• 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

Happy Lunar New Year! Seattle Streetcar Stations Highlight Cultural Heritage of Chinatown-International District

Spring arrived early in Chinatown-International District this week! Just in time for Lunar New Year, three Seattle Streetcar stations sprouted bold flowers and graceful icons symbolizing the neighborhood’s cultures:

  •  5th & Jackson, Japantown – Cherry Blossom symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life; Daruma doll represents good luck in reaching a goal, Koi fish symbolizes good fortune, and Crane signifies good fortune and longevity.
5th and Jackson Street Station - Cherry Blossom

5th and Jackson Street Station – Cherry Blossom

  • 7th & Jackson, Chinatown – Chrysanthemum is native to China; Bat symbolizes good luck, LionDog wards off evil spirits, and medallion represents good fortune.
7th and Jackson Street Station - Chrysanthemum

7th and Jackson Street

7th and Jackson Street

7th and Jackson Street Station – Chrysanthemum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • 12th & Jackson, Little Saigon – Hoa Mai flower is popular in Vietnam during Lunar New Year; Tiger represents stability and strength, Ox means good luck and good health, and Turtle symbolizes heaven and earth.
13th and Jackson

13th and Jackson Street Station – Hoa Mai flower

 

13th and Jackson Station - Hoa Mai flower

13th and Jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local design firm TMarks Design created these colorful graphics in collaboration with local business owners, residents and SDOT. The station installations are one of the more visible steps toward the start of service on the First Hill Streetcar Line, a new urban mobility option funded through Sound Transit’s “ST2” mass transit expansion plan.

The First Hill Streetcar will support economic growth and strengthen connections among the places where people live, work and socialize. It will be an important link in the regional transit system, and will connect the diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown ID and Pioneer Square. The first completed car for the new line is expected to be delivered to the Streetcar Operations & Maintenance Facility on February 27. After delivery, components removed for shipping will be re-installed, and all of the systems will be re-tested before the car is approved for testing on city streets. See www.seattlestreetcar.org for regular updates on the streetcar start-up process.

Newest Parklet opens tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at Uptown SIFF Cinema at 511 Queen Anne Ave N.

Seattle’s sixth  and newest parklet opens tomorrow, Saturday Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the Uptown SIFF Cinema at 511 Queen Anne Ave N. Mayor Murray and SDOT Director Scott Kubly will join the parklet hosts and others from the community for the grand opening and a special announcement about the future of parklets in Seattle. We’d love to see you there, so plan to swing by to check out the new parklet and share some coffee and snacks. The parklet will feature colorful seats, a mini-library, and bike parking and is located at Queen Anne Avenue North and Republican Street.

The Uptown Parklet is now under construction

The Uptown Parklet is now under construction

Our newest parklet is hosted by the Uptown Alliance, and will be the sixth installed in Seattle. Parklets are small community gathering spaces built in a couple of on-street parking spots and are a cost-effective way to activate streets, create more vibrant neighborhoods, and promote economic vitality.

This rendering gives an idea of what you can expect to see on February 20.

This rendering gives an idea of what you can expect to see on February 21.

Are you interested in hosting a parklet? Well, you’re in luck! We’ll have much more to share about the next phase of the program—including a brand-new twist on parklets—on February 21.

Curious how well parklets are working in Seattle? Check out some of the data we’ve gathered throughout the pilot program:

Parklet Program data

Parklet Program data

For more information on the Seattle Parklet Pilot Program: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parklets.htm

“Performance Seattle” Goes Live at Mayor’s State of the City Address

The City of Seattle and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) in addition to other city departments has launched a new tool called Performance Seattle, a new internet site dedicated to connecting citizens and the city departments.  Mayor Murray announced this week during his “State of the City” address that the city is implementing the new online dashboard, which uses performance data from nine initial contributing departments to help Seattle’s citizens and stakeholders monitor the City’s progress towards many performance-oriented goals.

The site can be found at: https://performance.seattle.gov/ and besides “Transportation” the dashboard includes categories for “Public Safety”, “Utilities & Environment”, “Housing, Human Services & Education”, “Community & Economic Development”, and “Operations & Innovation”.  As can be seen below within the “Transportation” category, the site has been configured so that there are three sub-categories for which SDOT data is shown:  “Mobility”, “Roads”, and “Safety”.

