Archive for 'Transit'
Mark your calendars: SDOT’s 2013 Walk Bike Ride Challenge launches June 15 and runs through the summer until September 9. Sign up NOW and start inviting your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers to join in on the fun.
The Walk Bike Ride Challenge is an SDOT incentive program to inspire you to try new transportation options this summer, and hopefully change some of your habits in the long-term. If you walk, bike, ride transit, carpool, skip, skate (you get the idea!) to your destination instead of driving alone, you can win one of these great prizes:
- A brand new bike and helmet from Gregg’s Cycles
- Family pack tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo
- $200 REI Gift Card
- $100 Nordstrom Gift Card
- $100 Farmers Market gift certificate
- $150 Zipcar gift certificate
- Car2Go membership and four hours of driving
- And more to come!
You can sign up now and start logging trips anytime between June 15 and September 9, but remember: the more trips you report, the higher the chance you have of winning! If you refer-a-friend that participates in the Challenge, we’ll enter you into a weekly raffle for a $20 Orca Card. If that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be offering other fun incentives throughout the Challenge so everyone has a shot at winning.
Once you sign up for the WBR Challenge you become part of a community making Seattle a more active and better place to live. The Walk Bike Ride Challenge is partnering with Luum this year and using a brand new platform to track your progress, provide tips and encouragement, and engage with fellow Challengers. We’re really excited for the new features, and can’t wait to hear what you think. So, what are you waiting for? Get moving, get active, get prizes!
Learn more about the Walk Bike Ride Initiative here.
We’ve said it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier…11PM tonight through 5AM Monday, May 20 FULL CLOSURE OF:
- SR 99-Valley Street to the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel
- Mercer Street-Fifth Avenue N to Dexter Avenue N
Sidewalks will be closed on both sides of SR 99 between Thomas and Valley Streets, and on the south side of Mercer Street between Fifth Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N.
That isn’t the worst of it, because we are really just beginning this segment of the Mercer Corridor effort – meaning MAJOR impacts are beginning.
Following the full weekend closure of SR 99, lane restrictions on Mercer Street will remain in place between Fourth Avenue N and Ninth Avenue N.
To help alleviate traffic congestion on eastbound Mercer Street, eastbound Broad Street will re-open to traffic on Monday, May 20, as an alternate route for travelers heading to I-5. Additional traffic revisions will include:
- Mercer Street between Fourth and Ninth avenues north down to two eastbound lanes (local access maintained at Taylor Avenue N)
- Sidewalk on the north side of Mercer Street closed between Fifth Dexter avenues north (sidewalk on the south side of Mercer Street will remain open)
- SR 99 traffic between Valley and Harrison streets shifted to the west side of the roadway (two lanes of SR 99 in each direction will remain open)
The northbound SR 99 off-ramp to Mercer Street will be permanently closed. A new signalized intersection at Republican Street and Dexter Avenue N will be available for northbound SR 99 traffic to reach South Lake Union.
OK, that’s all for now, but it really seems like enough…[More]
SDOT is excited to announce the kick-off of the Westlake Cycle Track project. This project improves safety for people biking, improves the pedestrian experience, and will be done in coordination with the Ballard to Downtown Seattle Transit Expansion Study, because Westlake is one of the possible corridors being considered for future rail.
The Toole Design Group, a planning, engineering and landscape architecture firm whose specialty is bike and pedestrian transportation, has been selected to do the planning and design of pedestrian and bicycle improvements. One element of their effort will be figuring out just how folks and freight will move safely up and down (and across) the strip between Lake Union and the eastern bluffs of Queen Anne, no matter how they travel.
