Seattle.gov Home Page
Link to Department of Transportation Link to Seattle.gov Home Page Link to Seattle.gov About Us Page Link to Seattle.gov Contact Us Page
SDOT Blog Home Page SDOT Blog Home Page CityLink Seattle

HAVE A QUESTION?

Search SDOT Blog

Archives

Contact us

Call 206-684-ROAD

SDOT Photos

Archive for 'Transit'

Freight Master Plan, BTG Financial Review and more

BTG20logo RESIZE

Would you like to know more about progress made by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on developing a Freight Master Plan? How about a review of the Bridging the Gap (BTG) finances and an update on the 2014 BTG work plan implementation? Would you like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged?   If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are in luck!

The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for July 29, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle City Hall Room 370. The committee is a dedicated group of 15 community members who meet quarterly to review and track the progress of the BTG transportation initiative that was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. They are charged with ensuring SDOT is delivering on the promises made to voters.

Committee members come from all across the city and from all walks of life. They take their oversight and accountability role seriously and they work closely with SDOT to ensure that BTG is not only meeting its goals, but that it is being integrated into the overall goals of the department and the City.

The committee members include:

  • Ann Martin, Co-chair
  • Kristen Lohse, Co-chair
  • Ref Lindmark
  • Betty Seith-Croll
  • Allegra Calder
  • John Coney
  • Jeremy Valenta
  • Barbara Wright
  • Chisula Chambers
  • Jessica Szelag, Bicycle Advisory Board member
  • Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
  • David Mendoza, Freight Advisory Board member
  • Ben Noble, City Budget Director
  • Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair

All committee meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend and share their views on BTG during public comment. If you are interested in how your tax dollars are allocated, why not mark your calendar and join us July 29th.

For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.

 

 

[More]

Broadway Streetcar Goes Public

 

FHSC Ext staring at the dwesigns RESIZE DSC_2878

About a hundred people showed up last Tuesday evening, June 17,  for an open house on the Broadway Streetcar project, the first major public event since design work began in February. The open house, held at the Lowell Elementary School between 6 p.m. and  p.m., had staff and consultants arrayed throughout the room by display boards to answer questions – as well as by the obligatory coffee and cookies table.

FHSC Ext 3 peeps at easel RESIZE DSC_2898The first display board provided a map showing Seattle’s four streetcar lines: South Lake Union (completed in 2007), First Hill (starting operation later this year), Broadway (now in design, possibly opening late in 2016) and the City Center Connector (now in planning).

Other display boards focused on the timeline, the basic elements of the streetcar and the distinguishing features of the Broadway line. However, the main focus of public’s attention was the large plot showing the planned location of the streetcar track and the protected bicycle lane on Broadway north of Denny. The plot showed that parking had been preserved on both sides of the street except where left turn lanes were needed. It also showed where the station platforms are being planned and what the cross-section of the street at the platforms would look like (as well as between platforms).

FHSC Ext Easel two person shotRESIZE DSC_2903Two boards, one showing a terminus at East Roy Street and another showing the terminus at East Prospect Street were also shown, as the project team has yet to recommend one over the other.

Public reaction was generally favorable, with some concerns about the loss of even a limited number of parking spaces and others about the expense. Many attendees were excited about the extension of the protected bicycle lane along Broadway, but the most enthusiasm was for having a streetcar that would connect Broadway directly with First Hill, Pioneer Square and the Stadium District. Some folks even urged a future connection directly uphill from South Lake Union to Capitol Hill to complete a loop route!

Materials presented at the open house are available on the project website http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/broadway.htm .   If you would like to comment, or if you have questions, feel free to email seattle.streetcar@seattle.gov .

[More]

Summer is here and SDOT crews are busy

 

N/NE Northgate Way and N 105th project is on target to wrap up this summer.

N/NE Northgate Way and N 105th project is on target to wrap up this summer.

 

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on track to meet its 2014 goals for the Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation initiative. As summer begins, we have moved into the busy construction season and you can find work on BTG projects all across the city. SDOT has been busy paving roads, constructing new sidewalk, installing new signs and restriping roadway markings. BTG continues to make steady progress towards its nine-year goals.

This year, SDOT will complete two major paving projects – N 105th, N/NE Northgate Way and Holman Road – both projects are underway and will bring 17 new lane-miles of paving. And that’s not all, since January:

  • 15 new crossing improvements have been implemented and new pedestrian countdown signals installed at 40 intersections.
  • 263 new bicycle parking spaces and 14 miles of bike route signs have been installed. Crews have also inspected 40 miles of trails.
  • Three Safe Routes to School projects have been completed, 56 new curb ramps have been constructed and 11 school zones have been improved.
  • 444 new street trees have been planted so far this year and more than 457 have been pruned.

