Seattle using data to adjust Parking Rates

SDOT will be making adjustments to on-street parking rates and hours of operation in various parts of the city starting in the First Hill neighborhood this month. SDOT is making the changes to create more open spaces during the daytime and early evening for visitors to the Seattle’s downtown and neighborhood business districts.

First Hill neighborhood

First Hill neighborhood

SDOT’s performance-based Parking Pricing Program started in 2010 when the City Council directed that on-street parking rates be set according to specific data measurements. Our goal is to help people find parking within easy walking distance of their destinations, lessen traffic congestion from drivers circling, and increase access to business. The objective, written into the Seattle Municipal Code, is to set rates so that one to two spaces are open and available on each block throughout the day.

 

Guided by the recently completed 2015 Annual Paid Parking Study, SDOT will make 22 different rate and other on-street parking management changes in 15 areas. What’s happening:

  • Lower parking rates in five areas
  • Raise parking rates in twelve areas
  • Install new pay stations in eight different rate areas and adjust rates by time of day
  • Extend evening paid parking hours in three areas to 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m.
  • Pull back evening paid parking hours in one area to 6 p.m.

Parking Pay Station

Starting the second week of August, the paid parking hours of operation in First Hill will change to 8 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. The 2015 Annual Paid Parking Study found that street parking occupancy at 7 p.m. was at 99%. This is above the target occupancy range set in the Seattle Municipal Code to keep one to two spaces open and available per block.

SDOT is installing informational signs and orange flags at the pay stations to alert everyone of parking changes on the block.

For more information please contact: DOT_Paystations@seattle.gov.

 

SDOT’s 5 Tools for the Traveler

WalkandBusGetting around Seattle can be challenging, especially with all the changes and growth happening in the city. To help keep track of it all, SDOT has compiled 5 Tools to help travelers in the Seattle area whenever you’re on the go.

In no particular order, SDOT recommends:

1. Time

All modes of transportation however reliable can be affected by unexpected service interruptions. A bus may be delayed because of congestion from collisions or events happening in the area. Give yourself some extra travel time if possible, so you can to adjust to unexpected situations.

2. Maps  

Regardless of how you’re traveling, plotting out your trip out in advance can allow for alternatives routes if your primary plan gets interrupted. We suggest this SDOT Pedestrian Map that shows the grade of sidewalk so you can exercise as much or as little as you want. For bus routes, the Metro Bus Map shows route lines and where to catch them.

3. Twitter, SDOT’s On the Move Blog and Facebook

For near real-time updates about events, traffic, and road closures, you can follow SDOT on Twitter to help plan your trip. You can also go to SDOT’s On the Move Blog for the latest events advisories and construction updates, you can also visit our Facebook page for all things SDOT.

4. One Bus Away and Transit App

If you have a smartphone, the applications One Bus Away and Transit App are useful for bussing in, around and out of Seattle. One Bus Away is a great resource to see bus arrivals, nearby stops, and maps. Transit App helps users plan trips using bus routes and includes trip times and transfers.

5. Way to Go Program  

Seattle offers many ways to get around—the Way to Go program provides the user tools in one succinct place, whether using trains, biking, and many more. It also includes safety tips and information on transit fares in and around Seattle.

For more information and resources for traveling around the Seattle area, please visit SDOT’s Pedestrian and Bus user pages. Good luck!

Seattle Celebrates First “Pavement to Parks” location on First Hill

SDOT Director Scott Kubly, Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre joined community members to celebrate the opening of Seattle’s first “Pavement to Parks” site with a ribbon cutting on First Hill  this past Saturday. Attendees enjoyed the new space by listening to live music, playing table tennis and dining on artisan grilled cheese sandwiches from a local food truck vendor.

SDOT Dir. Scott Kubly, Mayor Murray, Seattle Parks Sup. Jesús Aguirre, Alex Hudson of First Hill Improvement Association and SDOT's Susan McLaughlin for ribbon cutting .

Lower left: Seattle Parks Sup. Jesús Aguirre, SDOT Dir. Scott Kubly, Mayor Murray, Alex Hudson – First Hill Improvement Association and SDOT’s Susan McLaughlin for ribbon cutting .

These projects use underutilized street space to create community-driven public spaces, improving safety and offering inventive solutions for addressing open space needs. Located at the intersection of University, Union and Boylston, and at Ninth Avenue and University, the sites were developed based on recommendations in the First Hill Public Realm Action Plan. These new public spaces are the early implementation phase of the City’s effort to improve First Hill’s parks, green space and pedestrian connections.

