Photo Contest for Updated Street Design Manual

What’s your favorite Seattle street? Is it 2nd Ave downtown because of the protected bike lanes? Ravenna Blvd because of the dense tree canopy? We’re holding a photo contest where you can share your favorite street, and win up to $300 in prizes!

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The contest is being held to celebrate the release of the updated Right-of-Way Improvements Manual (also known by its new name, Streets Illustrated). This manual is a design guide for improvements made to city streets. It will include street typologies, guidelines, and standards for street elements – such as sidewalk width, travel lane width, crosswalk design, bike infrastructure, street trees, landscaping, and street furniture. It also highlights opportunities for street art, parklets, streateries and more! Standards for these elements are tailored depending on street type. For example, a downtown street has different street elements and standards than an industrial access street, or a neighborhood curbless street.

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As you travel the city for your daily activities, think about the diverse character of Seattle streets, and which streets you like best. Don’t forget to take a picture and share!

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Contest Details:

  • Start date: Aug 22
  • End date: last submissions taken on Sep 19 at 5pm
  • Enter by posting the photo to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the tag #StreetsIllustratedSEA (alternatively, send it in an email to streets.illustrated@seattle.gov
  • Label the street and tell us why you love it!
  • The top 12 photos will all receive prizes and be featured in our inaugural Streets Illustrated Calendar.
  • Grand prize of $300 to Glazer’s Camera Store, 2nd place prize of $100 and 3rd place prize of $50.

Visit the contest’s official webpage for more details: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/photo_contest.htm.

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Neighborhood Street Fund Concepts Completed

Streets, sidewalks, and everything in between are about to get improvements as part of our Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) program!

This U-District proposal called for adding lights, a bike rack, and other improvements to turn this alley off 42nd into a common space for the community.

This U-District proposal called for adding lights, a bike rack, and other improvements to turn this alley off 42nd into a common space for the community.

Communities came together to come up with areas for improvement, decided which projects to prioritize through their Neighborhood District Councils, and sent us their top choices in May. Now, after reading proposals, visiting locations, and reviewing the data, we’ve finished turning those ideas into 65 conceptual designs which could help with safety, accessibility, livability, and more.

This Rainier Valley proposal called for building sidewalks and street calming improvements near S Charleston Street to improve safety for kids walking to school.

This Rainier Valley proposal called for building sidewalks and street calming improvements near S Charlestown Street to improve safety for kids walking to school.

The Neighborhood District Councils will now have chance to read the designs and rank their priority, before sending them to the Levy to Move Seattle Oversight Committee for review later this fall. The list of funded projects is expected by the end of October. Projects will be finalized in 2017 and constructed in 2018. Public engagement for each project will begin once the project list is finalized. We look forward to working with you!

This West Seattle proposal called for traffic calming with curb bulbs, pedestrian signals, and a new marked crosswalk to make the SW Oregon and 39th intersection safer.

This West Seattle proposal called for traffic calming with curb bulbs, pedestrian signals, and a new marked crosswalk to make the SW Oregon and 39th intersection safer.

The NSF Program is funded by the Levy to Move Seattle. The 9-year, $930 million levy 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 includes $24 million to continue the Neighborhood Street Fund program over the next 9 years.

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Great Turnout in Magnolia to Talk About Interbay Trail Connections

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SDOT staffer Jason Fialkoff talks with residents about the proposed streets in Magnolia and Interbay that are part of the Interbay Trail Connections project.

We heard from more than 30 people at a ‘pop up’ event in Magnolia last Saturday to talk about two-way protected bike lanes that could connect Magnolia, Interbay and Ballard as part of the Interbay Trail Connections project. SDOT staff was there with a tent, table, and maps to connect with people who live, work, and travel in the area.

The weather was sunny and warm and there were dozens of people on bikes going up and down Gilman Ave NW as we talked with neighbors about the proposal and heard feedback.

Some people let us know that they were concerned about street safety where families ride bikes next to parked cars. Others were excited about a protected bikeway that will directly link them from the Ship Canal Trail to the Elliot Bay Trail. They talked about using the connection to get from Magnolia to work in South Lake Union, and to Myrtle Edwards Park and downtown for a fun weekend ride.

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Interbay Trail Connections Project Area Map

In addition to traditional community presentations and public meetings, we’re trying out pop-up events on the street where people can drop-in anytime, and online open houses and surveys so people who can’t make it to the event can still learn about our projects and weigh-in. So if you see a tent and signs in your neighborhood, please stop by and have a conversation about transportation with us!

To learn more about Interbay Trail Connections, visit the project website or contact Dan Anderson at 206-684-8105 or dan.a.anderson@seattle.gov.

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Commuting During Summer Construction

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Construction site in Seattle.

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation right now, which means more construction projects, cars, and crowds as we share our streets with people on everything from zero to sixteen wheels.

Summer is a great time to try an alternate commute method, such as biking or taking the bus, but it’s also peak season for road and sidewalk maintenance. The rainy season can cause delays and difficulty on construction and repairs, so projects are trying to complete work while the sun is still shining.

All this can make commuting tricky, but we’re here to help.

 

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and SDOT Intern Ahlaam Ibraahim at a recent Vision Zero event.

Our Vision Zero team is hard at work to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through educational outreach like the above event, and coordinating enforcement of traffic safety laws with the Seattle Police Department. Our Levy to Move team is implementing the taxpayer approved $930 million 9 year plan to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for a growing city.

And, through our All Aboard partnership with King County Metro, we’re improving or expanding 85% of the bus routes in Seattle.

We’re working hard to make it easier to get around Seattle, but it’s likely you won’t be able to avoid work zones completely as our city continues to grow.

Please be patient and cautious around construction, and remember, your fellow travelers – whether they be in cars, on bikes or buses – are also navigating the same obstacles.

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New Opportunity in Open-Air Dining

In Seattle, we love our summers and the chance to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Eating is no exception, and we have hundreds of sidewalk cafes throughout our city. To help these sidewalk cafes proliferate, and make the process easier, we’re piloting a new design for sidewalk cafes.

Thanks to a recent change by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, restaurants can now outline permitted sidewalk cafes with pavement markers instead of the standard 42-inch high fences. Modeled on the sidewalk seating used in many European cities, this fence-free option will allow Seattle restaurants to integrate their sidewalk cafes with adjacent public space and improve customer movement. Other U.S. cities, such as Portland and San Francisco already allow fence-free sidewalk cafes similar to those that will be tested in Seattle’s pilot program.

 

San Francisco sidewalk café. Source: Map data ©2016 Google

San Francisco sidewalk cafe. Source: Map data ©2016 Google

We will work with participants to install pavement markers on the sidewalk to outline the boundary of the cafe, as shown in the diagram below. Through this pilot permit, we will test the viability of a fence-free sidewalk cafe with applicants who are willing to provide feedback during our evaluation. Although the fence-free sidewalk cafes are intended to activate streets, create more vibrant neighborhoods, and support economic vitality, ultimately SDOT is committed to ensuring that our streets and sidewalks serve the traveling public. As such, City staff will pay particular attention to any negative impacts on pedestrian mobility and safety that may arise during the pilot phase.

cafe marker

 

Are you a restaurant owner curious about what this would look like for your business? Review our fact sheet and keep an eye on our webpage for additional information as the pilot progresses. Feel free to reach out to us with questions or interest in participating: 206-733-9707 or casey.rogers@seattle.gov.

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Enjoy Your Seafair Weekend!

Seafair Weekend is one of the biggest, busiest weekends of the summer in Seattle and that means a LOT of people will be out and about – it’s a good time to remind people to look out for others when heading out for summertime activities.

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Whether you’re hopping a bus to the waterfront to tour a US Navy ship, biking to a friend’s waterfront home to watch the Blue Angels or packing up the family to drive down to Genessee Park to catch the hydros, here are a few reminder safety tips:

Allow Enough Time to Reach Your Destination

Plan your trip and be sure to allow enough time to get where you’re going. That usual 30 minutes to get downtown will take longer than normal because thousands of others are headed that way as well! Speeding can lead to trouble. So please slow down and be courteous.

Plan Ahead if You Plan to Partake

Help keep our streets safe by not driving while under the influence of alcohol – which remains the single biggest contributing factor to traffic fatalities – or marijuana. As part of our Vision Zero campaign, we are partnering with rideshare services Uber and Lyft to give you options for safe rides home this Seafair weekend and beyond.

Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Your phone will likely be pinging you all day long while you plan your weekend. There’s no need to check it while you’re behind the wheel (1, 2 or 4 wheels). Whether you’re driving, walking, or biking, we recommend that you focus on the road instead of other things.

Stop for Pedestrians

We are having an amazing stretch of weather (which doesn’t always happen during Seafair) and that brings more people outdoors, everywhere. As drivers, always be watchful, courteous, and remember to stop for pedestrians. Don’t forget to wave!

Headed down to Genessee Park for Seafair? Check out the map below to see which streets are closed and where parking has been restricted.2016_Seafair_StreetParking_Map newHave a fantastic Seafair Weekend!

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Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit Design Input Open House Dates: August 3, 4, 9  

Please join SDOT at upcoming open houses to learn more about Madison Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which will begin construction in 2018. SDOT has worked closely with the community to design Madison Street BRT and is continuing to seek community input. Madison Street BRT will provide high-frequency, fast, reliable, and safe public transportation between First Ave and Madison Valley.

At the open houses, the public is encouraged to speak with SDOT staff and provide feedback on the updated design, including roadway and station designs, along with access improvements planned along the corridor. Open house dates are:

  • Wednesday, August 3 

5-7 p.m.

Seattle University, Campion Ballroom

914 E Jefferson St

  • Thursday, August 4

11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Town Hall

1119 8th Ave

  • Tuesday, August 9

5-7 p.m.

Meredith Mathews East Madison YMCA

1700 23rd Ave

 

To give feedback online, visit MadisonBRT.participate.online from August 2-16.

Madison Street BRT will serve the Downtown, First Hill, Capitol Hill, Central Area, and Madison Valley neighborhoods. The project will improve transit access on the corridor, especially for neighborhoods south of Madison Street that may have fewer transit options.

Madison Street BRT is the first of seven new RapidRide lines to be delivered in Seattle as part of the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. Service on Madison Street is anticipated to begin in 2019.

Find out more about Madison Street BRT at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/MadisonBRT.htm.

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Night Out: Not Your Everyday Block Party

Next week is the national Night Out celebration – but it’s more than just a block party. Night Out is an annual event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities. Night Out is the first Tuesday in August and has been a Seattle tradition for 32 years. 

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Neighbors at Night Out set up tables and chairs on residential streets to share food, play street games and music and get to know one another.

Two Ways to Get Your Block Party Permitted

On any other day of the year, a block party street closure would be permitted through SDOT, but on the first Tuesday of August every year, block party street closures are arranged through the Seattle Police Department. Why? Because it is national Night Out!

Night Out Block Party

  • Allows you to close your residential block to cars from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on August 2, 2016 only.
  • Permits are available through the Seattle Police Department.
  • This permit is FREE.
  • Register your Night Out block party until August 1.
  • Request visits from the Police Department, Fire Department, or Office of Emergency Management to your block party to share safety and emergency-preparedness information.

Neighborhood Block Party

  • Allows you to close your non-arterial block to cars during daylight hours any day of the year.
  • Permits are available through SDOT.
  • This permit is FREE.
  • You need to apply for this permit at least 2 weeks in advance of your event.

More Opportunities to Play in the Streetsummer streets parklet

Throwing a block party is a fun opportunity to meet and play with your neighbors in the street. Check out some of SDOT’s other public space programs:

Play Streets allow you to host recurring street closures under a single permit. Want to host a weekly street soccer game? A monthly potluck or chalk art party?  The Play Streets program is for you!  Check out this new program that makes it easy to use your street as playful space for people. Apply at least 2 weeks before you want to close your street. Permit is free.

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PARK(ing) Day Plus+  (September 16-17, 2016) What if you could turn a parking space into a park? Put café tables in front of your favorite business? Create a temporary bike lane?  For two days in September, you can!  If you are working with your neighbors on a project for PARK(ing) Day you may want to plan to finalize your design at your Night Out block party on Tuesday, August 2, so you can meet the permit application deadline on August 5. Permit is free.

Check out our previous post on PARK(ing) Day Plus+ here.

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Two Weeks Left to Apply for PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Permits!

Only two weeks left to reserve your space for PARK(ing) Day Plus+!

PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Permit applications and Small Sparks Grant applications are due by Friday, August 5, for the event on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17.

You’ll want to get started now, because:

  • To apply, you need to know which parking spaces you plan to use and you have to submit details of your plan, including a sketch.
  • If you want to apply for a Small Sparks grant, the application process can take up 48 hours once you register before you can apply.

Now is the time to gather your team of friends, neighbors and colleagues to reimagine your street! A temporary park?  A street safety improvement? What would a walkable, livable, and healthy city look like on your block?

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Looking for more details or inspiration? Check out the PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Guidelines or SDOT’s flickr album for some fun examples. PARKing day

More about Seattle’s PARK(ing) Day Plus+:

  • Plus+ 2 days of fun
    • This year, we extended the event into two days – Friday September 16, and Saturday, September 17. Participate either day, or both!
  • Plus+ Temporary street improvements
    • In addition to pop-up parks, you can test out temporary bike lanes or sidewalks to enhance the walking and biking environment.
  • Plus+ Small Sparks grants
    • We’re partnering with Department of Neighborhoods to offer funding through the Small Sparks grant program. You can apply for up to $1,000 to support a project or event that helps build stronger and healthier communities. Contact NMFund@seattle.gov to learn more.

See our previous post about PARK(ing) Day in Seattle here.  Remember to submit your permit application to David.Burgesser@seattle.gov by August 5!

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Take Advantage of Summer by Biking or Walking to Work

Summer is upon us, and it’s an excellent time to consider commuting by bike or walking.

Golden Gardens is the perfect place to play on a sunny summer day

Golden Gardens is the perfect place to play on a sunny summer day

Getting out of the car can be good for our environment, good for your health, and may even help your mood by avoiding the road rage which impacts 8 out of 10 drivers.

If you already commute by transit, add a little extra time outdoors by going to the next bus stop before boarding, or getting off one stop early. You might also consider a combination bike – bus commute: ride your bike to the bus stop, use transit for the longest leg of your commute, and then ride the last mile to work.

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You can even help Seattle stay one of the most walkable cities in the country by checking out our draft Pedestrian Master Plan update and giving us your feedback by August 12!

Do you need help planning your route? We can help! Check out:

Start out small and work your way up to more frequent and longer trips. Identify the important transition points in your commute where one mode may present greater efficiency over another. It won’t be long before you develop a flexible commute that will maximize your effort and minimize your commute times.

Seattle summers include rain, but don't let that stop you

Seattle summers include rain, but don’t let that stop you

By the time Labor Day rolls around, you’ll be a commuter pro!

Post by Commute Trip Reduction

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