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SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project: What’s Happening Now?

SR520

You may have noticed that work to build the SR 520 West Approach Bridge North Project (WABN) in Seattle’s Montlake and Foster Island areas has begun. Crews have placed construction fencing around staging areas and selected trees for protection, closed parking lots, and delivered equipment for upcoming construction activities. In the coming days, SR 520 users and neighbors will see significantly more construction activity and changes within the SR 520 project limits. Upcoming work includes additional tree and vegetation removal, installation of a work bridge over water, demolition activities, and Arboretum trail closures necessary to build the project. WSDOT is committed to best management practices that minimize the effects of construction on neighbors, communities, and the traveling public. Last week, WSDOT hosted a public open house to share design and construction information with SR 520 users and neighbors. If you missed it, check out the meeting materials online here.

Stay informed during SR 520 WABN construction!

Email

Online

Phone

  • Call the SR 520 24-hour construction hotline: 206-708-4657

In person

  • Join WSDOT for public open houses and monthly construction update meetings with the contractor. The first meeting is Nov 5. from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Graham Visitor Center, 2300 Arboretum Drive, Seattle

 

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Signs connecting our neighborhoods, thanks to Bridging the Gap

SNS-Ballard-1024x576_v2With the help of the Bridging the Gap Transportation levy the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is working to replace those old, faded hard to read regulatory and street name signs across the city. Through 2013, nearly 45,000 regulatory signs have been replaced and more than 9,800 intersections have seen new street name signs. So far in 2014, more than 700 intersections have received new street name signs and hard working SDOT crews have installed more than 2,400 new regulatory signs across the city.

All these new signs help better connect our communities make it easier for everyone to navigate the city – especially the new street name signs – something we are all very thankful for!

As noted in a previous blog post various street name signs – named and numbered – are available through the City of Seattle Fleets and Facilities surplus warehouse.   They have posted an updated list of available signs which range in price from $5 – 15. Please contact the warehouse directly if you are interested in purchasing a sign.

Please visit the Bridging the Gap web page for additional information about the program.

 

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Dreaming of an interconnected City

What we do with our cities determines the quality of life for hundreds of years for thousands of people. Access to green areas, a waterfront, to sports and music facilities, being able to get to work on time without breaking your budget, make for a better life. Seattle does a good job at many of these things but listening to Gil Peñalosa a few weeks ago, we realize how much potential we have as a city to be even better

Gil was Bogota’s Paks Commisioner and is now the director of 8-80 cities. Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for ALL people. Gil advises decision makers and community leaders on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility. Gil Penalosa

The Peñalosas often involve children in transportation planning using games and other fun activities with spectacular results. We love the idea so here is a resource for teachers and educators for grades 8 -12 from the Henry Ford Foundation. The Digi Kit includes a Teacher Guide and a Unit Plan and access to the Henry Ford Foundation historical archives. Many of the lessons include the use of digitized artifacts from the collections of The Henry Ford, which can be accessed through the hyperlinks in the Unit Plan or at their website, TheHenryFord.org/education. Teachers can incorporate the whole unit into their class schedules or use the lessons or activities most relevant to their need.

Have fun and share the guide with the teachers and educators in your life.

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Street Use Inspector Jumps in to Help

If you have a moment, we’d like to share our pride in a fellow SDOT employee. On Sept 24, 2014, Street Use Inspector Bryan Harris was conducting a routine inspection in the 1700 block of Melrose Avenue when he heard a crashing sound.

Harris rushed over to investigate and saw that a car had crashed into a concrete wall, was immobilized, and was blocking the westbound lane of East Denny Way—a major arterial that connects traffic from Capitol Hill to downtown Seattle.

Mr. Harris was aware of the potential major traffic back-up this blockage could cause and the potential negative experience for the traveling public. He immediately took the initiative to provide emergency flagging service, to ensure the safe flow of traffic through the accident scene and minimize the potential traffic back-up. All SDOT Street Use Inspectors have had flagger training and are certified flaggers.

Harris stayed at the scene for 45 minutes, until Seattle Police Department officials arrived and relieved him. Higher priority calls in other areas kept police officers busy, delaying response to this non-injury accident. In the meantime, Harris kept traffic safely flowing. We’re proud of Mr. Harris and his instinct to serve the public.

