Plan Ahead for Sunday’s Big Game

Seattle’s abuzz with football excitement as the Seahawks look to make history in Phoenix this Sunday.

On this final Blue Friday of the season, we present you with some critical information so you can plan ahead if you plan to drink. It’s common knowledge that drinking and driving don’t mix. Consider these travel options as you put together your game plan for the big day:

  • Get a ride – Take the bus, rail, a cab or a service like Uber, Lyft, Curbed or Flywheel to get around town. Let a professional driver escort you between the party and your home.
  • Select a Designated Driver – Make sure someone stays sober if driving is necessary. Driving impaired is one sure-fire way to ruin a momentous occasion.
  • Park it – If you accidentally consume some “special brownies” at the party, leave your car parked overnight and sleep it off at a friends house. Everything you need to know about pre-paid parking can be found here.
  • Walk safe – Walking impaired is no party. Be sure you’re sober enough to navigate our busy urban streets before heading out solo. If you don’t have your wits about you, have a sober friend help you get to your destination or just sleep it off.


We hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend! GO HAWKS!

Let's hope we get to do this again next week!

Let’s hope we get to do this again next week!


Safer New Pioneer Square Sidewalk Thanks to Neighborhood Street Fund

Thanks to community and SDOT efforts, safety and accessibility have been greatly improved by the addition of a new sidewalk and curb ramp on South Jackson Street from 2nd Ave South to 3rd Ave South in Pioneer Square.

The new sidewalk and curb ramp replaced the outdated sidewalk which had a slanted grade and tall alley curb, which made it difficult for anyone with limited mobility or pushing deliveries to access.

Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

Pioneer Square based International Sustainability Institute and the Alliance for Pioneer Square applied for and was awarded a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to pay for these improvements. The Neighborhood Street Fund Program pays for neighborhood transportation projects which are identified and prioritized by the community itself. The funds for this program come from the Bridging the Gap levy.

SDOT staff and crews worked closely with the surrounding businesses and property owners along the stretch of Jackson to plan and complete the work. This project is an example of SDOT and the community working together to make our streets and sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone.

From the Seawall Project Construction site: Safety is a Priority!

The Seawall Project is replacing the city’s aging seawall along the central waterfront, which is a large and complex undertaking. On any given day, large trucks and equipment are continuously entering and exiting the work zone, and lifting, pushing and moving materials and supplies. With the constant action on the site, maintaining a safe working environment for both the project team and the general public is one of our highest priorities.

Starting the day off right

Each morning before the work shift begins, the construction team gathers for a daily ritual: the “stretch n’ bend.” The morning get-together serves as the team’s regular meeting to get limber, outline the day’s objectives, and ensure everyone is wearing the correct personal protection equipment (PPE).

Seawall Construction Site Safety

Workers stretch and prepare for a day of seawall construction.

What is PPE?

Each day, about 100 workers enter the half mile long site through multiple gates, and each individual must be wearing the required personal protection equipment. PPE includes a hard hat, gloves, eye protection, ear protection, vest and hard-soled shoes. Ths equipment ensures that everyone on site is easy to see and protected from the elements. Flaggers at each gate inspect people as they enter, and ensure that they meet safety requirements. Because the seawall is located next to Elliott Bay, the project’s proximity to water sometimes requires that workers wear personal flotation devices or harnesses.

Work Crew wearing personal flotaion devices and other PPE while performing in-water work.

Work Crew wearing personal flotation devices and other PPE while performing in-water work.

Safety training is also part of the goal of maintaining a safe working environment. Each person that works on the project must complete a site safety training course and receive and display a sticker on their hard hat indicating they are approved to be inside the construction zone.

Learn more!

For more information about seawall construction, visit the Seawall Project website. If you have questions, email ( or call the 24-hour hotline 206-618-8584.

New Holman Road NW Ped Median Gets Elmed!

So maybe elmed is not a word, but certainly the new Holman Road NW pedestrian median can now claim the elm treatment. SDOT Urban Forestry crews planted nine elm hybrids along the roadway this past weekend and into today. The trees are the finishing touches to the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project that completed construction in December (with large tree pits awaiting trees).

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits, December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015








Despite the new trees being barely five or so years old, each one weighed 600 pounds with its root ball–bark babies requiring heavy equipment and traffic control to ensure safe planting.

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid Dutch elm trees along Holman Road NW

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid elm trees along Holman Road NW

Seven of the new trees were installed in the long median that flanks the pedestrian overpass at 13th Avenue NW and one tree was planted in each of the other two short medians.

The trees are the crowning top to the new pedestrian median near 13th Avenue NW, across from Crown Hill Park. In the fall the leaves will turn a vivid golden hue.


Photo of established hybrid elm; inset: fall color


The new median is just one of the many pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements brought by the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project.


Providing an alternative crossing is important at this location as the nearby NW 92nd Street is a greenway and a future Safe Routes to School pathway at Mary Avenue (Whitman Middle School is just around the corner).

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014



Data shows cars slowdown in areas where there are street trees, making the neighborhood safer.


Yet another part of the Holman Project is discussion around removing the pedestrian bridge and replacing it with a pedestrian signal. That idea, which opens up the space for better sight lines, is still in need of funding.

Mercer Corridor Project – Maintaining Safety through the Corridor

Travelers who use the Mercer Corridor have much to look forward to as construction is expected to wrap-up later this year. As pavement is poured, lanes are added, sidewalks poured, bike lanes completed and signal timing adjusted, SDOT will maintain its commitment to safety to all those who work, live and travel in the corridor. Though traffic capacity is limited, the project opened two new westbound lanes between Ninth Ave N and Queen Anne Ave N last summer. This provides a much improved, direct route from I-5 to Seattle Center, Uptown and Queen Anne, and it also eliminates some of the challenges between turning vehicles and pedestrians.

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Work in the past six months has focused on Mercer between Fifth Ave N and Ninth Ave N, and south along Fifth Ave N. Installation of new signals, sidewalks, and accessible ramps has required that traffic lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks be closed to protect pedestrians and others from construction activities. Pedestrians have had to cross the street at signalized intersections and sometimes travel two or three blocks out of their way to avoid the construction zones. This is inconvenient, but necessary to maintain safe, accessible connections during construction. Pedestrian maps highlighting closures and detour routes are posted on our project website as well as on sidewalks in the project area. Here’s a link:

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

As work progresses, more corners and crosswalks are opening up with improved ramps and sidewalks. All new sidewalks and curbs are constructed to meet the current Americans with Disabilities Act standards for mobility providing safe travels for all users in the corridor.

Work will continue near the intersection of Dexter Ave N and Mercer St where temporary configurations have been in place on both streets since July of last year. Temporary roadways were constructed so that crews could safely work on major utility relocations on both Mercer St and Dexter Ave N. Both roadways and corresponding curvatures drivers experience will be removed this year, starting with Mercer St the weekend of February 7.

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

During this weekend closure, crews will also stripe the eastbound lanes with their final markings. Pedestrians will also experience a noticeable change in their routing as the temporary roadways are removed. Following the February 7 weekend closure, pedestrians will be moved from the south side of Mercer St to new sidewalks on the north side of Mercer St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N. The new separated bicycle path will be in place adjacent to the sidewalk, but crews will wait for drier weather to add channelization markings on the bike path.

Do You take Transit on Madison Street? Your input is greatly appreciated.

Do you take Transit on Madison Street? SDOT has a new online survey and is seeking input for the Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study.

The Study is developing a concept design for BRT from Colman Dock to Martin Luther King Jr. Way and will examine two alternatives to evaluate travel-time savings, traffic impacts, ridership projections, and parking impacts in the coming months.


Route 12 Bus on Madison Street

The 2.1-mile corridor runs from Colman Dock east to 23rd Avenue and will improve access to ferries, Third Avenue transit, First Hill medical facilities and housing, Seattle University, the Central district, Link Light Rail, and the First Hill Streetcar.

Madison Street Cooridor Map

Madison Street Cooridor Map

SDOT is seeking input on key elements before this analysis begins, including transit connections, routing options, station locations, and an alternate bike facility.  After the analysis is complete, SDOT will launch a round of outreach to share the results and discuss community preferences about the design options. The last question of the survey is a map exercise; don’t forget to share your map. #MadisonBRT

The survey ends February 5th.  You can request paper copies of the survey directly from SDOT, by emailing or contacting Sara Walton at 206-386-4645.

For more information on the Madison BRT study, visit the project website.

North Beacon Hill Neighbors: Thank you for your patience during construction!

Beacon Ave South new sidewalk

Beacon Ave South new sidewalk

SDOT is excited to announce that the project to build a new sidewalk on Beacon Avenue S between 14th Avenue S and S Holgate Street is nearly complete! Over the past three months, SDOT has been building pedestrian and roadway safety improvements in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood as part of the North Beacon Safety Connections Project.

