Two Weeks Left to Apply for PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Permits!

Only two weeks left to reserve your space for PARK(ing) Day Plus+!

PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Permit applications and Small Sparks Grant applications are due by Friday, August 5, for the event on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17.

You’ll want to get started now, because:

  • To apply, you need to know which parking spaces you plan to use and you have to submit details of your plan, including a sketch.
  • If you want to apply for a Small Sparks grant, the application process can take up 48 hours once you register before you can apply.

Now is the time to gather your team of friends, neighbors and colleagues to reimagine your street! A temporary park?  A street safety improvement? What would a walkable, livable, and healthy city look like on your block?

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Looking for more details or inspiration? Check out the PARK(ing) Day Plus+ Guidelines or SDOT’s flickr album for some fun examples. PARKing day

More about Seattle’s PARK(ing) Day Plus+:

  • Plus+ 2 days of fun
    • This year, we extended the event into two days – Friday September 16, and Saturday, September 17. Participate either day, or both!
  • Plus+ Temporary street improvements
    • In addition to pop-up parks, you can test out temporary bike lanes or sidewalks to enhance the walking and biking environment.
  • Plus+ Small Sparks grants
    • We’re partnering with Department of Neighborhoods to offer funding through the Small Sparks grant program. You can apply for up to $1,000 to support a project or event that helps build stronger and healthier communities. Contact NMFund@seattle.gov to learn more.

See our previous post about PARK(ing) Day in Seattle here.  Remember to submit your permit application to David.Burgesser@seattle.gov by August 5!

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Pac-Man Coming to Capitol Hill!

As part of our Pavement to Parks project, SDOT is planning to test a new public open space on Capitol Hill this year – with Pac-Man!

SDOT recently hosted a pop-up demonstration park in that neighborhood and invited the community to submit and vote on their favorite maze-themed mural designs for the street.

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Community outreach event on July 14 on Capitol Hill.

The winner? Pac-Man!

This new open public space will use adaptable materials to repurpose the underutilized segment of Summit Ave E between E Denny Way and E Olive Way for a vibrant community gathering place.

Pavement to Parks projects use short-term strategies to deliver new public spaces that will serve as front yards, playgrounds, social spaces, and active zones.

SDOT began installing Pavement to Parks projects in summer 2015 and will be continuing to develop new projects through the city. If you have a great idea for a Pavement to Parks project in your neighborhood, please contact Susan.McLaughlin@Seattle.gov or call 206-733-9649.

 

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Paying for Parking by Phone in Seattle is Getting Easier!

PayByPhone, SDOT’s parking by phone vendor, has released an improved re-design of their iPhone app! Android release is coming later this summer.

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If you pay for street parking in Seattle, you might have already noticed the new look and feel of the iPhone app, or you can download the new version through the Apple app store!

SDOT offers paying by phone in all areas with paid parking as a convenient, easy, and secure payment option. You may already have benefited from the text message reminders when your parking time was about to expire, or the ability to extend your parking time from your phone. Motorcycle and scooter owners don’t need to figure out where to stick the pay station receipt when they pay by phone. A $0.35 user fee per transaction applies.

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With the iPhone app re-design for Seattle, there are several handy new features:

  • Hello Seattle: The Space Needle and our downtown skyscrapers greet you when you open the app so that you know you are buying time here.
  • Purchase time in the early morning hours: Parkers arriving at their destinations before 8 AM can take advantage of the design improvements to buy their time.
  • Reminders: The new app makes it easier to see how much time you have left. Also, later this year, PayByPhone will provide walking distance between you and your parking location, and will offer you an extension if parking time is still available to avoid a ticket or costly fine.
  • You can now organize your vehicles by easily taking a picture of them and assigning a nickname.
  • Adding a new credit card is as easy as using the camera to scan the information, which eliminates manually entering your credit card details.

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In March 2016, about 130,000 paid parking transactions in Seattle were made by phone, or 13 percent of all paid parking transactions. Each month this number is growing.

SDOT makes our pay station and pay by phone transaction data available to app developers and data scientists. Check it out here: www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/appinfo.htm

For more information see www.paybyphone.com or SDOT at www.seattle.gov/parking

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South Shore K-8 Gets Safer Routes to School

Walking or biking to school just got a whole lot safer for students at South Shore K-8!

