• Second Avenue Protected Bike
    Second Avenue Protected Bike
  • W Emerson Overpass Repair Project
    W Emerson Overpass Repair Project
  • Mercer Corridor Project construction progress October 23, 2014
    Mercer Corridor Project construction progress October 23, 2014
  • Signals and signs in the Queen Anne neighborhood
    Signals and signs in the Queen Anne neighborhood
  • New stairway @ Lakeside Ave S and S Jackson St.
    New stairway @ Lakeside Ave S and S Jackson St.
  • blog_sumsts

SDOT Crews Taking (and Building) Steps to Reconnect Neighborhoods

Stairway Pix 1

An SDOT crew (Kurt and Brett) has been hard at work replacing a stairway that will reconnect South Grand Street from Bradner Place at the top of the hill to South Grand at 28th Avenue South. Once the new access is completed, neighbors and families with children traveling through the neighborhood can easily get to and from Bradner Gardens Park and the community P-Patch above the stairway to the east, and can get to nearby Colman Playground and other nearby parks below the stairway to the west. This and other SDOT projects are working to modernize and enhance mobility throughout the city.

The original stairway was built in the 1930’s and was steep, narrow, and overgrown with trees and bushes making it look like what was described as a “hobbit hole”.

The task of making a new wider stairway that is up to modern code required clearing the overgrown tree canopy above and around the entrance at the top, demolishing and recycling the old stairway, and then widening the path, then creating a landing after the first twenty steps to project the stairway out from the hillside which decreased the angle and steepness of the stairway.

Stairway Pix 4

New stairway – in progress

SDOT carpenters Kurt and Brett are part of two person crews who work on these projects from start to finish. This involves clearing of foliage, demolition, engineering and framing of the new stairway for concrete pouring, and building the rails to ensure a safe, accessible new stairway.



Stairway Pix 8

Stairway before

Stairway Pix 2

Stairway in progress

The Bradner Place stairway project started in November and is expected to be completed by February, we’ll bring you an update once it completed.

Stairway Pix 3

New Parking Pay Stations coming soon

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will soon begin replacing the current on-street parking pay stations that were installed between 2004 and 2010. The first new pay stations will be installed in Pioneer Square, then throughout other sections of the city. SDOT will replace all its parking pay stations in 2015-2016 with new technology. The older technology in the current pay stations is slower to process transactions, provides less reliable cellular communication and includes old credit card readers no longer supported by the vendor. Technology is changing rapidly. Even the newest of the existing pay stations will no longer communicate when the AT&T 2G network is decommissioned. New requirements such as chip credit card readers would require major overhauls.

New technology will provide a higher level of customer service and communications reliability. Credit card transaction times will decrease. New credit card readers allow the user to maintain control of their card, so they will no longer get stuck in pay stations. New back-office software will improve our ability to detect problems remotely and fix them faster. Changes to rates can be made wirelessly from the office instead of downloaded manually at each machine. The new pay stations will allow for “time of day” pricing, to allow for lower parking rates in the morning or other times of less demand.

For additional information, please see the Fact Sheet here

Questions? Please e-mail DOT_paystations@seattle.gov

One Million Bikes Cross the Fremont Bridge in 2014!

The number’s so large it’s hard to wrap your head around. But here in SDOT, we started jumping up and down with enthusiasm when we saw that the Fremont Bridge bike counter had topped one million! bike counter & bicyclistRESIZE

We want riding a bike to be a comfortable part of daily life for people of all ages and abilities and when we see numbers like this we know the dial is moving in that direction. Tom Fucoloro at the Seattle Bike Blog scooped our story, but we wanted to share the news too! This is the first time the counter has surpassed one million in a calendar year. In 2013 the total count for the bridge reached 928,279.

With so many people crossing the bridge every day, the addition of a new protected bike lane along Westlake Avenue N is going to be a great benefit. Staff worked hard in 2014 to gather input from the community, collect data and identify an alignment and preliminary design for the protected bike lane. We’ve met all the key milestones and are on schedule to begin construction in fall 2015.

