Official Streetcar On-Street Test and Tour Today

SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Mayor Murray, and Sound Transit are hosting a media tour of the new streetcar maintenance facility marking the start of testing of the First Hill Streetcar and showcasing its first car today.

First Hill Streetcar Testing

First Hill Streetcar Testing

SDOT Director Scott Kubly shared progress towards start-up of this new transit service and the mobility enhancements the streetcar system will provide to the community and visitors in Seattle. There will be more updates and photos posted soon.

 

Vision Zero Pedestrian Safety Patrols Have Begun

The City of Seattle’s Vision Zero efforts are underway.  The Seattle Police Department has begun pedestrian safety patrols on Lake City Way NE as part of the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project and Vision Zero. Safety Patrols will occur in the heart of Lake City between roughly NE 120th Street and NE 130th Street. 

Lake City Way NE near NE 127th

Lake City Way NE near NE 127th

Officers will focus on the mid-block crossings just north and south of the intersection of Lake City Way and NE 125th Street. The location was selected based on the number of total collisions that occur in this area which is busy with pedestrian, transit, bicycle and vehicular traffic. SDOT recently enhanced these crossings with rapid flashing beacons through the Lake City Way Traffic Safety Project. These beacons provide an increased awareness to drivers that pedestrians are in the crosswalk and that drivers should stop.  

Lake City Way SDOT Cam facing southbound

Lake City Way SDOT Cam facing southbound

Enforcement will also focus on behaviors that are most commonly associated with pedestrian collisions and target people that fail to yield to pedestrians. Officers will be on the look out for other behaviors that commonly lead to trouble on Lake City Way including speeding and distraction.

This effort is part of our ongoing work to enhance safety on Lake City Way. Travelers can expect to see increased law enforcement on Lake City Way today and throughout 2015. We’ve partnered with the Washington State Patrol to help monitor conditions on this busy northeast Seattle corridor. SPD will continue these patrols citywide through our Vision Zero enforcement efforts.

Remember always stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. It’s the law and it’s the Lake City Way. 

Thank you for supporting safety.

Vizion Zero

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We look forward to “Future of Transportation in Cities” featuring Gabe Klein tonight and hope you’re joining

We look forward to hearing from Gabe Klein tonight at the first of the Transportation Speaker series. Cathy Duchamp from KUOW will be moderating at the Seattle Central Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  See you all there.

Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein

Speaker Series Banner

 

 

 

What is the future of transportation in Seattle? What can Seattle learn from other cities?

We’re bringing the expertise of four national and international leaders who transformed cities through transportation to help Seattle see our streets and sidewalks in a new light. Join these leaders of New York City, Washington DC, Chicago and Bogotá as they challenge us to develop a transportation system than can meet current demands while also looking ahead to future needs.

In four nights from March to June, come hear about the effects of new technology, demographic changes, quick project delivery, and emerging public space needs on transportation, as well as the impact transportation can have on Seattleites’ health, prosperity and happiness. Together, let’s find the answer to “Where are we Going?”

Wednesday, March 25 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “Future of Transportation in Cities”

  • Gabe Klein – Urban Land Institute, fmr. Transportation Commissioner, Washington DC and Chicago
  • Moderator: Cathy Duchamp, KUOW
  • Seattle Central Library 1000 Fourth Avenue

Sponsors: Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Arts & Culture, KUOW

For more information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/SpeakerSeries/default.htm

Managing Traffic with updated Traffic Signals and Information Systems on Mercer Corridor

The Mercer Corridor Project is transforming Mercer Street into a principal arterial street that better serves the growing South Lake Union and Uptown urban centers while continuing to provide access to and from I-5 and the future SR 99 Tunnel for these neighborhoods and others to the north and west.  Given the volumes of traffic exiting and entering I-5 at Mercer Street and dispersing from Mercer to north and south streets, as well as west toward Queen Anne, Magnolia and Interbay, SDOT is installing new traffic signals and communications systems to move people and goods more efficiently along and across the corridor as efficiently as possible.  Enhancements to maximize the benefit of the new signals and communications are coming soon.

New Signal Light at Mercer Street and 5th Ave North

New Signal Light at Mercer Street and 5th Ave North

The Mercer Corridor project installed or updated 30 signals on Mercer, Valley, Roy, and Republican streets and on Fifth Ave N.  All of the signals are connected to SDOT’s Traffic Management Center to allow for better communication and coordination between signals.  Each signal includes a controller that can be equipped with new traffic control technology – adaptive signal control – which will be coming to the Mercer Corridor in the near future.  Adaptive signal control allows the signal system to be more responsive to real-time traffic conditions.  Detectors in the street will monitor traffic volumes and feed that information to signals downstream from the traffic flow, so they can adjust timing to better accommodate traffic flows.