SDOT crews are also chipping away on much-needed maintenance work as well. Just this year, they have already replaced more than 1,558 regulatory traffic signs, installed new street name signs at 487 intersections, remarked more than 240 crosswalks and replaced 796 linear feet of poor guard rail.

During the seven and half years of the levy, the City has delivered on the promises made by Bridging the Gap. To date SDOT has paved 205 lane-miles of road, secured 50,000 new hours of transit service, constructed 100 blocks of new sidewalk, repaired 167 blocks of sidewalk, remarked 4,729 crosswalks, replaced 44,439 regulatory signs, installed school zone signage at 196 schools, replaced street name signs at 9,873 intersections, striped 150 miles of bike lanes and sharrows and planted 5,569 new street trees.

For more information about BTG and its goals and progress towards meeting those goals, please visit the BTG web page.

[More]

A Very Tiny Parade

In this photo of a pantograph cart you can see the aluminum test bar on the top of the t-shaped structure. Also note the flanged train wheels on either side of the rubber tires. In order to line up the testing gauges, the cart will be towed along the track on those wheels.

In this photo of a pantograph cart you can see the aluminum test bar on the top of the t-shaped structure. Also note the flanged train wheels on either side of the rubber tires. In order to line up the testing gauges, the cart will be towed along the track on those wheels.

If you love a parade, no matter how small, you will want to station yourself along the First Hill Streetcar route this Saturday. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will be testing streetcar elements by pulling a “pantograph cart” along the new streetcar track (we told you it was a small parade). The idea is to replicate streetcar operations as closely as possible in order to make sure everything is functioning properly prior to testing the streetcars on the tracks.

First, what’s a “pantograph”? It is a device mounted on the roof of a streetcar that makes contact with the overhead electric wire and transfers the electricity from the wire to the motors that power the streetcar.

The pantograph cart is a small trailer that has been designed and outfitted to conduct specialized tests of the streetcar track, the overhead electrical system, and structures along the track (such as the station platforms).

To test the overhead wires, the cart has been outfitted with an aluminum test bar the same height and width as the contact bars that will be on our streetcars’ pantographs. The cart will be pulled along the streetcar route at a walking pace, accompanied by project engineers who will monitor the position of the overhead power wire relative to the test bar.

This is an example of the testing gauge being built to replicate the streetcar’s profile, size, and dimensions.

This is an example of the testing gauge being built to replicate the streetcar’s profile, size, and dimensions.

To test the clearance between the cars and the station platforms, a “gauge” has been built that replicates the profile of the train. The gauge is mounted in front of the cart and is made out of aluminum, surrounded by rubber, and affixed to a steel tubular frame.

This is just one of many different tests being conducted prior to the start of streetcar operation. If you are lucky enough to see the pantograph cart in action, snap a photo of it and tweet it to us at twitter.com/TheStreetcar .

[More]

SDOT nears completion of the Belltown-Uptown Trolley Electrification

SDOT is nearing completion of the construction of the Belltown-Uptown Trolley Electrification project. This project extends trolley wires and related infrastructure on eastbound Denny Way between First and Third Avenues, and a short segment of Third Avenue between Denny and Broad. When the project is finished, Metro routes 1, 2 and 13 will be able to operate on Denny Way and travel times will be reduced by up to two minutes per trip. These trolley routes currently operate a convoluted routing via First Avenue and Broad Street. The new path will shorten the route and eliminate two turns. The revision will also put trolleys on the same route and at the same stops as Metro’s diesel-operated buses, simplifying the rider experience.

Belltown_Denny trolley project_RESIZE DSC01665This project is a partnership between SDOT and King County Metro. SDOT agreed to fund the design and installation of the poles that are needed to support the trolley wires. King County Metro funded the installation of the wires and the trolley wires through regular crew work. The project is designed to accommodate outbound wires as well, should SDOT approve a new outbound transit-only signal at Third and Denny.

In addition to extending the trolley wires, SDOT and King County Metro are relocating the existing bus stop on Denny at Warren Place to 3rd and Denny. The new bus stop will feature lighting, a bicycle rack, and (later this year) a real time schedule information sign. Metro will contribute two new shelters to the stop, which will provide greater amount of waiting area for bus riders and space for three buses to load and unload rather than one. This is the most significant Metro trolley improvement project since construction of new layover wire on Virginia Street allowed all Route 36 trips to operate as trolleys, saving tens of thousands of gallons of diesel per year.

