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Taking a Look at the Arbor Heights Microsurfacing Project

This year SDOT extended the life of many streets in Arbor Heights through a preventive maintenance program called microsurfacing.

Microsurfacing is a thin layer of emulsion applied to the surface of the road to seal minor cracks and keep out water.

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A layer of seal coat minutes after it was applied.

This “seal coat” protects pavement that is in good condition, similar to the way paint protects wood siding on a house from the weather. As we all know, it’s cheaper to preserve what you have today than having to rebuild it later.

SDOT conducted a microsurfacing trial program in 2013 on about 12 lanes miles of residential streets in Wedgwood.   Based on those results, 27 lane miles of residential streets in Arbor Heights were microsurfaced over seven days this August.

As these photos from Arbor Heights show, microsurfacing also renews the surface of the streets and improves their appearance.

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Pavement before microsurfacing

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Renewed pavement surface

Now that folks in Arbor Heights have experienced the renewed roads for a couple of months, SDOT would like your feedback on the finished product, project execution and our outreach.

If you experienced this project, please take a few minutes to fill out our online survey.  Thanks!

For more info on the Arbor Heights project, see this SDOT blog article or SDOT’s microsurfacing page.

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The Speed Hump Report

Data shows that speed humps work.

Data shows that speed humps work.

 

Children are safer when cars move at low speeds  their schools.

Children are safer when cars move at low speeds around schools.

Earlier this year, we told you about SDOT’s plans to install speed humps near schools to encourage more drivers to travel at or below the speed limit. So far this year, SDOT has installed speed humps adjacent to six schools in Seattle: Olympic Hills Elementary, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Emerson Elementary, Thornton Creek K-8, Eckstein Middle School and Explorer Middle School.

The goal of installing speed humps near schools is to lower vehicle speed where a large number of kids are crossing the street during arrival and dismissal. But do they work? We often hear from people who question whether speed humps, which are only 3 inches high, could possibly change driver behavior. SDOT has increasing evidence showing that speed humps are extremely effective at reducing speed and improving safety. Below are the results of before and after studies SDOT conducted after installing speed humps at three schools in different neighborhoods in Seattle. At all three schools, the percent of drivers exceeding the speed limit decreased more than 70%. Perhaps more impressive, the percent driving more than 10 mph over the speed limit decreased by more than 80%.

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You might be thinking ‘Alright, so they’re effective. Big deal.’ Oh but it is a big deal! Drivers traveling 10 mph or more over the speed limit are some of the biggest threats to kids walking and biking to school. Slowing down allows drivers to stop at a shorter distance which can prevent a crash from happening in the first place. Not only that, vehicle speed itself is a major factor in whether someone walking or biking is killed or injured if hit by a car. A pedestrian hit by a car that’s traveling 35 or 40 miles per hour is likely to be killed, while a pedestrian hit at 20 miles per hour has a 95 percent chance of survival.

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With approximately 30 percent of Seattle streets lacking sidewalks, in some neighborhoods kids walking and biking to school have no choice but to share the street with vehicles. One of the great things about speed humps is that they work during school arrival and dismissal and throughout the day. By reducing aggressive speeders on streets where children are walking or biking to school, SDOT is making our streets safer for everyone.

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Roosevelt Way NE Slated for Repaving in 2015-Project Open House on Monday, November 17

Roosevelt Way NE now

Roosevelt Way NE now

Each year, SDOT repaves several major city streets meeting basic maintenance needs, while taking advantage of the work to make other improvements that enhance mobility and safety.

Roosevelt Way NE from NE 65th Street to the south end of the University Bridge is slated for repaving in 2015, with construction currently scheduled to begin next summer and likely continue 2016. In addition to repaving the street, other project elements include:

  • Installation of curb bulbs at key intersections. Curb bulbs extend the sidewalk out, shortening the pedestrian crossing distance and making it easier for the crossing pedestrians and motorists to see each other
  • Replacement of substandard curb ramps to meet federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. (Curb ramps, generally located at intersections, slope from the sidewalk to street level to facilitate the movement of those in wheelchairs, the sight impaired using canes, or people pushing strollers or walking a bike.)
  • Installation of a protected one-way bike lane along the west side of Roosevelt Way from NE 45th south across the University Bridge. Cross hatch markings in the pavement along with posts between the bike and general traffic lanes will separate people riding bicycles from motorized traffic. To reduce the risk of collisions involving bicycle riders, SDOT is installing a temporary protected bike lane from NE 45th Street to NE 40th Street in December 2014/January 2015, weather permitting.

Existing Cross Section

Proposed Cross Section

Proposed Cross Section

Should additional funding be secured, the project will also:

  •  Replace buckled or broken sidewalks
  • Install bright, energy-saving LED street lights on the west side of Roosevelt

The public is invited to learn more about the project, as well as to ask any questions and/or express concerns at an open house to be held Monday, November 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM.   The meeting will be held at University Heights Community Center, 5031 University Way NE, Room: 108. A project overview presentation will occur at 6:15 PM.

