Solid Gold! Seattle is Bike Friendly

Great news for the City, and its work on making bicycle riding a great travel option for all ages and abilities. Seattle’s designation as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community was recently renewed by the League of American Bicyclists. Seattle is part of a select group of 335 communities in all 50 states (Washington ranks #1) that is committed to improving health, safety, and quality of life, by implementing projects and programs that support bicycling. Seattle is among 21 Gold communities nationwide, four cities nationally have reached Platinum designation (Davis, Boulder, Fort Collins and Portland). We’ll continue to work towards this goal.

 
“Visionary community leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents.”  More information about the program is available here.

 
The league was especially interested in Seattle’s commitment to equity, as reflected in the 2014 update of the Bicycle Master Plan. Seattle was asked to write a guest post for the News—the League blog— to share more about the importance of equity in our planning and project delivery processes, which you can find here.

Rainier Vista Traffic Safety Play Street - Oct.  2014

Rainier Vista Traffic Safety Play Street – Oct. 2014

Pronto Cycle Share Keeps rolling through the Holidays and the New Year, Groupon Alert!

With just over two months under its chain, Pronto continues to gain momentum as they roll into and through the holiday season. Pronto is Seattle’s first bike-share service designed to serve commuters, and has 500 bikes located at 50 stations with 24-hour access and is currently offering a Groupon. Riders can use the service as a worry-free travel option and won’t have to to worry about locks, bike maintenance or repair, as a part of their cycle share service.

Pronto bikes have seven speeds, a bell, front and rear flashing lights, and a front rack. Pronto also supplies a helmet—freshly-cleaned rentals are free to borrow at every station.

30 cost-free minutes is provided, and their annual memberships and 24-hour passes let riders take out bikes as often as they want within that time frame, but riders will want to find a docking station every 30 minutes (to avoid usage fees).

Here’s a link to their website.

Pronto 12-17-14

 

Thanks to a mild winter, bicyclists are getting around without dealing with extreme wintry weather

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful”… Actually, the weather has been very favorable for biking here in the northwest this past fall and winter. Mother Nature has provided us with mostly decent conditions; the mild weather has also allowed Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews to complete work on the many Bridging the Gap (BTG) bike projects across the city. BTG is the nine-year, $365 million transportation initiative that was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. It provides key funding for many projects across the city including implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan.

Freshly restriped Bike Lane

Freshly restriped Bike Lane

2014 has been a solid year for BTG cycling projects across the city and SDOT crews have wrapped their work. This year four miles of neighborhood greenways were installed, 60 miles of bike lanes and sharrows were restriped, 25 miles of bicycle route signage and more than 500 bicycle parking spaces were installed at key locations across the city. In addition, SDOT crews inspected 40 miles of trail across the city was inspected and made improvements to 10 key locations. All this work helps make bicycling in Seattle easier and more accessible to everyone.

 

New Bike Route signs

New Bike Route signs

So get out, take advantage of this unseasonably nice weather we are seeing and enjoy the many new projects completed by SDOT this year. We look forward to enhancing mobility in the coming new year by continuing more Bridging the Gap projects.

urban treespeeps at Fremont BrdgRESIZE

BTG funding provides maintenance to Seattle’s roads, bridges, stairways, sidewalks and bike facilities with the goal of making it easier for all users to get around the city more easily and safely. For additional information on BTG and the work it does please visit the web page.

Getting around with help from the holiday construction moratorium in Seattle

Seattle Department of Transportation generally does not allow construction work during the winter holidays in streets or sidewalks located in the Downtown Retail Core and in Pioneer Square. This ban on construction helps Seattle businesses during the peak shopping season and reduces traffic congestion during this busy time of year. The moratorium period is from Thanksgiving Day through January 1. Exceptions are allowed for emergencies and for special conditions authorized by the Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Blog Map for 12-5-14

 

The boundaries of the two areas are: Central Retail Shopping District: Seneca Street, 1-5 Freeway, Denny Way, Virginia Street and 1st Avenue; Pioneer Square District: Columbia Street, 2nd Avenue, 2nd Avenue South, South King Street and Elliott Bay.

 

For more information, call 684-ROAD (7623).

Meet Kyle Rowe, SDOT Pedestrian and bicycle transportation planner

On the SDOT blog, we often feature safety improvements and innovative ideas and projects. But, you may be curious about the people behind those ideas.