[More]

June 3rd Open House for the Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge

 

ped bike Bridge RESIZE

We’d like to hear your thoughts on the concepts we’ve developed for Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge before we move into design. So, please come to our open house next week to see models of some of the preliminary design concepts, comment on the selection criteria we’ll use to select between bridge types and alignments and speak with our project staff. Sound Transit staff will also be on hand to answer questions about the Northgate Station.

The open house will be on Tuesday, June 3 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary School cafeteria (504 NE 95th Street).  There will be a short presentation at 6 p.m. giving an overview of the project and the options for the bridge type and bridge alignments.

Once built, the Northgate Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge will provide a non-motorized crossing over Interstate 5 to reconnect the communities, neighborhoods, businesses and schools in the Northgate area. The bridge will be located somewhere between NE 100th and NE 103rd streets and will likely be between 1800 and 2200 feet long. We expect to identify a preferred option this fall, and possibly begin construction in 2016, finishing well before Sound Transit’s North Link line begins operation.

For more information about this project, please visit our project website:

www.seattle.gov/transportation/northgatepedbridge.htm

If you have questions or comments about the project or the Open House, please contact:

Art Brochet, Communications Lead

(206) 615-0786 • art.brochet@seattle.gov

 

[More]

Broadway Protected Bike Lane Expected to Open Next Week

042914 Paul _FHSC bike parking signs

Just in time for National Bike Month, Broadway’s Protected Bike Lane opens Wednesday morning, May 7.   The protected bike lane, a design feature of the First Hill Streetcar project, helps cyclists avoid streetcar tracks and creates a facility where people of all ages and abilities can ride a bike.

The City of Seattle is developing the First Hill Streetcar in a partnership with Sound Transit with funding of $134 million provided through the 2008 voter approved Sound Transit 2 (ST2) transit expansion plan.  Construction of the protected bike lane was included with the First Hill Streetcar Project in response to community input and the high concentration of bicycle riders who live, work, or go to school on Capitol Hill and use Broadway as a major transportation corridor.

Broadway is becoming a complete street where one can walk, bike, take transit or drive depending on their needs.  Extending 1.2 miles along Broadway from Denny Way to Yesler Way, the protected bike lane incorporates a buffer between people riding bikes and moving cars.  The facility features   a two foot buffer separating the bike lane from the traffic or parking lanes to enhance bicycle safety and provide predictability for all users.

Additional features of the ten foot wide, two-way bike lane includes smooth new road surfaces, bike-friendly drainage grates, and green painted pavement at those locations where bicyclist and cars cross each other’s paths.   Special traffic signals at intersections provide a few seconds of advanced green time for cyclists, to ensure they are visible to motorists making right turns across the bike lane.  (Right turns on red across the bike lane are prohibited along the entire lane length.)  Posted signage warns motorists of the presence of bicyclists and informs them of the need to stop for bikes.

The northern third of the Broadway Protected Bicycle Lane, the segment between Denny Way and Union Street, was opened to cyclists in October 2013.  SDOT is applying lessons learned from the opening of the first segment to provide additional information about traffic operations on Broadway with this new bike facility.  In advance of the protected bike lane opening, SDOT has added 23 temporary signs with photos to clarify where motorists can park and where they cannot.  Learn more about how to use protected bike lanes by visiting www.seattle.gov/transportation/PBL.htm.  You can even watch a 40 second video showing how a two-stage left turn box works at www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=6436&file=1.

Construction of the underground pedestrian concourse at Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Link Light Rail station has narrowed the street between Denny Way and Howell, in turn requiring the closure of this one-block section of the bicycle lane.  In July this year, the work will shift from the west to the east side of Broadway.  This construction is slated to continue until the end of the year, during which time people riding bikes can detour along Harvard Avenue between Denny Way and Pine Street.

Later this year, streetcar operations will begin on Broadway and the rest of the 2.5 mile/10 station First Hill Streetcar line. Construction of the streetcar facilities is now approaching substantial completion; streetcar manufacturing, delivery and   testing will continue through the summer as the preparations for operational startup begin.  Additional information on the project can be found at www.seattlestreetcar.org.

The First Hill Streetcar will be the first Sound Transit 2 rail project to come online. Sound Transit is on track to open the University Link light rail extension, which is six to nine months ahead of schedule and more than $100 million under budget, in early 2016. By 2023 Sound Transit is on track to deliver more than 30 additional miles of light rail extensions approved as part of Sound Transit 2, including extensions east to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake area; south to Angle Lake and Kent/Des Moines; and north to the U District, Roosevelt, Northgate, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood.

Broadway Parking Postcard RESIZED

 

 

 

[More]

Once Around the Web: Closer to Home

The New Question for 21st Century Cities is one Seattle Needs to Be Asking Right Now!

The New Question for 21st Century Cities
is one Seattle Needs to Be Asking Right Now!

