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!


Safer New Pioneer Square Sidewalk Thanks to Neighborhood Street Fund

Thanks to community and SDOT efforts, safety and accessibility have been greatly improved by the addition of a new sidewalk and curb ramp on South Jackson Street from 2nd Ave South to 3rd Ave South in Pioneer Square.

The new sidewalk and curb ramp replaced the outdated sidewalk which had a slanted grade and tall alley curb, which made it difficult for anyone with limited mobility or pushing deliveries to access.

Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

Pioneer Square based International Sustainability Institute and the Alliance for Pioneer Square applied for and was awarded a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to pay for these improvements. The Neighborhood Street Fund Program pays for neighborhood transportation projects which are identified and prioritized by the community itself. The funds for this program come from the Bridging the Gap levy.

SDOT staff and crews worked closely with the surrounding businesses and property owners along the stretch of Jackson to plan and complete the work. This project is an example of SDOT and the community working together to make our streets and sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone.

Bridging the Gap Levy Dollars at work – 2015, part 2

Last week’s post focused more on the larger projects (bridges, paving, trees and the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Projects) supported by your transportation levy – BTG. This week we will look at the work plans for pedestrians, bikes and traffic management operations.

Since the BTG initiative was passed by Seattle voters in 2006, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has pulled together ambitious work plans each year and 2015 is no exception. SDOT crews will continue replacing guardrail and focus on replacing and repairing crash cushions at key roadway points across the city. Crews will also rehabilitate seven stairways and construct seven blocks of new sidewalk.

Bridging the Gap

More work to be completed in 2015:

  • SDOT will install 2,000 new regulatory signs and new street name signs will be installed at 1,250 intersections.


  • Crews will make 40 crossing improvements, complete eight Safe Routes to School projects, construct 200 new curb ramps and install pedestrian countdown signals at 25 intersections.


  • More than 520 centerline lane miles of arterial roadway will be restriped, 500 crosswalks will also be restriped and 60 miles of on-street bicycle facilities will be maintained.


  • SDOT will inspect 40 miles of trails and bikeways, install 25 miles of signed bicycle routes, install 12 miles of greenways and seven miles of bike lanes and sharrows and install 500 bicycle parking spaces across the city.


  • 50,000 transit service hours will be preserved, two transit corridors will be designed, and two will be constructed, while six priority bus corridors will see strategic spot improvements constructed.


Through the first six years of the levy, the city has delivered on the promises made by BTG. We have constructed more than 107 blocks of new sidewalk, installed more than 47,600 new regulatory signs, replaced street names signs at 11,137 intersections, improved walking routes more than 50 schools, remarked 5,240 crosswalks, installed 181 miles of bike route signage, striped 156 miles of bike lanes and sharrows, upgraded 16,000 linear-feet of guardrail and installed pedestrian countdown signals at 255 intersections. Each of these projects help residents of Seattle navigate the city a little easier and a little more safely.

For more information about BTG’s goals and progress on meeting those targets, please visit the BTG web page.

Bridging the Gap Transportation Levy Dollars at Work – 2015, part 1

In 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine-year levy program targeting transportation maintenance and improvement projects – Bridging the Gap (BTG). The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has worked hard every year to spend the levy dollars wisely and to hold to the promises made to voters. Once again in 2015, the work plan for the program sets aggressive goals and will push SDOT staff to be creative in their designs and delivery of projects.

One of the most visible programs of the BTG levy is the asphalt and concrete paving program; this year they will deliver 117 lane miles of new pavements along some of the city’s most traveled streets. Projects include paving work along Renton Avenue South – Phase I and along Roosevelt Way NE.


Bridging the Gap


Additional work to be completed in 2015:

  • SDOT will repair 25 blocks of sidewalk, rehabilitate seven stairways and make smaller repairs to 10 lane-miles of road through the Arterial Major Maintenance program.


  • Seattle’s bridges will continue to receive much needed repair work. Crews will make 253 repairs to Seattle’s bridges, while construction will begin on – Yesler Way over 4th Ave.


  • Construction will begin on the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvement Project – Phase 1


  • SDOT will plant 180 new street trees and prune more than 3,000 trees.


  • Ten Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Large Projects will be constructed.


During the seven years of the levy, the city has delivered on the promises made by BTG. SDOT has paved more than 222 lane-miles of road, repaired 193 blocks of sidewalk, made 2,413 bridge repairs, rehabilitated 40 stairways, pruned more than 26,220 trees and planted 6,135 new street trees.

For more information about BTG’s goals and progress on meeting those targets, please visit the BTG web page.

SDOT 2015 plan review, end of year BTG update and January 27 meeting Invite


Are you interested in learning about the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) 2015-2016 budget? How about an update of the third quarter Bridging the Gap (BTG) finances and an update on the 2014 BTG work plan deliverables? Do you like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are in luck!


Please join the BTG Levy Oversight Committee meeting scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 27,  from 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle City Hall (600 Fourth Ave.), Boards and Commissions Room (L-280). The committee is comprised of a dedicated group of 15 community members who meet quarterly to review and track the progress of the BTG transportation initiative that was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. They are charged with ensuring SDOT is delivering on the promises made to voters.


Committee members come from all across the city, and from all walks of life. They take their oversight and accountability role seriously and they work closely with SDOT to ensure that BTG not only meeting its goals, but that it is being integrated into the overall goals of the department and the City.