The First Hill Improvement Association will be responsible for stewardship of the space going forward with maintenance and operations help from Seattle Parks and SDOT. Activation events will be held throughout the summer and more information about the events can be found at http://universitystreet.org/.

These prototype parks will be monitored by SDOT and community volunteers, and design modifications will be informed by the spaces’ performance over the next two years. The project is a partnership between SDOT, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation, the Department of Neighborhoods, the Department of Planning & Development, the First Hill Improvement Association and neighborhood residents.

Neighborhood Street Fund Projects Moving Along! West Woodland Complete, Lake to Bay Underway

One pedestrian improvement project wraps up, and another begins!

After seven weeks of construction, pedestrian safety improvements around the intersection of 3rd Avenue NW, NW 56th Street and NW 55th Place, near West Woodland Elementary School in Ballard, are now finished.

Before

Before: A confusing intersection with long pedestrian crossing distances

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) appreciates the community’s patience throughout this project. These improvements will make it safer for people who walk, bike and drive:

  • New four-way stop at 3rd Avenue NW and NW 56th Street, to slow all traffic
  • New curb extensions (or “bulbs”), to shorten pedestrian crossings
  • New curb ramps, which comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, to improve accessibility
  • New signs, to alert drivers to watch out for pedestrians
After: Schoolchildren and their parents will appreciate safer crossings in the fall

After: Schoolchildren and their parents will appreciate safer crossings in the fall

Half of the West Woodland Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project was funded through SDOT’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Program, which is financed by the Bridging the Gap program approved by Seattle voters in 2006. The other half of this project’s funding has come from the Safe Routes to Schools program.

Our next Neighborhood Street Fund project will improve pedestrian safety in Lower Queen Anne. Work begins August 3 and is expected to last six weeks, depending on the weather. The construction work, on W Harrison Street at the intersections with 1st Avenue W and 2nd Avenue W, is part of the “Lake to Bay Loop” project, because W Harrison Street connects the South Lake Union area to Elliott Bay.

At these two intersections on W Harrison Street, crews working for SDOT will install new curb extensions, ramps that comply with ADA standards, and new marked pedestrian crossings.

People walking, biking and driving can expect the following impacts during construction:

  • 24/7 road and sidewalk closures at the intersections of 1st Avenue W and 2nd Avenue W at W Harrison Street (see construction notice for details)
  • Short-term parking and lane restrictions on W Harrison Street and on both 1st Avenue W and 2nd Avenue W
  • Noise, dust and vibration
  • Typical weekday work hours, 7 AM to 5 PM

Please check the construction notice for more information on the impacts and suggested travel routes.

If you have any questions or concerns during this construction on W Harrison Street, please contact the project team at NSF@seattle.gov or 206-733-9361.

You may learn more about the project by visiting the website: www.seattle.gov/transportation/harrisonstreetimprovements.htm. You may also use this link to sign up to receive project email updates.

Private and Public Investment = Safer Crossings

There’s a new traffic signal at 9th Ave N and Thomas St in South Lake Union, making it easier and safer to navigate through this busy intersection located within this booming part of town. Thanks to a strategic partnership between SDOT and private developers working in the area, people who walk, bike or drive through this intersection have a more predictable experience as they travel.

New signal and intersection improvements at 9th Ave N and Thomas St

New signal and intersection improvements at 9th Ave N and Thomas St

In the upcoming weeks SDOT crews will continue to improve safety at the intersection by adjusting the timing of the signals in the area, as well as working with a developer to construct curb ramps on the southeast corner in 2016. This traffic signal project is another example of how we work with community partners to achieve our Vision Zero goal and eliminate traffic related fatalities and serious injuries in Seattle.

Other safety features added to the intersection as part of this signal project include:

  • Audible ADA pedestrian push buttons that help remind people when to cross safely
  • Marked crosswalks to increase safety of people walking or biking along the intersection
  • Upgraded pedestrian curb ramps to make sidewalks more accessible to people on wheelchairs, people using strollers and people biking

 

This project was funded by South Lake Union private development traffic mitigation fees and the SDOT capital projects program.

Safety Improvements coming to Rainier Avenue

SDOT hosted a public meeting last week at the Rainier Community Center with about 300 community members attending to announce changes coming to Rainier Avenue South.