Following our recent blog post about Seattle’s First Bicycle Leaning Rails, we wanted to highlight one of our SDOT employees, Kyle Rowe, who actually helped design (from scratch!) the bicycle leaning rail for the City. With a nod to the bicycle leaning rails used in Copenhagen, Kyle worked with his fellow SDOT colleagues to determine the size and dimensions, materials, functionality and look for these rails. In addition to providing a place to stop, the leaning rail will also feature a push button that bike riders can use to trigger a crossing at the traffic light. The leaning rail will make a busy intersection safer for everyone using it.

Kyle Rowe1

Kyle is a project lead for bicycle, pedestrian and other safety improvement projects in SDOT’s Traffic Management division. Those handy City of Seattle bike maps? Yep, Kyle is one of the key people in charge of updating and producing those every year. Ever seen or used a “bike corral” to park your bike? Chances are, Kyle helped get it installed. Kyle also helps implement the projects identified in the City’s Bike Master Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan to improve safety, mobility and accessibility throughout Seattle.

We’re looking forward to sharing more of the faces and stories behind SDOT’s everyday work.

Completing Connections – New and improved SR 520 West Approach North Bridge Project Update

The new and improved SR 520 is coming to Seattle, with work continuing to the complete the anticipated connection.  WSDOT is building the West Approach Bridge North Project (WABN) that will be nearly as long as the new floating bridge itself. The Project addresses the vulnerability of the existing west approach bridge’s hollow columns which could fail during a significant earthquake. The  new West Approach North Bridge will be a seismically sound structure, built to modern earthquake standards.

The new, 1.2-mile-long replacement will carry three westbound lanes of traffic (including a new HOV lane) from the new floating bridge to Seattle’s Montlake Boulevard interchange. The new bridge section is expected to open to drivers in 2017, about a year after the new floating bridge is completed. The new bridge section will  have a 14-foot wide cross-lake path for pedestrians and bicyclists that will stretch from the Eastside to Montlake.

SR  520 Blog Pix 12-10-14

WABN will have wider, safer lanes, and shoulders that allow vehicles to pull off the road in the case of a breakdown.

SR 520 Blog Pix2 12-10-14

WABN will complete the bicycle/pedestrian connection across Lake Washington with a new, 14-foot-wide regional shared-use path.

SR 520 Blog Pix3 12-10-14

WABN will extend transit/HOV lanes from the Eastside across Lake Washington to Montlake.

SR 520 Blog Pix 4 12-10-14

WABN’s new shared-use path will include “belvederes,” or viewpoints, for resting and enjoying the views.

 

The Hill is Hoppin’ even if the Cranes are Diggin’!

One thing that’s clear on Capitol Hill is that it’s sometimes not clear due to construction. There’s a lot of construction. Though projects are finishing and leaving shiny new developments in their wake (as shown in green on the map below), completion can’t come soon enough when you’re surrounded.

CapHillConstruction

 

As we mentioned a couple weeks ago, Capitol Hill businesses are open! Development in the area bounded by 10th Avenue, E Pike Street, 11th Avenue and E Union Street is pretty concentrated so keep your eyes open as you travel to Wild Rose, Cupcake Royale or Café’ Pettirosso. They’re keeping their eyes out for you, creating events to make your arrival well worth it…
PettirossoParty

 

One example is next Monday’s Public Market at Café Pettirosso, with the Holiday-core quintet Dancer & Prancer. The pop-up market will feature local crafts, artists and vintage curators to meet your shopping needs while the back-drop of cheery holiday music makes the particularly palatable Pettirosso flavors all the more pleasing…

 

The Wild Rose Tavern is also looking out for you this New Year’s Eve. Not letting construction get the corner on the street-closing market, the Wild Rose is closing E Pike Street between 10th and 11th avenues from 7AM December 31st until 5AM January 1, New Year’s Day. For its 30th Anniversary the Tavern is hosting a party in the street–complete with tents, outdoor bar, stage and sound system. As you make your plans to attend, remember that 11th Avenue near that segment will not be available for use. WildRoseParty

 

So, remember to visit Capitol Hill early and often, or late and often—just often. The hill is hoppin’ even if the cranes are diggin’. Speaking of which, the next big project in the area, at 1427 11th Avenue East, is scheduled to start December 17, 2014. The Access Seattle Construction Hub team is on it…and we’ll keep you posted as we coordinate!
TheFeedBag

 

P.S. It’s not like we have a Pet Project or anything, but there is a Yappy Hour we’d like to mention. No, that’s not a typo. The Feed Bag, at 518 East Pike Street, says “Feliz Navi-Dog” December 18 with nummies for Fido and human alike. So grab a leash and head on over next Thursday!

Winter Weather Brochures Available Now

SDOT’s annual winter weather brochure is available now and has a large map of Seattle’s snow and ice routes, lists important telephone numbers and websites to use during winter storms, and offers preparedness tips.

