Archive for 'Bikes'
Much has been happening behind the scenes on the Westlake Cycle Track Project lately; good news for the increasing number of folks interested a commute options between north end communities, South Lake Union and downtown Seattle. (It should also be popular with tourists, given the large number of great waterfront businesses on the Westlake waterfront.)
Last week Mayor Ed Murray announced the creation of a Design Advisory Committee, which will meet for the first time on March 24th. This 13 member group, with a variety of perspectives and expertise, will work toward making this project a success for all concerned by offering the project team their insights and suggestions.
In addition, a survey for residents and businesses on Westlake is now underway – through March 19th. This on-line questionnaire primarily focuses on parking needs of those who work, live and do business in this busy waterfront area.
The project website gives much more information about the project, including a Frequently Asked Questions and a list of upcoming of presentations. An Open House is planned for May, and a basic design alternative/route will be selected by the end of 2014. Final design will be done in time for construction to begin late in 2015.
Lots more information will be available shortly on the project design criteria, traffic flows and parking, both summarized and in detailed reports. If you aren’t already on the mailing list, but would like to be, please click here.
In 2006, Seattle voters passed a transportation maintenance initiative – Bridging the Gap (BTG) – and one of the major pieces of the levy was paving. Since then, the Seattle Department of Transportation has been working hard to make paving upgrades and needed repairs to Seattle’s roads. More than 205 lane miles of roadway across the city have been repaved or reconstructed. This helps provide a smoother and safer trip for all of us.
Some major roadways that have seen repaving include Airport Way S, 15th Avenue NE, Dexter Avenue N, Columbian Way S, First Avenue S, Fourth Avenue S, Fifth Avenue S, 15th Avenue N, NE Ravenna Boulevard, 14th Avenue S, NE 125th and Sandpoint Way and Delridge Way.
One project that began in 2013 will carry over into 2014. The paving of N 105th Street and N/NE Northgate Way from Greenwood Avenue N to First Avenue NE is about halfway done and is expected to wrap up later this year. In addition to the 105th Street project, SDOT will also be repaving Holman Rd. from NW 87th to Greenwood Avenue N. These roadways were in need of major repair work and provide key links to neighborhoods in the Seattle’s north end.
Paving projects are, by nature, disruptive and can frustrate drivers, transit riders, pedestrians and cyclists. Unfortunately, it is a part of the project. We do our best to keep disruptions to a minimum; however, they cannot always be avoided. It’s important to remember that in the end, all roadway users will have a smoother and safer road on which to travel.
Along with the major Arterial Asphalt and Concrete projects discussed above, SDOT will also be doing a lot of smaller repaving work as part of the Arterial Major Maintenance Program. Smaller projects, throughout the City, will repave more than 16 lane-miles helping to preserve and extend the lives of those roads.[More]
To improve safety for all roadway users, The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is lowering the speed limit on Beacon Avenue S between S Columbian Way and S Barton Street from 35 miles per hour (mph) to 30 mph.
Four school walking zones blanket nearly the entire corridor: Van Asselt Elementary, Wing Luke Elementary, Maple Elementary, and Dearborn Park Elementary. This corridor experiences high transit use, with Route 36 running every 8-10 minutes and Route 106 running every 15 to 30 minutes. Three school speed zones are located along this corridor and the walking routes to several other schools cross Beacon Avenue S. SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program will fund the cost to remove and replace the existing speed limit signs.
Beacon Avenue S is one of three main north-south corridors in southeast Seattle, including Martin Luther King Jr Way S and Rainier Avenue S. It is five miles in length with two miles already signed for 30 mph. Lowering the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph on this section of the corridor will make the speed limit consistent for the entire corridor. Speed studies confirm that a majority of drivers are already traveling at or below 30 so the new speed limit is not expected to change travel times significantly.
Most of the adjacent neighborhood is single-family residences with small pockets of retail and commercial uses, including several facilities such as churches, parks and playgrounds, and the Veteran’s Medical Center.
Lowering the speed limit Beacon Avenue S will improve safety for not only pedestrians, but bicyclists and motorists as well. The work is scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2014.[More]
Join SDOT staff next Wednesday evening to learn more about changes to the 23rd Avenue corridor, including the planned route for the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway. The public open house begins at 5:00 p.m. at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School.
Accessible by Metro Routes 4, 8 and 48
The purpose of the projects in the Central Area is to balance safety, mobility and reliability needs for a variety of users in the area, as well as enhance the local community and natural environment.
