O-Rama” and other community groups to give away 150 bikes to kids in Columbia City!

The bikes at the event were made available to qualifying low-income families and given test runs in the outdoor obstacle course by young riders before being taken home – at little to no charge!

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The fun day included rooms of bikes and Bike Works staff and volunteers who helped fit and distribute freshly-refurbished bikes. Young people involved with Bike Works fixed up the 150 donated bikes before they were given final safety checks and made available to kids and families at the event.

By opening channels to youth and families to biking, Bike Works, SDOT, and community partners are working toward goals of empowering youth and building resilience.  Learn more about Bike Works Bike Giveaway Programs here.

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Westlake Ave Protected Bike lane is the country’s best new bike lane of 2016!

PeopleForBikes  placed Seattle at the top of their list by crowning the Westlake Ave Protected Bike lane as the country’s best new bike lane of 2016!

This week they made the announcement and spoke with SDOT Director Scott Kubly about the importance of the Westlake PBL, which is on the west side of Lake Union and connects neighborhoods to the north and beyond the Fremont Bridge (and surrounding trails and parks) to South Lake Union and downtown.

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Here’s an excerpt from their post: “What they got was a world-class bikeway: the first flat, intuitive link joining downtown Seattle to the north side and a vast regional trail network.”

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Bike ridership on Westlake has doubled after the protected bike lane opened in September, compared to the previous year. People biking now have a separate space to ride, making the area safer and more comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

The project also improves safety for all users by featuring a pedestrian path for people walking that is separate from the bicycle lanes. The designated space for people biking also makes the parking lot more predictable for drivers, which makes this scenic corridor more accessible for residents, employees and customers.

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With community input built into the design, the Westlake PBL has created a safer corridor for people walking, biking, and driving while preserving approximately 90 percent of the parking.

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/wct.htm

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The New 2016-2017 Winter Weather Brochure and Snow Route Maps are here!

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SDOT’s annual Winter Weather brochure has a large map of Seattle’s snow and ice routes, lists important telephone numbers and web sites to use during winter storms, and offers preparedness tips. Here’s a link to our Winter Weather page that has useful information about what to expect when it snows.

During major winter storms, plan your trip by seeing where the snow plows have been and viewing traffic cameras by clicking on the link below:
Winter Weather Response Map

The brochures will be free at Seattle Public Library branches and Neighborhood Service Centers.

This year we will again distribute the brochure to elementary schools in the Seattle public school district for children to take home to their parents.

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Download only the map in English

Download the full brochure in:

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Getting Around in the Rain

It’s that time of year when rainy weather and shorter, darker days are once again upon us. Bicyclists and pedestrians need to exercise extra caution and awareness when commuting to and from work.

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Whether you’re walking or riding, it helps to know your route instead of trying to navigate on the fly. This allows you to concentrate on your surroundings and instead of looking for your next turn. SDOT maintains an excellent bike map that is updated annually, and can be used by bicyclists and pedestrians to map an effective route.

If you want to start walking or riding to work, make a couple of trial runs during daylight hours on a weekend. Or better yet, get a bicycle or walking buddy – someone who already bikes or walks to work – who can help you with suggestions for clothing or bike gear for those first few trips.

Visibility is the key – wearing bright and reflective clothing is important. Bicyclists should have flashing red tail lights and a steady white light or reflector, in front. It’s also important to be predictable and clear to others on the road of your intended path. If you’re on foot, make it clear to on-coming traffic that you’re about to step off the curb. When riding a bicycle, remember to use hand signals for all turns, stops and lane changes.

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Seeing other people and objects in low-light conditions is difficult for everyone. Those who drive need to be able to perceive what they are seeing and recognize the importance of a pedestrian or bicycle rider to take necessary evasive action. Bicyclists should obey all traffic laws, and never assume the right of way.

Distractions such as electronic devices should never be used while driving or riding – in Seattle, we’ve seen a nearly 300% increase in collisions involving inattention over the last 3 years.

Remember, we are sharing the road with an increasing number of commuters, employing diverse modes of travel. Let’s look out for each other.

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SDOT Mobility Innovations First Forum on Mobility Hubs

SDOT hosted the first Mobility Innovations Forum Monday, the topic Mobility Hubs.

