City Offices are closed for the Memorial Day Holiday

City of Seattle offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. On-street parking is free in Seattle on Monday, May 30 for the Memorial Day holiday.

Pvt. Brian Engelhard, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) places American flags at Arlington National Cemetery during “Flags in,” May 21, 2015. (Courtesy Arlington National Cemetary)

Pvt. Brian Engelhard, 3d Infantry Regiment, places American flags at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2015. (Courtesy Arlington National Cemetery)

Monday is a federal holiday in which we honor the those who have died while serving in the United States military. Originally Memorial Day began as an event honoring Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War.  After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action. Initially titled Decoration Day, after World War II the day became known as Memorial Day.

Share Button

New Vision Zero Dashboard Coming Soon!

Vision Zero is excited to have worked closely with the University of Washington Information School  to make collision data more interactive and accessible to everyone.  Educating people about what is happening in their neighborhood and citywide streets is one of the key elements to making Vision Zero successful.  Collision data is also one of the driving factors that we use to determine the engineering treatments and level of investments we make towards a safer transportation infrastructure.

Last night at the UW Information School Capstone event, more than 300 students presented on projects where they were presented with a problem and developed a solution to an information challenge for a client in a community.

New Dashboard

Currently, many years’ worth of collision data is publicly available at data.seattle.gov  and the Vision Zero dashboard is currently located in performance.seattle.gov

Dash

Dash2

The new website will be available soon for everyone to use and learn more about the police reported collisions that have happened in your area.  Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Dash3

 

Vision Zero Logo

Share Button

Welcome to the SDOT Sign Shop!

Our dedicated SDOT sign shop staff invited us in to see all the different things they do to help travelers find their way and keep us all going in the right direction.

IMG_2998

IMG_3014

Meet Robin Ford. He has been the Crew Chief for the City of Seattle sign shop for about a year. Ford’s crew (all three of them!) produces all of the signs in our city. The signs they create range from street name and traffic control, to those custom designed “welcome to the neighborhood” signs. His team focuses on providing the city with a fast turn-around on production.

IMG_3051IMG_3043

The old process for manufacturing the signs was to screen print them onto metal or wood. Screen printing was useful for bulk production, but the process took time. Each pigment needed to be laid onto the design one at a time. Once the design was printed onto the material, setting the signs aside to set took about 1-2 hours. Ford hasn’t screen printed in 6 months. IMG_3010IMG_3013

Today, they use digital printers and plotters for a speedier method of production. The digital printers use an adhesive material for easier application. UV coating is then placed over the designs to secure its longevity. These printers also allow printing on reflective material, warranted for 10 years.

Plotters cut designs out of vinyl materials to be placed on the metals.

IMG_3026IMG_3003

Here’s a link to our previous post about sign replacement: http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2014/11/24/bridging-the-gap-2014-signage-work-nearly-complete/.

IMG_2999

The next time you’re driving, walking, or taking the bus through our streets, stop to admire the work of our sign shop crew. If you want to view other photos that were taken on this tour, check out out Flickr.

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!

Share Button

Greenwood Ave N Transit and Sidewalk Safety Improvements Update

This week, crews working on behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) completed the majority of work under the Greenwood Ave N Transit and Sidewalk project. The work included safety and transit improvements along Greenwood Ave N, a key north-south arterial, between N 90th St and N 105th St.

Greenwood Ave N Bus Stop Improvements PW#2014-038 2016 05 13 (19)

Prior to construction, the lack of a curb and planting strip along Greenwood Ave N, especially along the east side of the road, failed to safely separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic. Overgrown vegetation partially hid bus stops, which had to be accessed through narrow, uneven sidewalks.

Greenwood Sidewalk near N 97th

New sidewalk near N 97th St connects to bus island via raised crosswalk

This project constructed more than half a mile of new sidewalk and about 30 curb ramps on the east side of Greenwood Ave N between N 92nd St and N 105th St, along with a planting strip between the sidewalk and road along much of the corridor. Transit improvements include 4 new in-lane bus islands with shelters and lighting near the intersections of N 92nd St and N 97th St. New bus islands replace some existing stops, which helps improve bus stop spacing and contributes to transit reliability through the corridor.

Greenwood_Map_11-25-2015

The new facilities improve safety for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists traveling through the Greenwood Ave N corridor, and offer greater safety and comfort for transit riders. The improvements also contribute to more predictable travel patterns for all road users and improved transit reliability.

New bus island at N 92nd St will have a shelter installed by Metro before being put into service

New bus island at N 92nd St will have a shelter installed by Metro before being put into service

Funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, Neighborhood Street Fund and a grant from the State’s Transportation Improvement Board, this project supports Vision Zero, an international initiative that aims for no fatalities or serious injuries in traffic collisions.