The centerpiece of the study is a brand new cycle track to link the Ship Canal Trail with bike and pedestrian facilities on South Lake Union. The public right-of-way on Westlake can accommodate all modes of travel—people walking, transit, people riding bikes, vehicles and freight — and a cycle track will be a great way of helping to keep everyone safe. It improves safety for all modes of traffic and can make it easier for motorists to see people walking on bikes when entering and leaving the parking lot adjacent to Westlake.[More]
For decades, the “Mercer Mess” has been one of the City’s most significant transportation challenges. Each day some 80,000 vehicles, along with growing numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists, enter and exit I-5 at Mercer Street, making it a critical east/west route for keeping people, goods, and services moving. While eastbound traffic has had a straight shot on Mercer to I-5, the westbound traffic has been forced to follow the circuitous weave involving Valley and Broad Streets, as well as Fifth Avenue North and Roy Street.
After years of discussion and debate on how to best address the ”Mercer Mess,” the City is well on the way to implementing the Mercer Corridor Project, which will create a two-way Mercer Street all the way from I-5 to Elliott Avenue West. In early 2010, SDOT began the construction on the eastern stretch of Mercer, the segment from Dexter Avenue North to I-5. Last August, the newly widened Mercer between I-5 and Ninth Avenue North was opened to traffic. Now, as construction on this eastern segment moves towards completion this summer, the focus is about to shift to the western segment.
Next Friday evening, May 17, construction to widen the roadway between Fifth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North and replace the SR 99 bridge over Mercer Street will begin. SR 99 between Valley Street and the southern end of the Battery Street Tunnel will be fully closed for that weekend, as will Mercer itself between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter. When traffic is reopened to both the following Monday morning, May 20, traffic on SR 99 will have been shifted to the west side of the street over Mercer Street maintaining two lanes in each direction, and Mercer itself in this stretch will be reduced to two eastbound travel lanes.
Eastbound travel on Mercer between Fifth Avenue North and Dexter will remain in this two-lane configuration throughout the West Phase of the project, which is anticipated to be completed in mid-2015.
- Creating an efficient and direct east/west transportation corridor
- Providing a key connection to the north portal of the SR 99 deep bore tunnel, which will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Battery Street Tunnel
- Reducing conflicts between all modes of travel
- Improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access
- Strengthening connections among area neighborhoods
- Improving access to and from Seattle Center
- Accommodating and encouraging future transit investments
For additional information on the project and updated information on construction impacts, visit the project website. http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm.[More]
It’s a tasty smorgasbord of transportation links for you to stuff your face with!
Driving is all that. NOT! Driving is so 1995, chart shows
Food for thought: Grocery Delivery Service Is Greener Than Driving to the Store
Is Seattle the next Toronto? Toronto’s waterfront makeover a huge money maker, study finds
You lousy kids get off my road! The Uncertain Future of Public Roads
We’re # … Wait, we didn’t even make the list? Top 20 Bike Cities Span Four Continents, But Not U.S.A
Subaru goes on the offensive: Transit Commuters Are Stinking Low-Lifes, Subaru Tells Transit Commuters
At 18th out of 50, is the Evergreen State green enough? U.S. Urban Trees Store Carbon, Provide Billions in Economic Value, Finds State-By-State Analysis
Want to roll in some dough? How Bicycles Bring Business
Then this happened: Ironic Bike Lane Block Edition
An eye-dea whose time has come! ‘Seeing Eye People’ Help NYC Pedestrians Walk While Texting
Okay, so, not the most subtle approach, but you get it…lane restrictions – well, more of them – for the Mercer Corridor Project, begin Monday. The West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project starts with rebuilding the SR 99 Aurora overpass (no timid start there) and, as we said before, the initial work isn’t the worst of it. The real hit comes in May, reducing Mercer Street to two eastbound lanes between 5th Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N. But, just put that on the back burner for a moment and focus on this - as of Monday, April 22, after the morning commute, the following changes take place:
- Northbound SR 99 between Mercer Street exit and Roy Street restricted to two lanes
- Southbound SR 99 between Aloha and Harrison streets restricted to two lanes
- Northbound and southbound bus stops on SR 99 at Mercer Street closed