 

With the stinging failure of Prop 1, folks here at SDOT and around the City are taking stock and trying to figure out what to do next. Check out these links for more information!

Plan C..? What’s Plan C?

Seattle transit advocates announce ballot measure to keep buses rolling

Seattleish is On Blast:

90 years of  !@#*$%! up Seattle public transit history

Hey everyone, the Seattle Times !@#*$%! you over

Ed Murray and Co.

Seattle Transit Blog did yeoman’s work getting the Pro Proposition 1 message out there and they certainly aren’t letting the defeat stop them:

Closing Argument

Proposition 1 Failing

A Seattle Initiative to Save Service

The Stranger isn’t going to not chime in:

It’s Time for Plan C: A Seattle-Only Transit Solution

Plan C and the Manhattanization of Seattle

Washington Policy Center put it this way:

Failure of the measure does not mean people want bus service cuts

Publicola covers Metro’s Kevin Desmond’s response:

Metro Head: Seattle-Only Bus Plan Would Stiff Suburbs

Remember when the Seattle Times coyly asked:

Prop. 1: Isn’t there a better way to fund transit?

(Sure, there must be! But you go to war with the army you have right Seattle Times?)

And just a few more links in case you’ve been under a rock lately:

“Friends of Transit” Plan Would Fund Bus Service for Routes Mostly in Seattle

Time to Hand Over Your Car Lanes, Seattle Drivers

As Prop. 1 falters, Metro fans ask, ‘Now what?’

County Executive and Council to take next steps with defeat of Proposition 1

Time to Move On to Metro Funding Plan C: Seattle Should Buy Back Proposed In-City Cuts

Group to File City Initiative to Reverse Metro Bus Reductions in Seattle

Metro On The Chopping Block

So who voted yes and who voted no? Hint: Blue = yes.

 

[More]

Greenways, Transit and updates galore!

 

BTG20logo RESIZE

 

Would you like to know more about progress made by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on Bridging the Gap (BTG) – funded Greenways and transit corridor improvements?  Or get updated on what your BTG levy dollars promised and how close we are to reaching those goals? Like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged?   If so, you are in luck!

The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for April, 29, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle City Hall Room 370.    The committee is a dedicated group of 15 community members who meet quarterly to review and track the progress of the BTG transportation initiative that was passed by Seattle voters in 2006.  They are charged with ensuring SDOT is delivering on the promises made to voters.

Committee members come from all across the city and from all walks of life.  They take their oversight and accountability role seriously and they work closely with SDOT to ensure that BTG is not only meeting its goals, but that it is being integrated into the overall goals of the department and the City.

The committee members include:

  • Ann Martin, Co-chair
  • Kristen Lohse, Co-chair
  • Ref Lindmark
  • Betty Seith-Croll
  • Allegra Calder
  • John Coney
  • Jeremy
    Valenta
  • Barbara Wright
  • Chisula Chambers
  • Jessica Szelag, Bicycle Advisory Board member
  • Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
  • David Mendoza, Freight Advisory Board member
  • Ben Noble, City Budget Director
  • Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair

All committee meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend and share their views on BTG during public comment. If you are interested in how your tax dollars are allocated, why not mark your calendar and join us April 29th.

For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.

 

 

 

[More]

Tap your card and hop on board!

What is this? This is the post that will eventually support an ORCA card reader - one of nine being installed at SLU Streetcar stations.

What is this? This is the post that will eventually support an ORCA card reader – one of nine being installed at SLU Streetcar stations.

Wondering about the crews you’ve seen installing equipment at the South Lake Union (SLU) streetcar stations?  The Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro Transit are working together to install and commission equipment for ORCA fare collection at the SLU station platforms. The ORCA card is all you need to pay your fare on buses and trains in the Puget Sound region. After you load E-purse electronic purse) value or a monthly pass on it, your ORCA card works like cash or a pass, automatically tracking the value of different fares and transfers so you don’t have to.

ORCA cards will be easy to use for the streetcar.  Before you board the streetcar, tap your card at the yellow ORCA fare transaction processors found near the streetcar shelters. These are the same yellow devices found at Link Light Rail stations and Metro Rapid Ride stations.  If you are asked to show proof of payment while riding the streetcar and you used your ORCA card, you will be asked to swipe it against a mobile fare transaction reader on board the streetcar to verify your payment.

The crews are setting up a total of nine ORCA readers at the SLU stations.  Once installed, Metro will begin testing the equipment, with the goal of having it ready for service by the end of May. However, there could be some “bugs” to work out, so the schedule will be updated as we get closer to launching the system.

For all the details on the ORCA card please visit the King County Metro website.

[More]