SDOT Street Use Inspector Bryan Harris

SDOT Street Use Inspector Bryan Harris

 

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Season 2 of Seawall Construction Begins Today

Work occurring along Alaskan Way between Pike and Madison: Many waterfront attractions remain open and accessible

Marking the beginning of its second season of construction, the Elliott Bay Seawall Project resumed work along the central waterfront today. Scheduled during the tourism off-season to help waterfront businesses, the work is now underway between Pike and Madison streets is scheduled to be complete by June 30, 2015. Construction will continue in the work zone south of Yesler Way.

Fencing was installed to safely contain the work area, and construction equipment has been mobilized.

Fencing was installed to safely contain the work area, and construction equipment has been mobilized.

Throughout construction, many of the waterfront’s favorite attractions will remain open and accessible, including the Great Wheel and many Pier 57 businesses, the Seattle Aquarium, Argosy Cruises and businesses along the east side of Alaskan Way. Access to Waterfront Park and Pier 57 will be maintained at the north end, near the Seattle Aquarium. Some retail businesses at Piers 54, 55 and 56 will temporarily close in order for seawall construction to progress efficiently.

Several waterfront attractions are open and accessible throughout construction

Several waterfront attractions are open and accessible throughout construction

As season two of construction begins, waterfront visitors can expect:

  • Street parking along the west side of the Alaskan Way Viaduct has been removed to make room for the construction work zone. Visit downtownseattleparking.com for more information about parking availability and rates.
  • North/south vehicular traffic will continue along Alaskan Way, under the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
  • Ferry terminal access on Alaskan Way has shifted one block south, from Spring Street to just south of Madison Street.
  • The multi-use path on either side of the viaduct will remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists, although short-term closures of the path on the west side of the viaduct are expected during the first month of construction.

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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Safe Routes to School grant program now accepting applications

Do you have a creative idea for promoting walking and biking to school? Looking for a source of funds to make your idea a reality? Look no further!

FPEWSB_KidVestThe Seattle Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for mini grants of up to $1,000 to fund projects that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety and encourage walking and bicycling to school. All you need to do is fill out a straightforward application form, get a letter of support from your school principal, and complete a summary report when you’ve finished your project highlighting all the great things you accomplished. It’s that simple!

Some examples of past projects funded by the Safe Routes to School Mini Grants include kick-starting a walking school bus with safety vests and flags for bus “drivers;” supporting walk to school month events with prizes and incentives for walkers; incentives for bike to school commuters, like bike locks, lights, and helmets; bicycle safety and maintenance classes to make sure kids know the rules of the road and how to keep their bikes in tip-top shape; traffic circulation plans and communication to make sure traffic flows as safely as possible around schools.

If you have an idea for a safety education or encouragement program, please visit our website www.cityofseattle.net/transportation/ped_srts_grant.htm for more information on how to apply for a mini-grant. In addition to the application, a letter of support from the school principal must be e-mailed, mailed, or faxed by the application due date. For questions, contact Ashley Harris at ashley.harris@seattle.gov. Completed applications are due October 31st, 2014 by 5pm and recipients will be announced by December 5th, 2014. Funds will be distributed in January 2015.

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Bridging the Gap – working to beat the end of year clock.

Fall arrived this past week right on schedule with cooler temperatures, shorter days and rain. While it has been a long and lovely summer there is still a lot of work to be completed. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) crews are working against the clock to wrap up their work for the year.

Thanks to the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation initiative crews have been busy with lots of construction that will continue deep into the fall. SDOT crews are working to finish up more than 17 lane miles of paving, construct 7 blocks of new sidewalk, install 150 new curb ramps, repair 25 blocks of sidewalk, install 4 miles of greenways, replace 1,250 new street name signs, plant 500 trees, implement 45 crossing improvements and complete 190 bridge maintenance requests. As our crews complete their work plans for 2014, they are starting to look ahead and plan for 2015.

The end of summer saw SDOT complete its work on eight Safe Routes to School projects, the installation of 2441 new regulatory signs, three new stairways rehabilitated and the installation of 45 pedestrian countdown signals.