For more project information, please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/transit_greenwood.htm.

Share Button

Westlake Cycle Track is Nearly Halfway Done

SDOT’s Westlake Cycle Track Project is reaching the halfway point! The protected bike lane along Westlake Avenue North will provide a safer place for people riding bikes, walking and driving, while improving connectivity and accessibility for all travelers in the Westlake area.

Construction recap – from January to May

Westlake before cycle track construction

An early photo of the Westlake corridor before construction began in January.

Construction of the protected bike lane began in January this year and is separated into four phases. Phase 1 and Phase 2 are on the north end of the corridor and are nearly complete.

Westlake completed section

Completed section of the protected bike lane in Phase 1 in the north end of the corridor.

Our construction team is coordinating with Westlake businesses and residents to minimize construction impacts as they work to finish the project as safely and efficiently as possible.

Westlake work near Railroad Park

Work on the protected bike lane continues near Railroad Park in Phase 2.

Our crews are making progress on Phase 3 in the south end.

Westlake Phase 3

Forming for the protected bike lane in Phase 3 in the south end of the corridor.

This Friday, May 6, from 7 – 9 a.m., keep an eye out for volunteers from Cascade Bicycle Club and the outreach team on the north end of the corridor. We’ll help guide people riding bikes to enter the first half of the protected bike lane. We will also be promoting safety education for all users.

The Westlake Cycle Track is scheduled to be complete in summer 2016, so get those bikes ready and sign up for email updates to stay up-to-date on construction progress!

Share Button

We Want to Hear from You about a Proposed Restricted Parking Zone in Ballard

SDOT received a request from the Central Ballard Residents Association to create a new Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) on residential streets around the Ballard business district.  We’d like to hear from residents, employees, and visitors in Ballard about how adding RPZ restrictions might affect them.

Here is a link to the survey to provide your feedback.

What is an Restricted Parking Zone?

An RPZ is meant to ease parking congestion in residential neighborhoods, while balancing the needs of all people to use the public right of way. RPZs help neighborhoods deal with parking congestion with signed time limits and vehicles displaying a valid RPZ permit are exempt.

What is the RPZ being proposed? (See Map)

RPZ Ballard

We are proposing an RPZ with the following restrictions:

• The gray area on the map highlights where residents would be eligible for permits.

• SDOT would install RPZ signs on the solid blue lined blocks, limiting vehicles without RPZ permits to 2-hour parking Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 8 PM. We are proposing RPZ signs on one side of the street only, to balance a variety of on-street parking demands.

• All blocks with RPZ signs would be subject to signed parking restrictions and residents within the gray area would be able to purchase permits (currently $65 for two years)

• We do not install RPZ signs next to ground floor retail or other non-residential uses. Many of the blocks in this area already have paid or time-limited parking; this RPZ proposal will not change those signs or regulations.

Why are these changes being proposed?

In the fall of 2014, SDOT received an RPZ review request from the Central Ballard Residents Association. In mid-2015 we made changes to Ballard commercial area on-street parking. In September 2015 we studied parking in the area shown and found street parking to be on average 93% full during the day, with over 35% of vehicles not belonging to residents. The goal of the proposed RPZ would be to limit all-day parking by non-residents, decrease parking congestion and circling within the neighborhood, and make it easier for residents to find parking near their homes.

Comments or questions?

To provide feedback on this proposal, complete a brief survey by May 31, 2016.

Send additional comments or questions to Ruth Harper at (206) 684-4103 or ruth.harper@seattle.gov.

Learn more about the RPZ program and the Ballard RPZ request.

Share Button

2016 Neighborhood Street Fund Applications Are In!

The City’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) supports communities by providing funding for transportation projects identified by the community.  The 2016 NSF applications are in! 140 applications came in from across the city for all types of projects from new sidewalks to festival streets. Compared to the last round in 2013, this is a 63% increase in applications! By neighborhood (some applications included more than one neighborhood) the numbers are:

District Council Applications Received
Ballard 10
Central Area 6
Delridge 16
Downtown 13
East 15
Greater Duwamish 8
Lake Union 7
Magnolia / Queen Anne 8
North 12
Northeast 11
Northwest 16
Southeast 22
Southwest 6

nsf

Boundaries of Seattle’s 13 Neighborhood District Councils

The NSF program is supported by the Levy to Move Seattle approved by voters in 2015. The 9-year, $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city. The levy provides $24 million over the next 9 years to select, design, and construct neighborhood projects identified by the community.

Curious what projects are being considered in your neighborhood?

