Get a (Discounted!) Safe Ride This Pride Weekend

Seattle will be celebrating our Pride this weekend, and helping you to get home safe afterward.

Whether you’re enjoying events throughout Capitol Hill on Saturday, or the parade through downtown and Seattle Center celebrations on Sunday, enjoy discounted rideshare services all weekend long

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This weekend our city will be celebrating Pride and showing support for the LGBTQ community. We’ll also be remembering those who’ve lost their lives in the struggle for equality, whether in the 1969 New York Stonewall riots or earlier this month in the Orlando Pulse tragedy.

As part of our city’s commitment to keeping everyone safe, Seattle has partnered with Uber and Lyft to offer discounted rides so you can get home, or to your next party, without incident.

Photo caption: People using a rainbow Community Crosswalk on Capitol Hill as the First Hill Streetcar goes by on Broadway.

Photo caption: People using a rainbow Community Crosswalk on Capitol Hill as the First Hill Streetcar goes by on Broadway.

Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, but on average, impaired driving still contributes to 30% of fatal car crashes each year. We want that number down to zero – Vision Zero is our plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. So this weekend, while you’re having fun celebrating Pride and standing up for equality, take a stand for safe streets as well by getting a ride instead of driving under the influence. We also encourage you to take transit, grab a cab, or carpool with a sober friend.

Get your rideshare discount codes here, and stay safe while celebrating.

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Staff ‘Walk and Talk’ with Neighbors about the 2nd Ave Safety Project

Staff with the 2nd Ave Safety Project recently invited neighbors in Belltown to walk along 2nd Ave to learn about the final project design. The walk led them to several locations along 2nd Ave between Bell St and Broad St, sparking discussions about the safety improvements coming to 2nd Ave when construction starts later this year.

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SDOT staff walk along 2nd Ave with neighbors (and their dogs!) to discuss the project’s final design.

Discussion on the walk included new traffic signals, new street trees and the design of the new protected bike lane (PBL) that will be added from Pike Street to Denny Way. Neighbors also learned about how some curb bulbs will need to be removed and how the design uses special features – such as raised or colored pavement – to indicate areas where cars are pulling out of driveways or pedestrians are loading and unloading. These features are designed to improve safety for everyone.

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Example of a passenger load zone that will be built in several locations on 2nd Ave in Belltown.

Construction of the 2nd Ave Safety Project will begin this fall and the new protected bike lane is scheduled to open in mid-2017.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2nd Ave walk and talk event!

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New Central Area Crosswalks Coming Soon!

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Existing community crosswalk at MLK Jr Way & Alder St. Photo credit: Alex Garland and capitolhillseattle.com

Community crosswalks showcase a neighborhood’s unique culture and history, or just liven up an intersection with artistic and colorful stripes. They’re requested by the community and developed with lots of input to make sure they reflect the neighborhood’s values.

In February, we formalized a community crosswalk in Pan-African colors at Martin Luther King Jr Way and Alder St.  Since then we’ve worked with community members on a plan to add 10 more throughout the Central District; and upgrade the existing one to match the new design shown below.

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We hope you enjoy this new feature. Learn more about the Community Crosswalks program here.

Phase I – Scheduled for installation during the month of June.

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Phase II – Scheduled for installation with the completion of the 23rd Ave Corridor Project.Phase_2_Map

Existing crosswalks will be removed over a period of one to two days and replaced with temporary materials. New crosswalks will be installed one by one starting with the Martin Luther King Jr Way and Alder St intersection throughout the month of June as weather allows.

Questions? Contact walkandbike@seattle.gov about crosswalk design. Contact Kenny.Alcantara@Seattle.gov or (206) 233-7103 about construction.

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Your Design Input Wanted for the South Lander Street Bridge Project

SDOT is going ahead with plans to build a bridge over South Lander Street between 1st and 4th avenues south to improve traffic, rail operations, and safety in the SODO neighborhood. At this early phase in the design process, we want to hear from you.

Learn more about the project and share feedback on key design features at our South Lander St Bridge Project Open House on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Metropolist located at 2931 1st Ave S in Seattle.

If you can’t make it to this Open House, you can visit our online open house, available from June 6 -17 at landerbridge.participate.online.

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South Lander St includes a crossing of four railroad tracks, which creates safety risks and traffic delays.

South Lander St is an essential east-west corridor in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. Every day, the street serves freight, commuters, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as King County Metro buses and the Port of Seattle.

