Seattle Convention Attendees’ Travel Modes

Seattle is host to events and conventions such as the recent Emerald City Comicon which brought over 80,000 comic book and pop culture enthusiasts into downtown Seattle for four days this month. Checkout our latest Blog Video.

Fan attendees of the sold-out show traveled from all over to see the celebrity event panels, artwork, and shop for fan gear and collectibles. Many of the attendees drove in from far and wide and mentioned that the commute and parking was mostly hassle-free.

Many were dressed in their favorite hero cosplay costumes, outfits and uniforms. Some locals who attended the convention on multiple days travelled in to Seattle and stayed at hotels, to avoid having to commute. Others carpooled, took the Link and transit in because it was the best option for them to get around.

Seattle has a lot of options to get around – walking, biking, transit, driving, carsharing and ridesharing. Check out some of the tools available and find out how to get where you’re going! For Transportation options, please visit our SDOT link.

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April is Earth Month: Transportation Choices to Help You Do Your Part

April is Earth Month. 

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Courtesy NASA

Using transit is one of the best ways to move around an urban environment and proclaim your environmental stewardship. Coupling a bike trip with your choice of transit turns a smart commute into an unbeatable combination.

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ORCA cards work on regional transit including Community Transit, King County Metro and Sound Transit.

The City of Seattle is now experiencing unprecedented growth, and transit agencies and planners are working hard to meet the demand with expanded bus and light rail service, additional miles of bike lanes, new car sharing services, and a host of infrastructure and technology improvements Citywide.

It is this quantity of mobility that will be key to helping us maintain the quality of life – the clean air and majestic views from mountains to Sound – that originally attracted all us to live here.

Choose rail, bus, bike or walk, and know you are doing your part to make Seattle one of the most progressive cities in the nation.

Seattle Streetcar

Seattle Streetcar First Hill line.

For more information about ORCA cards, go here.

To see other ways the City of Seattle celebrates Earth Month, go 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.

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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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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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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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Transit Improvement Installation to begin on Westlake Ave N between Stewart and Mercer Street this Weekend

On Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, SDOT will begin installation of new bus lane improvements on Westlake Ave / Westlake Ave N between Stewart St and Mercer St.

Beginning Monday, March 21, the new bus lanes can only be used by buses 24/7. These changes are in preparation for new service from the RapidRide C Line to South Lake Union that will begin the following Saturday, March 26. Implementing the bus only lanes a week in advanced of the March 26 service change provides opportunity for drivers to adjust to the new bus lanes and also takes advantage of dry weather, producing higher quality markings.

The new northbound center BUS ONLY lane (between Harrison St and Mercer St) replaces the left turn lane from Harrison to Mercer. Additionally, people driving will be restricted from:

  • Making northbound left turn Westlake to Mercer. (click to view map)
  • Making southbound right turns from Westlake to Mercer.
  • Making northbound and southbound left turns from Westlake to Republican.
  • Making southbound right turns from Westlake to Republican.
  • Making northbound right turns from Westlake to Harrison.
  • Making southbound right and left turns from Westlake to Thomas.
  • Making northbound right turns from Westlake to Thomas.
  • Making northbound left turns from Westlake to Denny (during the middle of the day)

Westlake Map v2

Please plan your new route in advance to allow for adjustments to the changes. SDOT would like to thank the public for its patience while this work is completed.

New RapidRide C Line service and the SLU Streetcar will start using the BUS ONLY lanes. The changes make it possible to double the number of people using transit along Westlake Avenue during the afternoon peak commute between 5p.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, which is the equivalent of adding another travel lane.

Ready for more bus service? Learn about the New RapidRide C Line service coming to SLU starting March 26.

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Don’t leave it to luck. Get a safe ride home on St. Patrick’s Day

SDOT announced a partnership with rideshare provider Uber and MADD to provide discounted rides home, so you don’t have to leave it to the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and during special events throughout 2016. SDOT Director Scott Kubly and Brooke Steber with Uber made the announcement at Kells Irish Pub today.

Scott and Brooke Steber

The first of these efforts will take place today (St. Paddy’s day) at Kells Irish Pub in Post Alley, where hundreds of locals celebrate every year. From 8 p.m. to midnight, the Uber breathalyzer kiosk will be in action to help educate people about the legal blood-alcohol limit. Everyone who gives the breathalyzer a try that night will receive a free ride home up to $15 in value. This will be the first time the breathalyzer kiosk has been publicly accessible in Seattle.

In addition, throughout the week of March 14-20, anyone who’s new to Uber can take advantage of a free ride home, up to $15 in value, by entering the promo code MYRIDEHOME in the Uber app.

Although the Emerald City is often recognized as one of the safest cities in the country, we’ve had more than 35,000 crashes in the last three years. And every year, about 30% of fatal crashes are the result of impaired driving. To reach our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030, we’ll need to tackle this issue. And this partnership will help us get there. With Uber, we’re encouraging people over 21 to use safe travel options after a night of drinking.