Before and after

Before and after

It has been a very busy year for BTG and SDOT crews! The arrival of fall as the days get shorter and darker please remember there is still a lot of work to be wrapped up before the end of 2014, please slow down and watch for SDOT crews doing this work to make Seattle a little easier to get around.

For more information on the BTG program please visit the web page.

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Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Kick-Off

Come join us as we kick-off a study to improve transit service, pedestrian and bike connections, and public space along Madison St. Learn more about the study and bus rapid transit, and share your knowledge and ideas with the project team.  The ultimate goal of the project is to give people along the corridor a more reliable, convenient, and enjoyable way to get around.

 When: Tuesday, September 30, 2014

                 5 – 7 p.m., with a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Silver Cloud Hotel

1100 Broadway (at Madison)

Seattle, WA 98122

This open house will launch a year-long study of bus rapid transit along Madison St from Colman Dock to 23rd Ave E.  What is bus rapid transit (BRT), you might be asking yourself? It’s the cream of the crop in bus service. It features things like dedicated transit lanes, frequent service, level boarding, and off-board fare payment.

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Since June, we’ve been collecting information about existing conditions and talking with community members, businesses, and other organizations to help inform the scope and approach to the study.  At the open house, we’ll have information to share about the project timeline, existing conditions, and the basis for the project. Hint: it was a priority corridor identified in our Transit Master Plan.

We hope to engage a broad cross section of the community in a conversation at the open house to ensure we’ve captured the range of issues and opportunities for the study as we move forward.

You can learn more about the project at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/madisonBRT.htm. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch with the project manager, Maria Koengeter at maria.koengeter@seattle.gov or (206) 733-9865.

 

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Greenways! Tell Us What You Think

Neighborhood greenways are safer, calm residential streets prioritized for people walking and biking of all ages and abilities. Common neighborhood greenway elements include signs, pavement markings, pavement and minor sidewalk repair, traffic calming, and safer crossings at busy streets: small things that can add up to a big difference. 9.29.14 blogGreenwaysThe city of Seattle has an ambitious plan to build a network of 250 miles of neighborhood greenways in 20 years. To make sure we build the best projects in the coming years, we’re evaluating how our current neighborhood greenways serve you, your family, your visitors and customers. The purpose of this evaluation is to better inform current design standards and to identify potential improvements to existing neighborhood greenways. We want to know what you think!

Follow the survey link below and give us your input by October 10 and share this link with others so we can get even more feedback.

The neighborhood greenways in Ballard, Beacon Hill, Delridge, PhinneyWood, Wallingford, and Wedgwood are just the start of what will continue to grow into a full network of streets on which people of all ages and all abilities feel comfortable biking and walking!

Neighborhood Greenway Evaluation survey link:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/greenwaysevaluation

To learn more about our Neighborhood Greenways, head here:

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/greenways.htm

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Play Streets at Schools: More Room to Have Fun Safely

Schools and play streets are a perfect pair…just like peanut butter and jelly! Our Pilot Play Streets program launched at St. Therese Academy in Madrona back in May, and the start of the school year is a great time to think about a play street at your child’s school.

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Relay game and hula hoop fun during play street at St. Therese Academy in Madrona in May


The program has been a big hit so far, with 24 recurring play streets and 12 one-time play streets. Neighborhoods all over the city are part of the fun, and now there’s an opportunity for more schools to jump on the play streets bandwagon. Street closures for school play streets integrate well with Safe Routes to School, signaling to motorists that kids are around and are are using the street in their own creative ways.
Even if your school already has a good deal of playground space, a play street allows you to close the street that connects two spaces (say, the school building and the play field) to create a safe space for students. This new space can provide a great surface for kids to learn and improve their safe biking and rollerblading skills, can be used to create temporary art installations and student-led chalk “messages of the day,” can provide space for special events with messy programming, or can host festivals or races during field day events. School play streets don’t have to be organized by school staff—they’re a great way for parent-teacher associations and other school-related groups to support regular classroom activities.

 

The free pilot program runs thru May 31, 2015, so there’s still plenty of time to get involved, either in your own neighborhood or through a school. More information is available on our website: www.seattle.gov/transportation/playstreets.htm.

 

 

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