Improvements in each phase include:
- New pavement
- Sidewalk improvements
- Lighting improvements
- Increased transit reliability
- Traffic signal improvements
- Public art
- Adjacent neighborhood greenway
The corridor changes address the current state of the roadway – hundreds of patches where potholes existed, narrow lanes, a lack of turn pockets at key intersections and narrow and uneven sidewalks – as well as balance the needs of users in the area. SDOT will redesign 23rd Avenue between E John Street and Rainier Avenue S (Phases 1 and 2) from the current four lanes (two lanes in each direction) to three lanes (one lane in each direction and a center turn lane). Between E Roanoke Street and E John Street (Phase 3), the road will remain four lanes. SDOT will also implement a nearby neighborhood greenway, called the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway. This greenway will provide a safer, calmer street for people to walk and ride bicycles.
For roads like 23rd Avenue with fewer than 25,000 vehicles per day, redesigning a street from four lanes to three can have many benefits, including:
- Reducing collisions
- Reducing speeding
- Allowing vehicles to turn without blocking traffic
- Managing drivers cutting in and out of travel lanes
- Creating space for wider sidewalks
- Making streets easier to cross
- Easing travel for large vehicles (e.g. buses)
Learn more about a similar project on Nickerson Street. As a result of the project, the road became safer and kept people and goods moving.
For more information about the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvement Project, please visit the city’s Web page at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/23rd_ave.htm and www.seattle.gov/transportation/centralgreenway.htm for information about the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway, or attend the February 26 open house.
Translated project information will be available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Oromo, Tigrinya, and Amharic.[More]
Our Waterfront program team is revving up in preparation for March 5 to March 9 to celebrate all things waterfront and we hope you can join us! This series of events will reveal the newest design progress, share an insider’s look at how to build a seawall and get us all talking about opportunities for art, design and play on the waterfront and beyond.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening for Waterfront Week!
Wednesday, March 5
Seattle Center, Fisher Pavilion
See the design up close
The most current waterfront design will be on display, including our scale model of the future waterfront. Take it all in, ask questions, and tell us what you’re most excited about.
Art, Design & Play
Friday, March 7
Keynote address: Liane Lefaivre
6 – 8 p.m.
Seattle Art Museum, Plestcheeff Auditorium
Vienna-based architectural historian Liane Lefaivre will discuss play as a design tool for architects, city planners, and public artists. Lefaivre is Professor and Chair of Architectural History and Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She has been a visiting Fellow at MIT and the National University of Singapore, and is an award-winning author of many books, including the forthcoming Ground-Up City: Play as a Design Tool.
Art, Design & Play: Ideas From Around The World
Saturday, March 8
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Visionary designers, artists, and historians from across the globe will present and discuss the past, present, and future of play in art and design.
Sunday, March 9
Meet us at Hillclimb Plaza across the street from the Seattle Aquarium
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Join us for a day of kid and family-friendly activities along the waterfront at Field Day on Sunday, March 9. You’ll be able to: share your memories in our time capsule; adopt-a-gribble and learn about (its?) habitat; and get the Seawall construction VIP experience.
We hope to see you there!
More information about Waterfront Week can be found at: http://waterfrontseattle.org/waterfrontweek/default.aspx.
One of the projects planned for construction later this year is an extension of the West Duwamish Trail from where it currently ends at 2nd Avenue South and South Holden Street to 8th Avenue South and South Kenyon. An Open House was held Tuesday evening (February 11) to review the history of the project, the process by which the selected alignment was chosen, and to share the design of the project.
What was originally just a trail project (a ten feet wide asphalt path separated from vehicles by a five foot wide landscape strip) has been expanded both in scope and in length. The project now includes a storm drainage system, a new 20 foot wide asphalt road surface, and concrete curbs. Driveways will be widened to 30 feet, and landscaping and pedestrian lighting will be located to avoid potential interference with truck movements.
Representatives of a half dozen businesses from this industrial area of South Park came with questions about modifying the design still further. The project manager, Terry Plumb, was on hand to share the design features and construction plans. A Truck Turning Rodeo – to enable businesses to test the widened driveways and curb locations – is planned for Saturday, February 22.
For more information about the project visit: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/westduwamishtrail.htm .[More]
And that’s exactly what transit riders will be getting along Aurora Avenue N between Shoreline, north Seattle and Downtown when they use the new RapidRide E Line.
This Saturday Seattle will celebrate the arrival of King County Metro Transit’s RapidRide E Line. The E Line replaces Aurora Avenue Route 358, Metro’s second highest ridership route, serving 12,000 rides each weekday. This marks the first RapidRide service to appear in several North Seattle and Downtown area neighborhoods.
The E Line is part of an ongoing partnership between SDOT and Metro to improve mobility in Seattle. RapidRide service features transit lanes, transit signal priority, frequent all-day service, well-lit shelters, real-time “next bus” signs, off-board ORCA card payment, and buses with three doors and free Wi-Fi. SDOT also installed pedestrian improvements, including new sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, and a new pedestrian signal (at Aurora and North 95th).
