Blocking the Box Enforcement on Mercer St and Dexter Ave to Keep Travelers Safe

The City of Seattle conducted blocking the box enforcement on Mercer Street at Dexter Avenue N in coordination with transit lane enforcement at other locations in downtown. Seattle Police Officers enforced the posted blocking the box restrictions which help address vehicles that illegally stop in the intersection impeding traffic and pedestrian safety. More of these enforcements are planned for the weeks ahead, and will occur throughout the city.

On February 12th, 2015, Mayor Murray announced Vision Zero – Seattle’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) have partnered to achieve our safety goals by following the basic principles of this approach which include:

  • Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers
  • Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  • Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors

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. Despite this fact, traffic collisions are a leading cause of death for Seattle residents aged 5-24. Older adults are also disproportionately affected, and as our population ages, this trend could grow. In 2014, there were 10,815 police-reported collisions in Seattle and 15 fatalities occurred. This is unacceptable.

We can do better. At the core of the worldwide Vision Zero movement is the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. For the most part, these aren’t “accidents”. Collisions are often the result of poor behaviors and unforgiving roadway designs. So we must approach the problem from multiple angles — street designs that emphasize safety, predictability, and the potential for human error, coupled with targeted education and data-driven enforcement.

Thank you to drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians for practicing safe travel habits, and to the Seattle Police Traffic Officers for the work they do to keep us safe.


Calling all Artists! – Seattle Bridge Residencies for 2016

Art commissioned by the City for the 2009 Bridge Talks Back event.

Art commissioned by the City for the 2009 Bridge Talks Back event.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), in partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture (Arts), is excited to announce two unique opportunities for artist residencies in 2016. Using the towers of two movable bridges as a canvas, the City is seeking an individual or team of artists for the following residencies:

Fremont Bridge writer/poet-in-residence

Summer 2016

This artist will produce a written piece and make a public presentation as homage to the 100th birthday of the Fremont Bridge, which opened on July 4, 1917. The Fremont Bridge crosses the Lake Washington Ship Canal, connecting the Fremont and Queen Anne neighborhoods in North Seattle. Opening an average of 35 times a day, it is one of the most frequently opened drawbridges in the United States, and also one of Seattle’s most colorful and beloved.

University Bridge lighting artist-in-residence

Summer 2016

The lighting artist(s) will work closely with SDOT staff and engineers to create a concept sketch and budget for future lighting on three of Seattle’s draw, or bascule, bridges: University, Fremont, and Ballard. The University Bridge spans Portage Bay, linking the University District with Eastlake neighborhood. The Ballard Bridge is located in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and crosses the Lake Washington Ship Canal just before it opens to the Puget Sound.

More information will be available in early 2016 and will be commissioned with 1% for Art funds. In the meantime, you can read the blog of the Fremont Bridge last artist-in-residence (2009) at this link:

First Hill Streetcar Line Wayfinding Maps Installed

Soon, the First Hill Streetcar will provide 10 stops between Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square. Crews have been out over the past couple of weeks installing station wayfinding maps to help you plan your trip—whether it’s making a connection in the downtown tunnel or dim sum in Chinatown.

Streetcar 11-15

The First Hill Streetcar will be an important link in the regional transit system, with connections to Link Light Rail at the Capitol Hill Station and International District Station, as well as Sounder Commuter Rail and Amtrak intercity rail at King Street Station.

There are 10 stops on the First Hill Streetcar line, connecting the diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square, while also serving major medical centers (Swedish Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center), institutions of higher learning (Seattle Central College and Seattle University) and major sporting event venues (CenturyLink & Safeco Field).

Whether you’re using the Seattle Streetcar for the first time, living near it or coming across it during your daily life, we have some helpful advice about the safety issues you need to be aware of and the signs and symbols to look out for.

Streetcar on Jackson St 11-5-15

To learn more about safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and streetcar passengers please take a look at this presentation:

Seattle Streetcar – Looking Out for Your Safety

GC_SafetyPoster_All Languages_091415_Page_1

Visit the Broadway Extension and Center City Connector pages on this site to learn more about how the First Hill Streetcar will be connected to other Seattle Streetcar segments.