Through our Safe Routes to School program, the area received improvements including a curb bulb, traffic island, new traffic signal along Rainier Ave, 20 MPH school zone flashing beacons, and public artwork at the intersection of Rainier Avenue S and 51st Avenue S.

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We also supported a Basics of Bicycling education program, and a 12-week long after school Urban Cycling Club to encourage kids to get around safely. Thanks to a partnership with Bike Works, we were also able to give free bikes to kids who participated in the Urban Cycling Club.

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When parents and neighbors from South Shore K-8 reached out for help making their community safer for kids’ commutes, we jumped at the opportunity. “During the South Shore Safe Routes to School program we started a dialogue about what changes we need in our neighborhood to feel comfortable walking and biking to school and built partnerships to make those changes happen,” said Sebrena Burr, whose daughter attends South Shore.

New King and Queen art installation

New King and Queen art installation

We’re excited to how this project will improve the South Shore community, including:

  • Improved safety for kids walking or biking to school
  • Reduced speeding along Rainier Avenue S
  • Increased awareness of how the community can support kids walking and biking
  • Reduced congestion as more kids walk and bike to school
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Take Advantage of Summer by Biking or Walking to Work

Summer is upon us, and it’s an excellent time to consider commuting by bike or walking.

Golden Gardens is the perfect place to play on a sunny summer day

Golden Gardens is the perfect place to play on a sunny summer day

Getting out of the car can be good for our environment, good for your health, and may even help your mood by avoiding the road rage which impacts 8 out of 10 drivers.

If you already commute by transit, add a little extra time outdoors by going to the next bus stop before boarding, or getting off one stop early. You might also consider a combination bike – bus commute: ride your bike to the bus stop, use transit for the longest leg of your commute, and then ride the last mile to work.

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You can even help Seattle stay one of the most walkable cities in the country by checking out our draft Pedestrian Master Plan update and giving us your feedback by August 12!

Do you need help planning your route? We can help! Check out:

Start out small and work your way up to more frequent and longer trips. Identify the important transition points in your commute where one mode may present greater efficiency over another. It won’t be long before you develop a flexible commute that will maximize your effort and minimize your commute times.

Seattle summers include rain, but don't let that stop you

Seattle summers include rain, but don’t let that stop you

By the time Labor Day rolls around, you’ll be a commuter pro!

Post by Commute Trip Reduction

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Planting Trees Across the Country

Last week we were excited to welcome Nikola Agatic, who rode into town after completing a cross-county bicycle trip with stops for tree planting along the way.

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We joined community members to help him plant a tree in Railroad Park, which for trivia buffs was planted by producers from Sleepless in Seattle as a thank you to the Westlake neighborhood after filming.

Seattle was the perfect place to the end trek, as an Arbor Day Tree City USA for 30 years and one of the best cities in the country for biking.

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Thanks for the tree Nikola! If you want to get a tree of your own to help keep our city green, Seattle’s Trees for Neighborhoods program is giving them this October and November. Enter the lottery drawing between July 18 and August 8, and you could win a FREE tree for your home or neighborhood.

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Food Business Roadshow – Round 2!

The Seattle Office of Economic Development coordinated the City’s first “Food Business Roadshow” earlier this year – an opportunity for aspiring food-business entrepreneurs to ask questions of various city and state agencies. It was such a great success, a second Food Business Roadshow was held in June – and also turned out to be huge hit!

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Food vendors at Westlake Park.

Thanks to these two successful events, SDOT staff had the opportunity to coach more than 100 food-business entrepreneurs so we’re planning to hold roadshows every quarter, starting in early 2017! The free events are a wonderful opportunity to ask us questions about anything relating to vending in the right of way, streateries, signage, and sidewalk cafés.

SDOT Street Use staff providing counseling and educational materials at the June event.

SDOT Street Use staff providing counseling and educational materials.

Do you have plans to start your own food truck? Are you interested in opening a new restaurant or adding a sidewalk café to an existing one?  We’ll be announcing the next Food Business Roadshow soon!

If you have any questions about these events or about how food-business owners can use public space, please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/stuse_vend.htm.  Or feel free to reach out to us at SDOTPermits@seattle.gov or 206-684-5253.

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Neighborhood Greenways and Vision Zero Want Your Input in West Seattle!

greenway mapWe’re hosting a public meeting for our continued work with the 35th Ave SW Safety Corridor and new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway planning.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).

