Safe Routes to Mercer Middle School Update

As a member of the Safe Kids Seattle Coalition, SDOT began working with Mercer Middle School in 2012. A traffic circulation plan was developed for the school, a pedestrian and bicycle safety workshop was held for parents and staff, students who walked and biked to school received prizes and were entered into a drawing for a new IPod Shuffle, and sidewalk improvements were completed that made it easier to walk and bike to school. Additional projects were also identified by staff and students that would make it easier and safer to walk and bike to school. As SDOT closed out the program at Mercer in 2012, we applied for a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Safe Routes to School program and crossed our fingers that we would be able to return to Mercer in the future to complete some of those additional projects that the school community identified.

A walking audit led by Safe Kids Seattle included parents, staff, and neighbors, identifying the school’s top traffic safety concerns.

A walking audit led by Safe Kids Seattle included parents, staff, neighbors, identifying the school’s top traffic safety concerns.

Recently, SDOT was awarded that grant from WSDOT which allowed us to return to Mercer Middle School with a second Safe Routes to School program. The campaign was kicked off in the fall of 2014 with our partners in the Seattle Safe Routes to School Partnership. A walk and bike audit was conducted where parents and children received disposable cameras and took notes to document their findings. A report is being produced to document those findings. Additionally, an after-school bike club is being formed; a 6-week bike safety program will be offered to all students and staff; and a one-hour assembly featuring bike arts and safety skills is planned.

There’s also funding to build one of the projects that was identified as a top priority during that first Safe Routes to School program in 2012. A new shared-use path will be constructed along Jefferson Park providing a safer, more direct connection for kids walking and biking between the school, the Beacon Food Forest and North Beacon Hill neighborhood. The project will improve safety by providing an off-street trail as an alternative to walking or biking along busy traffic on 15th Avenue S. The new path will also serve as a connection between two neighborhood greenways. The project will achieve 100% design in March with construction planned to begin in late 2015.

Mercer Trail: A new shared-use path will be constructed along Jefferson Park later this year.

Mercer Trail: A new shared-use path will be constructed along Jefferson Park later this year.

In addition to funding from WSDOT, this program is supported by local matching funds provided by the School Speed Zone Safety Camera revenue.

For more on Safe Routes to Mercer Middle School: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/SafeRoutesMercerMiddle.htm

SR 520 Montlake Boulevard Sidewalk Closures

Rushing to catch the bus or just going for a stroll on Montlake Boulevard? Get ready for several sidewalk detours during the next six to eight weeks. Crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project are getting ready to build wider, smoother sidewalks and new pedestrian islands along Montlake Boulevard East near SR 520. Work will occur in various locations along Montlake Boulevard East.

The work will take place in three sequential phases, described below. The first phase will begin as soon as Monday, March 2nd and each phase is expected to take two to three weeks to complete.

  • Phase 1: Sidewalk closed along the east side of Montlake Boulevard East to the north and south of East Hamlin Street.
  • Phase 2: Sidewalks closed at the northeast and southeast corners of the Montlake Boulevard East and East Lake Washington Boulevard intersection.
  • Phase 3: Sidewalks closed at the northwest and southwest corners of the Montlake Boulevard East and East Lake Washington Blvd intersection. The crosswalk across the westbound on-ramp to SR 520 will also be closed at this time.

 

The graphic below illustrates the locations of the closure during Phase 1 and some common pedestrian detours to avoid them. For those who can handle stairs, the stairs leading to the SR 520 freeway transit stop can serve as a shortcut when the crosswalks at the Montlake Boulevard East and East Lake Washington Blvd intersection are inaccessible.

SR 520 Sidewalk Detours Map

SR 520 Sidewalk Detours Map

To get the most current information about the current construction activities check out the What’s Happening Now? site for the SR 520 – West Approach Bridge North Project.

New Bike Leaning Rails and Improvements Installed at Burke-Gilman Crossing!

Hey Bikers and Trail Users,

The new Bicycle Leaning Rails have been installed at 25th Avenue NE and NE Blakeley Street along the Burke-Gilman Trail crossing, and are ready to use!