New Signal Controller at Mercer Street and 5th Ave North

New Signal Controller at Mercer Street and 5th Ave North

Adaptive signal control is expected to be most effective during the periods before or after the peak demand periods in the corridor, sometimes referred to as “the shoulders.”  It will be less effective during the peak periods, especially the evening peak, when traffic is backed up trying to get onto I-5 and other destinations. Even the latest technology cannot move more traffic when there’s no space ahead.  Adaptive signal control is also expected to improve operations for people leaving Seattle Center after an evening performance or other event.  In that case, the signals would detect the surge of eastbound traffic, along with the lower demands on side streets late at night and give more green time to traffic on Mercer Street.

 

The Mercer Corridor will be the first application of adaptive signal control in the city.  The City Council provided $1 Million in SDOT’s budget to design and implement the system on Mercer.  Specification and design is starting in 2015, and the system will be implemented on Mercer in 2016.  The next phase of adaptive signal control, after Mercer, will be on Denny Way.

 

Mercer Corridor Aerial 10-14

Mercer Corridor Aerial 10-14

SDOT is also implementing other features on Mercer Street that will provide more information to those traveling on Mercer and to the engineers programming the signals.  The department is measuring travel times on Mercer using Bluetooth technology.  This new system collects and summarizes travel time information at multiple locations along the corridor so the engineers can zero in on specific problem areas or intersections.  The travel time information will be added to SDOT’s Traveler Information Map and on the Traveler’s app.  This and other information will also be displayed on new variable message signs at Ninth Ave N and Sixth Ave N along the corridor, as well as a new variable message sign that will be installed on Elliott Avenue W.

 

For up-to-minute construction updates join our project email list at: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm or call the 24-hour construction hotline at 206-419-5818.

What Moves You, Seattle? Share Your Input on a New Transportation Levy Proposal

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and our transportation system is critical to our quality of life and economic vitality. Earlier this month, Mayor Ed Murray introduced Move Seattle — his ten-year transportation vision that integrates our long-term plans for walking, biking, transit, and freight and sets forth a holistic approach to meeting Seattle’s needs today and tomorrow.

To help make that vision a reality, the city will need to identify a replacement for the current Bridging the Gap levy that expires at the end of 2015. Today, Mayor Murray and SDOT Director Scott Kubly announced a proposal for a new levy the Transportation Levy to Move Seattle.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly  discusses the Levy to Move Seattle.

Mayor Murray and SDOT Director Scott Kubly (at podium) announce the Levy to Move Seattle.

The proposed nine-year, $900 million levy aims to take care of the basics by maintaining our streets, bridges, and sidewalks, while also investing in the future with improvements that give us more travel choices to move more people and goods in and around Seattle.

ltms_overviewnumbers

We’d like to get your input and reaction to this draft proposal before Mayor Murray sends it to the Seattle City Council in May. The City will need to submit a final levy proposal to King County by early August for it to be on the ballot in November 2015.

Your participation matters. Help shape our transportation future:

Visit www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle to:

 

Attend an upcoming community conversation to talk directly with staff about the proposal and your transportation priorities:

Saturday, March 28:

  • New Holly Gathering Hall (7054 32nd Ave S, Seattle 98118): 10 AM –12 PM

 

Monday, March 30:

  • Roosevelt High School (1410 NE 66th St, Seattle 98115): 6 – 8 PM

 

Tuesday, March 31:

  • West Seattle High School (3000 California Ave SW, Seattle 98116): 6 – 8 PM

 

Learn more at www.seattle.gov/LevytoMoveSeattle

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Spring Break Resurfacing in U-District

They plan to work on Brooklyn from Northeast 47th to Northeast 45th streets on Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. if the weather is favorable. The street will be closed intermittently; alternate routes are recommended.

The crews then plan to move to Northeast 41st Street, working from Brooklyn to 11th Avenue Northeast from March 25 to 27 during the same hours, and this work is also dependent on favorable weather. NE 41st will be closed to through traffic.

University District Map

University District Map

 
Please be mindful that on-street parking will be restricted, so any cars left on that block may be towed.  All crosswalks and sidewalks will remain open during work hours.