SDOT’s 2015-16 Winter Weather Brochures are Available Online Now


SDOT’s annual Winter Weather brochure is now available for download online! The brochures offers a large map of Seattle’s snow and ice routes, and provides valuable travel and contact information for all who use city streets during the winter season.

These brochures will be free at Seattle Public Library branches and Neighborhood Service Centers soon. We are also distributing to Seattle Public elementary schools for students to bring home to their families.

You can access the brochure in several languages here, including:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Tagalog
  • Somali
  • Korean
  • Oromo
  • Tigrinya
  • Amharic


For just the map of snow and ice routes, click here.

For more information on winter storm preparedness and contact information, check out our Winter Weather page.

We hope you have a safe (and warm!) winter weather season!

SDOT Crews Make Getting around North Green Lake Easier and Safer

Here’s an update on safety improvements in the Green Lake neighborhood. This summer SDOT crews repaved two blocks of E Green Lake Dr N and improved curb ramps at three intersections in the heart of the business district on the north side of Green Lake Park.  By focusing improvements on this important location, SDOT improved safety and mobility for people walking, biking, driving, riding the bus or simply passing through the park.  SDOT made extra efforts to minimize impacts to the community during this project.

SDOT crews repaved E Green Lake Dr N from Wallingford Ave N to N 78th St.  The asphalt pavement at the bus stop was quite damaged from the usual wear and tear of buses. Instead of paving the bus stop with asphalt again, SDOT invested additional funds to build a concrete “bus pad,” which holds up to the weight of buses much better.

Green Lake PavingWhen SDOT repaves a street, federal law requires us to have curb ramps which are up to current standards.  Therefore, we rebuilt old curb ramps and created two curb ramps where none previously existed at Wallingford Ave N, Stroud Ave N and N 78th St.  As a bonus, the design of the new curb ramp at Wallingford Ave N keeps polluted water runoff on the street and directs it toward storm drains.  The previous curb ramp allowed water runoff to flow into the park and toward the children’s wading pool.  (see pictures)

Green Lake Curb Ramp

SDOT was keenly aware of the many shoppers, walkers, joggers, and everyone else who uses this popular business district and the well-used paths around the Green Lake.  We built the curb ramps in phases to minimize disruptions and we worked with our friends at the Parks Dept. to schedule the project to avoid the big summer events at Green Lake Park.  We also posted signs at key locations in the park to inform folks using the Green Lake Path how to keep moving while avoiding construction areas.  outreach sign

This project was funded by SDOT’s Arterial Major Maintenance program, where SDOT crews repave sections of arterials up to two blocks long which are in the greatest need of repair.

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Latest Design Options Open House Monday 11/16 @ 5:30 p.m.

The Madison Corridor BRT is hosting an Open House on November 16th from 5 -7 p.m. at the Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Avenue (Level 4, Room 1).  There will be a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.

12th Avenue Concept

12th Avenue at East Madison Street Design Concept

For over a year, SDOT has been working with communities along the Madison Corridor to develop and assess bus rapid transit (BRT) design concepts from the waterfront to Madison Valley.

Please join your neighbors to review the latest Madison Corridor BRT design concept and see how we are responding to community input. Discussions will focus on the latest design opportunities, including a new Madison Valley routing option and a potential future extension of BRT service to Madison Park.

The meeting is accessible via Metro routes 2 and 12, along with Metro routes serving 3rd Ave. There is bicycle parking near the 4th and 5th Avenue entrances.  There are also covered bike racks in the parking garage reached from Spring Street.

Seeking Feedback on Ballard’s Urban Design and Transportation Study at Our Open House on 11/18!


The City of Seattle is seeking community input in response to ongoing development, and Sound Transit’s planning for light rail to Ballard. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) are working with neighborhood groups and non-profits, organized as the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth, to develop an integrated Urban Design and Transportation Framework (UDTF).

SDOT’s transportation element of this coordinated study Move Ballard, will recommend near-term multimodal transportation improvements for the Ballard Hub Urban Village in response to the area’s recent growth. The plan will also evaluate potential future high capacity (e.g. light rail, bus rapid transit) transit station areas in anticipation of possible Metro and Sound Transit investments in the neighborhood. This meeting is an opportunity to comment on Move Ballard’s draft recommendations.

