Archive for 'Transit'
Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension will extend Link service in Seattle to three stations north of the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium (also currently under construction as part of University Link):
- U District Station
- Roosevelt Station, and
- Northgate Station.
The map to the right shows the alignment and station locations of the Northgate Link Extension. Estimated ride time is about 14 minutes from Northgate to downtown Seattle!
Construction formally kicked-off in 2012 and work is underway so that service to U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate Stations can begin by 2021. In late September, construction activities moved into a new gear when JCM Northlink LLC, Sound Transit’ excavation and tunneling contractor, started work. The majority of the alignment for the Northgate Link Extension will be built underground. The tunnels begin at the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium and extend 3.6 miles north where they come out of the ground at NE 94th street at what is called the Maple Leaf Portal (see map above). Tunnels will be constructed from north to south using tunnel boring machines (TBMs). Check out this video about how TBMs work.
Preparations are currently underway by JCM Northlink LLC so that tunneling can begin in late 2014. Before digging the tunnel, construction crews must move utilities out of the way, install monitoring equipment, remove vegetation/trees, and install perimeter walls/fences around construction sites. They must also excavate areas where the stations and portal will eventually go. The tunneling crews will use these excavated areas as starting points to launch the tunnel boring machines. Activity will be increasing around the Maple Leaf Portal, Roosevelt Station, and U District Station sites as construction crews make the preparations needed to begin tunneling.
To stay up to date on Northgate Link Extension construction activities and associated travel detours/closures subscribe to email alerts through Sound Transit’s website or access the alerts online. Sound Transit holds open houses periodically – the next one, U District Station Construction Open House, is scheduled for 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11. General project information is available at http://www.soundtransit.org/northlink or by calling (206) 398-5300. Sound Transit also provides a 24-hour construction hotline at (888) 298-2395.[More]
In May 2011 the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reconfigured the lanes on NE 125th Street between Roosevelt Way NE and 30th Avenue NE to make the street safer for everyone, better support transit and keep vehicles moving. Prior to the rechannelization there were two travel lanes in each direction. SDOT altered the road’s striping to provide one lane in each direction, a new two-way left turn lane and bicycle lanes.
SDOT agreed to monitor the project’s impact on safety and traffic after the rechannelization was completed to make sure the street functioned well. Data shows it is and we want to share the key results.
Prior to the project, the 85th percentile speed (the speed most drivers are comfortable driving) was 41 m.p.h. eastbound and 39 m.p.h. westbound. Eighty-seven percent of drivers were traveling over the speed limit and 16 percent of drivers were speeding at 40 m.p.h. or more – more than 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit! Since the project was completed, the 85th percentile is now 38 m.p.h. eastbound and 36 m.p.h. westbound with an 11 percent decrease in the percentage of people exceeding the speed limit.
And there has been an even more dramatic decrease in drivers speeding more than 10 miles over the speed limit![More]
The Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation initiative was passed by Seattle voters in 2006. BTG committed not only to construct city-funded transportation projects, but also to leverage other funds and support a variety of regional and federal partnership opportunities.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and BTG have delivered on that promise. Over the first six and half years of the BTG program, more than $167 million has been raised from outside partners. Grants leveraging BTG funds make up over two-thirds of the grants awarded to SDOT. Since passage of BTG, the average annual amount of grants awarded to SDOT has increased more than 50 percent.
To date, approximately $340 million in BTG funds have been spent, while stimulating a gain of $167 million in grants. This is well above the commitment of 20 percent in grant funding. BTG has helped SDOT keep its commitment and solidify a very successful grant program that is based on solid projects – projects that are ready to go and qualify for available local matching dollars.
These awards have enabled completion of projects SDOT manages: roads and bridges, public transit, bikeways and sidewalks, safety programs and school zones, major projects, historic preservation and basic pavement maintenance.
For additional information on BTG, please visit the web page.[More]
Next Wednesday evening join SDOT staff to learn more about pedestrian safety improvements coming to the North Beacon Hill area! A public open house begins at 6 p.m. at Beacon Hill International School.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Presentation at 6:15 p.m.