The corridor includes a crossing of four railroad tracks, which pose a safety risk and can cause traffic delays. Train crossings result in the road being closed more than 4.5 hours per day, impacting the mobility of tens of thousands of people and severely affecting access to port and local manufacturing facilities. South Lander St creates direct connections to facilities critical to our economy at the Port of Seattle, which contribute to 75,000 existing jobs and an additional 25,000 jobs that are forecasted by 2040.

The project may sound familiar – it went through preliminary design in 2007, but was put on hold. Thanks to the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle, this project is moving forward again. Our transportation system has changed since 2007 and SDOT engineers are reevaluating the project’s previous design concepts to ensure the safest and most effective solution. 

For more information about the S Lander St Bridge Project, visit the project website. Email lander_bridge@seattle.gov to join our email list.

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New Vision Zero Dashboard Coming Soon!

Vision Zero is excited to have worked closely with the University of Washington Information School  to make collision data more interactive and accessible to everyone.  Educating people about what is happening in their neighborhood and citywide streets is one of the key elements to making Vision Zero successful.  Collision data is also one of the driving factors that we use to determine the engineering treatments and level of investments we make towards a safer transportation infrastructure.

Last night at the UW Information School Capstone event, more than 300 students presented on projects where they were presented with a problem and developed a solution to an information challenge for a client in a community.

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Currently, many years’ worth of collision data is publicly available at data.seattle.gov  and the Vision Zero dashboard is currently located in performance.seattle.gov

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The new website will be available soon for everyone to use and learn more about the police reported collisions that have happened in your area.  Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

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Vision Zero Logo

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Welcome to the SDOT Sign Shop!

Our dedicated SDOT sign shop staff invited us in to see all the different things they do to help travelers find their way and keep us all going in the right direction.

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Meet Robin Ford. He has been the Crew Chief for the City of Seattle sign shop for about a year. Ford’s crew (all three of them!) produces all of the signs in our city. The signs they create range from street name and traffic control, to those custom designed “welcome to the neighborhood” signs. His team focuses on providing the city with a fast turn-around on production.

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The old process for manufacturing the signs was to screen print them onto metal or wood. Screen printing was useful for bulk production, but the process took time. Each pigment needed to be laid onto the design one at a time. Once the design was printed onto the material, setting the signs aside to set took about 1-2 hours. Ford hasn’t screen printed in 6 months. IMG_3010IMG_3013

Today, they use digital printers and plotters for a speedier method of production. The digital printers use an adhesive material for easier application. UV coating is then placed over the designs to secure its longevity. These printers also allow printing on reflective material, warranted for 10 years.

Plotters cut designs out of vinyl materials to be placed on the metals.

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Here’s a link to our previous post about sign replacement: http://sdotblog.seattle.gov/2014/11/24/bridging-the-gap-2014-signage-work-nearly-complete/.

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The next time you’re driving, walking, or taking the bus through our streets, stop to admire the work of our sign shop crew. If you want to view other photos that were taken on this tour, check out out Flickr.

Have you ever wondered what SDOT does with those old street names signs? Wonder no more! As noted in previous blog posts, various street name signs – named and numbered – are available through the City of Seattle Fleets and Facilities surplus warehouse.  An updated list of available signs ranging in price from $5 – 15 is posted on the web. Please see details and contact the warehouse directly if you are interested in purchasing a sign. Holiday shopping? The signs are great gifts for the person who has everything in life or is looking for a new creative project!

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SDOT’s Traffic Incident Management Crews Always Ready to Help

Here’s our latest Blog Video:

SDOT’s Traffic Incident Management Response  Crews  are always prepared and ready to help when they’re needed. SDOT emergency response crews are equipped with tools for almost every situation and are prepared to respond quickly to help clear blocking collisions, disabled cars, downed trees or signs, or cars in need of a jump or gas.

They are strategically placed across the city and are dispatched when needed or assist when patrolling the city. Recently, the Traffic Incident Management crews were part of the city’s plan to help minimize traffic impacts during the state’s Alaskan Way Viaduct closure. Our SDOT crews perform this important work as a part of their routine daily schedule.

Here a list of what they respond to:

  • Collisions, blocking disabled vehicles with dead batteries, blocking vehicles that are out of gas, fallen trees or limbs, oil spills, potholes, downed power lines, damaged guardrails, damaged traffic signs and traffic signals, city bridges that are temporarily out of order.

Our Traffic Incident Management Response Crews are often the first on the scene of emergency services situations and work alongside with our fire and police partners. They assess and take immediate actions to address safety, environmental  and evaluate potential traffic issues that may impact our city streets.  Our Crew’s response trucks are currently being equipped with Red emergency lights and sirens so they can respond to situations and also alert drivers of potential roadway hazards or to be mindful that they and other emergency service responders are working an active incident.

