Seattle Launches Safe Routes to School “Let’s Go” Program

The City of Seattle officially launched a new partnership between the City, Seattle Public Schools and Cascade Bicycle Club to provide universal pedestrian and bicycle education at every public Seattle elementary school called “Let’s Go.” The announcement was made at Madrona K-8 School in Seattle. Thanks to everyone involved for making “Let’s Go ” happen, and special thanks to Madrona K-8 students and staff for hosting the announcement and demonstrating the safety lessons they learned.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chatting with Madron K-8 students about safety

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chats with Madrona K-8 students about biking and pedestrian safety lessons.

“Let’s Go” delivers universal walking and biking safety education training for every third, fourth and fifth grade public school student. Over the past year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has worked with its partners to develop and pilot the program. The program will be implemented in the physical education classes at all K-5 and K-8 schools starting this fall and will continue for the next seven years.

The three-week program provides a solid foundation of skills required for students to safely walk and roll through the built environment, avoiding the most common types of collisions. Respect is a cornerstone of the program as students learn about “right of way” and how to communicate with other street and trail users. Students are also taught the importance of wearing bike helmets and having them fitted correctly.

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping.

Cascade Bicycle Club is contracted by Seattle Public Schools to train physical education teachers, assist in the classroom with curriculum, and deliver bikes, helmets and equipment to schools for use during the three-week program. The students receive critical, real-time practice walking and biking in a safe environment so they can apply their skills under supervision.

Safe Routes to School is a core component of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. For more information on Vision Zero, please visit www.seattle.gov/visionzero. #VisionZeroSEA

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Westlake Protected Bike Lane Open and Keeping Riders on Track

Things are rolling along on the Westlake protected bike lane after its official grand opening last month. The protected bike lane on the west side of Lake Union connects the Fremont Bridge and surrounding trails and parks to South Lake Union and downtown.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly joined in the inaugural ride on the Westlake protected bike lane.

Scott Kubly was interviewed by New York-based Streetfilms about the livability and multi-modal transportation work happening here in Seattle and discussed the benefits of the Westlake protected bike lane.

Here’s their video:

Streetfilms was here for the Seattle-hosted NACTO (National Association of Transportation Officials) Designing Cities Conference last week. Streetfilms focuses on policy and advocacy for livability and transportation issues related to urban growth.

 

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, visitors, businesses and their customers.

Visit the Westlake protected bike lane project web page for more information at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/wct.htm.

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October is Walk to School Month!

Or “Walktober,” as those in the know like to say!

Walktober is a time for kids, parents and teachers to celebrate walking to school with fun events and activities. The goals of this month are to promote walking to school safely while having fun.

Want to set up a Walk to School month at your school? Checkout Feet First’s guide to setting up a Walktober event. Or you can participate on the biggest walking day – International Walk to School Day is October 5!

SDOT is offering free incentives to help encourage more kids to try out walking to school!

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We have whole assortment of goodies that include stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps. All schools and PTA groups within the Seattle city limit are welcome to request materials.

Just go to our incentives page and filling out an order form!

Incentive 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

Incentives are offered to promote walking to school as part of our Safe Routes to School Program. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project coordinator, Serena Lehman at Serena.Lehman@seattle.gov.

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How do the Fremont and Ballard Bridge Openings work? (Updated)

Here’s an updated and shortened Blog Video of our behind-the-scenes look at the Fremont and Ballard Bridge openings, and how they work:

(Click on HD in Settings to view in High Definition)

 

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 city is required to open the bridges to marine traffic when requested, but is allowed to restrict boat and marine traffic openings during the morning
(7-9 a.m.) and afternoon (4-6 p.m.) commutes on weekdays (except national holidays). The openings average about four minutes, from stopping traffic to letting traffic resume. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience during the openings as marine traffic passes through.

The Ballard Bridge, located at the west end of the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Salmon Bay, is the fourth and last of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridges to be passed before entering Puget Sound from Lake Washington. Built in 1917 with a length of 2,854 feet, the Ballard Bridge links the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods with Ballard.