Beacon Hill International School
2025 14th Avenue S
Accessible by Metro Routes 36 and 60
- a new sidewalk on Beacon Avenue S
- intersection realignment at Beacon Avenue S and 14th Avenue S
- curb bulbs at 14th Avenue S and S College Street
- a new ramp on the Holgate Street bridge leading to SODO.
Many of these improvements were recommended in plans including the Southeast Transportation Study (SETS), Beacon B.I.K.E.S. Circulation Plan, and applications through Neighborhood Park and Street Fund.
See you next Wednesday with details![More]
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to last night’s Center City Connector streetcar open house at Pike Place Market! Nearly 100 people attended to share their great ideas and ask questions.
We presented options for running a new streetcar on First Avenue that would connect the South Lake Union and First Hill lines through downtown. This new line could serve upwards of 30,000 riders a day, and run from Westlake to King Street every 5 minutes for most of the day. Imagine that kind of service!
Missed the open house? No worries. Check out all the open house materials on the project website and take this survey to let us know what option for a new streetcar on First Avenue you like best, and why. The survey will be open until November 15.
Project background information can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/centercityconnector.htm.
October 29 Open House on the Center City Connector Transit Study
Join Mayor McGinn and SDOT staff Tuesday, October 29, 5 – 7 pm at Pike Place Market
(85 Pike Street, Elliott Bay Room on the 3rd floor of the Economy Building –location details)
The Mayor and project team will make brief remarks between 5:30 and 6:00 pm.
Seattle is growing, and so is our appetite for transit. The city’s Transit Master Plan identified the Center City Connector as one of the projects to meet future demand and connect people to key downtown destinations. It is one key piece of a long-term vision to build a high-quality transit network that connects our city’s great neighborhoods.
With a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, SDOT is moving the Connector project forward. The study is looking at ways to improve north-south mobility and link the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcars together, through downtown.
Based on public feedback via two earlier open houses, we have taken several options through an evaluation process and have honed in on a streetcar on 1st Avenue that would link the Westlake and King Street Station hubs. The October 29 Open House will present information on how a streetcar on 1st Avenue would perform in mixed-traffic versus its own lane (exclusive) and how it might impact traffic, parking , and economic development.
Please join us October 29 to learn more, ask questions, and share your feedback on which option you prefer. The project team will consider your ideas as we develop a final recommendation to present to the Mayor and City Council. The study will ultimately identify a preferred option with an implementation and finance plan, to be adopted by City Council in early 2014. This will put us on a path to secure funding and get a project built.
Hope to see you Tuesday night!
For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/centercityconnector.htm or contact Allison Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 386-4654.[More]
Interested in hearing more about the amazing work done by the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) Capital and Revenue Development Division? Or learning more about the great work of the Safe Routes to School Program? Or maybe you are just interested in getting an update on the work the Bridging the Gap Levy (BTG) program has completed so far this year. If you want to learn about any of these items you are in luck!
The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for October 29, 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle City Hall Boards and Commissions Room (L-230). 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 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
- Renee Staton
- 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
- Beth Goldberg, 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 next Tuesday for the last meeting of 2013.
For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.
As we move closer to the end of 2013 Seattle residents can expect to see a flurry of construction activity as the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) begins to wrap up many of its construction projects. Currently, two of SDOT’s 2013 Sidewalk Development projects are in construction right now, with two more sites soon to begin. Seven blocks of new sidewalk will be completed this year thanks to the Bridging the Gap transportation initiative passed by Seattle voters in 2006. Over the first six years of the initiative more than 92 blocks of new sidewalk has been constructed.
Woodland Place North between N 64th Street and N 65th Street – Concrete is being poured for the new sidewalk on the east side of Woodland Place N between N 64th Street and N 65th Street. This 1.3 block segment will be constructed with permeable pavement. To the north it will connect directly to the new Metro RapidRide stop at N 65th Street between Woodland Place N and Aurora Avenue N. Crews are also constructing the connection to the west across Woodland to a Metro and Pedestrian Master Plan-funded pedestrian crossing improvement on the west side of the street.
NE 125th Street between 35th Avenue NE and Sand Point Way NE – grading work has begun as preparation for three blocks of sidewalk on the north side of NE 125th Street. The sidewalk construction follows the recent repaving of NE 125th Street.
