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City Offices are closed for the Memorial Day Holiday

hellas-multimedia-4th-of-july-clip-artToday  is a federal holiday in which we honor the those who have died while serving in the United States military.  Originally Memorial Day began as an event honoring Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War.  After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action. Initially titled Decoration Day, after World War II the day became known as Memorial Day.

We hope you have a safe and happy Memorial Day.  We’ll resume our normal blog schedule again tomorrow.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Ushers in 100 Days to be Extra-Super-Safe

BSS Logo BLUEAh, Memorial Day weekend. Three days of long-awaited travel, the outdoors and reveling in the return of sunshine. This unofficial start of summer, as Memorial Day is often deemed, also marks an especially notorious stretch of 100 days on Washington’s roadways that spans Independence Day and Labor Day weekend.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s 2012 Collision Summary, significantly more collisions occur during these 100 days than other times of the year. This happens for a variety of reasons, including more impaired drivers on the roads. Men and women ages 25 to 34 are most likely to be involved in collisions during this period.
The good news is that 90 percent of all crashes—involving pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles—can be prevented by practicing safer habits.

As this 100-day stretch draws near, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) reminds travelers to Be Super Safe on our streets.

FIVE TIPS FOR SAFER SUMMER TRAVEL

Plan Ahead if You Plan to Drink
Help keep our streets safe by not driving while under the influence of alcohol, which remains the single biggest contributing factor to traffic fatalities, nor driving while under the influence of marijuana. If your plans include some partying, be sure to make your transportation plans before you have that first summer ale. Take a cab or a bus, choose a designated driver, or sleep it off at a friend’s house. Just don’t get behind the wheel.

Focus on the Road
Another no-no is distracted driving. Distractions can include texting and driving, eating, rearranging wind-blown hair or changing the radio station. Distracted driving is the second-leading contributing cause of collisions in Seattle. More than 1,000 crashes are caused by inattention every year—crashes that are completely preventable.

Slow Down
Plan your trip and allow enough time to get where you’re going. Speeding—which contributes to nearly 4,000 collisions annually in Seattle—and aggressive driving continually cause trouble on the streets. Slow down and enjoy the sunshine!

Stop for Pedestrians

“Did not grant right-of-way” to pedestrians is the most commonly cited factor for pedestrian collisions year after year in Seattle. No one has a super hero’s ability to quickly negate the force of a large, fast-moving vehicle. Please remember that every intersection is a legal crosswalk even if there are no crosswalk markings. Always stop for pedestrians.

Pedestrians, Keep a Lookout

As pedestrians, we should never assume that we are safe just because we are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. In fact, most pedestrian-involved collisions occur in marked crosswalks. Save that phone call for later, look before you cross and keep looking as you cross the street. Wear bright or light-colored clothing or reflective gear in the evening time and early morning so drivers can spot you.

Remember—We’re All in This Together

It’s important to remind ourselves that we are sharing the road with fellow Seattleites who also just want to get to their destination safely.

Let’s look out for each other.

 

A Bicycle Trail through an Industrial Area

(No, not THAT industrial area…)

The West Duwamish Trail will soon be extended through the South Park industrial area, in a project that combines building a trail where there are no sidewalks, a road where there is no asphalt or drainage - where storms leave small lakes. The work, to be done by Gary Merlino Construction Inc. will begin in June and likely finish by December of this year.

The project will stretch from the current southern end of the West Duwamish Trail at Second Avenue South and South Holden Street to Eighth Avenue South and South Portland Street, past stalwart industrial firms such as Gear Works, West Coast Wire and Rope and Flamespray NW.

The ten foot wide trail will be separated from the newly constructed roadway by a 3.5 foot wide buffer zone. It will cross driveways leading into warehouses, factories and machine shops along South Portland Street, which will be illuminated by newly installed lights between the trail and the private property to the south.

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The project will bring Seattle’s Duwamish Trail just that much closer to King County’s Green River Trail and bring the area that much closer to having a fully integrated recreational bicycle trail network.

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And the hardworking employees and residents of South Park will be able to enjoy a dry trail, free of parked cars and moving semi-trucks, for decades to come.

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Imagine Biking Along the New Waterfront

Can you imagine biking along the new waterfront? Would you use a bike path to commute to work? The Office of the Waterfront is currently designing and planning for a brand new bike trail and bike facility that will be installed along the west side of Alaskan Way for everyone in the city to enjoy.

This new path will replace the existing trail beneath the viaduct and run along the new waterfront promenade. The bike path will be designed to respond to the needs of a variety of cyclists in the community, whether it’s commuting from the Colman dock ferries to work downtown, connecting a bike ride from West Seattle to Ballard, or just strolling along the waterfront promenade. We are also working closely with Pronto, Puget Sound Bike Share, to make sure we have a designated bike share location along the waterfront.