The committee members include:

  • Ann Martin, Co-chair
  • Kristen Lohse, Co-chair
  • Ref Lindmark
  • Betty Seith-Croll
  • Allegra Calder
  • John Coney
  • Jeremy Valenta
  • Barbara Wright
  • Chisula Chambers
  • Jeff Aken, Bicycle Advisory Board member
  • Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
  • Ben Noble, City Budget Director
  • Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair


All committee meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend and share their views on BTG during public comment. If you are interested in how your tax dollars are allocated, why not mark your calendar and join us January 27th.

For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.

SDOT Urban Forestry Crews Keeping Seattle’s Green Spaces Landscaped, Thanks to Bridging The Gap

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Urban Forestry Division crews kept busy by planting 555 trees, pruning 3,044 trees, and completing 1,080 landscape maintenance projects in 2014. All of these projects are possible due to funding provided by the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation Initiative passed by Seattle voters in 2006.

5th Ave Trees

Tree planting











Urban Forestry is charged with overseeing the more than 40,000 trees in the public right-of-way, and maintaining 123 acres of landscapes that relate to the transportation system. Since 2007, the crews have planted more than 5,500 trees, pruned more than 25,000 trees and completed more than 3,000 maintenance projects across the City. This work is important to maintain, protect, and expand the City’s urban landscape in street right-of-ways for Seattle’s residents and businesses so that economic, environmental, safety and aesthetic benefits are maximized.

Before trimming

Before trimming

After trimming

After trimming












If you have questions or would like more information about the SDOT Urban Forestry Tree Program, please visit Urban Forestry’s website. In addition, if you have concerns about specific trees in your neighborhood, please call the citywide tree line at (206) 684-TREE.

For more information on Bridging The Gap please visit website.


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.

2014 Sidewalk Construction complete courtesy of Bridging the Gap!

How many miles of sidewalk can be found in the City of Seattle? More than 2,200 miles! That’s a lot of sidewalk; however, we have a ways to go before the network is complete. Sidewalks play an important role in our communities, they connect us and provide safe alternatives to get from home to work or school or play. Thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation initiative, passed by Seattle voters in 2006. Since 2007, more than 100 blocks of new sidewalk have been constructed across the city and in 2014 seven blocks have been constructed making the 9-year goal of 117 now within reach.


A key part of BTG has been the development of a Pedestrian Master Plan (PMP). The PMP is a long-term action plan to that establishes the policies, programs, design criteria and projects that will further enhance pedestrian safety and access in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods.  The plan serves as a guide for SDOT as decisions are made regarding new sidewalk construction.


Sandpoint Way NE

Sandpoint Way NE

Completed 2014 BTG sidewalk projects:

  • N 115th Street between Stone Avenue N and Meridian Avenue N
  • N 105th Street between Wallingford Avenue N and Meridian Avenue N
  • N 125th Street between Aurora Avenue N and Stone Avenue N
  • N 143rd Street between Linden Avenue N and Aurora Avenue N
  • Beacon Avenue S between S Holgate Bridge and 11th Avenue S

New sidewalks provide the key connection within and between our neighborhoods. They make it easier to get to school, to work and to use transit. For more information on the completed 2014 projects please visit SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program webpage. The list of projects for 2015 will be posted soon, so remember to check back!


For information on BTG and the other projects funded please visit their webpage.

Bridging the Gap – Working to keep everyone safe!

Safety is one of the highest priorities for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and we give it a lot thought and are always working to make needed improvements to keep all roadway users safe. Guardrail and crash cushions are two items that we give little thought to until we need them. And hopefully, you will never need them.


Crash Cushion 12-2-14

Thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation initiative, SDOT crews are able keep the city’s crash cushions and guardrail upgraded and in good condition. Even though this program is one of the lesser-known items funded by BTG, it provides a vital safety net. In 2014, 820 linear feet of guardrail has been upgraded and installed and 12 new crash cushions have been replaced. SDOT will continue to make upgrades to these important pieces of transportation infrastructure.


BTG programs are working hard to make Seattle streets safer for all users! For more information on BTG please visit the web page.

Bridging the Gap 2014 signage work nearly complete!

Did you know that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has replaced more than 44,000 regulatory traffic signs, more than 157 miles of bike routes have been signed and more than 9,800 intersections have received new street name signs all across the city? All of this work has been possible thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation Initiative passed by Seattle voters in 2006. The nine-year, $365 million initiative has been instrumental in making key improvements to Seattle’s roads, bridges, sidewalks, signals and signs.

New Street signs and South Jackson Street and Lakeside Avenue South

New Street signs and South Jackson Street and Lakeside Avenue South

The good news for 2014 is SDOT has either met, or is on track to meet, all of its goals for signage replacement and upgrades for this year. So far this year, SDOT has replaced 2,907 regulatory signs and installed new street name signs at 1,232, added 20 miles of new bike route signs, improved signage at 12 school zones and are working to complete replacement of five overhead directional signs. With only a few signs left to be replaced or installed all work will be completed by the end of the year.

Have you ever wondered what SDOT does with those old street names signs? Wonder no more! As noted in previous blog posts, various street name signs – named and numbered – are available through the City of Seattle Fleets and Facilities surplus warehouse.   An updated list of available signs ranging in price from $5 – 15 is posted on the web. Please see details and contact the warehouse directly if you are interested in purchasing a sign. Holiday shopping? The signs are great gifts for the person who has everything in life or is looking for a new creative project!

Please visit the Bridging the Gap web page for additional information about the initiative.