Vision Zero LogoUber Logo

 

What’s our offer, you ask? There are a few ways you can get a discounted ride home tonight:

  1. Check out the Uber breathalyzer kiosk from 8 PM to midnight tonight at Kells Irish Pub (1916 Post Alley). We want to educate people about the legal blood-alcohol limit, as well as offer free rides. Any existing and new Uber users who give the breathalyzer a try between 8 PM and midnight will receive a free ride home, up to $15 in value. This is the breathalyzer kiosk’s debut in Seattle, so come and check it out!

 

  1. If you’ll be out and about elsewhere in the city tonight, you can still take advantage. We’ve distributed promotional coasters to 150 bars and nightclubs that have the promo code “MYRIDEHOME.” Anyone who’s new to Uber can punch this promo code into the app and redeem a free ride, up to $15 in value.

 

  1. Uber will also be rolling out special uberHOP routes from Kells tonight:
  • $2 – Kells to Lower Queen Anne (Queen Anne Ave N & Mercer)
  • $2.50 – Kells to Capitol Hill (E Pike Street & Broadway)
  • $4.00 – Kells to Ballard (NW Market & 15th)

 

VZ & Uber Promo

 

We’re proud to partner with Uber to provide travel options to get people home safely on St. Patrick’s Day and during more special events to come in 2016. So take advantage of the offer. If you drink, grab a ride with Uber or someone who is sober, take transit, or if you drove, pre-pay for parking the next morning.

Let’s work together to make Seattle’s streets safer for everyone.

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Help SDOT Make our Right-of-Way More Accessible to You

In February, SDOT was joined by staff members from King County Metro to meet with a group of students at Seattle University to discuss accessibility of transit services as well as our public sidewalks and right-of-way for students with disabilities. It was a great opportunity to listen to the students ask questions and to express their concerns.

While King County Metro has their own responsibilities to make their busses and transit facilities accessible to people with disabilities, SDOT works to help make sidewalks and pedestrian connections to those facilities accessible, too. It is important to understand the needs of our pedestrians and our passengers alike, and it was very interesting to hear not only the questions but the recommendations that the students were willing to provide.

Ped Access

Pedestrian Access from Public Sidewalks to Transit Facilities is Key

The students noted that there are numerous challenges getting around campus and to transit facilities. It was noted that there may be a need for the University to assess private walkways where they are located out of the public right-of-way, but further coordination between SDOT and Seattle University may needed. Some of the students had concerns of being visible to bus drivers and streetcar operators as well as boarding the vehicles safely. Other questions focused around construction and the provision of temporary routes in and around areas on campus.

SDOT Logo

 

KC Metro LogoSeattle U Logo

King County Metro, SDOT, and Seattle University Working Together

 

SDOT welcomes any opportunity to work with institutions like Seattle University or any other group that is willing to share to discuss concerns pertaining to accessibility within the public right-of-way. This interest in not limited to groups representing people with disabilities. Elderly pedestrians, pedestrians with particular abilities or needs, or anyone interested in sharing with SDOT should be comfortable in doing so, whether a group or an individual.

If you have any questions about accessibility within the Seattle public right-of-way, we encourage you contact SDOT’s ADA Coordinator, Michael Shaw. He can be reached at (206) 615-1974 or by email at Michael.Shaw@seattle.gov.

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Seattle is Set to Make Riding Transit More Convenient

Seattle is set to make riding a bus and using transit a lot more convenient over the next nine years.

Approved by voters in November 2015, the $930 million Levy to Move Seattle provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options.

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These investments come at a crucial time. Seattle is growing rapidly and people are asking for more affordable, reliable ways to get around.

The levy dedicates $303 million towards congestion relief projects that enhance transportation choices throughout our entire network. A big portion of this will go towards completing seven new multimodal transit corridors throughout our city – adding to the three we currently have (RapidRide C, D and E lines).

RapidRide levels of enhancements will be made to the following seven corridors by the end of 2024:

  • 23rd Ave
  • Delridge Way SW
  • Madison St
  • Market to N 45th St
  • Northgate / Ballard / Downtown (Route 40)
  • Rainier Ave / Jackson
  • Roosevelt Way / Eastlake Ave

Each of these routes will have a different look and feel. To get an idea for what one of them will look like, check out this video highlighting the Madison St Bus Rapid Transit project:

These improvements – along with the passage of the Seattle Transit Benefit District in 2014 – will result in 72% of Seattle households living within a 10-minute walk of a frequent transit route running every 10 minutes or better when the corridors are completed. At that level of service, riders can throw away their schedules and walk to their nearest stop knowing a bus will be coming to pick them up soon.

Moving around and experiencing our city is about to become a whole lot better over the next nine years thanks to the Levy to Move Seattle. Get on board!

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