To make it safer and more predictable to ride along Dexter, SDOT is partnering with WSDOT to rechannelize the street between Mercer and Denny Way. This rechannelization swaps the location of the parking and current bike lane to create a new protected bike lane. Construction of this project will be phased in throughout 2015, with the first portion expected to be completed in January.

Finally, SDOT is launching the Center City Bicycle Network project in early 2015. This effort will identify where protected bike lanes in the Center City should go to form a network. Learn more about 2015 through 2019 implementation plans by visiting Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan web page.

Creating a citywide bike network is one piece of the puzzle toward giving people more travel options. We are developing a comprehensive, multi-modal transportation strategy that integrates our pedestrian, bicycle, transit and “coming soon” freight plans. Staff is looking forward to working with Seattleites and implementing more projects in 2015!

Plan Ahead for New Year’s Celebrations

2014 will soon be in the rearview mirror and many people are gearing up to ring in the new year. If your New Year’s Eve party plans include drinking a few adult beverages (or “special brownies”), be sure to make transportation arrangements in advance. Here are a few tips to ensure that we ring in 2015 on a high note:

1. Have a wing-man, wing-woman or wing-person. Whether you’re walking, biking, driving, taking the bus or a cab to the New Year’s festivities, travel with a buddy and look out for each other.

2. Choose a Designated Driver. Operating a motor vehicle properly while under the influence is not possible. It’s a well known fact. Make arrangements for you or a friend to stay sober if driving is part of your plans.

3. Park it. If you have too much fun, and don’t have a sober friend around, do what’s right for yourself and everyone else – leave your car parked. Spend the night at your buddies house or call a cab. Seattle’s parking meters allow you to pay in advance so you can sleep-in, grab a greasy breakfast and sober up before you get behind the wheel again. Bicyclists should also park it if they’ve had too much fun.

4. Walk safe. Walking while intoxicated is not a good idea. Make sure you have someone to lean on if you’ve had too much to drink. Perhaps that aforementioned wing-person?

Happy Holidays from SDOT, for the Christmas holiday.

XmasOn behalf of the Seattle Department of Transportation, we wish you a wonderful and safe holiday.

On-street parking is free in Seattle on Christmas Day, December 25.

Please remember that normal pay for street parking remains in effect on Friday, December 26, so make sure you observe time limits and other posted regulations as you would on any other Friday.




SDOT’s Transportation Options program Keeps You Moving

SDOT’s Transportation Options program provides a variety of services to help residents, employers, building managers, and developers access tools and resources for getting around Seattle. Our programs include:

  • The Way to Go Program provides resources and information to residents and visitors on Seattle’s transportation options.
  • The NavSeattle Program is for residential building managers and developers. The program connects Seattle’s growing multifamily residential sector to resources for promoting a building’s transportation amenities.
  • The Commute Trip Reduction Program (CTR) supoorts employers in promoting transportation options to reduce congestion and air pollution.
  • The Transportation Management Program (TMP) assists owners and managers of large buildings in developing and evaluating building-wide transportation programs.












SDOT is here to help you get around Seattle:

Metro Transit – King County’s Transit Agency

Sound Transit – Connecting King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

Community Transit – Snohomish County’s Transit Agency

Pierce Transit – Pierce County’s Transit Agency

Seattle Interactive Bicycle Map

Traveler’s Information Map

City of Seattle Traffic Cameras

CityTrip – Helping you navigate the byways, highways and waterways in Seattle

Seattle has a lot of options to get around – walking, biking, transit, driving and car and ridesharing. Check out some of the tools available and find out how to get where you’re going! For easy transit, walking, bicycling, and driving directions visit Google Maps.

Find out before you go; This map shows up-to-date traffic information: http://web6.seattle.gov/travelers/

SDOT Urban Forestry Crews Keeping Seattle’s Green Spaces Landscaped, Thanks to Bridging The Gap

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Urban Forestry Division crews kept busy by planting 555 trees, pruning 3,044 trees, and completing 1,080 landscape maintenance projects in 2014. All of these projects are possible due to funding provided by the Bridging the Gap (BTG) Transportation Initiative passed by Seattle voters in 2006.