Over the summer, SDOT gathered feedback on the community’s priorities for transportation improvements and location preferences for a future high capacity transit station. Based on community input, traffic analysis, adopted modal plans, and ongoing projects; SDOT prioritized and evaluated local transportation improvements and future high capacity transit station locations.
The City, and Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth are hosting an open house on Wednesday, November 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Leif Erikson Lodge. This meeting is your opportunity to:

• Learn what we heard at the last open house and various stakeholder meetings
• Comment on the draft priorities and recommended design concepts for local transportation improvements
• Comment on draft evaluation of potential high capacity transit station locations (e.g. light rail)
• Comment on draft streetscape designs

While the main focus of this open house will be on transportation, this is also an opportunity to comment on land use and urban design draft recommendations.
Here are ways you can share your input:

• Attend the Community Meeting:
November 18, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Leif Erikson Lodge, Large Hall (2nd floor)
2245 NW 57th St
Light snacks will be provided.

• Review information online and contact the project planners:
Move Ballard and Ballard Urban Design and Transportation Framework.


At the first meeting held a year ago, the community shared its affection of Ballard’s historic qualities and its tradition of industry. Residents conveyed their appreciation of the growth and variety of shops and restaurants in their walkable neighborhood. However, community members also expressed concerns that a number of recent high-density projects being built in the area do not contribute to Ballard’s character. There were also concerns about affordability and transportation improvements that haven’t kept pace with the growth.

The City then worked with the Ballard Partnership to define responses to the community input on the character of growth in Ballard core business areas. At the second project public meeting last November, the City received strong support for preliminary recommendations to shape new development, streetscape and open space in downtown Ballard. At the third project meeting in May, we heard the community’s priorities for transportation improvements for all travel modes and preferences for potential future high capacity transit station locations. At the upcoming meeting, you will have the chance to comment on the draft prioritization of local transportation improvements and assessment of potential future high capacity station locations. Tell us what you think about the future of all modes of transportation in Ballard.

If you have questions or comments, here are the project contacts: Chris Yake with SDOT at or 206-727-8719. Aditi Kambuj with DPD at
or 206-615-1739.

Community Outreach in Rainier Beach

Last Saturday was Halloween and the Rainier Beach community came together for music, trick-or-treating, costumes, and good old Halloween fun at the second annual Boo Bash at the Beach: Rainier Beach Halloween Party. The Seattle Department of Transportation was an event sponsor and hosted a booth on Saturday with project information, SDOT giveaways, and candy, too. SDOT has a handful of projects in Rainier Beach at the moment, including one that is in construction and two that are scheduled to begin construction later this month. We pulled information together on these projects to coordinate our outreach and help residents and community members in Rainier Beach understand the collective work SDOT that is doing in this area.

Boo Bash

The rain surely didn’t stop the fun and over 3,000 people turned out to the event! We interacted with hundreds of people at the SDOT booth, handing out candy, reflectors, keychains, pencils, and project information.

So what are all these SDOT projects in Rainier Beach?

Check out the Boo Bash at the Beach Facebook Page to see more photos of the event!

How is Vision Zero doing in Seattle?

On February 12th, 2015, Mayor Murray announced Vision Zero – Seattle’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) have partnered to achieve our safety goals by following the basic principles of this approach which include:

  • Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers
  • Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  • Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors


How does someone find out how well is Seattle doing with their Vision Zero goal?

The City publishes our Vision Zero progress online through the Performance Seattle portal . This information can be found under the “Transportation” section, and then navigate to the “Achieve zero traffic fatalities by 2030” under “Safety”.

Performance SeattleOur trending progress is measured using a 5-year rolling average. The rolling average is commonly used by federal agencies to smooth out the short-term variations and fluctuations in crashes and severity each year. This develops a trend line that we can track to see how we are doing with our safety goals.

How do I find out what causes these fatal and serious injury collisions in Seattle?

