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.

New Dashboard

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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An Alligator in the Passenger Seat? Keeping Drivers off Their Phones

It’s tempting to check your Facebook page, hit that ‘like’ button, or send a quick text while you’re driving. But is it worth the risk?

We don’t think so, which is why we’ve launched a Vision Zero education campaign that targets distracted driving, encouraging people to do whatever it takes to put – and keep – their phones out of reach while driving. If you have to enlist the help of a tarantula or alligator, so be it. (I mean, not really, given that would be pretty distracting. Just put it out of reach.)

Distracted driving is on the rise across the country. In Seattle, we’ve seen a nearly 300% increase in collisions involving inattention in the past few years.

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Research tells us that fun is beating fear when it comes to getting traffic safety messages across. That’s why we decided to try something a bit outside the box. People know it’s reckless to text while driving. Yet they still do it. The creative minds for our campaign hinged on this idea and posed the question: What will it take for you to put your phone out of reach while driving? A baby alligator? A tarantula? A jar of bees? Whatever it is, you need to do it. Because if you can’t reach your phone, you won’t use your phone. And this simple act could result in saving your life, or someone else’s.

We enlisted the help of some animals we often think of as scary or creepy to get people thinking – ‘I really shouldn’t have to put my phone under a tarantula or baby alligator, I should just put it out of reach while I’m driving.’

Vision Zero picsYou may have heard our radio ads, seen a video on Facebook or YouTube, or seen an ad pop up on your Instagram feed or Pandora app. We encourage you to share these pictures and videos with your friends and family, to remind them to put their phones out of reach while driving. It’s going to take every one of us making changes every day to help Seattle reach our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

You can grab all of these resources and more at www.seattle.gov/visionzero/materials.

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Raising Safety Awareness through Tiny PSA’s

SDOT is putting together a series of what we’re calling ‘Tiny PSAs’ (public service announcements) to remind people of the rules of the road, highlight new safety projects, and spread the word about Vision Zero, Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on our streets by 2030.  Education efforts like this complement and support enforcement and engineering improvements – it’s going to take all three E’s to get us closer to zero.

Here’s our first Tiny PSA, explaining that every intersection, whether marked or not, is a crosswalk.

Let us know if there’s a topic you’d like us to cover. You can contact Allison Schwartz at allison.schwartz@seattle.gov or (206) 386-4654.

You can find more safety information to share with your friends and family at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

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How You Can Help Encourage Safe Routes to School

With our recent completion of the Beacon Hill Trail, the first Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project in that neighborhood in 2016, SDOT provided a safe off-street option for kids walking and biking to school.

Now, SDOT is offering free incentives to help you encourage more kids to walk and bike to school in your neighborhood.

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These fun, free incentives include stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps to give out during your campaign. Public and private schools and PTA’s within Seattle city limits are all welcome to request packages.

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Schools and PTA groups can request a free incentive package by visiting our incentives page and filling out an order form. Or you can stop by Feet First, Monday through Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to pick up an order in person.

049044Incentive 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

Haven’t started a walk and bike to school campaign at your school yet? Not a problem. For more information on how to start one, refer to our Safe Routes to School Campaign guide.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project coordinator, Ashley Rhead at Ashley.Rhead@seattle.gov.

Added bonus: these free incentives for your Safe Routes to School campaigns come just in time for Bike Month coming up in May!

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New Safe Routes to School Beacon Hill Trail is Finished

After breaking ground in January with SDOT Director Scott Kubly and Mayor Ed Murray, SDOT crews have completed a new 2000-foot paved trail on Beacon Hill that gives schoolchildren a safer place to walk and bike, while traveling to and from Mercer Middle School.

The new trail is part of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) project, a national movement to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike to school. This the first 2016 Safe Routes to Schools project in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

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The new paved trail runs parallel to Jefferson Park and connects 16th Ave South at South Spokane Street to the north and South Dakota Street.

Benefits of the new trail:

  • Improves safety on walking and biking route to school
  • Offers a more comfortable, off-street option for people biking and walking to school
  • Provides safety education so kids have the skills they need to safely walk and bike to school
  • Encourages more kids to walk and bike to school, which will reduce congestion at the school
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Trail improvements included replacing the existing gravel path and planting vegetation.

Locally, the Mercer Middle School Safe Routes to School Program is a partnership between SDOT, Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle Parks Department. The project also includes education and encouragement programs to get more kids walking and biking safely to school.

The Mercer Middle School program is one of four SRTS projects in Seattle Public Schools this year that also include: Greenwood Elementary, Wedgwood Elementary, and South Shore PK-8.

 

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