Archive for 'General'
It’s that time of year once again when Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews seem to be everywhere doing all kinds of projects.
Thanks to the Bridging the Gap(BTG) transportation initiative, you see even more crews working. Remember when you see crews working to please slow down and give them extra space. They are working hard to make Seattle easier to navigate and a little safer for all of us.
Over the next several months you can expect to see SDOT crews repairing 25 blocks of sidewalk, installing new street name signs at more than 1,500 intersections, remarking 500 crosswalks, re-striping more than 850 lane-miles of arterial roadway and installing pedestrian countdown signals at 25 intersections. Crews will also be pruning more than 3,000 street trees, making crossing improvements at 42 intersections, restriping more than 70 miles of bike lanes and sharrows and installing more than seven miles of greenways. This work is made possible by the BTG program.
Remember it is that time of year again – slowdown and give our crews a little extra space! If you would like more information on BTG please visit their web page.[More]
We’ve said it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier…11PM tonight through 5AM Monday, May 20 FULL CLOSURE OF:
- SR 99-Valley Street to the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel
- Mercer Street-Fifth Avenue N to Dexter Avenue N
Sidewalks will be closed on both sides of SR 99 between Thomas and Valley Streets, and on the south side of Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N.
That isn’t the worst of it, because we are really just beginning this segment of the Mercer Corridor effort – meaning MAJOR impacts are beginning.
Following the full weekend closure of SR 99, lane restrictions on Mercer Street will remain in place between Fourth Avenue N and Ninth Avenue N.
To help alleviate traffic congestion on eastbound Mercer Street, eastbound Broad Street will re-open to traffic on Monday, May 20, as an alternate route for travelers heading to I-5. Additional traffic revisions will include:
- Mercer Street between Fourth and Ninth avenues north down to two eastbound lanes (local access maintained at Taylor Avenue N)
- Sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street closed between Fifth Dexter avenues north (sidewalk on the south side of Mercer Street will remain open)
- SR 99 traffic between Valley and Harrison streets shifted to the west side of the roadway (two lanes of SR 99 in each direction will remain open)
The northbound SR 99 off-ramp to Mercer Street will be permanently closed. A new signalized intersection at Republican Street and Dexter Avenue N will be available for northbound SR 99 traffic to reach South Lake Union.
OK, that’s all for now, but it really seems like enough…[More]
Check out this great infographic from ChangeLab Solutions:
Enjoy Bike to Work Day on Friday![More]
This past Saturday, May 11, was the 15th Annual Chinatown/ID Spring Clean, where neighborhood volunteers spent the morning fanning out through the community collectinggarbage, removing graffiti, and tidying up its green spaces.
This year the popular community event, also known as Keeping It Clean and Fine Since ’99, was joined by 17 volunteers from Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. (SWI) SDOT’s prime contractor on the First Hill Streetcar. The SWI crew brought chainsaws and shovels, enabling them to thin out a hedge of trees on S Lane Street between Sixth and Maynard that had become a security concern for the many elderly pedestrians who regularly walk along the corridor. Their volunteers also did a good deal of weeding and street sweeping. In addition, SWI made a generous financial contribution to the effort, making them the official sponsor of the event.
A substantial piece of the 2.5 mile streetcar route runs along S Jackson Street in the heart of Chinatown/ID. Recently, the contractor has been restoring the pavement in the curb lanes of Jackson, after completing extensive utility work that was needed before the streetcar tracks can be placed. New gas and water lines were installed, along with important improvements to the electrical infrastructure and stormwater and sewer facilities. Track construction itself began on Jackson in April and will continue into early 2014.
Construction on the entire route is slated to be complete by mid-2014. For additional information, visit the project website at www.seattlestreetcar.org.[More]
SDOT is excited to announce the kick-off of the Westlake Cycle Track project. This project improves safety for people biking, improves the pedestrian experience, and will be done in coordination with the Ballard to Downtown Seattle Transit Expansion Study, because Westlake is one of the possible corridors being considered for future rail.
The Toole Design Group, a planning, engineering and landscape architecture firm whose specialty is bike and pedestrian transportation, has been selected to do the planning and design of pedestrian and bicycle improvements. One element of their effort will be figuring out just how folks and freight will move safely up and down (and across) the strip between Lake Union and the eastern bluffs of Queen Anne, no matter how they travel.