These rails and foot rests allow riders to rest an arm and/or foot when waiting at the trail intersection. Crews working for SDOT began installing the foot rests and rails last week in addition to the new wider bike-and-pedestrian friendly Curb Ramps. Please check out our latest Blog Video below:

Improvements to this intersection include:

  • Upgraded curb ramps to be compliant with current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
  • Signal modifications for the new protected bicycle/pedestrian phase for the south crossing on the Burke-Gilman Trail with bicycle icon signal heads and push buttons are in the works and are expected to be finished by the end of March.
  • Signal modifications to accommodate a new right-turn only pocket and protected turning phase on the west side of the intersection for eastbound motorists on NE Blakeley Street are also in the works and are expected to be finished soon.
New Bike Leaning Rail open and being used.

New Bike Leaning Rail open and being used.

New Wider ADA Curb Ramps.

New Curb Ramps at 25th Avenue NE and NE Blakeley Street.

 

The Bike Leaning Rails are already used in places like Copenhagen, Denmark and Chicago, and allow bicyclists to rest their foot and have something to hold onto for balance while waiting at the traffic light rather than using traffic light posts or other poles around them.

 

 

The rails also help align bike riders to one side of the trail so the sidewalk is kept clear for pedestrians, making it safer for all to cross the street.

We’ve also made improvements to the intersection of 30th Avenue NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail by building a raised crosswalk that alerts drivers of this crossing with the intent of slowing vehicle speeds. Raised crosswalks also help improve visibility between motorists and pedestrians and help maintain a level crossing for people biking, walking or with disabilities.

Crew Adrian and Jonathan Install Leaning Rail.

Installation Crew Adrian and Jonathan set new Leaning Rail.

This project is the first of its kind in Seattle; SDOT will be evaluating potential future sites.

Biker and Signs KeeperYou can learn more about this project by visitingwww.seattle.gov/transportation/UnionBlakeleyImprovements.htm.

Vision Zero Seattle – A Vision for Safer Streets for All

Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country. We’re also the fastest growing major city in the country. The good news is that crashes are trending downward. But last year, 15 people died in traffic collisions. In 2013, 23 people died. Every year, close to 155 people are seriously injured and more than 10,000 crashes occur. That’s nearly 30 crashes every day. The emotional impact this has on families, friends, and the broader community is unspeakable. And there are significant economic consequences as well.

We can do better. We must do better.

That’s why today, Mayor Murray and other city leaders announced Vision ZeroSeattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Vision Zero is a worldwide movement that calls into question the inevitability of death and injury on our streets. With today’s announcement, Seattle is making a clear statement that death on our streets is unacceptable and preventable, and we’re going to do something about it.

Vizion Zero

Seattle’s actions moving forward in 2015 focus on three key pieces:

  1. Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers.
  2. Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  3. Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors

 

Specific actions include:

  • Lower speed limit to 20 MPH on neighborhood streets (non-arterials)
  • Lower arterial speed limits
  • Targeted safety improvements on high collision corridors, paired with enforcement to reduce speed, impairment, and distraction
  • Re-enforcement patrols to reward good behavior
  • Expanded photo enforcement program
  • Community partnerships to expand education and enforcement efforts

 

These are tried and true strategies that work. We see them working here in Seattle, and want to apply them more, so we can improve safety for all travelers, especially as our city continues to grow.

 

Today, Mayor Murray launched Vision Zero at the Lake City Library where we’re putting these tactics to work. The neighborhood streets surrounding the library will soon become a 20 MPH Zone — a new strategy to bring a higher level of safety near places like schools and parks. We’ll accomplish this by using low cost measures like signs and pavement markings.

20 MPH Zone near Olympic Hills Greenway

20 MPH Zone near Olympic Hills Greenway

This 20 MPH Zone is near the recently completed Olympic Hills Greenway – a new facility where we’ve added speed humps, sharrows, and crossing improvements to improve safety for people walking, biking, and driving. And to the south, we’ve got the recently overhauled NE 125th Street.

 

Just to the east, on busy Lake City Way, we’ve partnered with residents and the State to bring extra patrols and safety education to the corridor. Data-driven infrastructure investments will significantly enhance the built environment, reduce collisions and improve conditions for everyone.

