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.

Kids Crossing

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.

Incentives

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.

beaconhilltrail2

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
Beacon Hill trail 1

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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Levy to Move Seattle: Before and After Safety Improvement

In the first 100 days of 2016, SDOT has completed more than three dozen safety, maintenance and repair, and congestion relief projects, all funded by the $930 million Levy to Move Seattle.

The completed projects include new bike parking spaces, transit improvements for a Rapid Ride line and repairs to two pedestrian stairways. Photos of the stairway rehabilitation project at South Park at 12th Ave S and S Trenton St highlight just one of the many transportation improvements being made around the city.

Move Seattle BeforeAfter Stairway

Pedestrian stairway project at 12th Ave S and S Trenton St. The photo on the left was taken last July. The photo on the right was taken April 6, 2016.

The levy was approved by voters in November 2015 and provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options for our growing city.

See a list of completed projects using Levy to Move Seattle dollars here.

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SDOT Hosts North Seattle Walking Tour With Newly-Elected Councilmember Debora Juarez

SDOT recently led a tour of several Council District 5 transportation projects with newly-elected Councilmember Debora Juarez. The purpose of the trip was to familiarize Councilmember Juarez with a selection of SDOT projects and to learn about her priorities for the district.

The tour started along the recently-completed Olympic Hills / 27th Ave NE Neighborhood Greenway. Greenways improve safety for all ages and abilities by reducing speeds on neighborhood streets to make it more comfortable for people walking to share the street with people driving. The tour continued to the Olympic Hills Safe Routes to School project. In 2015, the program installed a new sidewalk on NE 130th St on the walking route to Olympic Hills Elementary. The voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle allows us to build 9 -12 Safe Routes to School projects every year, helping more kids and families safely walk and bike to school.

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Councilmember Juarez discusses sidewalk options with SDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools coordinator, Brian Dougherty.

Next, the SDOT tour took Councilmember Juarez to a site near John Rogers Elementary, where a new sidewalk was built using stamped asphalt instead of concrete – resulting in significant cost savings that allow us to build more sidewalks where they’re needed most. With funds from the Levy to Move Seattle, SDOT plans to build 250 blocks of new sidewalks over the next 9 years – both lower-cost and traditional – for the same price as 150 blocks of concrete sidewalks.

After walking the sidewalk and discussing drainage issues in many North Seattle neighborhoods, the tour stopped at the site of the future Link light rail station at Northgate. SDOT plans to build a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-5 to improve connections within the Northgate community. The stop was near Councilmember Juarez’s district office at North Seattle College.

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Councilmember Juarez with SDOT’s Amanda Tse and Bill LeBorde, point to the future site of the Northgate pedestrian bridge over I-5

The tour wrapped with several stops along Linden Ave N to look at and discuss the Complete Street project completed in 2014. The project makes this neighborhood street easier and safer for everyone to get around, whether they are driving, walking, or riding a bike. The project also built a safe connection to the popular Interurban Trail making it more accessible for everyone, especially residents in the many senior retirement homes nearby.

walkingtour3

Councilmember Juarez going over a Complete Streets plan with Deputy Director Mike Terrell and Connie Zimmerman.

The morning tour offered SDOT staff and Councilmember Juarez a chance to talk about emerging transportation issues facing District 5 and the unique needs of neighborhoods in North Seattle.

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Planting a PBL

Our 2nd Ave protected bike lane (PBL) is a work in progress, and tonight we’ll be adding a new feature – 158 new planter boxes! They’ll help further separate the bike lanes and the travel/parking lanes. And they look a lot nicer than the plastic delineators.

Check out these photos and many more on our Flickr page:

Empty Planters

Empty planters lined up and ready to be filled

 

Filling the Planters

It takes 33 cubic yards (at 2,000 lbs. per cubic yard!) of dirt to fill these up

 

Planters

More Plants for the Planters

Plants on the SDOT truck

Installation will be phased in over April with the goal of being done in time for May (bike month!). After we install these planters we’ll continue to monitor the health of the plants and replace them as needed. The planters are self-watering and our alley-flushing truck will fill the planters May through September.

Plants on Truck

In addition to adding these awesome planters, we’re extending the project north into Belltown. Learn more at www.seattle.gov/transportation/2ndavepbl.htm.

Planters

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2nd Ave Safety Project Update

Later this year, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) plans to make several upgrades to 2nd Ave between Pike St and Denny Way. To improve the safety and efficiency of travel and bike connections in downtown, SDOT will make traffic signal improvements, pedestrian improvements, and extend the existing 2nd protected bike lane through Seattle’s dense and vibrant Belltown neighborhood.

The project will include several features aimed at increasing safety for all modes of transportation:

  • All traffic signals will be updated with new poles and signal heads. Timing improvements will increase efficiency for people walking, biking and driving through and around Belltown
  • At the left turn intersections, signals will have a designated arrow for drivers to turn left which separates drivers from people walking and biking
  • Three new traffic signals at Cedar, Clay and Vine streets will create safer turns and easier pedestrian crossings
  • A two-way protected bike lane will be added on the east side of the street, including a 3-foot buffer with planters
  • Parking will be relocated to the outside lane of the protected bike lane, similar to the existing bike lane on 2nd Ave
  • Curb bulbs on the east side of 2nd Ave will be removed to create space for the protected bike lane and buffer, with landscaping improvements and sidewalk spot repairs throughout the corridor

2nd Ave Safety Project Update 3-30-16The project is currently in design and is scheduled to begin construction in fall 2017. The protected bike lane extension is part of SDOT’s Center City Bike Network project and Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

In the meantime, the existing 2nd Ave Protected Bike Lane is getting upgrades, including planter boxes, new traffic signals and raised passenger load zones and driveways. For more information, visit: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/2ndavepbl.htm

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Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board seeks 2 new members

Do you love biking? Want to make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to get around Seattle by bike?

