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!


New Holman Road NW Ped Median Gets Elmed!

So maybe elmed is not a word, but certainly the new Holman Road NW pedestrian median can now claim the elm treatment. SDOT Urban Forestry crews planted nine elm hybrids along the roadway this past weekend and into today. The trees are the finishing touches to the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project that completed construction in December (with large tree pits awaiting trees).

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits, December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015








Despite the new trees being barely five or so years old, each one weighed 600 pounds with its root ball–bark babies requiring heavy equipment and traffic control to ensure safe planting.

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid Dutch elm trees along Holman Road NW

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid elm trees along Holman Road NW

Seven of the new trees were installed in the long median that flanks the pedestrian overpass at 13th Avenue NW and one tree was planted in each of the other two short medians.

The trees are the crowning top to the new pedestrian median near 13th Avenue NW, across from Crown Hill Park. In the fall the leaves will turn a vivid golden hue.


Photo of established hybrid elm; inset: fall color


The new median is just one of the many pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements brought by the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project.


Providing an alternative crossing is important at this location as the nearby NW 92nd Street is a greenway and a future Safe Routes to School pathway at Mary Avenue (Whitman Middle School is just around the corner).

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014



Data shows cars slowdown in areas where there are street trees, making the neighborhood safer.


Yet another part of the Holman Project is discussion around removing the pedestrian bridge and replacing it with a pedestrian signal. That idea, which opens up the space for better sight lines, is still in need of funding.

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.

Shoreline Street Ends projects = equitable access


Click for larger view; Shoreline Street Ends Projects for 2015

The Shoreline Street Ends Program works to preserve and improve public access to our waterways, with projects focused on Seattle’s 149 public streets that end on waterfronts. Street ends are selected for improvement based on a prioritization scheme that came out of a 2009 analysis that examined gaps in shoreline access, open space, and accessibility.  Nine sites were selected as SDOT capital improvement projects to be completed by the end of 2015:

  1. S Willow Street
  2. 51st Avenue NE
  3. Eastlake Place NE
  4. E Allison Street
  5. 1st Avenue Bridge (E)
  6. 1st Avenue Bridge (W)
  7. 5th Avenue S
  8. 6th Avenue W
  9. S Warsaw Street


The first two projects listed above are already designed, with the S Willow Street site at South Seward Park expected to wrap up this week. Construction of improvements at 51st Avenue NE, next to Laurelhurst Beach Club, are scheduled to begin this Thursday. See below for area photos, on postcards mailed out to the area neighborhoods (click for larger versions).








A landscape architecture firm is designing all nine Shoreline Street End capital projects. On S Willow Street the design protects existing plants on the north side of the street, while planting new vegetation and placing boulder steps to connect seating to the beach. Be sure and visit this weekend, after the project is complete!


Yet another Shoreline Street End is set to be improved not as a capital project, but as part of a partnership with the University of Washington. UW students will design and construct a shoreline street end at 11th Avenue NW.


Be a part of the 11th Avenue NW student-powered effort by attending an open house at Ballard Public Library January 26th from 6PM to 7:30PM. It’s your chance to comment on design concepts and work to make Seattle’s community assets equitably accessible!


Seattle Streetcar March 2015 Fare Changes

In March 2015, Seattle Streetcar plans to change fares for consistency with Link light rail service fares. StreetCar PixThis will make the experience more consistent across transit services. This change will occur in coordination with Sound Transit and King County Metro fare changes planned for March 2015. It will align streetcar fares with new Link base fares planned for March 2015, offer the new Low Income Adult fare to Seattle Streetcar customers, and offer a more robust day pass option. Public comments on the proposed fare changes can be submitted through February 9th and will be considered before implementation. Fill out the Online Comment Form! 

This table summarizes the proposed Seattle Streetcar fares planned to go into effect in March 2015:

  Current Fares Proposed Fares3
Adult $2.50 $2.25
Youth $1.25 (6-17 years old) $1.50 (6-18 years old)
Senior(65+)/Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP)1 $0.75 $1.00
Low Income Adult2 Not available $1.50
Children 5 and under Free Free
Day Pass $5.00(bulk sales only) Adult: $4.50Youth: $3.00Senior/RRFP: $2.00


1 Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP), available to qualifying persons with disabilities or seniors.

2 Available to qualifying adult riders with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. To qualify, a household of four would have an annual household income at or below $47,700.

3 Day passes and single ride paper tickets will only be valid on Seattle Streetcar, transfers only possible with an ORCA card. The new day pass options will not be available until new ticket vending machines, scheduled for phased installation in Spring 2015, are in operation.


Learn more and comment:

Comments due by February 9, 2015




Attend: Public meeting on February 2, 2015

5 – 7 PM, presentation at 6 PM

Seattle City Hall, Room L280

600 Fourth Ave

Seattle WA 98104


Mail:      Seattle Department of Transportation

Attn Ayelet Ezran

PO Box 34996

Seattle, WA 98124-4996


To request interpretation or accommodations, please contact Ayelet Ezran (206-733-9032 or at least five business days before the meeting.

Join us at Town Hall on Wednesday, Jan.7 at 5 p.m.! Feedback wanted for the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan

Join us at Town Hall tomorrow, January 7th at 5pm! We want your feedback on the open space and street concepts proposed in the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan  to enhance mobility and livability!