Lake City Way NE

Lake City Way NE

This is Vision Zero.

Learn more about Vision Zero at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

Roosevelt Way NE – More Than Just a Paving Project

Roosevelt Way NE has long been a critical arterial connecting the north Seattle to University District serving thousands of motorists, bus commuters, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The transportation demands on the corridor are being impacted by growth and developmentof apartment construction projects that will bring hundreds of new residents to the area. In 2021, Sound Transit expects to open its Roosevelt LINK light rail station on NE 66th St. SDOT is working to balance current needs and incorporate future corridor demands.

SDOT will be repaving Roosevelt from NE 65th down to the University Bridge, with construction currently slated to begin in late September of this year. However, while the repaving may be the cornerstone of this project, it is only one element.

2015_0115_RooseveltWayNE_FactSheet_FINAL_Page_2

 

Much of the public focus to date on this project has been on plans to include the installation of a protected bike lane (PBL) on the west side of Roosevelt all the way from NE 65th to the University Bridge. (To address near term safety needs, the PBL was recently installed south of N 45th.)

However, today’s blog post is intended to provide the reader with a brief rundown on the other elements of the project. The SDOT blog detailing the PBL plan can be found on our January 8 posting: http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2015/01/08/bicycle-safety-and-transit-improvements-along-roosevelt-way-ne/

 

 

In-Lane Bus Stops (Bus Islands) – Already in place at some locations on nearby University Avenue, in-lane bus stops permit buses to pick-up and discharge passengers without having to pull over to the side of the road at stops and then wait for a break in traffic to get back into the travel lane. The feature increases bus speed and reliability, making the use of public transit more appealing to users. This will be particularly important once the Sound Transit station is open, when commuters will need to be moved quickly between the station and their homes or offices.

Curb Bulbs – As the name implies, sidewalks at corners will be bulbed out to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians, while also making it easier for them to see oncoming traffic and to be seen by those cars. Curb bulbs are a safety feature, and will be installed at virtually every intersection along the corridor. In most cases, the corner will bulb out 6’ on the east side of Roosevelt, while up to 3’ on the west side (in order to accommodate the PBL and bus islands).

Buckled/Broken Sidewalks – Many sidewalk stretches along Roosevelt have been broken or buckled over the years, sometimes the result of expanding tree roots, while in other cases simply the product of years of wear and tear. The project will replace most such damaged sidewalk segments, although some sidewalk repairs will remain the responsibility of developers of new apartment or office structures along the street.

Curb Ramps – The project will add new curb ramps and replace other substandard ones to meet federal Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards. These ramps make the transition from sidewalk to street grade, enabling those in wheelchairs or using walkers or strollers to more easily cross the street.

Those interested in the project can find additional details, along with updates during construction, at the project website, located at www.seattle.gov/transportation/pave_roosevelt.htm

City of Seattle Seeks Proposals for Coordinated Street Furniture Program

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is seeking to improve the streetscapes of downtown Seattle and South Lake Union, and has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a Coordinated Street Furniture Program. The program’s goal is to enhance the public right of way through high quality street furniture and a higher level of maintenance while also improving pedestrian circulation and safety.

Qualified companies are invited to offer their proposals for the design, fabrication, supply, installation, operation, maintenance and repair of coordinated street furniture located in the public right of way in downtown Seattle and South Lake Union.

The City expects the Coordinated Street Furniture Program will provide:

Kiosk Example elsewhere - (not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle).

Kiosk Example elsewhere – (not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle).

  • An enhanced public realm experience for pedestrians, transit riders and visitors.
  • Improved comfort and usability of public gathering spaces, transit stops and stations, and public information systems, such as wayfinding.
  • A new variety of publicly accessible facilities and removal of “clutter” in the public realm.
  • Ongoing maintenance and cleanliness of all street furnishings in the program and areas around those furnishings.
  • A share of created advertising revenue to support further streetscape enhancements, center city transportation projects, safety upgrades or other needs.