New "Performance Seattle" Online Dashboard

New “Performance Seattle” Online Dashboard

Performance Seattle is set up to be very interactive and it is easy to drill down into the data by clicking on one of the blue goal tiles (as shown above).  As an example, the cut shot below shows how the “Repair potholes quickly” goal tile can be explored further.  The viewer is shown the goal, the data feeding into the goal, the importance of the goal, and how SDOT is performing in meeting the goal.

SDOT Goal Tile data example

SDOT Goal Tile data example

Notably, SDOT was the pioneering department in developing this city-wide dashboard concept, with the Mayor’s Office incorporating many of the features of SDOT’s original site as Performance Seattle began to take shape over the course of the latter part of 2014 and early 2015.

SDOT will work with the Mayor’s Office in the future on Performance Seattle content, which will likely evolve over time with goals being added and/or taken away as department and Mayoral priorities change.  It’s worth noting that we’re stepping up our performance reporting efforts internally as well, looking for ways to integrate the use of performance data into our everyday work as we continually strive to deliver service in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

Meetings Set for Rainier Avenue S Road Safety Corridor Project

Rainier Postcard (2)

Residents living in the vicinity of Rainier Avenue S will receive the postcard (pictured above) inviting them to Design Alternatives Review meetings for this road safety corridor project. More than 1200 collisions have occurred on Rainier since 2011 resulting in 630 injuries and two fatalities. SDOT has developed several different engineering options to improve safety for all modes on Rainier. Please join us to review and to provide feedback into these options.

Here are the details:

Thursday, Feb. 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Columbia School – Cafeteria/Commons, 3528 S Ferdinand St (please use the South Edmunds St entrance and parking area)

Tuesday, Mar. 3, from 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ethiopian Community Center, 8323 Rainier Ave S

The input you provide will help shape the direction of our work. Be sure to check out the excellent data about the corridor on our website prior to the meetings to familiarize yourself with the issues.

And to see what we’ve done on other road safety corridors, follow these links:

NE 75th Street Road Safety Corridor

Lake City Way Traffic Safety Corridor

SDOT Safety Programs

President’s Day Holiday

In observance of President’s Day, City of Seattle offices are closed on Monday February 16th.

On-street parking is free in Seattle on February 16th, Happy President’s Day!

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

 

Another Parklet in Opening in Seattle…And Big Program News on February 21

Mark your calendar now—Seattle’s sixth parklet will open in Uptown at SIFF Cinema at 511 Queen Anne Ave N, on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. Mayor Murray and SDOT Director Scott Kubly will join the parklet hosts and others from the community for the grand opening and a special announcement about the future of parklets in Seattle. We’d love to see you there, so plan to swing by to check out the new parklet and share some coffee and snacks. The parklet will feature colorful seats, a mini library, and bike parking and is located at Queen Anne Avenue North and Republican Street.

The Uptown Parklet is now under construction

The Uptown Parklet is now under construction

Our newest parklet is hosted by the Uptown Alliance, and will be the sixth installed in Seattle. Parklets are small community gathering spaces built in a couple of on-street parking spots and are a cost-effective way to activate streets, create more vibrant neighborhoods, and promote economic vitality.

This rendering gives an idea of what you can expect to see on February 20.

This rendering gives an idea of what you can expect to see on February 21.

Are you interested in hosting a parklet? Well, you’re in luck! We’ll have much more to share about the next phase of the program—including a brand-new twist on parklets—on February 21.

Curious how well parklets are working in Seattle? Check out some of the data we’ve gathered throughout the pilot program:

Parklet Program data

Parklet Program data

For more information on the Seattle Parklet Pilot Program: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/parklets.htm

SDOT Crews Taking (and Building) Steps to Reconnect Neighborhoods Update!

Back in December we shared our first SDOT video post featuring SDOT crew (Kurt and Brett) working hard to replace and build a new stairway that would reconnect South Grand Street from Bradner Place at the top of the hill to South Grand at 28th Avenue South.  The stairway is now open and permanent steel handrails will be installed soon.