We’re hosting a speaker series on mobility innovations, running through mid-2017 (see below)

The City of Seattle is partnering with transit agencies and private mobility services to develop a network of shared mobility hubs throughout the city, providing better mobility and integrated transportation choices for all. Topics will include mobility hubs, smart mobility strategies for high growth in Seattle, preparing for autonomous vehicles, and making shared transportation equitable.

Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation; Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of Los Angeles DOT; David Bragdon, Executive Director of TransitCenter; Sharon Feigon, Executive Director at the Shared Use Mobility Center, discussed their thoughts on mobility hubs as Ross Reynolds from KUOW, moderated the conversation.

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Scott Kubly, SDOT Dir; Speakers: Seleta Reynolds; David Bragdon; Sharon Feigon; Ross Reynolds KUOW.

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Scott Kubly , SDOT Dir. addresses attendees alongside featured guests.

Here’s a definition of what Mobility Hubs are:

Mobility hubs provide an integrated suite of transportation services, supporting amenities, and urban design enhancements that reduce the need for single occupant vehicle trips by increasing first mile/last mile access to high-frequency transit stations. Mobility hubs are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation such as walking, biking, ride-sharing, and public transit, cometogether seamlessly at concentrations of employment, housing, shopping, and/ or recreation.

Hub features can include: bikeshare, car share, neighborhood electric vehicles, bike parking, dynamic parking management strategies, real-time traveler information, real-time ride-sharing, demand-based shuttle, bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements, wayfinding, urban design enhancements, and supporting systems like mobile applications, electric vehicle charging, smart intersections, and a universal payment system to make it easy to access a wide range of travel options.

Please join us at the upcoming forums. More details will be posted, we appreciate your participation in the months ahead.

The preliminary schedule for future topics is:

  • January: Smart mobility strategies for high growth Seattle
  • March: Preparing for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • May: Making shared mobility equitable
  • June or July: Rethinking mobility as a service

Questions, please contact Evan Corey: evan.corey@seattle.gov.

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SDOT Mobility Innovations Forum Monday, November 14 at 6 p.m.

SDOT is hosting a speaker series on mobility innovations, running through mid-2017. 

Please join us at the first event on Monday, November 14. The City of Seattle is partnering with transit agencies and private mobility services to develop a network of shared mobility hubs throughout the city, providing better mobility and integrated transportation choices for all. Topics will include mobility hubs, smart mobility strategies for high growth in Seattle, preparing for autonomous vehicles, and making shared transportation equitable.

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Topic: Mobility Hubs
When: November 14, 6:00 PM
Where: Seattle Art Museum (Pletscheeff Auditorium) 1300 1st Ave
Free with RSVP: https://sdot-mobilityinnovations.eventbrite.com

Speakers include:

  • Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of Los Angeles DOT
  • David Bragdon, Executive Director of TransitCenter
  • Sharon Feigon, Executive Director at the Shared Use Mobility Center
  • Ross Reynolds from KUOW will moderate the conversation.

The preliminary schedule for future topics is:

  • January: Smart mobility strategies for high growth Seattle
  • March: Preparing for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • May: Making shared mobility equitable
  • June or July: Rethinking mobility as a service

Learn about this effort, similar efforts throughout North America, and how mobility hubs can transform the travel experience in the future.

Questions, please contact Evan Corey: evan.corey@seattle.gov.

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Brake for Bananas?

Biking or walking to school in Seattle just keeps getting better.

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There are more Safe Routes to School than ever, more resources and grants for parents, more schools participating, and the cherry on top? Bananas.

Banana Brakes is our new program to help kids kick off a fruitful school year by giving students fresh fruit, reflectors, bike lights, bracelets, coloring books, and more. We also have updated biking and walking maps so parents can explore their best route to school.

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So far, we’ve held Banana Brakes at:

• Whittier Elementary
• Northgate Elementary
• Sand Point Elementary
• Daniel Bagley Elementary
• Beacon Hill International

And we’re just getting started!

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Seattle Launches Safe Routes to School “Let’s Go” Program

The City of Seattle officially launched a new partnership between the City, Seattle Public Schools and Cascade Bicycle Club to provide universal pedestrian and bicycle education at every public Seattle elementary school called “Let’s Go.” The announcement was made at Madrona K-8 School in Seattle. Thanks to everyone involved for making “Let’s Go ” happen, and special thanks to Madrona K-8 students and staff for hosting the announcement and demonstrating the safety lessons they learned.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chatting with Madron K-8 students about safety

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chats with Madrona K-8 students about biking and pedestrian safety lessons.