In May each Neighborhood District Council will review the projects in its boundaries and choose five projects to move forward into the conceptual design phase. You can see a map of each district council here (http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/neighborhood-districts) and find your neighborhood’s District Coordinator here (http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/neighborhood-district-coordinators). If you’re are interested in learning more about the applications, consider attending your district council’s May meeting.

NSF 4-28-16

One NSF project built a new sidewalk extension and planting area on Maynard Ave S in the International District

What Next?

After each Neighborhood District Council chooses 5 projects they will forward these picks to SDOT for evaluation and refinement.  This summer SDOT will develop a cost estimate and conceptual design, working with applicants as needed to refine the project or find alternative solutions. With this new information each district council will rank the 5 projects and send them to the Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee. The committee evaluates the projects and makes recommendations to the Mayor and City Council who select the projects that will receive NSF funding. From there, projects will be designed in 2017 and constructed in 2018.

Learn More About:

Share Button

How You Can Help Encourage Safe Routes to School

With our recent completion of the Beacon Hill Trail, the first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project in that neighborhood in 2016, SDOT provided a safe off-street option for kids walking and biking to school.

Now, SDOT is offering free incentives to help you encourage more kids to walk and bike to school in your neighborhood.

Kids Crossing

These fun, free incentives include stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps to give out during your campaign. Public and private schools and PTA’s within Seattle city limits are all welcome to request packages.

Incentives

Schools and PTA groups can request a free incentive package by visiting our incentives page and filling out an order form. Or you can stop by Feet First, Monday through Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to pick up an order in person.

049044Incentive packages include:

  • Option A: An assortment of stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps
  • Option B: 1,000 stickers
  • Option C: 1,000 temporary tattoos
  • Option D: 2 hand stamps
  • Option E: 1,000 wrist bands

Haven’t started a walk and bike to school campaign at your school yet? Not a problem. For more information on how to start one, refer to our Safe Routes to School Campaign guide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project coordinator, Ashley Rhead at Ashley.Rhead@seattle.gov.

Added bonus: these free incentives for your Safe Routes to School campaigns come just in time for Bike Month coming up in May!

Share Button

Seattle Convention Attendees’ Travel Modes

Seattle is host to events and conventions such as the recent Emerald City Comicon which brought over 80,000 comic book and pop culture enthusiasts into downtown Seattle for four days this month. Checkout our latest Blog Video.

Fan attendees of the sold-out show traveled from all over to see the celebrity event panels, artwork, and shop for fan gear and collectibles. Many of the attendees drove in from far and wide and mentioned that the commute and parking was mostly hassle-free.

Many were dressed in their favorite hero cosplay costumes, outfits and uniforms. Some locals who attended the convention on multiple days travelled in to Seattle and stayed at hotels, to avoid having to commute. Others carpooled, took the Link and transit in because it was the best option for them to get around.

Seattle has a lot of options to get around – walking, biking, transit, driving, carsharing and ridesharing. Check out some of the tools available and find out how to get where you’re going! For Transportation options, please visit our SDOT link.

Share Button

Behind the Scenes with a SDOT Bridge Operator

Recently, a SDOT Bridge Operator, Barbara Abelhauser was featured on NPR in a segment of StoryCorps on Morning Edition. In the story, Barbara says when she first took first bridge operator job, she thought she’d only stay for a year – but ended up staying for 8 years on the job in Jacksonville, Florida. Then in 2014, Barbara moved to Seattle and joined SDOT – and has been operating the University Bridge ever since.

University Bridge2

Barbara Abelhauser

When asked what her favorite part about being a bridge operator is, Barbara said, “I love this job now more than ever. All the Bridge Operators in SDOT are very professional and a delight to work with. I was very honored to be featured on Morning Edition. I’m also excited to be in the upcoming anthology, because I really do love my job and I’m proud of what I do.”

University Bridge

The new anthology is Callingsa StoryCorps book that explores the lives of those who love what they do.

SDOT operates and maintains over 149 bridges throughout Seattle, including four movable bridges. Three of SDOT’s movable bridges are draw bridges, known as bascule bridges. These are the Ballard Bridge, Fremont Bridge and University Bridge. The fourth movable bridge is the Spokane Street Bridge, which is a swing bridge. Here’s our Bridges and Roadway Structures main page.

Here are some cool facts about the University Bridge:

The University Bridge spans Portage Bay, linking the University District with the Eastlake and Capitol Hill communities. It is the second of the four Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridges. The University Bridge was originally built in 1919 and remodeled in 1933. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the bridge on April 7, 1933. On that opening day, 37,794 automobiles crossed the bridge. The addition of the I-5 bridge has decreased traffic over the University Bridge in recent years. A 1983 traffic count recorded 27,735 vehicles using the bridge daily.

Share Button