Now neighbors and families with children can easily get to and from Bradner Gardens Park and the community P-Patch above the stairway to the east, to nearby Colman Playground and other nearby parks below the stairway to the west. This and other SDOT projects are working to improve the infrastructure, and enhance mobility throughout the city.

Stairway1

New Stairway Facing East

 

New Stairway facing West

New Stairway facing west

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the original video post from December:

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

Vision Zero Seattle – A Vision for Safer Streets for All

Seattle is one of the safest cities in the country. We’re also the fastest growing major city in the country. The good news is that crashes are trending downward. But last year, 15 people died in traffic collisions. In 2013, 23 people died. Every year, close to 155 people are seriously injured and more than 10,000 crashes occur. That’s nearly 30 crashes every day. The emotional impact this has on families, friends, and the broader community is unspeakable. And there are significant economic consequences as well.

We can do better. We must do better.

That’s why today, Mayor Murray and other city leaders announced Vision ZeroSeattle’s plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Vision Zero is a worldwide movement that calls into question the inevitability of death and injury on our streets. With today’s announcement, Seattle is making a clear statement that death on our streets is unacceptable and preventable, and we’re going to do something about it.

Vizion Zero

Seattle’s actions moving forward in 2015 focus on three key pieces:

  1. Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers.
  2. Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  3. Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors

 

Specific actions include:

  • Lower speed limit to 20 MPH on neighborhood streets (non-arterials)
  • Lower arterial speed limits
  • Targeted safety improvements on high collision corridors, paired with enforcement to reduce speed, impairment, and distraction
  • Re-enforcement patrols to reward good behavior
  • Expanded photo enforcement program
  • Community partnerships to expand education and enforcement efforts

 

These are tried and true strategies that work. We see them working here in Seattle, and want to apply them more, so we can improve safety for all travelers, especially as our city continues to grow.

 

Today, Mayor Murray launched Vision Zero at the Lake City Library where we’re putting these tactics to work. The neighborhood streets surrounding the library will soon become a 20 MPH Zone — a new strategy to bring a higher level of safety near places like schools and parks. We’ll accomplish this by using low cost measures like signs and pavement markings.

20 MPH Zone near Olympic Hills Greenway

20 MPH Zone near Olympic Hills Greenway

This 20 MPH Zone is near the recently completed Olympic Hills Greenway – a new facility where we’ve added speed humps, sharrows, and crossing improvements to improve safety for people walking, biking, and driving. And to the south, we’ve got the recently overhauled NE 125th Street.

 

Just to the east, on busy Lake City Way, we’ve partnered with residents and the State to bring extra patrols and safety education to the corridor. Data-driven infrastructure investments will significantly enhance the built environment, reduce collisions and improve conditions for everyone.

Lake City Way NE

Lake City Way NE

This is Vision Zero.

Learn more about Vision Zero at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

Mercer Corridor Project – The Importance of Improving Infrastructure

The Mercer Corridor Project West Phase is progressing toward completion later this year. After a few years of construction in the Mercer Corridor, with associated restrictions in mobility for all modes, Mercer Street, with new lanes, concrete pavement and sidewalks, and separated bike lanes will be fully operational.

West Mercer Update

Mercer Corridor Aerial Concept

The Mercer Corridor links I-5 to Elliot Ave. W and is one of the most critical east/west routes in the city serving tens of thousands of travelers and freight haulers every day in Seattle’s fastest growing neighborhood. Prior to construction, the Mercer Corridor was a one-way eastbound arterial (Mercer St.) with an indirect westbound route that caused delays and created conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, the Mercer Corridor had an inadequate pedestrian environment, with narrow and aging sidewalks, no separate bicycle lanes, and obsolete traffic signals. Each of these issues was addressed as part of the Mercer Corridor Project design. The Mercer West Project will:

Widen Mercer Street to create a two-way arterial with three lanes in each direction across SR99:

  • Affects 37,000 daily drivers heading west from I-5
  • Reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT) which leads to reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Provides direct truck connections between I-5 and the Ballard-Interbay Manufacturing and Industrial Center.
  • Provides a connection between the SR 99 Bored Tunnel and neighborhoods west of SR 99.
  • Reduces conflicts between vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.
Mercer Street facing East

Mercer Street facing East

Upgrade signals

  • Will adapt to changing traffic conditions
  • More energy efficient
Mercer Street at 5th Ave

Mercer Street at 5th Ave

Improve pedestrian mobility and access

  • Creates safe convenient crossings at intersections on Mercer and Roy streets, and brings crossings into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Widens sidewalks on Mercer St. across SR99
  • Removes major conflict points between turning traffic and pedestrians.