The centerpiece of the study is a brand new cycle track to link the Ship Canal Trail with bike and pedestrian facilities on South Lake Union. The public right-of-way on Westlake can accommodate all modes of travel—people walking, transit, people riding bikes, vehicles and freight — and a cycle track will be a great way of helping to keep everyone safe. It improves safety for all modes of traffic and can make it easier for motorists to see people walking on bikes when entering and leaving the parking lot adjacent to Westlake.[More]
Are you a seasoned veteran or a newbie rider?! It’s time to celebrate Bike to Work Day this Friday, May 17. Bike to Work Day is annual event and has been used to inspire many folks to try riding to work for the first time. Biking to work can be a challenge, but with a little pre-planning and thought, many of the obstacles can be overcome fairly easily. Below are a few of the common questions heard.
What route should I follow?
The City of Seattle has an on-line bike map to help you pick the best route to get from home to work and back.
Can I ride on the street or sidewalk?
Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. This link will help you become reacquainted with the do’s and don’ts of riding a bike in Seattle!
Where can I take a shower or get cleaned up after my ride?
Check with your building management to see if there are locker facilities in your building. Many of the new buildings offer these facilities. If that is not an option, check with a local gym as many offer day passes. As a last resort, you can always clean up in the bathroom at work. Many long-time riders utilize this option daily.
How do I get my clothes and shoes to work?
Plan ahead! Many riders will bring stuff in the day before or keep a set of clothes at their desk. Many items needed for one day can be packed neatly in a back pack for the day.
What if I can only ride one way?
You can always put your bike on the bus if you can only ride one way. All King County Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and Community Transit buses have bike racks for your use. For information on how and where to load your bike on a bus, please visit King County Metro.
Planning ahead and doing a little bit of research can make your ride much less worrisome. The Cascade Bicycle Club has a whole host of links, tips and ideas available on their commuter webpage. In addition, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington is a great resource for issues facing cyclists across the state, for information please visit their web page.
There has been a big increase in the number of cyclists on the road already this month with the good weather. However, you can expect to see many more this Friday. It’s a good opportunity for all of us to slow down, look out for each other and be respectful of all roadway users! For more information on Bike to Work day and the scheduled events please visit the webpage.
SDOT is hosting a street party Sunday, May 19 along Alki. This free event opens the city’s largest public space – its streets – so people can walk, bike, roll, run, skip and shop – without having to watch out for cars! Participate in the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk in the morning, sponsored by West Seattle High School PTSA. Stay for the party starting at 11 a.m. And what a great time it is going to be. The Alki Beach Creeps are joining forces with us to bring the largest costumed bike parade in West Seattle’s 111 year history. Skate Like a Girl is planning skating workshops; Hollow Earth Radio is spinning tunes in-between live music; Coastal Boutique is hosting a t-shirt tye-dyeing station; Alki Bike and Board will be repairing bikes; and the Alki Art Fair—West Seattle’s premier art and music showcase—is inviting local artists to join the fun. Check out our activity location map for more details on who is coming out to play and the location of all the restaurants along the corridor—yummy!
And that’s not all. We’re holding an art contest to capture the vibe of Summer Streets! Paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, crafts, photography, video, we want to see what it’s like for you tho have the street free of cars for a few hours. There is $175 worth of VISA gift cards available for prizes. All submissions must be posted to our Facebook page by close of business Wednesday, May 15.
The fun continues throughout the summer. Celebrating its sixth year, Summer Streets has quickly become a tradition and a special part of summers in Seattle. Local merchants and artists work together months in advance to make each event even better every year. Neighbors, families and friends mark their calendars so they don’t miss it. Remaining events are scheduled for:
Ballard—Friday, May 31 from 3:30 to 7 p.m.
PhinneyWood —Friday, August 9 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Rainier Valley—Saturday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get more details at www.seattle.gov/summerstreetsand follow us at www.facebook.com/seattlesummerstreets for the latest updates.
Everyone is familiar with the work of SDOT’s pothole rangers, and you can’t miss those big capital projects where we rehabilitate long stretches of streets. (Think N 105th / NE Northgate Way or the Delridge Way SW projects happening in this year.)