Real Time Transit signs coming to Ballard, Wallingford and U-District

SDOT in partnership with King County Metro is installing 11 new Real Time Information Signs (RTIS) at bus stops along the NW Market Street/45th Street corridor through Ballard, Wallingford and the University District. These pole-mounted LED signs will let bus commuters know if their bus is on time or running late.  These new tracking tools will add to SDOT’s similar signs that were installed on the Jackson/Rainier corridor back in 2013.

RTIS Map Final

SDOT’s RTIS signs use up-to-the-minute data to deliver predicted bus arrival/departure times for routes using the stop where the sign is located. Knowing when your next bus is scheduled to arrive may seem like a simple piece of information, but these signs provide a number of other benefits to passengers, such as an increased sense of security that comes with knowing how long you’ll have to wait and whether you have time to run a quick errand or grab a snack. Additionally, real time transit signs have proven to be a cost-effective strategy for increasing transit ridership and transit users’ satisfaction with service, which reflects SDOT’s long-running efforts to improve transit reliability and rider experience.

 

Design visualization of a RTIS. The LED signs will let bus commuters know if their bus is on time or running late.

Design concept of RTIS

RTIS installation will require rebuilding the bus stops where the new signs will be located. Construction activities such as: saw cutting, sidewalk removal, underground electrical work, sidewalk replacement and RTIS installations are expected to begin this week and will continue for about three months, through early to mid-summer. As part of this work, crews will also complete a number of other pedestrian improvements, including new curb ramps and accessible pedestrian push buttons.

 

 

 

 

SDOT appreciates your patience during RTIS installation and hopes to minimize inconvenience; neighbors and travelers should expect:

  • Audible work activities including construction equipment noise and concrete replacement
  • Intermittent lane closures
  • Temporary sidewalk closures and detours
  • Temporary bus stop closures
  • Flaggers and uniformed police officers assisting with traffic control
  • Access to businesses and residences maintained

 

If you have questions about installation of the RTIS along the Market/45th corridor, please contact Paul Elliott at paul.elliott@seattle.gov or 206-684-5321.

 

For more information on SDOT’s RTIS program: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/transit_rtis.htm

Contact Jeff Bender at 206-684-8837 or jeff.bender@seattle.gov.

March 25, 6-8pm “Future of Transportation in Cities” featuring Transportation Expert Gabe Klein

What is the future of transportation in Seattle? What can Seattle learn from other cities?

We’re bringing the expertise of four national and international leaders who transformed cities through transportation to help Seattle see our streets and sidewalks in a new light. Join these leaders of New York City, Washington DC, Chicago and Bogotá as they challenge us to develop a transportation system than can meet current demands while also looking ahead to future needs.

In four nights from March to June, come hear about the effects of new technology, demographic changes, quick project delivery, and emerging public space needs on transportation, as well as the impact transportation can have on Seattleites’ health, prosperity and happiness. Together, let’s find the answer to “Where are we Going?”

The first forum will feature Gabe Klein:

Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein

Wednesday, March 25 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “Future of Transportation in Cities”

  • Gabe Klein – Urban Land Institute, fmr. Transportation Commissioner, Washington DC and Chicago
  • Moderator: Cathy Duchamp, KUOW
  • Seattle Central Library 1000 Fourth Avenue

 

Please register for this free event at: https://gabeklein.eventbrite.com

Sponsors: Seattle Department of Transportation, Office of Arts & Culture, KUOW

For more information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/SpeakerSeries/default.htm

Speaker Series Banner

Transit agencies working together on bus changes as Link expands to Husky Stadium

Extending Link service to the UW is an example of how investments in light rail and better coordination by local transit agencies are moving the region forward. Public meetings are planned for March, while Seattle street improvements are underway, and downtown Seattle bus tunnel changes take effect in September.

Station Entrance rendering.

Station Entrance rendering.

Please follow the link for the Fall 2015 Changes for U-Link Testing:

DSTT_TunneltoSurface2015mapV3

The region is preparing for Sound Transit’s launch of Link light rail service to the University of Washington in 2016, and key efforts are underway by King County Metro Transit, Sound Transit, and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to improve bus service and keep traffic moving in downtown Seattle during the transition.

 

Public meetings March 19, 25, and 26

The transit agencies have three public meetings scheduled in March seeking input on bus route changes that could happen in March 2016. Sound Transit Link light rail begins service between downtown Seattle and UW Station in the first quarter of 2016.

Public meetings are planned March 12, 19, and 26, where riders can speak with Metro and Sound Transit staff about how they might use transit once Link opens to Capitol Hill and UW stations.

