Archive for 'Bridging the Gap'
In 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine-year, $365 million, transportation levy for maintenance and improvements known as Bridging the Gap (BTG). The levy is funded by a commercial parking tax. The BTG levy funds maintenance programs for paving; new sidewalk development and repairs; repair, rehabilitation and seismic upgrades to Seattle’s bridges; tree pruning and planting; transit enhancements; and other much needed maintenance work. Funding also supports projects that develop and implement the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Transit Master Plans; promotes development of the Safe Routes to School Program; and helps neighborhoods secure larger projects built through the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project Program.
The BTG levy, as approved by voters, stipulated that certain percentages of the levy revenues be spent on different categories of projects over the nine year program:
- Neighborhood Street Fund – first $1.5 million annually
- Maintenance Programs – no less than 67%
- Pedestrian/Bike/Safety Programs – no less than 18%
- Transit and Major Projects – no more than 15%
During the early stages of development for the levy program, key goals and benchmarks were established helping the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) create a work program around BTG and set accountability measures to ensure the promises would be met. Some of the promises made and current numbers include:
- Prune 25,000 street trees – 23,000 trees have been pruned
- Repave 200 lane-miles of arterial streets – 205 lane miles completed
- Rehabilitate or replace 5 bridges – 6 have been rehabilitated or replaced
- Seismically retrofit 5 additional bridges – 3 have been completed
- Build 117 blocks of new sidewalks – 100 blocks have been constructed
- Restripe 5,000 crosswalks – 4,000 have been restriped
- Create “safe routes to schools” near 30 elementary schools – 40 have been created
- Repair 144 blocks of sidewalks – 167 blocks have been repaired
The transportation levy has been a critical funding piece for the department and SDOT is proud that is meeting and even surpassing the goals of the levy.
If you would like additional information on BTG please visit the webpage.[More]
According to the calendar, we are moving quickly from winter to spring and folks are looking forward to getting outside and getting active once again. As the days get longer, it’s a great time of year for kids to walk or bike to school. Thanks to your transportation levy dollars – Bridging the Gap (BTG) – 40 elementary schools around Seattle have gained new and improved walking routes since the Safe Routes to School program began in 2007. This program works closely with school staff, studentsand parents to identify barriers andsolutions to make walking and biking safer and more accessible.
Depending upon the streets surrounding the school, the safety program improvements can include all or some of the following: new curb ramps, marked crosswalks, sidewalk repairs, new sidewalks and speed cushions. Building off the success of 2013 with nine projects completed, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will make improvements at eight schools in 2014.
New sidewalks will be installed around both Olympic Hills and Arbor Height Elementary Schools. Roxhill, Salmon Bay and Beacon Hill Elementary Schools will see newly marked cross walks and curb bulbs installed. In addition, McDonald Elementary will receive new curb ramps; Martin Luther King Elementary will be given new curb bulbs; and Maple Elementary will acquire new curbs to help buffer the sidewalk this year.
Over the first seven years of the program, Orcas Elementary, Sanislo Elementary, Dearborn Park Elementary, Wing Luke Elementary, Dunlap Elementary, Bailey Gatzert Elementary, Concord Elementary, Northgate Elementary, Aki Kurose Middle School, Kimball Elementary and Cleveland High schools were recipients of funding from the program.
Last week’s post, part 1, 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 2014 is no exception.
More work to be completed in 2014:
- 2,000 new regulatory signs will be replaced and upgraded and 1,250 intersections will have their street name signs replaced.
- Crews will make 45 crossing improvements, complete eight Safe Routes to School projects, construct 150 new curb ramps and install pedestrian countdown signals at 10 intersections.
- More than 850 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 four miles of greenways and six miles of bike lanes and sharrows and install 500 bicycle parking spaces across the city.
- Crews will also rehabilitate seven stairways and construct seven blocks of new sidewalk.