The Fremont Bridge crosses the Lake Washington Ship Canal and connects the Fremont and Queen Anne neighborhoods. The bridge opened on July 4, 1917, it is the only blue and orange bridge operated by SDOT. The Fremont Bridge’s current color was chosen by a 1985 poll taken among Fremont residents and the Fremont Arts Council.

The Fremont Bridge also connects the Lake Washington Ship Canal Trail to the Burke Gilman Trail and has one of Seattle’s nine bike counters (here’s our previous blog about the Fremont Bridge Bike Counter and how it works). The Fremont Bridge has celebrated over 610,000 openings and counting as of January 2016. The bridge sits just 30 feet above the water, and rises for marine traffic on average of about 35 times a day, making it as one of the busiest bascule bridges in the world.

Here’s a link to our SDOT Bridges page: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/bridges.htm

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Your Voice Has an Impact

It’s National Voter Registration Day today, a day to remind people of the importance of their voice – and not just when you vote for a President. Your voice has a local impact too. It shows in your votes for City Council members, the Mayor, and even program options we present as part of new initiatives. One example is the new Pike People Street pilot program. The main goal of the program is to promote a more pleasant and pedestrian-friendly environment in the busy Pike/Pine Street area.

The Pike People Street program creates a series of pedestrian-only street closures along the Pike/Pine corridor during times of high pedestrian activity. After a series of public workshops, meetings, and personal conversations, SDOT will be testing different options for the Pike People Street project on:

  • October 7, 2016 | Late Night: 11pm-3am
  • October 13, 2016 | Art Walk: 4pm-10pm
  • October 16, 2016 | Daytime: 12pm – 4pm

The three test runs focus on comments we heard from you, including testing programming in the daytime, reconfiguring the space to better relieve congestion and involving local events, like the Art Walk. We’re also looking to add more daytime activities, so feel free to apply with your street performance, sidewalk cafe or other fun idea right herepikepeopletestsFor more info on these testing events, check out our Action Plan 2016. This plan was informed by community feedback collected through emails, personal conversations, and a community design workshop. Your voice has an impact and directly drives many public service efforts. Thank you for taking part!

For more information on the Pike People Street Program, visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/pikeped.htm.

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Join the Street Scrabble Tournament on Capitol Hill, Wed. 9/28, 1-3pm

Seattle is hosting NACTO (National Association of Transportation Officials) Designing Cities Conference this week.

Join the Street Scrabble Tournament

Wednesday, September 28, 2016 1 – 3 PM,
Where: Denny Way at Broadway in Capitol Hill

Street Scrabble!

Street Scrabble!

To sign up for the tournament, e-mail: streetscrabble@seattle.gov or go to the NACTO walkshop registration booth

Come play or watch a life-size Scrabble game on Wednesday from 1-3 pm in Capitol Hill! Learn more about Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Public Space Management program and how this future Festival Street will help activate the new Capitol Hill light rail plaza space.

How will the tournament work? Scrabble participants will be determined by lottery. We will draw 16 participants from a “hat” at the event and pair them up into teams. Each game will be 30 minutes. The tournament will have a referee and scorekeeper, and is a single elimination format.

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Go Take a Walk!

Walking is an easy way to get some healthy fresh air as well as some quick exercise. Bonus: our city has so many great places to walk! We’ve listed a couple of our favorite sites for a morning, afternoon, or evening stroll.

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Workday Rejuvenation Route

Amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses – or conifers, as is often the case in our neck of the woods. On the far north end of downtown’s waterfront lies Myrtle Edwards Park, an often overlooked stretch of greenery which offers a 1.25-mile path that starts at Alaskan Way and Broad Street and winds north along Elliott Bay. For anyone who works downtown, this out-and-back route offers the perfect place to unwind and take in some views during a lunch break or after work. Watch the sun set behind the Olympic mountains after punching out for the day, or check out the views of Olympic Sculpture park while you enjoy your midday soup and salad. This relatively flat, meandering path is perfect for walkers of all fitness levels.

