Brake for Bananas?

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


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.


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 #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 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:


To report a potential infraction email 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

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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:

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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

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PARK(ing) Day Plus+ is coming this Friday and Saturday!

Does the end of summer have you feeling blue? It’s not time to start hiding away inside quite yet! PARK(ing) Day Plus+ has inspired Seattleites to create 50 temporary parks and street improvements for you to explore in parking spaces throughout the city. Check them out this Friday and Saturday, September 16-17, between 10 AM and 7 PM.


Here are a few of the creative activities you can do at Seattle’s pop-up parks:

  • Join a Prince sing-a-long and trivia contest
  • Relax on furniture made of pool noodles or in an outdoor reading room
  • Explore a maze or catch a dance performance
  • Create a watercolor painting and experiment with bubbles
  • Drink lemonade or fancy tea
  • Learn about book printing and tree identification
  • Play a musical instrument made out of bike parts – or just park your bike!


Check out the map on our website to find parks near you! Some of the parks will not be in place for both days of the event, so double check the date listed in the map.

Through your visit, you’ll be part of an international conversation about the importance of walkable, livable, and healthy cities. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter throughout the weekend @seattledot and tag your photos #ParkingDaySEA!

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New 34th St Protected Bike Lane Coming Soon!


Cycle Scouts hand out treats to safety conscious bicyclists.

We’re almost finished installing a new, 2-way protected bike lane on N 34th St in Fremont! To prepare for it, we had a bike safety event with a group of volunteer Cycle Scouts who passed out treats to bicyclists who were following the rules of the road and traveling safely.


The Cycle Scouts’ mission is to promote good bicycle behavior.

Stopping at stop signs, wearing a helmet, and yielding to pedestrians are just a few of the rules that people on bikes need to follow.

Over the last few weeks, crews removed old pavement markings, painted new pavement markings, installed signs, and added white plastic posts in the protected bike lane buffer. The N 34th St protected bike lane creates a designated space for people biking and helps make the street more comfortable and predictable for all travelers.

Quick note! The N 34th St protected bike lane takes the day off on Sundays during the Fremont Sunday Market. People on bikes need to dismount and walk their bikes or use an alternate route.

Looking for a flat, protected ride from northwest Seattle to downtown? Take the Burke-Gilman Trail to the Westlake protected bike lane via N 34th St! The Westlake protected bike lane opens next week!

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Commuting During Summer Construction


Construction site in Seattle.

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation right now, which means more construction projects, cars, and crowds as we share our streets with people on everything from zero to sixteen wheels.

Summer is a great time to try an alternate commute method, such as biking or taking the bus, but it’s also peak season for road and sidewalk maintenance. The rainy season can cause delays and difficulty on construction and repairs, so projects are trying to complete work while the sun is still shining.

All this can make commuting tricky, but we’re here to help.



Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and SDOT Intern Ahlaam Ibraahim at a recent Vision Zero event.

Our Vision Zero team is hard at work to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through educational outreach like the above event, and coordinating enforcement of traffic safety laws with the Seattle Police Department. Our Levy to Move team is implementing the taxpayer approved $930 million 9 year plan to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city.

And, through our All Aboard partnership with King County Metro, we’re improving or expanding 85% of the bus routes in Seattle.

We’re working hard to make it easier to get around Seattle, but it’s likely you won’t be able to avoid work zones completely as our city continues to grow.

Please be patient and cautious around construction, and remember, your fellow travelers – whether they be in cars, on bikes or buses – are also navigating the same obstacles.

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Enjoy Your Seafair Weekend!

Seafair Weekend is one of the biggest, busiest weekends of the summer in Seattle and that means a LOT of people will be out and about – it’s a good time to remind people to look out for others when heading out for summertime activities.


Whether you’re hopping a bus to the waterfront to tour a US Navy ship, biking to a friend’s waterfront home to watch the Blue Angels or packing up the family to drive down to Genessee Park to catch the hydros, here are a few reminder safety tips:

Allow Enough Time to Reach Your Destination

Plan your trip and be sure to allow enough time to get where you’re going. That usual 30 minutes to get downtown will take longer than normal because thousands of others are headed that way as well! Speeding can lead to trouble. So please slow down and be courteous.

Plan Ahead if You Plan to Partake

Help keep our streets safe by not driving while under the influence of alcohol – which remains the single biggest contributing factor to traffic fatalities – or marijuana. As part of our Vision Zero campaign, we are partnering with rideshare services Uber and Lyft to give you options for safe rides home this Seafair weekend and beyond.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Your phone will likely be pinging you all day long while you plan your weekend. There’s no need to check it while you’re behind the wheel (1, 2 or 4 wheels). Whether you’re driving, walking, or biking, we recommend that you focus on the road instead of other things.

Stop for Pedestrians

We are having an amazing stretch of weather (which doesn’t always happen during Seafair) and that brings more people outdoors, everywhere. As drivers, always be watchful, courteous, and remember to stop for pedestrians. Don’t forget to wave!

Headed down to Genessee Park for Seafair? Check out the map below to see which streets are closed and where parking has been restricted.2016_Seafair_StreetParking_Map newHave a fantastic Seafair Weekend!

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