This project’s goals is to make Rainier Avenue safer for everyone.  There has been about one crash per day on Rainier Avenue .  Within the last 10 years, there have been nearly 3600 total collisions, +1700 injuries, and 11 fatalities.  Each time there is a crash, it takes about 47 minutes to clear the incident.

As a pilot project, Rainier Avenue South will be re-channelized from 4-lanes to 3-lanes between South Alaska and South Kenny streets.  The new channelization will address the correctable collision patterns we’ve seen along Rainier and will have minimal impact to traffic. Construction is already under way and you can see the new striping for the 3-lane configuration.

Rainier SafetyThere is still some work remaining for city crews:

  • Remove existing pavement markings
  • Install new pavement markings including:
    • One travel lane in each direction
    • A center turn lane to accommodate left turning vehicles
    • New transit lanes
  • Install left turn signal heads
  • New transit signal systems and signs
  • Longer signal cycles for vehicles and pedestrians
  • New 25 mph speed limit signs
  • Crack sealing to preserve pavement conditions

 

We appreciate the community’s patience while work is being done to complete this project. This work is expected to be completed by the end of August.

For more on the Rainier Avenue South Safety Corridor Project.

Here’s our project presentation which includes information about the modifications and travel time changes for the new 3-lane configuration: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/RainierValleycombined.pdf.

Two Weeks + $100 = Pop-up Parklet in Pioneer Square

PARK(ing) Day is a little over a month away, and we want you to get involved!

PARK(ing) Day happens once a year and is an opportunity for Seattleites to temporarily turn on-street parking spaces into public places, called “parklets.” PARK(ing) Day is celebrated every third Friday in September in more than 162 cities (spanning 6 continents) around the world. This international event raises awareness about the importance of a walkable, livable, healthy city and helps people re-think how Seattle streets can be used.

Interested in joining the fun and creating your own parklet this year? Check out the Planning Your Park page to learn how. Applying for a pop-up park is easy and free, and anyone in Seattle can join in on the fun!

For those of you who need a little push, here’s some fodder to get your artistic juices flowing: On July 31, a group of high school students transformed a few Pioneer Square parking spaces into a parklet in just two short weeks! Intrigued? Read on!

The parklet's Buddha Boards in action. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

The parklet’s Buddha Boards in action. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

Student designers of the parklet were all part of the University of Washington’s Introduction to Landscape Architecture Course, a two-week intensive focusing on landscape design. The course was part of the university’s Summer Youth Programs. Students spent week 1 developing designs for potential parklets, and spent week 2 constructing the winning design.

The parklet itself was split into two parts – the northern half included a painting station where parklet patrons were reminded of the concept of impermanence. After paintbrushes were dipped in water and applied to the large Buddha Board, all designs slowly evaporated into the surface. A plaque on the parklet’s NW edge stated that the board allowed patrons to “witness the sobering truth that nothing in life lasts forever.”

Parklet patrons enjoying the shady seating. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

Parklet patrons enjoying the shady seating. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

The southern half of the parklet included a number of potted plants nestled between the eastern edge of the parklet and its long, expansive benches. The seating was in high demand for the duration of the parklet, which was up from 11 AM to 2 PM.

Made from recycled and donated materials like wood pallets, the only purchased parklet supply was cinder blocks used to boost the benches and tables made from salvaged wood. The end cost? $100.

As the parklet was taken down, cars began to re-associate themselves with 266 square feet of asphalt. As the transition occurred, the students, parents and parklet users saw just how quickly – and cheaply – a public space can be transformed.

A plaque located at the northern half of the July 31 parklet. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

A plaque located at the northern half of the July 31 parklet. Photo: Seth Geiser, 2015.

Join us September 18 and create a bit park space of your own design! PARK[ing] Day Applications are available at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/docs/Parkingdayapplication_Form.pdf and are due by August 28.

For specific questions, contact David Burgesser at david.burgesser@seattle.gov or 206-615-1028.

Be Smart. Plan Ahead. Designate A Driver Seafair Weekend.

City of Seattle encourages safe travel on land and water and hopes everyone gets safely to and from wherever the weekend takes them.  Here is a link to Seafair’s page on transportation options and parking for Seafair Weekend.

seafairweekend(2)(1)With this upcoming weekend’s Seafair Weekend events, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Police Department (SPD) would like to remind everyone to plan ahead before heading out to enjoy Seafair activities. That includes minding your speed, watching for out for other people, and designating a driver, behind the wheel of a car or boat, to keep our roads and waterways safe for all. The reminder is part of Vision Zero – Seattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and fatalities by 2030.