- Westbound Broad Street reduced to a single lane just south of Harrison Street
- Broad Street off-ramp from southbound SR 99 closed
- Sidewalk on the west side of SR 99 closed between Thomas and Roy streets
- Sidewalk on the east side of SR 99 closed between Republican and Roy streets
The changes listed above allow crews to make improvements in the area like installing a new traffic signal at the intersection of Broad and Harrison streets. It’s all part of a grand plan to help traffic flow as much as possible during Mercer West Phase construction, including re-opening Broad Street to two-way traffic next month (lines were repainted in early April). Other key preparation work is the new signal going in at Dexter Avenue N and Republic Street, plus signal and median revisions at the intersection of 5th Avenue N and Harrison Street (that work is planned for the weekends of April 27-28 and May 4-5). That takes us to May, when Mercer MAY frustrate MANY by going to TWO eastbound lanes, 5th to Dexter…
Find alternate routes now…as much as you possibly can![More]
Safety is the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)’s number one priority, and we are committed to improving safety for everyone who uses our transportation system. In Seattle, we want people of all abilities – from our five-year-old kids to our 80-year old grandparents – to be comfortable moving about the city, whether on foot, by bike, riding transit, or driving a car. As part of our commitment to safety, SDOT will be making safety improvements where Woodland Place N and N 65th Street intersect, which will be the site of a new RapidRide E Line Station Stop on the eastside of Woodland Place N. With the new RapidRide transit service, the route that pedestrians will naturally want to follow will shift to N 65th Street. As part of the safety improvements, a new curb extension on the southwest corner, curb ramps, and marked crosswalks on the east and north legs will be installed at this intersection.
After examining the relatively low traffic volumes on N 65th Street and Woodland Place N, current walking, biking, and driving behavior, and the existing sightlines, SDOT determined that an increased level of awareness can be provided by installing stop signs for motor vehicles on eastbound N 65th Street, on southbound Woodland Place N and making northbound lefts from Woodland Place N to N 65th Street. SDOT anticipates that the improvements will be in place by the end of summer.
As with any other stop sign, drivers will be required to stop at the new marked stop line (SMC 11.50.320) and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian or bicyclists to cross the roadway within the marked crosswalk (SMC 11.40.040). Pedestrians on the Woodland Place N and N 65th Street sidewalks have the right-of-way, like on any other sidewalk, driveway or street (SMC 11.44.120). Sightlines are unobstructed when everyone does their part in maintaining their vegetation. As a reminder, property owners are responsible for clearing the sidewalks from edge to edge and trimming back any tree branches that are less than 8 feet above the sidewalk (SMC 15.42.020).
Please remember that even with the improvements, everyone using our roadways still needs to be attentive to their surroundings when they are using this or any crosswalk and should observe all oncoming traffic carefully. SDOT will continue to assess the traffic control at this location over the next year, and if we find the intersection is not performing as anticipated, we will revisit the project.[More]
The contractor is about to get Notice to Proceed on the Mercer West Phase of the Mercer Corridor Project, meaning construction to convert Mercer Street to two-way traffic from I-5 to Uptown is about to start. Atkinson Construction is tackling the mega effort that begins with improving the problematic portion of Mercer that goes under Aurora Avenue. The picture below shows what the area looks like now, with it’s 5-feet-wide sidewalk alongside one-way vehicle travel lanes. The rendering below that shows what 50 feet of extra space to the south can do.
To get there, construction must happen, and that involves impacts. Those impacts are small in April, so you have time to psyche up for the bigger impacts come May: reducing Mercer Street to two eastbound lanes between 5th Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N and reducing SR 99 to two lanes in each direction between Harrison Street and Valley Street.
The Mercer West Phase will widen Mercer Street to provide three lanes in each direction between Dexter Avenue N and Fifth Avenue N and converting the existing four eastbound lanes to two lanes in each direction between Fifth Avenue N and First Avenue N. The future Mercer Street will feature additional left-turn lanes, widened sidewalks, and a bicycle path between Dexter Avenue N and Fifth Avenue N. Additionally, Roy Street will also become a two-way street with bicycle lanes between Fifth Avenue N and Queen Anne Avenue N. Typical roadway cross-sections can be viewed here. Work is expected to be complete midway through 2015.
