More than 70% of Downtown Seattle Commuters Choosing Not to Drive Alone

A new Commute Seattle survey shows that more than 70 percent of downtown’s estimated 247,000 daily commuters opt for transit, ridesharing, biking, walking and teleworking – leaving less than 30 percent of commuters to drive alone to work. CS survey graphic 2-9-17

That continues a strong downward trend in solo driving from 35% in 2010 to 31% in 2014.

Commute Seattle 1Employers see the value of a good transportation system. Downtown employers have invested over $100 million in infrastructure and transportation benefits. Downtown Seattle added 45,000 jobs from 2010 to 2016, and an impressive 95% of the increase in daily commute trips have been absorbed by transit, rideshare, biking and walking.
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In addition to private sector investment, voter-approved initiatives TransitNow, Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD), and the Levy to Move Seattle have provided funding for new transportation options for downtown commuters. These include City of Seattle and Metro coordinated service expansion of the RapidRide C and D lines, and implementing the 2nd Avenue and Westlake protected bike lanes, which enhance safety and bike capacity to and through downtown.

These results fulfill a 10-year goal to reduce the downtown Seattle peak commute drive-alone rate to 30%, accomplished by Commute Seattle at the direction of the Downtown Transportation Alliance (DTA)—a public-private partnership comprised of the Downtown Seattle Association, the City of Seattle (SDOT & OPCD), King County Metro and Sound Transit.

 

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We got snow! Here’s what we did

In preparation for the Snow event on Monday February 6, we put our response crews on 12-hour shifts, that began on Sunday evening. Our trucks started treating streets and elevated structures. By the time you woke up on Monday to find out kids had a snow day, here’s what SDOT crews had already done.

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Early morning Monday:

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Pine Street

  • Mayor Murray visited SDOT Charles Street Maintenance facility to chat with local media and Maintenance Division Director Rodney Maxie about our Winter response.
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Mayor Ed Murray and SDOT Maintenance Operations Division Director Rodney Maxie with media.

  • Crews treated elevated structures and overpasses with salt.
  • SDOT hand crews treated pedestrian routes.
  • Our Incident Response Teams responded to traffic incidents.
  • SDOT tree crews cleared downed trees and branches obstructing streets, such as W Mercer Place.
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Tree down at W Mercer Place east of Elliot Ave

By Midday:

  • SDOT crews continued to patrolling snow and ice routes, plowing and treating as needed.
  • SDOT tree crews continue to respond to downed trees in the right of way.
  • We replenished our materials in preparation for the evening.

Evening:

  • Gold & Emerald routes were mostly bare and wet going into the PM commute.
  • Protected Bike Lanes were also clear.

Monday overnight into Tuesday:

  • 30 trucks worked overnight treating the Gold and Emerald priority routes for the Tuesday morning commute.

Good job team! Safe Travels Everyone!

Check out our Winter Weather Home page that has lots of useful information that can help you prepare before snow falls next time.

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City Reminds Travelers to use Extra Caution in Cold Weather

SDOT reminds residents to take great care when outside during winter weather conditions.

In addition to challenging travel conditions, trees can be significantly weakened by heavy snow and/or ice and can fall, putting those below at risk. Bent and broken tree limbs weighed down by snow or ice can fall unexpectedly, so take time to be aware of your surroundings. Particular caution should be taken when in parks and heavily wooded areas.

To report a downed tree that is blocking a city street or sidewalk, please call SDOT’s 24/7 Dispatch Center at 206-386-1218.

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Westlake Ave Protected Bike lane is the country’s best new bike lane of 2016!

PeopleForBikes  placed Seattle at the top of their list by crowning the Westlake Ave Protected Bike lane as the country’s best new bike lane of 2016!

This week they made the announcement and spoke with SDOT Director Scott Kubly about the importance of the Westlake PBL, which is on the west side of Lake Union and connects neighborhoods to the north and beyond the Fremont Bridge (and surrounding trails and parks) to South Lake Union and downtown.

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Here’s an excerpt from their post: “What they got was a world-class bikeway: the first flat, intuitive link joining downtown Seattle to the north side and a vast regional trail network.”

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Bike ridership on Westlake has doubled after the protected bike lane opened in September, compared to the previous year. People biking now have a separate space to ride, making the area safer and more comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities.

The project also improves safety for all users by featuring a pedestrian path for people walking that is separate from the bicycle lanes. The designated space for people biking also makes the parking lot more predictable for drivers, which makes this scenic corridor more accessible for residents, employees and customers.

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With community input built into the design, the Westlake PBL has created a safer corridor for people walking, biking, and driving while preserving approximately 90 percent of the parking.

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/wct.htm

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Let’s Get Seattle Walking

The Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board is accepting applications for several new members to help make walking in Seattle safer and easier.

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The volunteer board, which was created by Seattle City Council in 1993, plays an influential role in implementing Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan. The board advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, evaluates policies, and makes recommendations to all city departments including SDOT.

Currently, the board is looking for candidates for at least three positions. Board members are typically frequent users of our pedestrian network, and represent a variety of ages, levels of mobility, our diverse communities, and reside in neighborhoods throughout the city. Members must be Seattle residents. The board meets the second Wednesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at City Hall on Fifth Avenue between James and Cherry streets.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and commissions. Women, young persons, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, persons of color, immigrants, and refugees are encouraged to apply.

Interested Seattleites should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by January 27, 2017 to:  Howard Wu at howard.wu@seattle.gov. You can also email Howard for more information or give him a call at (206) 684-3902.

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The New 2016-2017 Winter Weather Brochure and Snow Route Maps are here!

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SDOT’s annual Winter Weather brochure has a large map of Seattle’s snow and ice routes, lists important telephone numbers and web sites to use during winter storms, and offers preparedness tips. Here’s a link to our Winter Weather page that has useful information about what to expect when it snows.

During major winter storms, plan your trip by seeing where the snow plows have been and viewing traffic cameras by clicking on the link below:
Winter Weather Response Map

The brochures will be free at Seattle Public Library branches and Neighborhood Service Centers.

This year we will again distribute the brochure to elementary schools in the Seattle public school district for children to take home to their parents.

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Download only the map in English

Download the full brochure in:

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SDOT Mobility Innovations First Forum on Mobility Hubs

SDOT hosted the first Mobility Innovations Forum Monday, the topic Mobility Hubs.

We’re hosting a speaker series on mobility innovations, running through mid-2017 (see below)

The City of Seattle is partnering with transit agencies and private mobility services to develop a network of shared mobility hubs throughout the city, providing better mobility and integrated transportation choices for all. Topics will include mobility hubs, smart mobility strategies for high growth in Seattle, preparing for autonomous vehicles, and making shared transportation equitable.

Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation; Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of Los Angeles DOT; David Bragdon, Executive Director of TransitCenter; Sharon Feigon, Executive Director at the Shared Use Mobility Center, discussed their thoughts on mobility hubs as Ross Reynolds from KUOW, moderated the conversation.

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Scott Kubly, SDOT Dir; Speakers: Seleta Reynolds; David Bragdon; Sharon Feigon; Ross Reynolds KUOW.

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Scott Kubly , SDOT Dir. addresses attendees alongside featured guests.

Here’s a definition of what Mobility Hubs are:

Mobility hubs provide an integrated suite of transportation services, supporting amenities, and urban design enhancements that reduce the need for single occupant vehicle trips by increasing first mile/last mile access to high-frequency transit stations. Mobility hubs are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation such as walking, biking, ride-sharing, and public transit, cometogether seamlessly at concentrations of employment, housing, shopping, and/ or recreation.

Hub features can include: bikeshare, car share, neighborhood electric vehicles, bike parking, dynamic parking management strategies, real-time traveler information, real-time ride-sharing, demand-based shuttle, bicycle and pedestrian facility improvements, wayfinding, urban design enhancements, and supporting systems like mobile applications, electric vehicle charging, smart intersections, and a universal payment system to make it easy to access a wide range of travel options.

Please join us at the upcoming forums. More details will be posted, we appreciate your participation in the months ahead.

The preliminary schedule for future topics is:

  • January: Smart mobility strategies for high growth Seattle
  • March: Preparing for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • May: Making shared mobility equitable
  • June or July: Rethinking mobility as a service

Questions, please contact Evan Corey: evan.corey@seattle.gov.

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SDOT Mobility Innovations Forum Monday, November 14 at 6 p.m.

SDOT is hosting a speaker series on mobility innovations, running through mid-2017. 

Please join us at the first event on Monday, November 14. The City of Seattle is partnering with transit agencies and private mobility services to develop a network of shared mobility hubs throughout the city, providing better mobility and integrated transportation choices for all. Topics will include mobility hubs, smart mobility strategies for high growth in Seattle, preparing for autonomous vehicles, and making shared transportation equitable.

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Topic: Mobility Hubs
When: November 14, 6:00 PM
Where: Seattle Art Museum (Pletscheeff Auditorium) 1300 1st Ave
Free with RSVP: https://sdot-mobilityinnovations.eventbrite.com

Speakers include:

  • Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager of Los Angeles DOT
  • David Bragdon, Executive Director of TransitCenter
  • Sharon Feigon, Executive Director at the Shared Use Mobility Center
  • Ross Reynolds from KUOW will moderate the conversation.

The preliminary schedule for future topics is:

  • January: Smart mobility strategies for high growth Seattle
  • March: Preparing for connected and autonomous vehicles
  • May: Making shared mobility equitable
  • June or July: Rethinking mobility as a service

Learn about this effort, similar efforts throughout North America, and how mobility hubs can transform the travel experience in the future.

Questions, please contact Evan Corey: evan.corey@seattle.gov.

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Your new Vision Zero speed limits

What is happening?

Beginning November 7th, new speed limits will be going into effect for city streets.  This is part of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Speed limits for the streets in central Seattle (indicated in blue in the map below) will be reduced to 25 mph. The non-arterial (a.k.a. residential street) speed limit will be reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph.

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Why is this happening?

While Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country, each year about 20 people are killed in traffic collisions and another 150 are seriously injured. Their lives are cut short or changed forever, impacting their families, friends, and broader communities. One life lost or altered is one life too many.

Speed plays a role all serious injury and fatal collisions.  Someone who is walking and is struck by a vehicle going at 20 mph has a 90% chance of surviving the crash.  The chances of survival are reduced to 50% when a vehicle going +10 mph faster.

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By lowering the speed limits, we will be:

  • Creating consistent speed limits.
  • Enhancing safety for everyone, especially people walking and biking.
  • Reducing the severity of all collisions.

What is SDOT doing to let people know about the new speed limits?

To let Seattle residents and people traveling into the city know about the new speed limits, we will be:

  • Adding new or altering existing signs.
  • Launching a comprehensive public education campaign.
  • Enforcing the new speeds through the high visibility patrols (the Seattle Police Department will issue warnings for a period of two weeks to one month).

Drivers traveling from outside the city will see either of these two signs indicating our city’s lowered speed limits:

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Drivers will see 25 mph signs when using arterial streets to travel central Seattle:

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Where can I learn more about Vision Zero?

You can find out more about Vision Zero. Also know that yard signs are a great way to encourage safety along your street.

We also have a Vision Zero dashboard  and safety resources  that you can share with your friends, family, and co-workers to promote safety all around you.

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New Curb Bulbs at Burke-Gilman Trail Pop with Colorful Design

The Burke-Gilman Trail is getting a burst of color at the once grey intersection with 40th Ave NE.

With just a bit of paint, street markings, and posts, we can create low-cost curb bulbs where data and community members tell us traffic safety is a concern. Curb bulbs are effective at reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions by increasing the visibility of vulnerable users – people walking and biking – and decreasing the distance they have to travel to get across the street.

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New curb bulb at 40th Ave NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Northeast Seattle Greenways and Seattle Children’s Hospital teamed up and were winners of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARK(ing) Day Plus design competition in 2015 for their original design of painted curb bulbs at this location.

We then went to work to make the design permanent.

How do we decide what colors to use to really make them stand out? For this crossing, we wanted to let people in the neighborhood help decide colors and design.

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We used this ballot to ask residents and trail users which design they preferred. The option with blue circles won the informal contest.

 

The installation started with laying down colorful thermoplastic, which we blasted with propane torches to make it stick to the concrete. Then we added new posts and signs.

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Laying out and trimming the new street marking material at 40th Ave NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

“Bringing color and pattern to the ground plane elevates and enlivens an ordinary bit of city infrastructure,” says Kristen Ramirez, who manages public art projects for SDOT and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. One result of the new curb bulbs design, she said, is to “bring pause or wonder to people passing by. The circle pattern could evoke many ideas: ripples on water, constellations, textile patterns, and more.”

It isn’t just an artistic statement though.

Traffic engineering and safety work uses bright colors and patterns, which this project has in spades, to grab driver’s attention and communicate that there are people walking and biking. Extending the curb into the street reduces the width of the travel lanes, which causes people to slow down.

Supported by traffic studies showing that curb bulbs increase yielding to pedestrians, these improvements are one of the many tools in our Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Seattle by 2030.

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