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Seawall construction continues with marine mattress and zee panel installation

After installing the first seawall face panels along the waterfront south of Colman Dock, the Elliott Bay Seawall Project is continuing to build infrastructure and habitat enhancements in this area. Recently, marine mattresses, plastic mesh bags filled with stone, were installed along the new seawall panels. These provide a shallow water habitat for migrating salmon and other sea life as they travel along the seawall. Check out the snapshot video of marine mattress installation.

After the marine mattresses were put in place, zee panels were installed – a critical step in building the new seawall. These large, zee-shaped concrete panels provide a counterbalance and support structure for the new overhanging sidewalk. This activity was tidally influenced, so work was completed in the early morning hours while the tide was low.

Zee install 6

Row of installed zee panels south of Colman Dock

Work also continues between Pike and Madison streets, where activities include rip rap removal and steel sheet pile installation.

For more information about seawall construction, visit the Seawall Project website. If you have questions, email the Seawall Project (seawall@waterfrontseattle.org) or call the 24-hour hotline (206.618.8584

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Neighborhood Street Fund Large Projects off and running!

S Othello Street AFTERTwelve Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) large projects were selected for funding in 2013, thanks to the voter-approved Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy. This was the third round of funding provided by BTG and approximately $4.5 million to community-based projects on a three-year cycle, was bolstered by an additional $1 million provided by the Mayor and City Council as part of the savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct Project, bringing the total funding available for this third and final round to $5.5 million. In addition, $2.9 million from the School Zone Camera Enforcement Program will be used to fund four NSF projects near schools. Projects were selected in 2013 will be designed in 2014 and constructed in 2015.

There are 12 projects in the NSF Program all will be completed by the end of 2015. Two projects, the West Duwamish Trail extension and one segment of Pioneer Square ADA improvements, are ahead of schedule and construction will begin in 2014.

Projects to be constructed in 2015:

  • Columbia City Sidewalk Repair:  Construction begins in the first quarter of 2015
  • Georgetown Festival Street:  Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015
  • Pedestrian Improvements (5 locations throughout Seattle):  Construction begins in first quarter of 2015
  • Historic District ADA Improvements: Ongoing through 2015. Some additional work may continue in to 2016 if grant funding is received.
  • Rainier Beach pedestrian improvements:  Construction begins in the fourth quarter of 2015
  • Greenwood Ave N sidewalks:  Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015
  • Rainier Ave S & S Dearborn Street pedestrian improvements: Construction begins in the second quarter of 2015

Each of these projects was submitted by community members to their District Councils for review and selection based on their importance to the community. Projects were then forwarded to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) for some initial design work and cost estimating.  Each project is then reviewed and evaluated by BTG Oversight Committee members and they then made a recommendation to the Mayor and Council. The full BTG Oversight committee bases their decision on the following factors:  geographic mix, “bang for the buck,” quality of life enhancement, safety considerations and, when appropriate, Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Master Plan criteria.

To learn more about the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project program and details about the projects selected, please visit their website.

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Future Northgate Connection for Bikes & Peds

Interstate 5 is a critical transportation corridor for Seattle. It helps move people and goods north and south through the center of our city, often at high speeds, unhindered by pedestrians crossing at intersections or bicyclists of various abilities in – or even alongside – the roadway.

Interstate 5 is also an immense obstacle to transportation in the east-west direction wherever the freeway is not lidded or elevated. Where a major arterial does cross, it often has both on- and off-ramps well suited to vehicles, but not particularly friendly for bicyclists or pedestrians.

A new Sound Transit light rail station will soon be built next to the existing King County Metro transit station at 1st Avenue NE and NE 100th Street. The need to connect this transportation hub to the west side of I-5 has become paramount, expressed in planning documents, by public feedback and via support for funding.

Caption:  Artist’s depiction of planned bridge looking west along NE 100th Street

Caption: Artist’s depiction of planned bridge looking west along NE 100th Street

SDOT has responded by planning a new 15-20 wide bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians across I-5 at 100th Street. It would include a ramp on either side to return users to ground level at a less than 5% incline and at least one stairwell on the east side. The bridge would make a direct connection to the mezzanine level of the new light rail station, and would also connect to a new cycle track along 1st Avenue NE.The basic alignment is now being established in consultation with WSDOT, Sound Transit, King County Metro and the North Seattle College (where the landing on the west side will be). The bridge type is also being determined, after which design will begin in earnest.

The planning level estimate for this project is $25M; the City of Seattle and Sound Transit have each agreed to provide $5M towards the cost if the remaining funding is identified by July 2015.

For more information about this project, please visit our project website:

www.seattle.gov/transportation/northgatepedbridge.htm

If you have questions or comments about the project, please contact: Art Brochet, Communications Lead (206) 615-0786 • art.brochet@seattle.gov

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2014 Street Tree watering reaches 2,768 trees

2768.trees.wateredUrban Forestry crews are wrapping up this year’s street tree watering program that started in March.

Crews completed street tree inventory and watering route updates to make sure all the newly planted trees would be properly cared for through the summer months. They then placed irrigation bags at the base of all 2,768 trees SDOT planted these last three years.