The city has seen an increase in total crashes, injuries and distracted-related collisions during Seafair weekend on roads near Seafair Weekend events.

Seafair is one of the busiest boating events of the season. Drinking and operating a boat is subject to the same DUI laws as operating a motor vehicle, and SPD’s Harbor Patrol actively enforces these laws. Extra enforcement patrols will also be on land, given the festivities extend from the water to public parks and streets.

The City of Seattle is committed to safe travel and to eliminating traffic-related deaths and serious injuries. Earlier this year, the City launched Vision Zero to design smarter streets, enforce existing laws, and educate the public on safe travel behavior.

Vizion Zero

Have a Safe and Fun Weekend! For more information on Vision Zero, visit www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

Downtown Parking Tips to help navigate Summer activities!

If you’re heading down to the Seattle Waterfront to escape the heat this weekend, there’s a lot happening! Let SDOT help you out get on your way with quick and convenient parking options, thanks to e-park. These real-time parking signs let drivers know how many open spaces are available in their designated parking garage, and are located from the Waterfront to Pioneer Square. These signs can save drivers time and stress that accumulates the longer you circle the city while looking for parking.

Waterfront

For more parking options, you can also visit our partner DowntownSeattleParking.com online or download their mobile application.

Waterfront Parking

Now that you’ve got your parking figured out, be aware of several events happening on the waterfront this weekend.

Seafair Fleet Week and Boeing Maritime Celebration began on Wednesday with the Parade of Ships and continues this weekend with ship tours on Piers 66, 69, and 90 on Saturday from 9:30am-3:30pm and on Sunday from 12:30pm-3:30pm.This is a way to celebrate and honor members of our military.

The Annual Waterfront Whimsea Family Fun Day at Waterfront Park this Sunday from 11:00am-3:00pm which features an  attempt to set the world record for high fives in four hours—you are invited to join in and high five as creatively as possible, like with foam fingers and animal paws!

Here’s a link to our SDOT Parking Map.

As you enjoy all the Waterfront has to offer, remember to drive carefully, stay cool, and have fun!

Traveling in Rainier Valley is About to Become Safer and Easier

Want to help make Rainier Valley a safer and more mobile place to live and work? Join SDOT at our open house on July 30 from 7-9 pm to learn about the projects improving the way people live and travel.

The meeting will be held at the Rainier Community Center on 4600 38th Avenue South. Interpreters in Cambodian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Somali, Amharic, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Oromo will be present, along with treats and child care.

At the open house, we’ll share updates on current projects and the results of intensive data collection and public input on how to make Rainier Avenue South operate more safely for all travelers. We will also facilitate questions and field answers and comments to reflect the priorities of the Rainier Valley community.

RansportinRainierValley

Click to Enhance

With the help of the public’s feedback and use of data we are taking steps to achieve Seattle’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries. Working in Rainier Valley is one way we hope to improve the lives of all who value this neighborhood. Once completed, these projects will make it easier and safer for people to walk, bike, ride transit and drive in the area.

Key projects that we will discuss include:

Rainier Valley North-South Neighborhood Greenway

We’re excited to unveil the most promising route for this neighborhood greenway Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016. The greenway extends six miles from Rainier Beach to the I-90 trail through a series of streets with slower posted speed limits. This route provides additional connections to existing greenways and one under construction. It will also create a bicyclist and pedestrian friendly solution to community destinations such as parks, schools and stores. . Check out a map of the route and recommended safety improvements on our project page: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rainiervalleygreenways2.htm

Accessible Mt. Baker

This project is currently studies ways to implement safety improvements for those using the Link light rail station and traveling through the Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Rainier Avenue South intersection. The project encompasses a long-term multimodal approach that is consistent with the North Rainier Neighborhood Plan. Some of the proposals under consideration include restoring historic boulevard connections, creating additional links to parks and recreational areas, as well as maintaining unique cultural and community elements. For more information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/accessibleMtBaker.htm

Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor

Once this project is built, people who travel along this busy street will notice safety enhancements and increased traffic predictability. Using tools like retimed traffic signals and pedestrian enhancements will help us address current behavioral issues like people speeding, or driving distracted. The project limits extend along Rainier Ave S from Charlestown St to Seward Park Ave S with construction planned for this year. For more information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/rainieraves.htm

An open house meeting for the Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor in February 2014

An open house meeting for the Rainier Avenue South Road Safety Corridor in February 2014

We hope to see you there!