First Hill’s growing residential population, cultural institutions, and influx of workers warrants high quality public spaces that meet mobility and recreational needs. The current First Hill neighborhood plan (from 1998) recognizes this need for open space in this bustling, downtown-adjacent neighborhood, but despite efforts to advance this goal, land acquisition has proven to be challenging. For this educational open house, city staff will be present to discuss open space concepts and implementation strategies for these innovative open space proposals. Moving beyond land acquisition, the plan incorporates street spaces and private development to create a greener, safer, and more walkable neighborhood.

Presenters include: Susan McLaughlin, Urban Designer/Project Manager at Seattle Department of Transportation; Donald Harris and Chip Nevins, Department of Parks & Recreation, Property and Acquisition Services; Lyle Bicknell, Principal Urban Designer with the Department of Planning & Development; and Alex Hudson, Coordinator for the First Hill Improvement Association.

Where: Great Hall 1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Eighth Avenue)
When: Wednesday, Jan.7 at 5 p.m.

69 New Trees and Safer Streets in Columbia City

As part of our Safe Routes to School program here in SDOT, and in partnership with our Urban Forestry team, Columbia City now has 69 new beautiful trees along 42nd Avenue South between South Orcas and South Graham streets. The project is in direct response to what community members shared–concerns about cars speeding through the neighborhood to avoid back-ups on the nearby arterial and blowing past yield signs. This corridor is flanked by two schools: St. Edward School and Aki Kurose Middle School. With school children walking in the area and the neighborhood looking to reclaim its street, the following changes were made:

  • At the 42nd Avenue South and South Meade Street school crosswalk we replaced yield signs with stop signs
  • On the east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Meade streets we removed restrictions on parking
  • Next to St. Edward School we replaced a concrete planting strip with grass and 9 new trees (while removing three struggling trees)
  • Along 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Graham streets we planted nearly 70 new street trees


The stop signs help clarify traffic rules through the intersection with the school crosswalk, and removing parking restrictions helps decrease speeds as drivers tend to go slower on narrower pathways. Street trees have also been shown to slow traffic speeds, so they are a pedestrian safety priority. The new grass planter strip helps provide a pleasant buffer between pedestrians and motor vehicles.


On 42nd Avenue South looking north toward South Orcas Street, at St. Edward School – BEFORE


On 42nd Ave S looking north toward S Orcas St., at St. Edward School - AFTER

On 42nd Avenue South looking north toward South Orcas Street, at St. Edward School – AFTER



The great news when SDOT’s Urban Forestry crew inspected the area is that much of it had 10-12 foot planter strips; yet, trees hadn’t been planted due to the proximity of overhead and underground utilities. That was solved with a specific planting plan: smaller but hearty blooming starlight dogwoods (see picture below) near utilities – east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Juneau to South Graham streets – and larger more majestic emerald sunshine elms (named for brilliant yellow fall color of leaves) where there were no restrictions in tree size – west side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Graham streets and east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Juneau streets. Both tree species are newly developed disease and pest resistant hybrids of their well-known natives.


Starlight Dogwood Tree Blooms

Starlight Dogwood Tree Blooms

Before the project, we notified neighbors along the corridor and gave them contact information to express any concerns. The project manager also reached out to St. Edward School to ask if the concrete planting strips were used or needed for parking access or student drop-offs. The school was happy to have the 3-for-1 tree replacement along their block, exceeding the City’s 2-for-1 standard, and the more welcoming environment. They even agreed to maintain the new grass surrounding the new SDOT-managed street trees along the block.


For all 69 new trees SDOT purchased and planted, our Urban Forestry tree crews will provide water the first few years to help them get established, and maintain them for the lifetime of the trees. It all makes for a safer, healthier and more enjoyable neighborhood experience.


P.S. Thanks to Seattle Conservation Corps for their help – especially with concrete removal – and for bringing a great attitude!

Happy Holidays from SDOT, for the Christmas holiday.

XmasOn behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation, we wish you a wonderful and safe holiday.

On-street parking is free in Seattle on Christmas Day, December 25.

Please remember that normal pay for street parking remains in effect on Friday, December 26, so make sure you observe time limits and other posted regulations as you would on any other Friday.




SDOT’s Transportation Options program Keeps You Moving

SDOT’s Transportation Options program provides a variety of services to help residents, employers, building managers, and developers access tools and resources for getting around Seattle. Our programs include:

  • The Way to Go Program provides resources and information to residents and visitors on Seattle’s transportation options.
  • The NavSeattle Program is for residential building managers and developers. The program connects Seattle’s growing multifamily residential sector to resources for promoting a building’s transportation amenities.
  • The Commute Trip Reduction Program (CTR) supoorts employers in promoting transportation options to reduce congestion and air pollution.
  • The Transportation Management Program (TMP) assists owners and managers of large buildings in developing and evaluating building-wide transportation programs.












SDOT is here to help you get around Seattle:

Metro Transit – King County’s Transit Agency

Sound Transit – Connecting King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

Community Transit – Snohomish County’s Transit Agency

Pierce Transit – Pierce County’s Transit Agency

Seattle Interactive Bicycle Map

Traveler’s Information Map

City of Seattle Traffic Cameras

CityTrip – Helping you navigate the byways, highways and waterways in Seattle

Seattle has a lot of options to get around – walking, biking, transit, driving and car and ridesharing. Check out some of the tools available and find out how to get where you’re going! For easy transit, walking, bicycling, and driving directions visit Google Maps.

Find out before you go; This map shows up-to-date traffic information: