Archive for 'Safety'
It’s that time of year once again when Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews seem to be everywhere doing all kinds of projects.
Thanks to the Bridging the Gap(BTG) transportation initiative, you see even more crews working. Remember when you see crews working to please slow down and give them extra space. They are working hard to make Seattle easier to navigate and a little safer for all of us.
Over the next several months you can expect to see SDOT crews repairing 25 blocks of sidewalk, installing new street name signs at more than 1,500 intersections, remarking 500 crosswalks, re-striping more than 850 lane-miles of arterial roadway and installing pedestrian countdown signals at 25 intersections. Crews will also be pruning more than 3,000 street trees, making crossing improvements at 42 intersections, restriping more than 70 miles of bike lanes and sharrows and installing more than seven miles of greenways. This work is made possible by the BTG program.
Remember it is that time of year again – slowdown and give our crews a little extra space! If you would like more information on BTG please visit their web page.[More]
The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board is seeking new members
Whether you’re an occasional bicycle rider or “hard core” cyclist, now is your chance to weigh in on the on-going development and implementation of Seattle’s bicycle facilities network.The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB) is seeking applications for new members to advise the City on the concerns and needs of the growing bicycling community. The volunteer board of 12, which was created by Seattle City Council in 1977, plays an influential role in implementing Seattle’s Bicycle 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 the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).
Board members serve a two-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. Current members represent all types of cyclists and skill levels, from casual weekend riders to year-round commuters. Members must be Seattle residents and may not be city employees. The board meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seattle City Hall.
The vision of the board is to make Seattle a world-class city for bicycling; to make bicycling a viable transportation choice by encouraging active participation in policy and planning efforts through all levels of government. The board strives to build a more inclusive bicycling community by representing the needs of the diverse population of bicyclists in the city.
According to Allegra Calder, current chair of the Bicycle Advisory Board, “Serving on the board is an opportunity to work closely with SDOT staff and bicyclists from across the city to review and weigh in on planned projects in an effort to make Seattle a great and safe place to bike.”
Mayor McGinn and City Council are committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and
commissions. Women, youths, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, and persons of color are encouraged to apply. Interested persons should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by May 31 to: email@example.com . Please put “SBAB” in the subject line.
Interested persons without internet access may call: 206-684-7583. To learn more about the board or join the mailing list for agendas and other board updates, please visit the SBAB website.[More]
We’ve said it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier…11PM tonight through 5AM Monday, May 20 FULL CLOSURE OF:
- SR 99-Valley Street to the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel
- Mercer Street-Fifth Avenue N to Dexter Avenue N
Sidewalks will be closed on both sides of SR 99 between Thomas and Valley Streets, and on the south side of Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N.
That isn’t the worst of it, because we are really just beginning this segment of the Mercer Corridor effort – meaning MAJOR impacts are beginning.
Following the full weekend closure of SR 99, lane restrictions on Mercer Street will remain in place between Fourth Avenue N and Ninth Avenue N.
To help alleviate traffic congestion on eastbound Mercer Street, eastbound Broad Street will re-open to traffic on Monday, May 20, as an alternate route for travelers heading to I-5. Additional traffic revisions will include:
- Mercer Street between Fourth and Ninth avenues north down to two eastbound lanes (local access maintained at Taylor Avenue N)
- Sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street closed between Fifth Dexter avenues north (sidewalk on the south side of Mercer Street will remain open)
- SR 99 traffic between Valley and Harrison streets shifted to the west side of the roadway (two lanes of SR 99 in each direction will remain open)
The northbound SR 99 off-ramp to Mercer Street will be permanently closed. A new signalized intersection at Republican Street and Dexter Avenue N will be available for northbound SR 99 traffic to reach South Lake Union.
OK, that’s all for now, but it really seems like enough…[More]
Check out this great infographic from ChangeLab Solutions:
Enjoy Bike to Work Day on Friday![More]
SDOT is excited to announce the kick-off of the Westlake Cycle Track project. This project improves safety for people biking, improves the pedestrian experience, and will be done in coordination with the Ballard to Downtown Seattle Transit Expansion Study, because Westlake is one of the possible corridors being considered for future rail.
The Toole Design Group, a planning, engineering and landscape architecture firm whose specialty is bike and pedestrian transportation, has been selected to do the planning and design of pedestrian and bicycle improvements. One element of their effort will be figuring out just how folks and freight will move safely up and down (and across) the strip between Lake Union and the eastern bluffs of Queen Anne, no matter how they travel.
The centerpiece of the study is a brand new cycle track to link the Ship Canal Trail with bike and pedestrian facilities on South Lake Union. The public right-of-way on Westlake can accommodate all modes of travel—people walking, transit, people riding bikes, vehicles and freight — and a cycle track will be a great way of helping to keep everyone safe. It improves safety for all modes of traffic and can make it easier for motorists to see people walking on bikes when entering and leaving the parking lot adjacent to Westlake.[More]
Are you a seasoned veteran or a newbie rider?! It’s time to celebrate Bike to Work Day this Friday, May 17. Bike to Work Day is annual event and has been used to inspire many folks to try riding to work for the first time. Biking to work can be a challenge, but with a little pre-planning and thought, many of the obstacles can be overcome fairly easily. Below are a few of the common questions heard.
What route should I follow?
The City of Seattle has an on-line bike map to help you pick the best route to get from home to work and back.
Can I ride on the street or sidewalk?
Bicyclists must follow the same rules of the road as other vehicles. This link will help you become reacquainted with the do’s and don’ts of riding a bike in Seattle!
Where can I take a shower or get cleaned up after my ride?
Check with your building management to see if there are locker facilities in your building. Many of the new buildings offer these facilities. If that is not an option, check with a local gym as many offer day passes. As a last resort, you can always clean up in the bathroom at work. Many long-time riders utilize this option daily.
How do I get my clothes and shoes to work?
Plan ahead! Many riders will bring stuff in the day before or keep a set of clothes at their desk. Many items needed for one day can be packed neatly in a back pack for the day.
What if I can only ride one way?
You can always put your bike on the bus if you can only ride one way. All King County Metro, Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and Community Transit buses have bike racks for your use. For information on how and where to load your bike on a bus, please visit King County Metro.
Planning ahead and doing a little bit of research can make your ride much less worrisome. The Cascade Bicycle Club has a whole host of links, tips and ideas available on their commuter webpage. In addition, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington is a great resource for issues facing cyclists across the state, for information please visit their web page.
There has been a big increase in the number of cyclists on the road already this month with the good weather. However, you can expect to see many more this Friday. It’s a good opportunity for all of us to slow down, look out for each other and be respectful of all roadway users! For more information on Bike to Work day and the scheduled events please visit the webpage.
SDOT is hosting a street party Sunday, May 19 along Alki. This free event opens the city’s largest public space – its streets – so people can walk, bike, roll, run, skip and shop – without having to watch out for cars! Participate in the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk in the morning, sponsored by West Seattle High School PTSA. Stay for the party starting at 11 a.m. And what a great time it is going to be. The Alki Beach Creeps are joining forces with us to bring the largest costumed bike parade in West Seattle’s 111 year history. Skate Like a Girl is planning skating workshops; Hollow Earth Radio is spinning tunes in-between live music; Coastal Boutique is hosting a t-shirt tye-dyeing station; Alki Bike and Board will be repairing bikes; and the Alki Art Fair—West Seattle’s premier art and music showcase—is inviting local artists to join the fun. Check out our activity location map for more details on who is coming out to play and the location of all the restaurants along the corridor—yummy!
And that’s not all. We’re holding an art contest to capture the vibe of Summer Streets! Paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculptures, crafts, photography, video, we want to see what it’s like for you tho have the street free of cars for a few hours. There is $175 worth of VISA gift cards available for prizes. All submissions must be posted to our Facebook page by close of business Wednesday, May 15.
The fun continues throughout the summer. Celebrating its sixth year, Summer Streets has quickly become a tradition and a special part of summers in Seattle. Local merchants and artists work together months in advance to make each event even better every year. Neighbors, families and friends mark their calendars so they don’t miss it. Remaining events are scheduled for:
Ballard—Friday, May 31 from 3:30 to 7 p.m.
PhinneyWood —Friday, August 9 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Rainier Valley—Saturday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Get more details at www.seattle.gov/summerstreetsand follow us at www.facebook.com/seattlesummerstreets for the latest updates.
For decades, the “Mercer Mess” has been one of the City’s most significant transportation challenges. Each day some 80,000 vehicles, along with growing numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists, enter and exit I-5 at Mercer Street, making it a critical east/west route for keeping people, goods, and services moving. While eastbound traffic has had a straight shot on Mercer to I-5, the westbound traffic has been forced to follow the circuitous weave involving Valley and Broad Streets, as well as Fifth Avenue North and Roy Street.
