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.

In the Rain

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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How do the Fremont and Ballard Bridge Openings work? (Updated)

Here’s an updated and shortened Blog Video of our behind-the-scenes look at the Fremont and Ballard Bridge openings, and how they work:

(Click on HD in Settings to view in High Definition)

 

SDOT operates and maintains over 149 bridges throughout Seattle, including four movable bridges. Three of SDOT’s movable bridges are draw bridges, known as bascule bridges. These are the Ballard Bridge, Fremont Bridge and University Bridge.

The city is required to open the bridges to marine traffic when requested, but is allowed to restrict boat and marine traffic openings during the morning
(7-9 a.m.) and afternoon (4-6 p.m.) commutes on weekdays (except national holidays). The openings average about four minutes, from stopping traffic to letting traffic resume. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience during the openings as marine traffic passes through.

The Ballard Bridge, located at the west end of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Salmon Bay, is the fourth and last of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridges to be passed before entering Puget Sound from Lake Washington. Built in 1917 with a length of 2,854 feet, the Ballard Bridge links the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods with Ballard.

The Fremont Bridge crosses the Lake Washington Ship Canal and connects the Fremont and Queen Anne neighborhoods. The bridge opened on July 4, 1917, it is the only blue and orange bridge operated by SDOT. The Fremont Bridge’s current color was chosen by a 1985 poll taken among Fremont residents and the Fremont Arts Council.

The Fremont Bridge also connects the Lake Washington Ship Canal Trail to the Burke Gilman Trail and has one of Seattle’s nine bike counters (here’s our previous blog about the Fremont Bridge Bike Counter and how it works). The Fremont Bridge has celebrated over 610,000 openings and counting as of January 2016. The bridge sits just 30 feet above the water, and rises for marine traffic on average of about 35 times a day, making it as one of the busiest bascule bridges in the world.

Here’s a link to our SDOT Bridges page: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridges.htm

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City Officially Opens Westlake Protected Bike Lane

The Westlake protected bike lane on the west side of Lake Union is now officially open, connecting the Fremont Bridge and surrounding trails and parks to South Lake Union and downtown. Driven by an extensive community input process, the completed project addresses the pedestrian, bike and vehicular conflicts the corridor’s undefined parking and sidewalk space created.

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.

“Our goal is to provide safe, reliable, and predictable transportation infrastructure that connects people to homes, jobs, and recreation,” said Mayor Murray. “We heard from local businesses and residents that preserving public parking was a key priority to maintain economic opportunity. I’m happy to say we were able to build a protected
bike lane, improve pedestrian crossings, and preserve 90% of the original parking. I’m proud of the work the community and the City has done to make today a reality.”

The opening celebration on September 15 featured speakers, giveaways, snacks, games and a ride-along led by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Scott Kubly.

“The Westlake protected bike lane makes everyone’s trip along the corridor safer and more predictable,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “My thanks to the Design Advisory Committee for its critical work on this important safety project.”

The Westlake protected bike lane project began in fall 2013 and attracted hundreds of attendees to project open houses and community meetings. Project design was overseen by a Design Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of local businesses, residents, freight, and the bicycle and pedestrian communities. With this community input built into the design, the Westlake protected bike lane creates a safer, more comfortable corridor for people walking, biking, and driving while preserving approximately 90 percent of the parking. The City thanks the Westlake community’s residents, businesses, customers and commuters for their patience throughout the completion of this project.

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

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