 

Improve bicycle mobility and access

  • Creates a continuous bicycle connection from Fairview Ave N to Queen Anne Ave N with bicycle lanes on Valley and Roy streets and a separated pathway on Mercer across SR 99.
  • Provides the first block of future separated bike lanes on Fifth Ave N between Mercer and Denny Way.

 

Replace aging infrastructure

  • New concrete pavement on Mercer St.
  • New Sixth Ave N connecting Mercer to Harrison St, as well as the SR 99 Tunnel.
  • Replaces the SR99 bridge over Mercer St, bringing it to current seismic standards.
  • Reinforces the retaining wall on the north side of Mercer St.
  • Installs energy-efficient LED street lights
  • Replaces 80-115 year old water and sewer mains
  • Installs new stormwater detention facilities and treatment facilities to protect Lake Union
  • Undergrounds the 115 kV Broad-University Transmission Line
  • Installs Distribution System Capacity Enhancements for Seattle City Light’s customers

 

Although construction has been lengthy, the Mercer Corridor Project is an investment in our economy and our future. The Mercer Corridor Project improvements will support the 38,000 new jobs and 18,000 new households expected in the area by 2024.

The projected benefit of the Mercer West Project attributed to the investment in new infrastructure is estimated to be $100 M to $350 M over the next 25 years. The cost-benefit analysis is summarized in the Federal Highway Administration TIGER IV Grant Application, which is located on the project website: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercer_tiger2.htm

SDOT and our crews look forward to the progress and completion of construction in 2015 and thank you for your patience during construction.

For up-to-minute construction updates join our project email list at: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm or call the 24-hour construction hotline at 206-419-5818.

A Seawall Update: Jet Grouting, It’s providing a strong foundation

The existing seawall has protected Seattle’s waterfront for more than 70 years, but time and a harsh marine environment have weakened this vital piece of infrastructure, which is currently being replaced.

Cross-section of the existing seawall, including the timber piles and relieving platform

Cross-section of the existing seawall, including the timber piles and relieving platform

The seawall structure is more than just the concrete face at the edge of the water. An estimated 20,000 old growth timbers were driven into the soil to build the old structure. In some locations, such as near the historic piers, the wall is approximately 60 feet wide. The new seawall will utilize a method called jet grouting to stabilize the existing soil behind the seawall face.

Cross-section of the new seawall structure, including jet grout columns

Cross-section of the new seawall structure, including jet grout columns

What is Jet Grouting?

Jet grouting is a soil improvement technique that is the primary foundational element of the new seawall. Jet grout makes soil stronger by drilling into the ground and injecting grout, which mixes with the dirt below to create columns of stabilized soil. The columns are arranged in a honeycomb pattern, and extend approximately 50 to 60 feet below the surface of an excavated pit.

Excavation reveals the relieving platform of the original seawall

Excavation reveals the relieving platform of the original seawall

Excavating down to the existing seawall

Prior to stabilizing the soil, a large pit is excavated down to the relieving platform of the existing seawall. Once excavation is complete, the relieving platform is removed and the tops of the existing timber support structure are identified and surveyed to avoid conflicts with jet grout installation. The timber support structure from the existing seawall will remain in the ground, entombed in the jet grout columns.

Surveyors confirm the location for jet grout column installation near Waterfront Park

Surveyors confirm the location for jet grout column installation near Waterfront Park

Jet grouting continues on the central waterfront

As the Seawall Project works north to south, jet grouting is currently under way near the historic piers and was recently completed near Waterfront Park. When the project is finished, nearly 3.1 million cubic feet of grout and 6,000 columns will be placed in the ground, providing a stable seawall foundation for years to come.

A jet grout rig drills columns near the historic piers]

A jet grout rig drills columns near the historic piers

Learn more!

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