 
The Coordinated Street Furniture Program may include, but is not limited to, transit shelters, informational kiosks, consolidated refuse receptacles and seating elements. If approved by the Seattle City Council, limited advertising may be permitted on selected street furniture.

Information Kiosk example elsewhere - not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle.

Information Kiosk example elsewhere – (not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle).

Transit Shelter Example elsewhere - (not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle).

Transit Shelter Example elsewhere – (not intended to represent design or potential advertising in Seattle).

 

The program would provide new street furnishings and amenities in downtown Seattle and South Lake Union in addition to direct revenue to the City. The program vendor would maintain the furnishings as well as the streetscapes surrounding them, which would generate cost savings for the city and, possibly, for King County Metro as well. A coordinated street furniture program has the potential to generate $4-7 million of new revenue annually.

As part of this program, the City seeks exceptional design quality that complements the urban environment, functionality of the elements, and safe and accessible placement of street furniture. All elements of the Coordinated Street Furniture Program will occupy public space and will be maintained and serviced by the successful vendor. The full request for proposal can be found at:  http://thebuyline.seattle.gov/.

Beacon Hill Safety Improvements Underway

The North Beacon Safety Connections Project is making safety improvements on Beacon Hill for pedestrians and bicyclists, including students and families traveling to and from Beacon Hill International school. Please checkout our Blog Video below featuring Safe Routes To School Coordinator Brian Dougherty with his update.

Beacon Hill International School

Beacon Hill International School

Beacon Ave Sidewalk

Beacon Ave Sidewalk

North Beacon Safety Map - click to view largerSDOT crews are building a new redesigned intersection south of the school at Beacon Avenue South and 14th Avenue South. The new intersection will have:

  • An all-way stop with marked crosswalks on all sides.
  • Curb ramps and curb extensions at all corners of the intersection which reduces the pedestrian crossing distance.
  • A raised crosswalk in the south portion of the intersection which will encourage slower vehicle crossing speed.

The intersection is also being realigned so that southbound motorists on 14th Ave South must turn left or right at Beacon Avenue South, except bicycles.  The change will reduce cut-through traffic on 14th Avenue South and will improve visibility and safety for people crossing the street.

Beacon Avenue Sidewalk2

Beacon Avenue Sidewalk Construction

Beacon Ave South

Beacon Ave Construction

This project is a part of Safe Routes to School an organized national effort to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike to school. SDOT supports this effort by funding engineering improvements, education, and encouragement campaigns at public and private schools throughout Seattle.

Family walking on 14 Ave S

Family walking on 14 Ave S

Keep Kids Safe Sign at Beacon Hill Intl. School

Keep Kids Safe Sign at Beacon Hill Intl. School

There has been a dramatic decrease of children walking and bicycling to school over the past several decades. Parents dropping their kids off at school in cars contribute to morning traffic jams in our communities that impact everyone. The good news is walking and biking to school has increased at 26 of 28 schools evaluated in Seattle from 2007 to 2013.

In addition to the intersection work, SDOT has built a new continuous sidewalk on the northeast side of Beacon Avenue South, that runs west to South Holgate Street.  The new sidewalk, curb ramps, and an uphill bike lane connect the North Beacon Hill business district to the Mountains to Sound Trail to the west, which helps improve the connection between Beacon Hill and SODO.

Beacon Ave S westbound towards South Holgate St

Beacon Ave S westbound towards South Holgate St

SDOT crews are working hard to enhance safety and mobility, and improve our infrastructure.  This project is funded by the nine-year voter approved Bridging the Gap Levy, Safe Routes to School, Sidewalk Development Program, and Washington State Transportation Improvement Board.

We would like to thank the community for their patience as we work to complete this project which will make it safer and easier for kids, neighbors and families to get around on Beacon Hill.

Plan Ahead for Sunday’s Big Game

Seattle’s abuzz with football excitement as the Seahawks look to make history in Phoenix this Sunday.