Each year, SDOT publishes the Traffic Report online. This report contains a wide range of traffic data unique to Seattle, and also includes detailed information about the collision patterns, such as:

  • Contributing circumstances to these fatal and serious injury collisions
  • General information about the fatal collisions which occurred that year
  • Breakdowns on the pedestrian and bicycle collisions


What can I do to help promote Vision Zero?

You can help by creating a culture of safety in your workplace, around your family and friends, and your neighborhood. Tell them about what it means to you if they put themselves and everyone on the road at risk if they pick up that phone while driving. Ask them about how many traffic deaths they would want to have amongst their family, friends, and neighbors with the decisions and choices they make when they are behind the wheel.

Everyone has the right to safety and the area you live in should not determine your quality of life. Our shared goal and collective responsibility is ZERO deaths and ZERO serious injuries .

Here is a link to our safety education resources:


Pedestrian Accessibility Tours

Community outreach and input are important components in how SDOT plans and considers pedestrian improvements. For pedestrians that may have different needs due to a disability, whether permanent or temporary, having the opportunity to discuss particular challenges or recommendations with SDOT engineers has proven to be a valuable and informative learning opportunity. These discussions can help inform the engineers of the needs of pedestrians with varying abilities and also helps pedestrians understand some of the challenges and constraints engineers deal with in an existing built environment.

Pioneer Square Tour

In Spring of 2015, SDOT engineers teamed up with Liz Stenning, Public Realm Director at the Alliance for Pioneer Square, to take a tour of the Pioneer Square area. Randy Earle, a local accessibility consultant and advocate (more about Randy at We Will Find a Way) was generous enough to lend a wheelchair to our SDOT engineers so that they could gain perspective of the various  pedestrian challenges in an older neighborhood like Pioneer Square, which is also designated as one of eight  “historic districts” (presenting additional challenges) . In addition to the circumstances encountered using the wheelchair, we also discussed challenges that may be evident to ambulatory pedestrians thanks to the help of Kiana Parker, who joined us as a student of Seattle University and an advocate for people with disabilities.

 Randy Earle and Liz Stenning Discuss Wheelchair Challenges in Pioneer Square with SDOT Engineers

SDOT engineer John Ricardi in borrowed wheelchair(left), Liz Stenning (center) and Randy Earle discuss wheelchair challenges in Pioneer Square.


SDOT Engineer Experiences Steep Sidewalk Slopes Using a Wheelchair

SDOT engineer John Ricardi uses a borrowed wheelchair to gain perspective in navigating steep sidewalk slopes.

Rolling Walkshops at Pioneer Square and ID

In September of 2015, SDOT joined Lisa Quinn at Feet First in conjunction with a number other groups that advocate for pedestrian friendly communities. As a part of the Seattle Design Festival with an equity first theme, Lisa helped coordinate two “rolling walkshops” that allowed these pedestrian affiliated organizations to address various pedestrian conditions in Pioneer Square and the International District (also one of eight “historic districts”). Curb ramps, street crossings, sidewalks, and other pedestrian features were discussed with those that joined us on the tour. Concerns specific to pedestrians with mobility disabilities and visual impairments were key topics in our tours through the neighborhoods.

Pedestrians Voice Concerns in the International District

Community members share access input in the International District.

Peggy Martinez from Lighthouse of the Blind

Peggy Martinez from Lighthouse of the Blind, discusses street crossing orientation during one of pedestrian access tours.

SDOT Discusses Curb Ramps and Street Crossings

An SDOT staffer discusses curb ramps and street crossings.

Upcoming Events

SDOT plans to participate in vision simulation training at the Lighthouse for the Blind in October of 2015 as a part of National White Cane Safety Day. This will be another opportunity for SDOT engineers to engage with the community and to learn first-hand from pedestrians with visual impairments. Participants will have the chance to experience wayfinding by use of a cane as well as learning other cues that help pedestrians with visual impairments navigate pedestrian facilities.

 Pedestrians Engage in a Vision Simulation

Pedestrians Engage in a Vision Simulation

If you have any opportunities for community engagement that involve the needs for pedestrians with disabilities in the Seattle public rights-of-way, we encourage you to contact SDOT’s ADA Coordinator, Michael Shaw at (206) 615-1974 or by email at