After years of discussion and debate on how to best address the ”Mercer Mess,” the City is well on the way to implementing the Mercer Corridor Project, which will create a two-way Mercer Street all the way from I-5 to Elliott Avenue West. In early 2010, SDOT began the construction on the eastern stretch of Mercer, the segment from Dexter Avenue North to I-5. Last August, the newly widened Mercer between I-5 and Ninth Avenue North was opened to traffic. Now, as construction on this eastern segment moves towards completion this summer, the focus is about to shift to the western segment.
Next Friday evening, May 17, construction to widen the roadway between Fifth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North and replace the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street will begin. SR 99 between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel will be fully closed for that weekend, as will Mercer itself between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter. When traffic is reopened to both the following Monday morning, May 20, traffic on SR 99 will have been shifted to the west side of the street over Mercer Street maintaining two lanes in each direction, and Mercer itself in this stretch will be reduced to two eastbound travel lanes.
Eastbound travel on Mercer between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter will remain in this two-lane configuration throughout the West Phase of the project, which is anticipated to be completed in mid-2015.
- Creating an efficient and direct east/west transportation corridor
- Providing a key connection to the north portal of the SR 99 deep bore tunnel, which will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel
- Reducing conflicts between all modes of travel
- Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access
- Strengthening connections among area neighborhoods
- Improving access to and from Seattle Center
- Accommodating and encouraging future transit investments
For additional information on the project and updated information on construction impacts, visit the project website. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.[More]
Sustainability has champions, hooray! For the last two years, the hard working and community minded members of Out For Sustainability have volunteered their time and energy to help Seattle. For the group’s Earth Gay event on Earth Day 2013, April 20, hundreds participated to clean-up the Cheshiahud Loop Trail, along Lake Union.
The volunteers also completed a Seattle Street Ends project on the NW corner of Lake Union, near the Aurora Street Bridge. That work included building a wooden staircase on the City/State owned street end, weeding, mulching, protecting tree systems from invasive species, and planting new native species near and on neighboring trails, to attract and help area wildlife. Volunteers and neighbors alike have now spotted a great blue heron, ducks and geese frequenting the area once overrun by noxious weeds and debris!
This endeavor is a shining example of a successful government |volunteer | business collaborative. SDOT worked cooperatively with the Out for Sustainability Earth Gay volunteers, assisting them with staff, advice, and materials – and we could not have completed the project without them. HOORAY for the volunteers!
And while we’re at it, thanks to Sellen Construction staff. SDOT Project Manager Terry Plumb notes, “They were a big help in making this happen. They worked the week before the event, preparing the steps, cutting and drilling, and starting the installation for the volunteers to then finish up.”
Seattle’s Shoreline Street Ends Program addresses sustainability and social equity, among other things, improving shoreline access and enjoyment for all while enhancing shoreline habitat. The program has many partners, as most projects are only minimally funded and depend on volunteers. Click here for more information on improving a shoreline street end near you![More]
Okay, so, not the most subtle approach, but you get it…lane restrictions – well, more of them – for the Mercer Corridor Project, begin Monday. The West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project starts with rebuilding the SR 99 Aurora overpass (no timid start there) and, as we said before, the initial work isn’t the worst of it. The real hit comes in May, reducing Mercer Street to two eastbound lanes between 5th Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N. But, just put that on the back burner for a moment and focus on this - as of Monday, April 22, after the morning commute, the following changes take place:
- Northbound SR 99 between Mercer Street exit and Roy Street restricted to two lanes
- Southbound SR 99 between Aloha and Harrison streets restricted to two lanes
- Northbound and southbound bus stops on SR 99 at Mercer Street closed
- Westbound Broad Street reduced to a single lane just south of Harrison Street
- Broad Street off-ramp from southbound SR 99 closed
- Sidewalk on the west side of SR 99 closed between Thomas and Roy streets
- Sidewalk on the east side of SR 99 closed between Republican and Roy streets
The changes listed above allow crews to make improvements in the area like installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Broad and Harrison streets. It’s all part of a grand plan to help traffic flow as much as possible during Mercer West Phase construction, including re-opening Broad Street to two-way traffic next month (lines were repainted in early April). Other key preparation work is the new signal going in at Dexter Avenue N and Republic Street, plus signal and median revisions at the intersection of 5th Avenue N and Harrison Street (that work is planned for the weekends of April 27-28 and May 4-5). That takes us to May, when Mercer MAY frustrate MANY by going to TWO eastbound lanes, 5th to Dexter…
Find alternate routes now…as much as you possibly can![More]