“Let’s Go” delivers universal walking and biking safety education training for every third, fourth and fifth grade public school student. Over the past year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has worked with its partners to develop and pilot the program. The program will be implemented in the physical education classes at all K-5 and K-8 schools starting this fall and will continue for the next seven years.

The three-week program provides a solid foundation of skills required for students to safely walk and roll through the built environment, avoiding the most common types of collisions. Respect is a cornerstone of the program as students learn about “right of way” and how to communicate with other street and trail users. Students are also taught the importance of wearing bike helmets and having them fitted correctly.

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping.

Cascade Bicycle Club is contracted by Seattle Public Schools to train physical education teachers, assist in the classroom with curriculum, and deliver bikes, helmets and equipment to schools for use during the three-week program. The students receive critical, real-time practice walking and biking in a safe environment so they can apply their skills under supervision.

Safe Routes to School is a core component of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. For more information on Vision Zero, please visit www.seattle.gov/visionzero. #VisionZeroSEA

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New Advanced Notice for Bike Lane or Greenway Closures

When you’re riding a bike (or travelling by any means, for that matter) an unexpected change in the path can be challenging to navigate. With our city in the midst of a construction boom, impacts to roadways, sidewalks and bike lanes are more common than ever. That’s why, starting this week, conditions for construction permit approval include on-site signage 72 hours in advance for work that closes or impacts a bike lane or trail.

signagebikelaneWe coordinate the work of contractors on both public and private projects, and require that bike lanes and sidewalks be kept open to the full extent possible during a project. We also now require enhanced on-site notification of impacts.

The signs must be waterproof, have the project start date, end date, and, if the closure is not 24 hours per day, daily closure times, in accordance with the City of Seattle Traffic Control Manual for In-Street Work. That way, people riding bikes or walking in Seattle can plan alternate routes.

For work that will close or impact a Neighborhood Greenway or a non-arterial bicycle route, a “Road Work Ahead” or “Road Work (distance)” sign must be placed at the adjacent street intersections. The temporary signs cannot impede access or safety. Plus, if closure of a Greenway is longer than a calendar month, the contractor must contact Summer Jawson of the SDOT Greenways Program at Summer.Jawson@Seattle.gov at least 5 calendar days prior to the closure.

Permit applicants may want to consult the SDOT Neighborhood Greenways map in advance of work, to identify potentially impacted Greenways.

Advanced notification of work will be enforced for all new impacts – from a new project seeking a permit to a current project entering a new phase.

We enforce by:

1. Reviewing Project Traffic Control Plan with Permit application (condition of approval)

2. Regular inspections we make of work in the city

3. A documented verbal warning to correct, followed by a citation and $250 fee and onward as explained in the chart below:

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To report a potential infraction email SDOTPermits@seattle.gov. For more information, see the Bike Lane and Greenway Impact Notification Fact Sheet.

 

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Westlake Protected Bike Lane Open and Keeping Riders on Track

Things are rolling along on the Westlake protected bike lane after its official grand opening last month. The protected bike lane on the west side of Lake Union connects the Fremont Bridge and surrounding trails and parks to South Lake Union and downtown.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly joined in the inaugural ride on the Westlake protected bike lane.

Scott Kubly was interviewed by New York-based Streetfilms about the livability and multi-modal transportation work happening here in Seattle and discussed the benefits of the Westlake protected bike lane.

Here’s their video:

Streetfilms was here for the Seattle-hosted NACTO (National Association of Transportation Officials) Designing Cities Conference last week. Streetfilms focuses on policy and advocacy for livability and transportation issues related to urban growth.

 

People biking now have a separate space to ride, making the area safer and more comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The project also improves safety for all users by featuring a pedestrian path for people walking that is separate from the bicycle lanes.

The designated space for people biking also makes the parking lot more predictable for drivers, which makes this scenic corridor more accessible for residents, visitors, businesses and their customers.

Visit the Westlake protected bike lane project web page for more information at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/wct.htm.

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