RapidRide E Line services are scheduled to operate frequently: Every 12 minutes or better throughout the day, every 12-15 minutes on weekends, and every 15-20 minutes at night. Route 358 already runs frequently, but RapidRide includes an overall 25% increase in service frequency. These additions will allow the E Line to operate as a 24-hour service.
More than 18 miles of designated northbound and southbound BAT lanes in Seattle and Shoreline have already improved travel time by getting buses through congested areas. The initial E Line schedule will shave another one to nine minutes off each trip, depending on time of day and how far a rider is traveling. Off-board ORCA card readers, expanded use of bus rear doors, and traffic signal priority will all work together to speed boarding and get buses through faster and more reliably.
RapidRide E Line is the third RapidRide service to arrive in Seattle. The C and D lines to West Seattle and Ballard started service in September 2012 and have seen ridership increase by 10-25% over the routes that were replaced.
Government forms aren’t typically thought of as colorful, or, for that matter, easy to use. Enter Seattle, ever on the cutting edge! On Monday customers coming to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Street Use Permit Counter will see a rainbow of permit application colors, differentiating lines of business, and sporting a format much easier to interact with. Here’s a before and after example, of the application for a renewable or “Annual Permit” application:
So what inspired the more inspiring forms? Firstly, it was the over-arching effort to create a more customer-focused service model; that effort includes adding permit technicians to the counter – beginning Monday; as well as a host of other improvements this spring and summer (all aimed at reducing wait times while better preparing
applicants with active coaching and refined tools).
Secondly, indirectly, it was the life history of SDOT graphic designer Mayumi Thompson. In 2009 Thompson lived in England, with her husband and mother-in-law, and they were in the process of moving out. Thompson’s mother-in-law asked her to go to the local council office (don’t worry, I’m getting to the point…) to pick up a form for her, to revise her tax assessments based on no longer having boarders. When Thompson picked up the form, she says, ”I was impressed by the layout and design of it. I had never seen a government form that looked like this.”
“It struck me as being very easy to read and fill out as well as inviting, especially for older people like my mother-in-law, commented Thompson. ”I thought the most intelligent part of the design was their use of white boxes to clearly indicate where users had to fill in information.”
It wasn’t Thompson’s experience that started the idea to revamp the permit application forms. Rather, the permit counter team asked for ideas to update the forms - to make them easier to decipher; inviting to use; and, yes, enjoyable (it’s an ambitious team).
Thompson began researching the friendliness of government forms. What she found in several U.S. cities, including Seattle, wasn’t so warm and fuzzy; bland, text-heavy forms prevailed. That’s when Thompson’s memory from England kicked in, and she looked up the very form her mother-in-law had asked to pick up that day five years ago (you can see it too, at: http://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/pdf/CC2_yellow_proof3.pdf).
“I studied them and created a design for street use based on them,” Thompson said.
So, when you come in to the SDOT Street Use Permit Counter to apply for a permit, and find yourself “enjoying” the inviting colors and the way the clear white boxes beckon you to fill them in, think of England (and Seattle, for dedication to public service and improving it).
As Seahawks fans poured into the streets of Seattle on Sunday night, we managed to, for the most part, play it safe. Maybe you’ve seen this YouTube video showing how fans in Ballard celebrated without jaywalking. Aww yeah, that’s what we like to see.
A steady stream of satiric and self-effacing Tweets resulted – check out the #HowSeattleRiots thread. Here are some of our faves:
- Took my turn at the 4 way stop instead of waving someone else through.
- When causing a slow-moving vehicle to bounce up and down, please make sure all vehicle occupants are wearing seat belts
- Talked to strangers on my @kcmetrobus ride instead of burying my nose in my @AmazonKindle
And the rioting celebration continues…
Today’s parade is expected to draw a huge crowd downtown and we’re stoked to be welcoming our Superbowl champs home!
- Starts at 11 A.M. just south of Seattle Center, near 4th Avenue and Denny Way
- Continues down 4th Avenue to S. Washington Street, then proceeds on 2nd Avenue S. to CenturyLink Field
- Ends with a rally at CenturyLink at 1:30 P.M.
- Given the influx of people in the downtown area, your best bets are going to be walking, biking, using public transit, or carpooling
- Expect significant wait times and service delays on buses and trains
- All bus routes that travel along or near 4th Avenue will be impacted. More information on Metro re-routes can be found at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/alerts/.
- And bundle up – it’s going to be chilly (temperatures expected in the mid-20s)
Have fun, be safe, and way to go Seahawks!
The Fremont bike counter data shows a significant drop in bicycle trips leading up to and during Sunday’s Super Bowl game. This is a good illustration of how bike counter information can help us determine what can cause bike data to fluctuate away from the norm.
The chart shows above normal volumes in the morning and mid-day. Then there’s a big drop off approaching and during the game, followed by higher than normal volumes after the game.
The chart compares average volume for Saturday, Jan. 25, Sunday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 1 (which all had favorable weather) to Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.[More]