We work closely with King County Metro Transit, the Seattle School District, local universities, and hospitals, to ensure our snow-fighting work maintains mobility for people and goods, and access to the region.

Winter Weather 2014 MapThe snow route map shows where we will focus our snow-fighting efforts. Those streets will be treated with de-icer and plowed when the storm hits. Now is a good time to plan routes to get to work, the grocery store, child care and medical appointments.

 

The brochures are free at Seattle Public Library branches, Neighborhood Service Centers, and available soon at Seattle Parks Community Centers.

 

They are available in 10 languages including: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Somali, Oromo, Tigrinya, and Amharic.

 

We’ve distributed brochures to Seattle public elementary schools students to share with their parents and families, in addition to local hospitals and community organizations.

 

The Winter Weather and Snow Route Map for 2014/2015 are viewable and downloadable at the following link: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/winterweather.htm

New Downtown Parklet opens

The new Chromer Building Parklet is open at 2nd Ave at Pike St (1516 2nd Ave.) featuring spaced concrete blocks for seating in addition to chairs, tables and games (large Jenga blocks, and Connect 4).

Parklet4

 

Parklet1

Urban Visions manages the Chromer Building and hosts the new parklet adjacent to their recently-renovated building. The parklet is downtown’s first and the largest to open in SDOT’s Pilot Parklet Program.

Shannon Nichol of parklet designer Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, talks about the space utilization with SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Downtown Seattle Association CEO Jon Scholes, and Greg Smith Urban Visions Founder

Shannon Nichol of parklet designer Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, talks about the space utilization with SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Downtown Seattle Association CEO Jon Scholes, and Greg Smith, Urban Visions Founder

The parklet will offer a unique public space in the Downtown core featuring seating, art, bike parking, and different types of programming. Parklets are small community gathering spaces built in a few on-street parking spots, are a cost-effective way to activate streets, create more vibrant neighborhoods, and promote economic vitality. The Chromer Building parklet will be the fifth parklet to open in the Pilot Parklet Program.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly says it's a great addition for all to use and enjoy.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly says it’s a great addition for all to use and enjoy.

Seattle now has five parklets open, and another 10 to open in the coming months. Parklets are now open at Montana Bar (Capitol Hill), Oasis Tea Zone (Chinatown/International District), Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (Wallingford), and Cortona Café (Central District). The Chromer Building parklet (Downtown). SDOT is continuing to work with the following parklet hosts to permit their parklets:

  • City Hostel Seattle in Belltown (2327 2nd Ave)
  • Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse in Madison Valley (2818 E Madison St)
  • Equilibrium Fitness in West Seattle (3270 California Ave SW)
  • Tin Umbrella Coffee Roasters in Hillman City (5600 Rainier Ave S)
  • Bottlehouse and Hi Spot Café in Madrona (1416 34th Ave)
  • Lost Lake Lounge and Comet Tavern in Capitol Hill (10th Ave and Pike St)
  • Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Denny Triangle (1915 Terry Ave)
  • Uptown Alliance at SIFF Cinema in Uptown (511 Queen Anne Ave N)
  • U District Advocates in the University District (1316 NE 43rd St)
  • Delancey in Ballard (1415 NW 70th St)

Parklet opening at 2nd & Pike tomorrow!

Less than three months after the installation of the 2nd Ave Protected Bike Lane Demonstration Project, a new public space is coming to 2nd Ave at Pike St. Urban Visions, manager of the Chromer Building at 1516 2nd Ave, is hosting a parklet adjacent to their recently-renovated building. The Chromer Building parklet will be the first parklet installed downtown and the largest to open in SDOT’s Pilot Parklet Program.

The Chromer Building parklet is nearly ready for visitors!

The Chromer Building parklet is nearly ready for visitors!

Beginning Wednesday, December 3, the parklet will offer a unique public space in the Downtown core featuring seating, art, bike parking, and different types of programming. The parklet will officially open at 12:00 noon with a celebration.

 

Join the Chromer Building parklet team, and representatives from the Downtown Seattle Association, the Mayor’s Office, and SDOT at the grand opening event. In the winter sunshine we’ll have brief comments, a ribbon cutting, music, games, hot chocolate, coffee, and eggnog for all to enjoy!

 

Parklets, which are small community gathering spaces built in a few on-street parking spots, are a cost-effective way to activate streets, create more vibrant neighborhoods, and promote economic vitality. The Chromer Building parklet will be the fifth parklet to open in the Pilot Parklet Program; 10 more parklets are on their way in the coming months.

 

Check out the Pilot Parklet Program website to see the other parklets in Seattle and get updates on the pilot program.