13th Avenue NW and NW 90th Street and on N 90th Street – In late October, construction will begin on the sidewalk at 13th Avenue NW and NW 90th Street and on N 90th Street between Dayton Avenue N and Fremont Avenue N.
New sidewalks provide the key connection within and between our neighborhoods. They make it easier to get to school, work and transit. For more information on the 2013 projects please visit SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program webpage.
For information on BTG and the other projects funded please visit their webpage.
Work begins Saturday, October 12, on a project to install ORCA card reading electronic kiosks along the Third Avenue downtown bus corridor. The Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) bus kiosks are going in at nine RapidRide stops along Third Avenue, a major downtown transit corridor that carries numerous Metro routes, including both traditional bus options and RapidRide lines. The Seattle Department of Transportation is doing the work in partnership with King County Metro, the Federal Transit Administration, and Seattle City Light.
ITS kiosks include electronic information signs that will provide bus riders with actual bus arrival times from OneBusAway.org. The kiosks also include ORCA card readers, which will allow RapidRide passengers to pay for their rides before the bus arrives, thereby reducing the time required for boarding. In the future, riders of non-RapidRide routes might also be able to use the ORCA readers. More than 42,000 people climb aboard Metro buses every day on Third Avenue, and the City has made it a priority to improve the Third Avenue experience for bus riders and others.
Installation of the ITS kiosks requires cutting into sidewalks to install wires and power conduits, and restoration of sidewalks – plus room to safely locate the equipment and staff needed to get the job done. To minimize impacts to the traveling public, construction will be done in three phases, with each phase taking about two weeks to complete. (click map to view larger version)
- Between Cherry & Columbia streets - East and west sides of Third Avenue
- Between Pike & Pine streets - West side of Third Avenue
Phase 2: Estimated schedule – 10/26/13 to 11/8/13
- Between Pike & Pine streets – East side of Third Avenue
- Between Spring & Seneca streets – East and west sides of Third Avenue
- Between Yesler Way & Fourth Avenue - West side of Prefontaine Place South
Phase 3: Estimated schedule – 11/9/13 to 11/22/13
- Between Second & Third avenues – North and south sides of Seneca Street
- Between Second & Third avenues – North side of Columbia Street
Crews will work Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and some weekends as needed. There will be temporary lane, loading zone and turn restrictions with each installation, with prior notice and signage to direct travelers.
The kiosk installations are part of the larger Third Avenue Transit Corridor project. Goals include improving transit and pedestrian functionality, urban design, safety, and security, while also integrating Metro’s RapidRide C, D, and E Lines and addressing impacts from Metro’s recent shift to pay on entry.
Enhancing mobility and access on this busiest transit corridor in all of Seattle, keeps both people and the economy moving forward. Look for more information on the overarching initiative soon, including opportunities for public input to better integrate the system into the urban design.[More]
Theme likens streetcar power lines to thread that sews neighborhoods together
The first of a number of site-integrated art pieces along the 2.5 mile route of the First Hill Streetcar was installed in front of Yesler Terrace. Seattle artist, Claudia Fitch, has developed individual site-specific pieces mounted on the poles that will hold the streetcar power lines.
As the streetcar is intended to connect the various communities along its route, Ms. Fitch says that she views the power line as a thread that connects these neighborhoods. She draws on metaphors related to sewing, needlework and beadwork. Streetcar poles are capped with the “eye of the needle.” Additionally, “beaded poles” are being installed such as the one pictured at Yesler Terrace.
Ms. Fitch worked closely with community representatives of Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon to design the beads along Jackson Street. The poles on S Jackson Street incorporate large scale, abstract bead shapes that reflect the visual vocabulary (forms, colors and references) of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese cultures. The pole at Sixth and Jackson, in the area sometimes referred to as Japantown, will have the shape and colors of a Taiko Drum. At Seventh Avenue and Jackson Street, the Chinatown theme is Four Seasons Flowers, and in Little Saigon at Tenth Avenue S and S Jackson Street, the installation will be lantern forms with drum patterns.
The artwork has been coordinated with the City’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and is funded through funds transferred to SDOT from Sound Transit.[More]