In 2015, we redesigned 35th Ave SW to reduce speeding, collisions, and injuries as part of our Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. We have some early data to share at the meeting and want to hear your observations and experiences along the corridor.

We’re also studying routes for a new north-south neighborhood greenway parallel to 35th Ave SW. The new West Seattle Neighborhood Greenway will prioritize people walking and biking on residential streets.

At the meeting, we will share traffic data and you can help us find out where people want to walk and bike in the neighborhood, as well as what barriers stand in their way. Neighborhood greenways mean safer, calmer streets for you and your family.

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We’re pairing our outreach and engagement for these two projects – the safety corridor and neighborhood greenway – to get the people who live, work, and travel in West Seattle comprehensive information.

Please join us at the open house and learn how we plan to improve the safety for everyone.

Open House on the 35th Avenue SW Road Safety Corridor Project

Thursday, August 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Neighborhood House

6400 Sylvan Way SW, Room 207

We hope to see you there!

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Innovative Solution in South Park Saves Trees and Improves Walkability

Three blocks of grand maple trees on 8th Ave S near the South Park Community Center provide critical tree canopy and a sense of place for the neighborhood.  Unfortunately, these trees were planted in a narrow planting strip, so their roots have significantly damaged the sidewalk and made it difficult for folks to get around.

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Severely uplifted sidewalk due to tree roots.

King County and the City plan to implement a long term solution to these tree and sidewalk issues in the next few years, so SDOT’s objective in 2016 was to complete interim repairs to improve safety on a relatively small budget.  Luckily, we also had a valuable resource: 14’ driving lanes on 8th Ave S.  That’s wider than we need even for buses and trucks.  This opened possibilities.

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Wide driving lanes on 8th Ave S.

Throughout Seattle, SDOT is looking at existing pavement in new ways.  By using low cost investments such as paint and planter boxes, we’ve reprogrammed street areas into curb bulbs, sidewalks, and public plazas. With this creative perspective, we gathered feedback from the South Park community on ways to reconfigure 8th Ave S to increase safety for people walking, preserve trees and address other priorities.  SDOT crews completed the newly configured three blocks of 8th Ave S this summer.

The updated 8th Ave S keeps street parking on both sides as the neighborhood requested. We narrowed driving lanes to 10.5’, freeing up space to add a 6’ wide protected walkway along the curb, and we closed the damaged sidewalk.  As an added benefit, narrower driving lanes tend to slow traffic speeds.

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Walkway separated from traffic by parking lane, curbing and posts.

The walkway is protected from traffic by the parking lane and curbs and posts installed by SDOT crews.  We also extended the pedestrian space at intersections and reduced the length of the crossings by creating curb bulbs using posts and paint.

In other locations SDOT fully painted these curb bulbs, but in South Park we used a more innovative design using polka dots, which are more eye-catching to drivers.  We worked with South Park leaders to match the colors of the polka dots with the colors of the South Park Neighborhood Association logo.

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fig 7 Polka dots S Park colors

 

Feedback from the South Park community has been positive about this added sense of place for the neighborhood, the preservation of its stately trees and a safer place to walk.

 

 

 

For more details, check out the 8th Ave S 2016 Improvements website, including SDOT’s presentation to the community.

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Resource Fair Helps Rainier Valley Residents Get Around Safely

We recently held a Community Resource Fair in Rainier Valley to speak with residents about getting around the city safely. We shared information on the variety of services and programs we offer including Play Streets, Transportation Options, car tab rebates and our Pedestrian Master Plan. The event drew in recent immigrants, young people, and communities of color.

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In an effort to broaden the event beyond transportation, we partnered with other government agencies, non-profits, and advocacy groups to discuss our Vision Zero efforts to end traffic deaths, and gave people opportunities to learn more about things like health care, voting and subsidized ORCA cards.

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Some of the highlights included interpreters for 7 different languages spoken in the community, delicious food from local ethnic restaurants, and our mini traffic safety course, which showed children (and adults) of all ages how to navigate traffic circles, bike boxes, and crosswalks.

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Our Vision Zero campaign to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 can’t happen without your support –  we need everyone across the city to commit to being smart and safe when getting around, whether you drive, walk, bike, or take transit. Together, we can prevent crashes and put an end to traffic tragedies.

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Thank you to all the organizations who joined us last week, and a special thanks to the Filipino Community Center for providing space for a great event!

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