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:

 

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.

 

Join the discussion to improve safety on Rainier Avenue South

RainierPostcard (1)Community meetings scheduled for Nov. 12 and Nov. 18

The Seattle Department of Transportation invites community members to attend one of two community meetings this month to help improve safety on Rainier Avenue South. At the meetings we will review existing conditions and traffic data, discuss potential engineering and enforcement strategies, and hear concerns from residents. SDOT Director Scott Kubly plans to attend both meetings; Mayor Ed Murray will kick-off the Nov. 18 meeting. Nov. 12

6 to 8 p.m.

The Columbia School Cafeteria/Commons

3528 South Ferdinand Street

Nov. 18

4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The Ethiopian Community Center

8323 Rainier Avenue South

SDOT Director Scott Kubly explained, “We want to have a conversation with the community that uses Rainier Avenue South. Our goal is to improve safety for everyone—whether traveling by car, truck, bus, bike or on foot—while supporting the many businesses along this avenue.”

For more information, please see the webpage for the Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor Project at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rainieraves.htm.

 

Grants, grants and more grants!

BTG20logo-RESIZEThe Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation levy was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. BTG committed not only to construct city-funded transportation projects, but also to leverage other funds and support a variety of partnership opportunities. In the past eight years, the average annual amount of grants awarded to SDOT has increased more than 50%.

As BTG approaches the end of its nine-year lifespan, approximately $340 million in BTG funds have been spent, and these expenditures have been matched with $227 million in grants. This is well above the commitment that BTG initially made to Seattle voters, to leverage at least 20% in grant funding. In addition to providing the required local match for many grants, BTG has helped SDOT to design the well-planned and clearly-scoped projects that are attractive for granting agencies.

For additional information on BTG please visit the BTG web page. For more information on SDOT’s grant development program, visit the grants web page.

King Street Station

King Street Station

 

Can you see it now? Signal Improvement work thanks to Bridging the Gap!

New signal 145thHave you noticed all the work that the Seattle Department of Transportation has been doing recently? Much of that work has been accomplished thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation initiative. The initiative, currently in its eighth year, has provided key funding for paving roads, constructing new sidewalks, re-striping arterials, rehabilitating bridges, replacing worn out street name signs, striping bikes and sharrows, repairing sidewalks, pruning and planting trees and making improvements along key transit corridors across the city.

While many of the BTG projects are highly visible, funding is also provided for basic maintenance work that is not so visible. Some of the projects include completing preventative maintenance on all 1,070 signals in the city each year and maintaining the “brains” behind the signals. Keeping signals in good working order is important to keeping traffic moving. SDOT has kept its promise to maintain all signals annually and to upgrade and maintain the systems behind those signals.

New traffic signal requests, left turn improvement requests and overall safety concerns are all investigated as part of BTG. If that investigation determines that a new signal or improvement is necessary, funding is available through the BTG program. Over the first seven years of the levy more than 445 new signal requests have been reviewed resulting in 27 new signals installed; 224 left turn requests have been investigated, resulting in 36 improvements; and, more than 333 overall safety concerns have been evaluated resulting in more than 185 improvements. These improvements are not cheap and every request ,whether implemented or not , must go through a lengthy process of on-site monitoring, data analysis, evaluation, review, more number crunching before final approvals.  The actual installation phase entails another equally lengthy process and none of this could happen without the funding from the BTG.

A lot of BTG project work is highly visible and easily recognized; it is the less visible work that helps keep traffic (all modes!) moving and safe. If you would like more information on BTG please visit the website.

 

 

Neighborhood Street Fund Large Projects off and running!

S Othello Street AFTERTwelve Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) large projects were selected for funding in 2013, thanks to the voter-approved Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy. This was the third round of funding provided by BTG and approximately $4.5 million to community-based projects on a three-year cycle, was bolstered by an additional $1 million provided by the Mayor and City Council as part of the savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct Project, bringing the total funding available for this third and final round to $5.5 million. In addition, $2.9 million from the School Zone Camera Enforcement Program will be used to fund four NSF projects near schools. Projects were selected in 2013 will be designed in 2014 and constructed in 2015.

There are 12 projects in the NSF Program all will be completed by the end of 2015. Two projects, the West Duwamish Trail extension and one segment of Pioneer Square ADA improvements, are ahead of schedule and construction will begin in 2014.

Projects to be constructed in 2015:

  • Columbia City Sidewalk Repair:  Construction begins in the first quarter of 2015
  • Georgetown Festival Street:  Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015
  • Pedestrian Improvements (5 locations throughout Seattle):  Construction begins in first quarter of 2015
  • Historic District ADA Improvements: Ongoing through 2015. Some additional work may continue in to 2016 if grant funding is received.
  • Rainier Beach pedestrian improvements:  Construction begins in the fourth quarter of 2015
  • Greenwood Ave N sidewalks:  Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015
  • Rainier Ave S & S Dearborn Street pedestrian improvements: Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015

Each of these projects was submitted by community members to their District Councils for review and selection based on their importance to the community. Projects were then forwarded to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for some initial design work and cost estimating.  Each project is then reviewed and evaluated by BTG Oversight Committee members and they then made a recommendation to the Mayor and Council. The full BTG Oversight committee bases their decision on the following factors:  geographic mix, “bang for the buck,” quality of life enhancement, safety considerations and, when appropriate, Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan criteria.

To learn more about the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project program and details about the projects selected, please visit their website.

SDOT budget review, third quarter BTG update and more.

 

BTG20logo-RESIZE

Would you like to know 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!

The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for October 30, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle Hall, Boards and Commissions Room (L-280).  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 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
• Ben Noble, City Budget Director
• Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair

All committee meeting s 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 October 30th.

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

City Delivers Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan

Setting vigorous project and program goals for enhancing cycling citywide, today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) delivered to the Seattle City Council the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) Implementation Plan. Covering work to be completed from 2015 to 2019, the five-year plan includes building nearly 33 miles of protected bike lanes and more than 52 miles of neighborhood greenways across Seattle.

Adopted in April 2014, the new Bicycle Master Plan envisions that, “riding a bicycle is a comfortable and integral part of daily life in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities.” SDOT’s implementation plan describes an ambitious set of projects and programs that will help create a connected network, improving safety for all roadway users and encouraging more people to enjoy the city on two wheels. The projects in the implementation plan were identified using the recommendations and priorities in the BMP, which emphasize safety, connectivity, equity, ridership and livability.

2015 Implementation Plan MapAmong the projects planned for 2015, at a cost of $18.2 million, are:

  • Creating approximately seven miles of protected bike lanes, to include a facility on Roosevelt Way NE (NE 45th Street to the University Bridge) to improve safety;
  • Building more than 12 miles of neighborhood greenways in Ballard, West Seattle, the Central Area and Southeast Seattle;
  • Beginning construction on the Westlake Cycle Track to create a safer, more comfortable and more predictable corridor for drivers, walkers and bicyclists;
  • Installing 225 bike racks and 15 on-street bike corrals; and
  • Creating 25 miles of bike route wayfinding signs throughout the city.

The projects will be funded using several sources, including Bridging the Gap supported BMP implementation and corridor projects, and state and federal grants. The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board provided valuable feedback during the development of the implementation plan and SDOT will be providing regular progress reports to the board and to the Seattle City Council.

Additional information about the projects, to include maps of project locations, can be found here: BMP Implementation Plan.