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Olympic Sculpture Park

Central Seattle Four-Park Loop

Starting at 19th Ave and E Yesler Way, this loop borders four different parks, providing a great mix of natural and urban vistas. Head east on Yesler Way, passing by many tree-lined streets and few local shops.  At 31st Ave, turn right – Frink Park should be on your left-hand side.  Take a right at S Judkins St, following it west until you can take the trail north through Judkins Park and Playfield. Follow the trail north to 20th Pl S, then take the trail through Lavizzo Park to S Washington St. Head west one block to Pratt Park, and use the park’s west-bound trails to head back to 19th and E Yesler.  There are a few moderate hills along this 2.7-mile route.

Updated 9/22

 

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PARK(ing) Day Plus+ is coming this Friday and Saturday!

Does the end of summer have you feeling blue? It’s not time to start hiding away inside quite yet! PARK(ing) Day Plus+ has inspired Seattleites to create 50 temporary parks and street improvements for you to explore in parking spaces throughout the city. Check them out this Friday and Saturday, September 16-17, between 10 AM and 7 PM.

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Here are a few of the creative activities you can do at Seattle’s pop-up parks:

  • Join a Prince sing-a-long and trivia contest
  • Relax on furniture made of pool noodles or in an outdoor reading room
  • Explore a maze or catch a dance performance
  • Create a watercolor painting and experiment with bubbles
  • Drink lemonade or fancy tea
  • Learn about book printing and tree identification
  • Play a musical instrument made out of bike parts – or just park your bike!

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Check out the map on our website to find parks near you! Some of the parks will not be in place for both days of the event, so double check the date listed in the map.

Through your visit, you’ll be part of an international conversation about the importance of walkable, livable, and healthy cities. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter throughout the weekend @seattledot and tag your photos #ParkingDaySEA!

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Family Friendly Transportation Improvements Coming to Wallingford

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways are safer, calm residential streets for you, your family and neighbors. The Wallingford neighborhood greenway was envisioned in 2009 by the community, funded in 2011 with Neighborhood Project Funds (now the Neighborhood Parks and Street Fund) and constructed in 2012. This was Seattle’s first greenway and helped shift the City’s approach toward safer streets.

In 2014, we evaluated the existing greenway, which met some of our current guidelines, but lacked speed humps to encourage calm speeds. It’s also missing another common feature, stop signs at streets crossing the greenway. Stop signs pause people driving and increase the likelihood they will see people walking and biking along the street. The greenway is located on N 43rd St from N Stone Way to Meridian Ave N and along N 44th St to Latona Ave NE.

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Speed humps encourage slower speeds so people see more of their surroundings and have more time to avoid crashes.

Project features:

  • Improve safety by installing 20 mile per hour speed limit signs and adding about one speed hump per block.
  • Benefits: People driving at slower speeds see more of their surroundings and have more time avoid crashes.
  • Make it easier to cross streets for people walking and biking by adding crosswalks at Latona Ave NE and NE 44th St and Thackeray Pl NE and NE 44th St. Also, new crossing beacons are being installed at N Stone Way and N 43rd St with the Neighborhood Parks and Street Funding.
  • Benefits: Supports affordable, healthy travel options that get you to local parks, schools, shops and restaurants.
  • Increase visibility of people walking and biking by installing stop signs and stop bars on streets intersecting the neighborhood greenway.
  • Benefits: More neighbors feel comfortable walking and biking, which helps create a sense of community.

Neighborhood greenways are not car free zones, do not add bike lanes and have minimal if any on-street parking impacts.

Construction is occurring between July and October. Here are some things to expect:

  • Short-term street closures
  • Possible detours
  • Noise, dust and vibration

Visit our neighborhood greenway page to learn more about what they are at www.seattle.gov/transportation/greenways.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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