Bicycle Sundays are for everyone!

Then this may be the opportunity for you! The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB) is now accepting applications for two new members to help advise the City on the concerns and needs of our growing bicycling community.

Who is SBAB?

The volunteer board was created in 1977 by our City Council and they help carry out Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan – our 20 year blueprint to make it easier to decide to ride a bike. Here are a few other tasks that members do:

  • Advise the Mayor and the City Council
  • Participate in planning and project development
  • Evaluate policies
  • Make recommendations to all city departments
  • Meet every first Wednesday from 6 – 8 PM at Seattle City Hall

 

How do I qualify for this position?

Mayor Murray and the City Council are committed to promoting diversity in all of our boards and commissions. All persons are encouraged to apply. Board members serve a two-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. The current board consists of a variety of people who ride bikes, from casual weekend riders to year-round commuters.  Seattle City employees are exempt from being SBAB members .

Where do I sign up?

Follow these steps, and you might be chosen to be one of the new SBAB members:

  • Submit your resume and cover letter (explain your interest) to nicole.freedman@seattle.gov.
  • Use “SBAB” in the subject line
  • No internet access? No problem. Just call Nicole Freedman at (206)684-4690

Thank you for your interest in our bicycling community!

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SDOT, UBER and MADD Partner for Safe Transportation Choices

SDOT announced a partnership last week with technology company Uber and MADD to provide discounted rides on St. Patrick’s Day, and during special events throughout 2016 to deter impaired driving.

Here is our latest Blog Video featuring Jim Curtin, SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator talking about safe transportation choices and the ease of using rideshare providers.

 

Seattle is consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the country. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a 30 percent decline in traffic fatalities, even as our population grows.

This partnership is part of our Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on Seattle’s streets by 2030.

Death and injury on our streets is preventable. For the most part, these aren’t “accidents.” Collisions are often the result of unforgiving roadway designs and poor behaviors, like choosing to drink and drive.

Learn more about this and other partnerships at www.seattle.gov/visionzero/partnerships-and-promotions.


Vision Zero Logo

 

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SDOT Crews Help Improve Bus Service to UW Light Rail Station

This past weekend brought some welcome regional transportation options with the launch of the two new LINK Light Rail stations at Capitol Hill and University of Washington in Seattle.

Now you can take LINK light rail from the airport, Rainier Valley or downtown to Capitol Hill and to UW, the state’s biggest university and Seattle’s largest employer.

In just eight minutes, the LINK takes you from Westlake Station to UW station.  This is also a major enhancement for people riding the bus.

Starting next Saturday, you’ll be able to take over a dozen bus routes to the UW light rail station.  By redesigning bus routes to connect with light rail, King County Metro tripled the number of households in northeast Seattle that are near 15-minute transit service.

To keep all these additional buses moving and to improve the experience of people riding transit, crews from SDOT and Metro improved three bus stops near the UW station. They relocated bus stops to shorten the walk to the station and made the stops longer to handle more buses. They also added more bus shelters to increase waiting area for riders and installed real-time information signs.

SDOT Paving Crews, SDOT Traffic Signal Crews and contractors worked as a team to remove existing sections of sidewalk, excavate, install and bury underground conduit lines, and then repave the sidewalk to create improved transit stops. Metro then installed new bus shelters.

Building Sidewalk

Building the new sidewalk

Installing conduit

Installing conduit for traffic signals

Improved Sidewalk

Improved sidewalk for the expanded bus stop

Installing Bus shelters

Installing bus shelters at the improved bus stop

Improved bus stop with large shelter near Husky Stadium

Improved bus stop with large shelter near Husky Stadium

This work was notable for several reasons. It required unprecedented coordination between Metro, different SDOT divisions and the adjacent UW Medical Center. Also, work was completed in phases so bus stops and pedestrian walkways remained open throughout the project. Finally, crews used innovative methods and worked seven days a week to complete this large crew project on time, while simultaneously working to complete transit improvements in South Lake Union.

For more details on these bus stop improvements, see our previous blog story

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New Sound Transit Link Stations Open for Business

CH & UW Light Rail Opening

Last Saturday, Sound Transit opened two new link light rail stations in the vibrant communities of Capitol Hill and the UW. Our community showed overwhelming support with the trains filled to capacity. About 30,000 boarded the trains at the two stations on the first day.

Link Station

Passengers who hopped on the inaugural ride received “golden tickets”.

Students, staff and faculty are more free to live throughout Seattle and around the region. We are more connected than ever before.  Planes, trains, and metro buses are all connections within steps of light rail stations.  The ferries are a short walk.

SDOT Transportation Pamphlets

We’ll continue to work with Sound Transit to provide you with more transportation options.

If you haven’t taken a ride at one of these new stations, hop on today.

 

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