On this final Blue Friday of the season, we present you with some critical information so you can plan ahead if you plan to drink. It’s common knowledge that drinking and driving don’t mix. Consider these travel options as you put together your game plan for the big day:

  • Get a ride – Take the bus, rail, a cab or a service like Uber, Lyft, Curbed or Flywheel to get around town. Let a professional driver escort you between the party and your home.
  • Select a Designated Driver – Make sure someone stays sober if driving is necessary. Driving impaired is one sure-fire way to ruin a momentous occasion.
  • Park it – If you accidentally consume some “special brownies” at the party, leave your car parked overnight and sleep it off at a friends house. Everything you need to know about pre-paid parking can be found here.
  • Walk safe – Walking impaired is no party. Be sure you’re sober enough to navigate our busy urban streets before heading out solo. If you don’t have your wits about you, have a sober friend help you get to your destination or just sleep it off.

 

We hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend! GO HAWKS!

Let's hope we get to do this again next week!

Let’s hope we get to do this again next week!

 

Mercer Corridor Project – Maintaining Safety through the Corridor

Travelers who use the Mercer Corridor have much to look forward to as construction is expected to wrap-up later this year. As pavement is poured, lanes are added, sidewalks poured, bike lanes completed and signal timing adjusted, SDOT will maintain its commitment to safety to all those who work, live and travel in the corridor. Though traffic capacity is limited, the project opened two new westbound lanes between Ninth Ave N and Queen Anne Ave N last summer. This provides a much improved, direct route from I-5 to Seattle Center, Uptown and Queen Anne, and it also eliminates some of the challenges between turning vehicles and pedestrians.

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Work in the past six months has focused on Mercer between Fifth Ave N and Ninth Ave N, and south along Fifth Ave N. Installation of new signals, sidewalks, and accessible ramps has required that traffic lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks be closed to protect pedestrians and others from construction activities. Pedestrians have had to cross the street at signalized intersections and sometimes travel two or three blocks out of their way to avoid the construction zones. This is inconvenient, but necessary to maintain safe, accessible connections during construction. Pedestrian maps highlighting closures and detour routes are posted on our project website as well as on sidewalks in the project area. Here’s a link: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

As work progresses, more corners and crosswalks are opening up with improved ramps and sidewalks. All new sidewalks and curbs are constructed to meet the current Americans with Disabilities Act standards for mobility providing safe travels for all users in the corridor.

Work will continue near the intersection of Dexter Ave N and Mercer St where temporary configurations have been in place on both streets since July of last year. Temporary roadways were constructed so that crews could safely work on major utility relocations on both Mercer St and Dexter Ave N. Both roadways and corresponding curvatures drivers experience will be removed this year, starting with Mercer St the weekend of February 7.

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

During this weekend closure, crews will also stripe the eastbound lanes with their final markings. Pedestrians will also experience a noticeable change in their routing as the temporary roadways are removed. Following the February 7 weekend closure, pedestrians will be moved from the south side of Mercer St to new sidewalks on the north side of Mercer St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N. The new separated bicycle path will be in place adjacent to the sidewalk, but crews will wait for drier weather to add channelization markings on the bike path.

Do You take Transit on Madison Street? Your input is greatly appreciated.

Do you take Transit on Madison Street? SDOT has a new online survey and is seeking input for the Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study.

The Study is developing a concept design for BRT from Colman Dock to Martin Luther King Jr. Way and will examine two alternatives to evaluate travel-time savings, traffic impacts, ridership projections, and parking impacts in the coming months.

SONY DSC

Route 12 Bus on Madison Street

The 2.1-mile corridor runs from Colman Dock east to 23rd Avenue and will improve access to ferries, Third Avenue transit, First Hill medical facilities and housing, Seattle University, the Central district, Link Light Rail, and the First Hill Streetcar.

Madison Street Cooridor Map

Madison Street Cooridor Map

SDOT is seeking input on key elements before this analysis begins, including transit connections, routing options, station locations, and an alternate bike facility.  After the analysis is complete, SDOT will launch a round of outreach to share the results and discuss community preferences about the design options. The last question of the survey is a map exercise; don’t forget to share your map. #MadisonBRT

The survey ends February 5th.  You can request paper copies of the survey directly from SDOT, by emailing MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or contacting Sara Walton at 206-386-4645.

For more information on the Madison BRT study, visit the project website.