Early construction activities start with the aforementioned Mercer Street underpass, and of course include rebuilding the SR 99 bridge. Computer simulations exist for both the pedestrian/cyclist and motorist experience and viewing them may help distract you from the necessary complication of construction.
To help mitigate construction impacts, crews will begin making improvements in the area in late April including signal adjustments at the intersection of Fifth Avenue N and Harrison Street as well as signalizing the intersections of Dexter Avenue N and Republican Street and Broad and Harrison streets. Broad Street will also be re-opened to two-way traffic when impacts to Mercer Street begin to help ease eastbound congestion heading towards I-5.
It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it here anyway…come May, travelers can expect significant congestion and delays when eastbound Mercer Street is reduced to two lanes during construction. Be sure to plan ahead and use alternate routes when possible…for a long time.[More]
In 2006, Seattle voters passed a nine-year, $365 million, transportation levy for maintenance and improvements known as Bridging the Gap (BTG). The levy is complemented by a commercial parking tax. The BTG levy funds maintenance programs for paving; new sidewalk development and repairs; repair, rehabilitation and seismic upgrades to Seattle’s bridges; tree pruning and planting; transit enhancements; and other much needed maintenance work. Funding also supports projects that develop and implement the Bicycle, Pedestrian and Transit Master Plans, support development of the Safe Routes to School Program and help neighborhoods get larger projects built through the Neighborhood Street Fund large project program.
The BTG levy as approved by voters stipulated that certain percentages of the levy revenues be spent on different categories of projects over the nine year program:
- Neighborhood Street Fund – first $1.5 million annually
- Maintenance Programs – no less than 67%
- Pedestrian/Bike/Safety Programs – no less than 18%
- Transit & Major Projects – no more than 15%
Back in 2007, as BTG got underway, some pretty ambitious goals were set. Some of the goals included: prune 25,000 street trees; repave 200 lane-miles of arterial streets; rehabilitate or replace 3-5 bridges and seismically retrofit 5 additional bridges; build 117 blocks of new sidewalks; restripe 5,000 crosswalks; create “safe routes to schools” near 30 elementary schools; repair 144 blocks of sidewalks; enhance transit and safety improvements on three key transit corridors; and, secure up to 44,000 hours of new Metro Transit service. SDOT is well on its way to delivering and meeting these goals and expects to exceed many of them.
BTG has been a critical funding piece for the department and SDOT takes great pride in not only meeting the goals of the levy, but also working closely with the BTG Levy Oversight Committee to keep them updated on the progress of the levy. When issues arise, the committee’s guidance is sought to determine if changes need to be made. The committee meets quarterly and their next meeting is April 23, 6-8 p.m., in the Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall. Their meetings are open to the public and they provide time at the beginning of each meeting for public comment.
If you would like additional information on BTG please visit the webpage.
Sound Transit and SDOT are studying transit improvements between Ballard and Downtown Seattle. Partnering increases our efficiency and helps conserve taxpayer dollars. Expected outcomes are:
- Support implementation of the Seattle Transit Master Plan and study rapid streetcar alternatives.
- Support regional discussions about long-range plans for future high capacity transit (HCT).
The study takes place over the next year and a half. Here’s what we’ll be doing:
- Identify project goals and objectives
- Identify possible alignments between Ballard and downtown Seattle
- Evaluate and refine potential HCT light rail and rapid streetcar alignments and station locations
- Develop general ridership and cost estimates
- Summarize and document findings
- Present findings to Seattle City Council and Sound Transit Board for possible future action
Your first chance to weigh in has arrived
An Open House is being held Tuesday, March 12. We know not everybody can attend so we’ve also setup an online web site to gather input. This web site is available until Friday, March 15. Take a few minutes to:
- Prioritize project goals and objectives
- Show us on a map where you currently travel to and from
- Draw which route(s) you think the project team should consider and add comments
Sign up to receive information about the Ballard to Downtown Corridor Study, including future meeting announcements at www.soundtransit.org/subscribe and visit www.soundtransit.org/ballardstudy for more project information.
And thanks for helping out!