But what about pavement issues that are too big for the pothole rangers and not big enough to be a full-blown capital project? That’s where the Arterial Major Maintenance (AMM) program fits in. AMM projects vary in size from anything larger than a pothole to fully repaving a couple of blocks of a street. By focusing on the key areas that need attention, we extend the life of streets that are otherwise in decent shape.
SDOT’s AMM program completes dozens and dozens of projects across the City each year. Let’s take a look at just two of the projects already completed in 2013.
On Rainier Ave S we focused our limited funds on repaving the travel lanes. The parking lanes and left turn lanes are in a more serviceable condition, so they were not repaved. As a result, a longer stretch of Rainier Ave S was repaved where most of the wear and tear occurs – on those travel lanes. While this approach might not be suitable in many situations, in this section of roadway, it’s a sensible way to get the most from our street maintenance funds. This project complements a similar repaving project along the same stretch of Rainier Ave S completed in 2012.
Now let’s head north. On Sandpoint Way NE near Magnuson Park, four different sections of concrete panels needed to be replaced. These cracked, bumpy areas have been replaced with a new, smooth roadway surface.
These are just two examples of how the AMM program focuses in to address the areas of greatest need, allowing us to address more of our long list of high priority areas across the City.
For decades, the “Mercer Mess” has been one of the City’s most significant transportation challenges. Each day some 80,000 vehicles, along with growing numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists, enter and exit I-5 at Mercer Street, making it a critical east/west route for keeping people, goods, and services moving. While eastbound traffic has had a straight shot on Mercer to I-5, the westbound traffic has been forced to follow the circuitous weave involving Valley and Broad Streets, as well as Fifth Avenue North and Roy Street.
After years of discussion and debate on how to best address the ”Mercer Mess,” the City is well on the way to implementing the Mercer Corridor Project, which will create a two-way Mercer Street all the way from I-5 to Elliott Avenue West. In early 2010, SDOT began the construction on the eastern stretch of Mercer, the segment from Dexter Avenue North to I-5. Last August, the newly widened Mercer between I-5 and Ninth Avenue North was opened to traffic. Now, as construction on this eastern segment moves towards completion this summer, the focus is about to shift to the western segment.
Next Friday evening, May 17, construction to widen the roadway between Fifth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North and replace the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street will begin. SR 99 between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel will be fully closed for that weekend, as will Mercer itself between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter. When traffic is reopened to both the following Monday morning, May 20, traffic on SR 99 will have been shifted to the west side of the street over Mercer Street maintaining two lanes in each direction, and Mercer itself in this stretch will be reduced to two eastbound travel lanes.
Eastbound travel on Mercer between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter will remain in this two-lane configuration throughout the West Phase of the project, which is anticipated to be completed in mid-2015.
- Creating an efficient and direct east/west transportation corridor
- Providing a key connection to the north portal of the SR 99 deep bore tunnel, which will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel
- Reducing conflicts between all modes of travel
- Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access
- Strengthening connections among area neighborhoods
- Improving access to and from Seattle Center
- Accommodating and encouraging future transit investments
For additional information on the project and updated information on construction impacts, visit the project website. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.[More]
It’s a tasty smorgasbord of transportation links for you to stuff your face with!
Driving is all that. NOT! Driving is so 1995, chart shows
Food for thought: Grocery Delivery Service Is Greener Than Driving to the Store
Is Seattle the next Toronto? Toronto’s waterfront makeover a huge money maker, study finds
You lousy kids get off my road! The Uncertain Future of Public Roads
We’re # … Wait, we didn’t even make the list? Top 20 Bike Cities Span Four Continents, But Not U.S.A
Subaru goes on the offensive: Transit Commuters Are Stinking Low-Lifes, Subaru Tells Transit Commuters
At 18th out of 50, is the Evergreen State green enough? U.S. Urban Trees Store Carbon, Provide Billions in Economic Value, Finds State-By-State Analysis
Want to roll in some dough? How Bicycles Bring Business
Then this happened: Ironic Bike Lane Block Edition
An eye-dea whose time has come! ‘Seeing Eye People’ Help NYC Pedestrians Walk While Texting