Concepts are available online, showing how bus service could be more concentrated on key corridors, as well as a survey to gather rider feedback.

  • March 19, 6-8 p.m. at Seattle University (room TBD)
  • March 25, 6-8 p.m. at Bellevue City Hall
  • March 26, 6-8 p.m. at University Heights Center

 

Downtown Seattle tunnel bus changes in September 

This fall, Sound Transit begins testing light rail train operations between downtown Seattle and UW Station, increasing the number of trains operating in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Trains will run every six minutes during rush hours and every 10-15 minutes in the afternoon and evenings. As a result, six Metro peak service bus routes—routes 76, 77, 216, 218, 219, and 316—are scheduled to be redirected to surface street bus stops starting Sept. 26, 2015.

The move to redirect 89 weekday bus trips to stops on Seattle streets makes room for additional trains in the tunnel while maintaining all-day service for routes that currently serve the tunnel—routes 41, 71, 72, 73, 74, 255, 101, 102, 106, 150, 550. The tunnel currently carries 1,187 bus trips each weekday in addition to Central Link light rail service.

With nearly six years’ experience jointly operating buses and trains in the Downtown Transit Tunnel, these periodic adjustments in the number of buses using the facility will continue to evolve as Link expands.

Seattle street improvements underway

As that handful of tunnel bus routes shifts to surface streets, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Metro, and Sound Transit are coordinating surface street improvements to keep transit and general traffic moving along key city corridors.

The Seattle Department of Transportation is lead on making these improvements, which provide transit priority and help better manage the downtown transportation network. Together, these coordinated improvements will help improve transit reliability during upcoming changes to transit service.

These SDOT street improvements are essential to accomodating more surface bus transit as Sound Transit tunnel testing and Link expansion increases the people-carrying capacity of the tunnel.

To keep traffic, buses, and the state’s economic hub moving, five agencies—SDOT, King County, Sound Transit, Community Transit, and Washington State Department of Transportation—are jointly coordinating transit, intersection, and roadway improvements in downtown Seattle as the Puget Sound area takes major steps to extending Link light rail service and makes other changes to the regional transportation network.

For more information, contact:

Bruce Gray, Sound Transit, bruce.gray@soundtransit.org, 206-398-5069

Marybeth Turner, Seattle DOT, marybeth.turner@seattle.gov, 206-684-8548

Jeff Switzer, Metro Transit, jeff.switzer@kingcounty.gov, 206-477-3833

Safety and Mobility Improvements on the way for 23 Avenue

SDOT crews will begin the first phase of rebuilding 23rd Avenue between S Jackson and E John streets in April.  This project will improve safety and mobility for everyone who drives, walks, bikes and takes transit in the Central Area.

Tonight, SDOT will share info about what to expect during construction with community members, business owners and commuters at an open house at Garfield High School. Check out the info for yourself by visiting our online open house!

Phase 1 Construction on 23 Avenue

Phase 1 Construction on 23 Avenue

What’s the project?

SDOT will rebuild this stretch of 23rd Avenue from four narrow lanes to three wider lanes, resulting in one lane in each direction, plus a center turn lane. The project also includes widening and repairing sidewalks, improving transit speed and reliability, replacing the 100-year-old water main under the roadway, and installing new street lights and public art. While a bike lane will not be included on 23rd Avenue, SDOT is currently installing the Central Area Neighborhood Greenway on residential streets adjacent to 23rd Avenue as a calmer route for people walking or riding bikes.

This project design resulted from nearly two years of traffic analysis, engineering, and community outreach. The improvements are designed to reduce collisions in accordance with the city’s Vision Zero campaign to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

What can the public expect during construction?

The entire project will be divided into three work zones to minimize impacts on businesses, residents and the travelling public. Crews will start work in the work zone between E Cherry Street and S Jackson Street – see map at right. Major construction for all three work zones is expected to be complete by late 2016.

During construction, local residents and commuters can expect delays while construction is active in a given work zone. Due to the narrow width of the street, crews will close northbound 23rd Avenue to all traffic with detours to Martin Luther King Jr Way. Other traffic impacts include reduced lanes for southbound traffic, nighttime and weekend closures of major intersections, short-term pedestrian detours, short-term water service interruptions, and Metro bus detours.

Visit the project Web page http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/23rd_ave.htm.

Attend the online open house http://sdot23rdave.publicmeeting.info/

Questions? Call the project hotline – 206-727-8857 Email – 23rdAveCorridor@seattle.gov