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.

Snow 2-7-17

Early morning Monday:

Snow 3

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.
snow 4

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.
Tree down

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.

Share Button

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.

Share Button

Driver’s Ed 101: Crosswalks

Been a while since you took your driver’s license test? Us, too.

We thought we’d take a moment to refresh everyone on a key rule of the road – ‘granting pedestrians the right of way’ – which, in plain language, means stopping for people when they’re crossing the street. Over the past 5 years, failing to yield has contributed to 12% of Seattle’s serious and fatal crashes.

Crosswalks of all kinds in Capitol Hill.

Crosswalks of all kinds in Capitol Hill.

Most people know they should stop for people when they’re in a crosswalk. But, what exactly is a crosswalk? They come in unmarked and marked versions, though you’re probably more familiar with the latter. Last year, we made this little video highlighting that every intersection is a legal crossing, whether it’s marked or not. (Don’t just take our word for it, check out state and city laws.)

So, if you’re behind the wheel, make sure to stop for people walking. Not just at marked crossings, but at all intersections. Following the rules of the road is one way each of us can help reach Seattle’s Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Share Button

Happy New Year and Safe Travels!

On behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation, we wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Year holiday wherever your travels take you.

In the new year, SDOT will continue its focus on creating a safe, interconnected, vibrant, affordable, and innovative city for all.

Space Needle Night

On-street paid parking is free in Seattle on New Year’s Day, Monday, January 2 (observed).

Share Button

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.

familywct

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.”

westlake-pbl-best

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.

wct

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

Share Button

Surviving Seattle Snow with Plows, Plans, and a lot of Salt

Snow struck Seattle, and we’re happy to say our response was a success at keeping the city moving!

As flakes turned to flurries on Thursday night, our snow response teams at Charles Street Service Station were ready with plows, deicers, and a lot (lot) of salt. We even got a visit from Mayor Ed Murray!

mayor-1

We were happy for the chance to talk with the Mayor, and accompanying news crews, about our plan to keep the city moving even in inclement weather. Through our focus on arterial (main) roads along our Gold and Green routes, and the hard work of our crews through the night, the Friday AM commute was minimally interrupted for cars and buses.

In addition to which routes we’d plow, we discussed the importance of road salt (magnesium chloride) as an anti-icing agent to prevent ice freezing to pavement. This salt is better for mobility and the environment than traditionally used sand, although neither would be good on popcorn.

mayor-2

Most modern cars have an undercoating which protects against any corrosion from the road salt, but we do recommend drivers wash vehicles to prevent build-up. Our street sweeping team will also go out after the weather warms to clean up any residual salt. Our crews use the latest innovations to ensure we can make the roads safe in a sustainable way.

mayor-3

We’ve learned a lot about preparing for winter weather, and we may get the chance to put it into practice again soon, as more snow could be on the way. Stay safe out there, and check our Winter Weather Map for the latest route information!

Share Button

Remembering Those We’ve Lost

This week, Seattle is observing World Remembrance Day and commemorating the 240 people who died in traffic incidents over the past 10 years. On Thursday, families who have lost loved ones, city employees, and first responders gathered at City Hall at an event organized by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for a public memorial with silhouette cut-outs to represent those we’ve lost.

image2

SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin speaking at City Hall memorial 11/17

This Sunday, November 20, local Greenways coalition member groups will hold events throughout the city to install the silhouettes as a public reminder, and come together as a community to commit to doing better:

  • Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  • Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  • Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  • Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  • Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  • Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  • Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  • Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  • West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  • Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  • Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S

25691100203_85a57ddb81_o

As a city, we’ve committed to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through our Vision Zero initiative. These tragedies mostly aren’t “accidents,” but preventable incidents caused by poor behaviors and unforgiving roadway designs.

Earlier this month, we instituted lower speed limits – arterials in central Seattle were reduced from 30mph to 25, residential streets throughout the city from 25mph to 20 – an adjustment proven to increase crash survival rates. And over the last year, we’ve made significant investments in our Safe Routes to School program to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike. These efforts were funded through the 2015 voter approved Levy to Move Seattle, which has supported safety and infrastructure improvements throughout the city.

By working with community groups, health-care professionals, university researchers, and local corporate partners, we can eliminate death and serious injuries on our streets.

 

Share Button

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

ww_2016_web_banner1

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.

ww_2016_map

Download only the map in English

Download the full brochure in:

Share Button

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.

arterial-speed-limit-change-map

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.

lowered-speeds-matter

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:

new-gateway-speed-limit-sign

 

 

new-arterial-speed-limit-sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

new-25-mph-sign

 

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.

Share Button

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Fall has arrived in the northwest with rainy weather and shorter days. The darker and wetter season leads to more collisions on our our streets, so please be extra aware no matter how you get around.

Tonight, be extra mindful that Trick-or-Treaters will be out and about, and that the drizzly weather can affect visibility. Children-involved car/pedestrian collisions are nearly twice as likely to happen on Halloween than other days of the year, so it’s important that kids (and their parents) stay visible.

halloween night with pumpkin in grass tree bat and hunting house in background

The clock also turns back on Sunday, so the sun will start setting before 5 o’clock next week and it will be dark during the busiest hours of our commutes.

As part of our Vision Zero effort to improve safety and raise awareness, here are some important tips for traveling safely on Halloween and beyond:
• Make good decisions when you walk, bike, or drive. Don’t drive distracted (anything from talking on your cell phone to adjusting your costume) and make sure you have a safe way to get home if you plan to drink.
• Take it slow on our streets. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. With speed, the frequency and severity of collisions increases.
• Pay attention. Every intersection is a legal crosswalk – whether there are pavement markings or not – so drivers should stop for pedestrians. Pedestrians should cross the street at intersections or crosswalks where drivers expect to see you.
• Be visible. Take extra measures to ensure you can be seen when you walk and bike on our streets. Wear light-colored clothing and/or reflective gear so drivers can spot you.

halloweene

Remember that we all just want to get to get to the candy safely. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Share Button