Two crews were hired from Seattle Conservation Corps to water the trees in North Seattle and two SDOT crews watered the remaining trees.

As in previous years, Urban Forestry collaborated with Street Maintenance to utilize two 3000-gallon flusher trucks primarily used for applying deicer during the winter months. The capacity of these trucks allows each crew to water upwards of 200 trees per day.

UFwateringDaily watering started in June and continued through the end of September. In all, 37,492 bags were filled with over 749,000 gallons of water  to help get our newly planted trees established!

Crews are now in the process of retrieving all the bags, making repairs and packing them for storage to be used again next year. This work is expected to be completed in the next week or so.

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Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension project: Moving dirt

If you dumped the soil that will be removed to build Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension on the football field at CenturyLink, it would stand about 350 feet high. That’s nearly 100 feet taller than the stadium’s roof. Fortunately for football and soccer fans, the 756,000 cubic yards of dirt will head truck by truck to reclaim old gravel quarries in Snohomish and Yakima counties. And while crews are making good progress on tunneling and excavation, it will take about two more years before crews have all that dirt removed.

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Above: Miners wait for an approaching delivery of concrete tunnel segments. The crew is standing in the tunnel boring machine which removes the dirt and builds the tunnel walls.

Meanwhile excavators have dug about 40 feet down at the Roosevelt Station site. Crews need to finish excavation before the tunnel boring machines arrive. At U District Station, crews are currently building a temporary bridge that will carry eastbound traffic on NE 43rd Street until 2017 while excavation and tunneling is under way.

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Excavators have removed more than 40 feet worth of dirt from the Roosevelt Station site

A crew puts finishing touches on the installation of an underground electrical distribution line on Weedin Place NE.

A crew puts finishing touches on the installation of an underground electrical distribution line on Weedin Place NE.

After tunneling and excavation, another contractor will have a lot of work to do to build the new stations at U District, Roosevelt and Northgate. Riders will be able to use the extension by 2021.If you would like more information on Sound Transit’s Northgate Link construction, Sound Transit is hosting drop in sessions today and tomorrow. You can also visit the project website for more information or call the 24-hour construction hotline (888) 298-2395 with more immediate issues.

Wednesday, October 22

5-7 pm

Whole Foods front kitchen

1024 NE 64th St

Thursday, October 23

5-7 pm

Northgate Transit Center Bus Platform

10200 1st Ave NE

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SDOT budget review, third quarter BTG update and more.

 

BTG20logo-RESIZE

Would you like to know about the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) 2015-2016 budget?   How about an update of the third quarter Bridging the Gap (BTG) finances and an update on the 2014 BTG work plan deliverables?  Do you like to meet new folks and find out how you can get engaged?   If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are in luck!

The BTG Levy Oversight Committee has a meeting scheduled for October 30, 2014, 6 – 8 p.m., Seattle Hall, Boards and Commissions Room (L-280).  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
• Allegra Calder
• John Coney
• Jeremy Valenta
• Barbara Wright
• Chisula Chambers
• Jessica Szelag, Bicycle Advisory Board member
• Lydia Heard, Pedestrian Advisory Board member
• Ben Noble, City Budget Director
• Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Transportation Committee Chair

All committee meeting s 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 October 30th.

For more information, please visit BTG Levy Oversight Committee website.

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City Delivers Bicycle Master Plan Implementation Plan

Setting vigorous project and program goals for enhancing cycling citywide, today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) delivered to the Seattle City Council the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) Implementation Plan. Covering work to be completed from 2015 to 2019, the five-year plan includes building nearly 33 miles of protected bike lanes and more than 52 miles of neighborhood greenways across Seattle.

Adopted in April 2014, the new Bicycle Master Plan envisions that, “riding a bicycle is a comfortable and integral part of daily life in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities.” SDOT’s implementation plan describes an ambitious set of projects and programs that will help create a connected network, improving safety for all roadway users and encouraging more people to enjoy the city on two wheels. The projects in the implementation plan were identified using the recommendations and priorities in the BMP, which emphasize safety, connectivity, equity, ridership and livability.

2015 Implementation Plan MapAmong the projects planned for 2015, at a cost of $18.2 million, are:

  • Creating approximately seven miles of protected bike lanes, to include a facility on Roosevelt Way NE (NE 45th Street to the University Bridge) to improve safety;
  • Building more than 12 miles of neighborhood greenways in Ballard, West Seattle, the Central Area and Southeast Seattle;
  • Beginning construction on the Westlake Cycle Track to create a safer, more comfortable and more predictable corridor for drivers, walkers and bicyclists;
  • Installing 225 bike racks and 15 on-street bike corrals; and
  • Creating 25 miles of bike route wayfinding signs throughout the city.

The projects will be funded using several sources, including Bridging the Gap supported BMP implementation and corridor projects, and state and federal grants. The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board provided valuable feedback during the development of the implementation plan and SDOT will be providing regular progress reports to the board and to the Seattle City Council.

Additional information about the projects, to include maps of project locations, can be found here: BMP Implementation Plan.

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