A key part of this project is the new sidewalk on the northeast side of Beacon Avenue S, which helps improve the pedestrian connection between Beacon Hill and SODO. The work included building a new, continuous sidewalk, curb ramps and an uphill bike lane that connects the Mountains to Sound Trail to the North Beacon Hill business district.

Beacon Avenue South new stairway

Beacon Avenue South new stairway

In addition, we formally closed 13th Avenue S at Beacon Avenue S and built a new stairway. Until recently, 13th Avenue S was closed at Beacon Avenue S by way of barricades but with the completion of this project, 13th Avenue S is now a dead end street with sidewalks and space for landscaping. Several components remain to be completed in the next few weeks, including landscaping, roadway markings and handrails for the new stairway.

The North Beacon Safety Connections Project also includes work that is underway at Beacon Avenue S and 14th Avenue S as well as at S College Street and 14th Avenue S to construct additional pedestrian safety improvements. The remainder of this project is expected to be complete in mid-February. To learn more, visit the project webpage at

We would like to thank the community for their patience as we worked to complete this project and help make it safer and easier for kids, neighbors and families to walk and bike in your neighborhood.


Bicycle Safety and Transit Improvements along Roosevelt Way NE

SDOT is repaving Roosevelt Way NE between Fuhrman Ave NE and NE 65th Street and adding safety improvements this fall 2015 to spring 2016. Along with meeting Seattle’s basic maintenance needs, we are adding a one-way Protected Bike Lane (PBL) on the west side of Roosevelt Way NE, transit reliability improvements and pedestrian improvements.

Project Map

Roosevelt Overview Map

Roosevelt Overview Map

Last fall we mailed project fliers, letters and held an open house to talk about the paving project. At that time we were only planning on installing the PBL from the University Bridge to NE 45th Street. At the open house, we shared that there were a few project components we hoped to add should funding become available. These included in-lane transit stops for better bus reliability and sidewalk repairs for easier pedestrian movement.

Since the open house, some funding for these improvements has been identified. This triggered another evaluation of how the project will best meet our Complete Streets Ordinance and transportation modal plan recommendations. Shifting the transit stops in-lane provided us with an opportunity to add the PBL recommended in the Bicycle Master Plan. There have been nine collisions involving bikes between NE 45th and NE 65th streets from October 2010 to October 2014, so the PBL would be a safety improvement and create better connections to Seattle’s citywide bike network and multimodal system. We can leverage the Roosevelt Way NE Paving Project to make bicycling safer and more comfortable along the corridor.  And we can do it in a way that minimizes construction disruptions and helps meet our goal of providing people with more travel options.





What is the goal of adding a PBL?

Safety for all travelers

  • People biking – separate bicyclists from travel lanes and parking maneuvers
  • People walking – separate bicycles from pedestrians
  • People driving – provide predictability within the street


What are the benefits of adding a PBL and transit islands?

  • Improve safety, as people are no longer riding bikes in the “door zone” or being blocked by buses
  • Improve transit reliability by adding in-lane bus stops (transit islands)
  • Create more space for people waiting for the bus by adding transit islands
  • Add connections to a citywide bicycle network and multimodal system at:
    • NE 47th Street, which connects to the University Neighborhood Greenway on 12th Avenue NE
    • Ravenna Boulevard where SDOT is upgrading the buffered bike lane to a PBL this year
    • NE 65th Street, where the new Link Light Rail Station is under construction



The two existing general purpose lanes will remain and we’ll continue to prioritize bus service. However, on-street parking and loading zones would be removed on the west side of the street. We know that businesses and residents can come to rely on public parking and do not take this lightly. Parking utilization data collection is currently underway.

Existing Cross Section

Existing Cross Section

We also work with the public to understand their access needs and determine how we can continue to meet those needs with the addition of the new facility. Three drop-in sessions at various times are being held the week of January 19. We’re also conducting door to door outreach and meeting with individual businesses and neighborhood groups.