5th Ave Trees

Tree planting











Urban Forestry is charged with overseeing the more than 40,000 trees in the public right-of-way, and maintaining 123 acres of landscapes that relate to the transportation system. Since 2007, the crews have planted more than 5,500 trees, pruned more than 25,000 trees and completed more than 3,000 maintenance projects across the City. This work is important to maintain, protect, and expand the City’s urban landscape in street right-of-ways for Seattle’s residents and businesses so that economic, environmental, safety and aesthetic benefits are maximized.

Before trimming

Before trimming

After trimming

After trimming












If you have questions or would like more information about the SDOT Urban Forestry Tree Program, please visit Urban Forestry’s website. In addition, if you have concerns about specific trees in your neighborhood, please call the citywide tree line at (206) 684-TREE.

For more information on Bridging The Gap please visit website.


3 C’s Help Mercer traffic flow and construction impacts diminish

As 2014 draws to a close, construction in Seattle presses on with some help from the three C’s: Coordination, Communication, and Collaboration. It’s been another boom year, following the 2013 surge—a bounce back from the recession.
With the 2013 construction surge came the new Access Seattle Initiative to keep businesses thriving, travelers moving, and construction coordinated during peak building periods. Part of that plan is the Construction Hub Coordination Program, targeting areas of concentrated construction (hubs) to holistically assess impacts of all public and private projects. More hubs are expected in 2015.



Looking east at westbound Mercer traffic, including southbound left turns onto 5th Ave. N

What’s made the difference since the Construction Hub Program’s inception is good communication and collaboration. A great example of that is the recent Mercer Corridor coordination effort.


As Mercer Corridor construction takes the two-way concept all the way from I-5 to 5th Ave. N (completion anticipated mid-2015) travelers continue dealing with regular traffic alterations. This fall the South Lake Union Community Council (SLUCC) gave a list of concerns to the construction hub team, including congestion along Mercer.


“It’s the Community Council’s role to listen to community members regarding what they’re seeing and looking to improve; then to work in partnership with city departments to bring those concerns and visions together,” said SLUCC President Mike McQuaid. “To no surprise, one thing we consistently heard about is Mercer traffic back-ups.”



Crews adjusting Mercer/5th Ave. N signal to prepare for final intersection configuration: a 3rd eastbound lane and 2 separate westbound left-turn lanes

McQuaid worked with the construction hub team to underscore community priorities and follow up on progress. SDOT acted quickly, McQuaid commented, to address the issues raised. Options to comprehensively improve Mercer traffic flow were assessed and added to signal adjustment plans already in the works. The following changes were made:

  •  5th Ave. N and Mercer St. signal reconfigured to run East-West Mercer traffic concurrently, improving efficiency and reducing delays compared to the previous split-phase operation (this was done in concert with the Mercer Project’s opening of a third eastbound lane November 16, 2014)
  • Queen Anne Ave. N and Roy St. signal phasing modified, resolving a problem with vehicle blockage of the Queen Anne Ave. N crosswalk
  • Fairview Ave. N and Mercer St. southbound left turn time extended
  • Lower Queen Anne area Rapid Ride “D” Line transit given signal priority
  • Seattle Center special event signal timing plan implemented to coincide with large events (with positive reception from the Seattle Center event timing signal change, SDOT is also planning to implement a large event signal timing plan near McCaw Hall)


As the Construction Hub Coordination Program strives to limit construction impacts, Access Seattle is always looking at ways to keep a growing Seattle mobile and thriving. By no coincidence, community organizations do the same.


During SLU traffic discussions with SDOT this summer, the Queen Anne Community Council, South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce and the South Lake Union Community Council asked about better technology for traffic flow along Mercer. SDOT had plans for something called adaptive signal controllers (ASC), dynamic signals that automatically adjust in real-time based on current traffic conditions. Seattle is a national leader in adopting this state-of-the art technology to move cars, busses, bikes and pedestrians efficiently. However, there was only enough funding to install base technology that could later receive ASC.