- 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 100 blocks of new sidewalk; installed more than 44,500 new regulatory signs; replaced street names signs at nearly 10,000 intersections; improved walking routes to more than 40 schools; remarked 4,729 crosswalks; installed 156 miles of bike route signage; striped 150 miles of bike lanes and sharrows; upgraded 15,000 linear-feet of guardrail; and installed pedestrian countdown signals at 210 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.[More]
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 2014, 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 17 lane miles of new pavements along some of the city’s most traveled streets. Projects include paving work along N 105th/Northgate Way – Greenwood to First Avenue NE and along Holman Road.
Additional work to be completed in 2014:
- SDOT will repair 25 blocks of sidewalk, rehabilitate seven stairways and make smaller repairs to 16 lane-miles of road through the Arterial Major Maintenance program.
- Seattle’s bridges will continue to receive much needed repair work. Crews will make 186 repairs to Seattle’s bridges, while design work will continue on two additional bridges – Fairview Ave N and Yesler Way over Fourth Avenue. Both bridges will be rehabilitated or replaced in future years.
- Seismic retrofit work will be completed on the Ballard Bridge and the King Street Station complex of bridges.
- SDOT will plant 500 new street trees and prune more than 3,000 trees.
- Twelve Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Large Projects will be designed and constructed in 2015.
During the seven years of the levy, the city has delivered on the promises made by BTG. SDOT has paved more than 205 lane-miles of road, repaired 168 blocks of sidewalk, made 2,047 bridge repairs, rehabilitated 33 stairways, pruned more than 23,086 trees and planted 5,569 new street trees.
For more information about BTG’s goals and progress on meeting those targets, please visit the BTG web page.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), in partnership with the University of Washington, starts the New Year with installation of two more storefront real time information systems (RTIS) signs. The two new signs are adjacent to major bus stops on Campus Parkway in the University District at Alder Hall (near Brooklyn Street) and at Elm Hall (near 12th Avenue).
The new signs add to SDOT’s inventory of similar signs in several areas of Seattle. In 2012, SDOT posted a short article about the initiative to make transit a more convenient travel choice in Seattle.
SDOT’s RTIS signs use data from OneBusAway to deliver predicted bus arrival/departure times for routes using the stop where the sign is located. When real-time information is unavailable, the signs display scheduled arrivals. A recent article in The Atlantic Cities explains why real time transit information is a cost-effective strategy for increasing transit ridership and transit users’ satisfaction with service.
SDOT seeks to install storefront RTIS signs where there is high boarding activity and willing partners who want to help with sign installation and operation. These projects are funded by Bridging the Gap and are owned and managed by SDOT.
For more information on SDOT’s RTIS program for transit, contact Jeff Bender at 206-684-8837.
Would you like to know more about all the work done in 2013 by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) thanks to your transportation levy dollars – Bridging the Gap (BTG)? Or learn what SDOT and BTG have planned for 2014? Like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged? If so, you are in luck!
The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for January 30, 6 – 8 p.m., in the Seattle City Hall Boards and Commissions Room (L-230). The committee is 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 is 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
- Jessica Szelag, Bicycle Advisory Board member
- Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
- David Mendoza, Freight 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 this Thursday for the first meeting of 2014.
For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.
More than eight blocks of new sidewalk were completed in 2013. The funding for these blocks was provided as part of the Bridging the Gap Transportation (BTG) initiative, passed by Seattle voters in 2006. Since 2007, more than 99 blocks of new sidewalk have been constructed across the city. It is anticipated that another seven blocks will be built in 2014.
The 2013 BTG sidewalk projects:
- NE 125th Street between 35th Avenue NE and Sand Point Way NE, on north side
- N 90th Street between Dayton Avenue N and Fremont Avenue N, on south side
- 13th Avenue NW between NW 90th Street and Holman Road NW, on west side
- NW 90th Street between 12th Avenue NW and 13th Avenue NW, on north side
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 2013 projects please visit SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program webpage. The list of projects for 2014 will be posted soon, so remember to check back!For information on BTG and the other projects funded please visit their webpage.