Proposed Cross Section

Proposed Cross Section

We’d like to invite you to attend one of three drop-in sessions to meet with project staff, ask questions and share your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 20|2 – 3:30 PM: University Heights, 5031 University Way NE

Wednesday, January 21|8 – 9:30 AM: Wayward Coffeehouse, 6417 Roosevelt Way NE

Thursday, January 22 | 5:30 – 7 PM: University Heights, 5031 University Way NE

You can find a comprehensive Questions and Answers document at: For more information about the Roosevelt Way NE Paving Project visit

Join us at Town Hall on Wednesday, Jan.7 at 5 p.m.! Feedback wanted for the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan

Join us at Town Hall tomorrow, January 7th at 5pm! We want your feedback on the open space and street concepts proposed in the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan  to enhance mobility and livability!

First Hill’s growing residential population, cultural institutions, and influx of workers warrants high quality public spaces that meet mobility and recreational needs. The current First Hill neighborhood plan (from 1998) recognizes this need for open space in this bustling, downtown-adjacent neighborhood, but despite efforts to advance this goal, land acquisition has proven to be challenging. For this educational open house, city staff will be present to discuss open space concepts and implementation strategies for these innovative open space proposals. Moving beyond land acquisition, the plan incorporates street spaces and private development to create a greener, safer, and more walkable neighborhood.

Presenters include: Susan McLaughlin, Urban Designer/Project Manager at Seattle Department of Transportation; Donald Harris and Chip Nevins, Department of Parks & Recreation, Property and Acquisition Services; Lyle Bicknell, Principal Urban Designer with the Department of Planning & Development; and Alex Hudson, Coordinator for the First Hill Improvement Association.

Where: Great Hall 1119 Eighth Avenue (enter on Eighth Avenue)
When: Wednesday, Jan.7 at 5 p.m.

69 New Trees and Safer Streets in Columbia City

As part of our Safe Routes to School program here in SDOT, and in partnership with our Urban Forestry team, Columbia City now has 69 new beautiful trees along 42nd Avenue South between South Orcas and South Graham streets. The project is in direct response to what community members shared–concerns about cars speeding through the neighborhood to avoid back-ups on the nearby arterial and blowing past yield signs. This corridor is flanked by two schools: St. Edward School and Aki Kurose Middle School. With school children walking in the area and the neighborhood looking to reclaim its street, the following changes were made:

  • At the 42nd Avenue South and South Meade Street school crosswalk we replaced yield signs with stop signs
  • On the east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Meade streets we removed restrictions on parking
  • Next to St. Edward School we replaced a concrete planting strip with grass and 9 new trees (while removing three struggling trees)
  • Along 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Graham streets we planted nearly 70 new street trees


The stop signs help clarify traffic rules through the intersection with the school crosswalk, and removing parking restrictions helps decrease speeds as drivers tend to go slower on narrower pathways. Street trees have also been shown to slow traffic speeds, so they are a pedestrian safety priority. The new grass planter strip helps provide a pleasant buffer between pedestrians and motor vehicles.


On 42nd Avenue South looking north toward South Orcas Street, at St. Edward School – BEFORE


On 42nd Ave S looking north toward S Orcas St., at St. Edward School - AFTER

On 42nd Avenue South looking north toward South Orcas Street, at St. Edward School – AFTER



The great news when SDOT’s Urban Forestry crew inspected the area is that much of it had 10-12 foot planter strips; yet, trees hadn’t been planted due to the proximity of overhead and underground utilities. That was solved with a specific planting plan: smaller but hearty blooming starlight dogwoods (see picture below) near utilities – east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Juneau to South Graham streets – and larger more majestic emerald sunshine elms (named for brilliant yellow fall color of leaves) where there were no restrictions in tree size – west side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Graham streets and east side of 42nd Avenue South from South Orcas to South Juneau streets. Both tree species are newly developed disease and pest resistant hybrids of their well-known natives.


Starlight Dogwood Tree Blooms

Starlight Dogwood Tree Blooms

Before the project, we notified neighbors along the corridor and gave them contact information to express any concerns. The project manager also reached out to St. Edward School to ask if the concrete planting strips were used or needed for parking access or student drop-offs. The school was happy to have the 3-for-1 tree replacement along their block, exceeding the City’s 2-for-1 standard, and the more welcoming environment. They even agreed to maintain the new grass surrounding the new SDOT-managed street trees along the block.


For all 69 new trees SDOT purchased and planted, our Urban Forestry tree crews will provide water the first few years to help them get established, and maintain them for the lifetime of the trees. It all makes for a safer, healthier and more enjoyable neighborhood experience.


P.S. Thanks to Seattle Conservation Corps for their help – especially with concrete removal – and for bringing a great attitude!