Collisions, road spills, damaged signs and fallen trees  happen anytime, so SDOT Traffic Incident Management Response Crews are staffed for AM and PM commute in addition to evening hours. Thanks to our Crews, they are ready 24/7 – 365 days a year to help keep the our city’s roadways safe.

Here’s a link to our Street Maintenance page: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/streetmaintenance.htm.

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New Safe Routes to School Crossing in Greenwood is Complete

SDOT crews have completed a new school crossing at N 80th St and 1st Ave N that provides a safer way for kids to cross the street to get to Greenwood Elementary School and St John Catholic School. Improvements include a new curb bulb, curb ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), marked crosswalks, and crossing beacons that flash when activated by pedestrians or bicyclists.

The project also included adding an additional 20 MPH school zone flashing beacon on NW 80th St west of 8th Ave NW to slow down people driving through this intersection which is heavily used by Greenwood students.

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The benefits of this project include:

  • Improves safety on walking and biking route to school
  • Shortens crossing distance of N 80th St and 1st Ave N
  • Encourages more kids to walk and bike to school, which will reduce congestion at the school

This improved crossing is part of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program, a national movement to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike to school. The project also includes education and encouragement programs to get more kids walking and biking safely to school.

The Safe Routes to School program was developed as part of Vision Zero, the City’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Improving safety for school communities means building healthy places where kids can safely walk and bike to school and in their neighborhood.

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Greenwood Ave N Transit and Sidewalk Safety Improvements Update

This week, crews working on behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) completed the majority of work under the Greenwood Ave N Transit and Sidewalk project. The work included safety and transit improvements along Greenwood Ave N, a key north-south arterial, between N 90th St and N 105th St.

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Prior to construction, the lack of a curb and planting strip along Greenwood Ave N, especially along the east side of the road, failed to safely separate pedestrians from vehicle traffic. Overgrown vegetation partially hid bus stops, which had to be accessed through narrow, uneven sidewalks.

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New sidewalk near N 97th St connects to bus island via raised crosswalk

This project constructed more than half a mile of new sidewalk and about 30 curb ramps on the east side of Greenwood Ave N between N 92nd St and N 105th St, along with a planting strip between the sidewalk and road along much of the corridor. Transit improvements include 4 new in-lane bus islands with shelters and lighting near the intersections of N 92nd St and N 97th St. New bus islands replace some existing stops, which helps improve bus stop spacing and contributes to transit reliability through the corridor.

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The new facilities improve safety for pedestrians, drivers, and bicyclists traveling through the Greenwood Ave N corridor, and offer greater safety and comfort for transit riders. The improvements also contribute to more predictable travel patterns for all road users and improved transit reliability.

New bus island at N 92nd St will have a shelter installed by Metro before being put into service

New bus island at N 92nd St will have a shelter installed by Metro before being put into service

Funded by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, Neighborhood Street Fund and a grant from the State’s Transportation Improvement Board, this project supports Vision Zero, an international initiative that aims for no fatalities or serious injuries in traffic collisions.

For more project information, please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/transit_greenwood.htm.

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May is Bike Everywhere Month!

There’s plenty of time to participate in Bike Everywhere Month!

Whether you ride 20 miles one way or 2 miles total in combination with a bus ride, you are still a bike commuter. The beauty of the bike is that it complements every rider and every commute, from a calorie-burning training ride to a quick jaunt down the 2nd Ave bike lane on your way in to work.

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Some basic guidelines for riding your bike include:

  • Is your bike in good working order? Make sure you have air in the tires, grease on the chain and some STOP in the brakes.
  • Always ride with a helmet, and use lights front and rear when riding after dark.
  • Get a Bike Buddy, someone to help you prepare for that first bike commute to work and help with choosing clothing and gear.
  • Know your route. Pick up or download a Seattle Bike Map, or check out our Interactive Bicycle Map, for all of the routes, safety suggestions, bike repair shops and much more.
  • Bus in on Monday and bring some clothes for the week. An extra pair of shoes under your desk is a great idea too.
  • Carry your ORCA card with you always. It’s the most reliable Plan B!

Program yourself for success: keep your first ride short and simple, and grow into longer commutes.

Fun fact: last year for Bike to Work Month, Mayor Ed Murray was joined by Seahawks player Michael Bennett for a group ride along the Fremont canal.

Mayor-and-Michael-Bennett-BTWD-5-15-15You can check out video of the ride here.

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