As of January 2014, Seattle’s implemented nearly ten miles of neighborhood greenways. The Delridge Neighborhood Greenway makes up about 1.5 miles of this amount and finishing touches were recently completed. It follows 26th Avenue SW for the majority of the route, starting at SW Andover Street and ending at Delridge Way SW. Funded by Bridging the Gap, the neighborhood greenway helps people cross busy streets, discourages cut-thru traffic, helps keep speeds low and protects the residential character of the neighborhood.
It includes basic greenway elements like a 20 mph speed limit, stop signs on streets crossing the greenway, speed humps and signs to help people get to where they want to go. It also adds some great features like a raised crosswalk at SW Andover Street. Enhancements on SW Genesee near the Delridge playfields include two radar speed feedback signs. The sign helps calm traffic in an area where lots of kids travel by foot or bike.
Neighbors will continue to see improvements this year when SDOT widens the sidewalk on Delridge Way SW between SW Andover Street and the West Seattle Bridge Trail. This route was originally proposed by the North Delridge Neighborhood Council as a key corridor for improving pedestrian and bicycle access in Delridge and will create an even nicer connection to the new Delridge Neighborhood Greenway.[More]
The Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy program just wrapped up its seventh year of work. BTG is a nine-year, $365 million levy that is working to address years of deferred maintenance to aging infrastructure. Approved by voters in 2006, BTG enables much-needed work by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), such as roadway paving, sidewalk development and repair, bridge upkeep, and tree pruning and planting. It also supports the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plans, the Safe Routes to School program and enhanced transit.
What has BTG accomplished over the past seven years you ask? Well, BTG has paved more than 205 lane-miles of road, constructed 99 new blocks of sidewalk and repaired 167 block equivalent of sidewalk. More than 4,729 crosswalks have been restriped; 15,300 linear feet of guardrail have been installed and 44,000 new regulatory signs have been installed and more than 9,870 intersections have received new street name signs all across the city. Add to that the 40 Safe Routes to School projects, the 185 crossing improvements made, the 5,569 new trees planted and 150 lane-miles of new bike lanes and sharrows installed and you have a lot of other work that has been completed all across the city. All this work has touched every neighborhood.
It is important to note that BTG work is supported by an appointed citizens’ Levy Oversight Committee that meets quarterly. This 15-member body monitors revenues and expenditures, and reviews program and project schedules to provide full accountability to voters on BTG activities. The committee meetings are open to the public. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for January 30, 6-8 p.m. in the Boards and Commissions Room at Seattle City Hall.
This next year will see even more work completed as SDOT strives to deliver on the promises made by BTG. For more information on BTG and the work it is doing please visit the web page![More]
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) operates and maintains over 149 bridges throughout Seattle, including four movable bridges. With financial support from the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation initiative, SDOT is making important repairs and upgrades on many of its bridges. Each of these bridges provides key links to our neighborhoods and business districts.
The BTG program provides funding to four bridge programs – Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement (BRRP), Seismic Retrofit (BSRP), Bridge Painting and Bridge Structure Maintenance. Each program plays a key role in extending the life of a bridge or making it stronger and able to withstand the elements and natural disasters.
Since BTG began in 2007, more than 2,029 repairs have been made to bridges across the city – more than 215 this year. Making smaller, but needed repairs will help extend the life of bridge and keep it open to all traffic.
The BRRP has completed significant work on six bridges. Major replacement and rehabilitation projects have included: East Duwamish Waterway Bridge, Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge, NE 15th at 105th Street Bridge, NE 45th Street Viaduct Replacement and Airport Way over ARGO Railroad Yard.
The BSRP has completed two retrofits and the final projects as part of BTG are underway – King Street Station Bridge and Ballard Bridge. Seismic retrofit work has been completed on the South Albro Place Bridge over Airport Way and on the Fauntleroy Expressway.
The BRRP and BSRP program have experienced big successes through the first part of BTG and those successes are paying off in the long run. The groups have not only met their BTG deliverables, but they have seen significant cost savings and have added two additional bridge projects to their work program: Fairview Avenue North and Yesler Way over Fourth Avenue.
Maintaining our bridges for safe passage is crucial and thanks to BTG, SDOT is able to fulfill this top priority. For information about BTG please visit the web page.[More]