The neighborhood and business organizations then talked with Seattle City Council and Transportation Committee Chair Tom Rasmussen about funding Mercer adaptive signal controllers. SDOT joined, highlighting that the supportive infrastructure was already in place so funding to complete phase one/Mercer Corridor (shown by red dots in map below) would be about $1 million. With SDOT/community collaboration supporting the need, City Council said yes to bridging the funding gap to make ASC implementation a reality.

Traffic Responsive

“In my opinion this is how it should work,” said McQuaid. “Community councils serve a very important role helping our city function and move forward. We help leaders in city departments by sharing neighborhood interests so they can in turn help the community. The Mercer signal effort is an example of that work done in the right way.”


The adaptive signal controllers will be installed starting in 2015 and will get finalized in 2016 . They’re expected to make a significant improvement moving traffic through the Mercer Corridor, in and out of South Lake Union and the downtown core.


So the final story is the three Cs of Coordination, Communication and Collaboration bringing solutions to communities. That’s a story Access Seattle and the Construction Hub Coordination Program want to tell over and over again…for every Seattle community in need.


Covering the entire city is the Construction Hub team of five in-office project coordinators/analysts and two on-site coordinators (one more added in 2015 with budget approval) all with SDOT, and a business liaison with the Office of Economic Development. The small but nimble group is dedicated, already making strides in Capitol Hill, West Seattle and South Lake Union. If you have questions about construction in your neighborhood, contact the Construction Hub Coordination Program team at SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov.

Update: West Emerson Overpass is Now Open to Traffic

Update: West Emerson Overpass is Now Open to Traffic

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has opened the West Emerson Overpass to traffic today, December 19 after completing an 11-week repair project.


This is the first major repair to the bridge since it first opened in 1959. In less than 3 months, construction crews have successfully installed a new bridge girder, repaved the entire bridge deck, poured new sidewalks and curbs, installed new bridge expansion joints, and performed other repairs to the surrounding sidewalks and roads

West Emerson 12-18-14

After the overpass is opened, some weather-contingent minor work is still required, such as placing permanent road striping. Some of these minor tasks may happen immediately or be re-scheduled when the weather improves in the early part of 2015. It’s anticipated that this minor work would have some traffic impacts; however the overpass is expected to remain open to traffic during this work.


SDOT thanks residents, businesses, and people traveling through the project area for their patience during construction. Seattle is working hard to continually update its roads so that we can meet the needs of our growing city. Repairing key throughways like the West Emerson Overpass, will help keep people moving through the city for years to come.


Lanes will reopen following the afternoon/evening travel peak. For more information on the project, visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/15thavewestoverpass.htm .

Keeping People Moving Around the Waterfront During Seawall Construction

If you haven’t been to the waterfront lately, you might not be able to recognize it. Seawall construction is in full swing, and replacing this important piece of infrastructure is no small task. Despite all the activity, the waterfront is open and accessible, and keeping vehicle and pedestrian traffic moving is a priority.

Seawall excavation near Waterfront Park

Seawall excavation near Waterfront Park

Cars and trucks

In November 2013, a temporary roadway was installed under the Alaskan Way Viaduct to keep one of the city’s main arterials humming, despite the active construction taking place just to the west. The new roadway has helped minimize disruptions to cars, trucks and other vehicles moving north and south along the waterfront. Need a place to park? Be sure to check out downtownseattleparking.com to find parking lots and rates near the waterfront.

Bikes and peds

Bikes and pedestrians are important, too! A multi-use pathway along the west side of the viaduct keeps pedestrians and bicycles moving to and from their favorite destinations. The path, directly adjacent to the work zone, also gives travelers on foot and two wheels a front-row seat for construction.

Additional signage and wayfinding have been installed all along the construction zone to help travelers of all modes safely navigate the project area.

12-17-14 Pedestrians


Learn more!

Recently, people were able to get an insider’s look at this historic construction project on a walking tour with the Seawall Project Street Team! They learned about the seawall design and peeked through the fence to see construction in action. We’ll continue to host tours of the project each month, so check our website to learn more.

12-17-14 Tours

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).