The two-way cycle track will connect the Elliot Bay Trail at the north end at Pine Street to the recently finished South King Street bike path. To give you a better picture, below are some images of what biking along the new waterfront bike facility might feel like.

Imagine commuting or strolling along the new waterfront multi-use trail.

Imagine commuting along the new Waterfront bike trail

 

How an intersection might look on the future Waterfront depicts the connections between bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles.

How an intersection might look on the future Waterfront depicts the connections between bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles.

Westlake Cycle Track Update: Open house on Wednesday, May 21

Westlake Cycle Track 2014_0520_Project_map RESIZE

You’re invited to the Westlake Cycle Track open house on May 21. Join us to learn more about the project goal and objectives; talk with project staff; see traffic circulation and parking utilization data; and provide input about this unique corridor and what should be considered as a bike route within the parking area is selected. We want to hear from you so we can design a bike facility that adds predictability, improves safety for all users, and supports economic vitality.

When: Wednesday, May 21, 5:30 – 8:00 PM

Where: Fremont Studios, 155 N 35th Street

Presentation:  6:15 PM

You’ll also be able to meet our 13-member Design Advisory Committee. The committee was appointed by Mayor Ed Murray to represent a variety of interests and is meeting regularly to provide feedback on the project.

The Westlake Avenue North corridor between Fremont and South Lake Union neighborhoods connects the Fremont Bridge, Ship Canal Trail and Lake Union Park. This unique 1.2-mile corridor is a major truck and transit route and is home to marine-related businesses, moorage areas, floating homes and more. People walking, using wheelchairs, biking and driving all share an undefined space, which can affect safety for all users. A bike facility will add predictability for all users and create a safer, more comfortable place for people of all ages and abilities to bike.

All are welcome at the open house! If you are unable to attend, you can learn more and share your thoughts by visiting our website, emailing or calling us:

Email: WCT@seattle.gov

Hotline: 206-909-8578

Website: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/wct.htm

 

 

Record number of bicycle trips made last week

 

peeps at Fremont BrdgRESIZEWay to go Seattle. With a dose of good weather, many Seattleites chose a healthy bike ride as the way to travel last week. We set new one week highs according to our counters at Fremont and Spokane.  For the week of May 12, 32,427 people rode bikes over the Fremont Bridge and 9,812 passed by the Spokane counter. While we didn’t break any day records last Friday, the official Bike to Work Day, it was fun watching the numbers click upward. Interested in seeing the data for yourself? Click here for Fremont and here for Spokane.

 

Help Get Seattle Moving

The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board is seeking new members

The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board (SBAB) is accepting applications for new members to advise the City on the concerns and needs of the growing bicycling community. The volunteer board, which was created by Seattle City Council in 1977, plays an influential role in implementing the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan. The board advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Photo courtesy http://carfreedays.com (used with permission).

Photo courtesy http://carfreedays.com (used with permission).

Board members serve a two-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. Current members represent all types of cyclists and skill levels, from casual weekend riders to year-round commuters. Members must be Seattle residents and may not be city employees. The board meets the first Wednesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seattle City Hall.

Mayor Murray and the City Council are committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, youths, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, and persons of color are encouraged to apply. Interested persons should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by June 6th to walkandbike@seattle.gov with “SBAB” in the subject line. Interested persons without internet access may call 206.684.7583.

To learn more about the board or join the mailing list for agendas and other board updates, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/sbab/default.htm.

Bike to Work, Day of Play, and Roxhill Block Party!

OH_helmet fitting 3Today is Bike to Work day! Need to drop your kids off at school? Take them with you by bike! Show your kids how to plan a comfortable route and drop them off at school on your way to work. Biking is fun and it’s not just for kids!

Throughout the city, SDOT is making safety improvements for walking and biking to school. Since 2007, SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, funded in part by funding the Bridging the Gap levy, has improved safety at 39 schools in Seattle. SDOT is also building neighborhood greenways to schools all over town. These safer, calm residential streets are getting kids to school in West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Ballard, Wallingford, Greenwood, and Wedgwood.

In celebration of Bike to School month, SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program is sponsoring walk and bike to school events. These events encourage families to get outside, have fun, and use newly improved infrastructure around schools like sidewalks, curb bulbs, planting strips, street trees, public art, and street lighting.

photo 2On Saturday April 26th SDOT’s partners Cascade Bicycle Club, Feet First, and Seattle Greenways organized The Day of Play at Olympic Hills Elementary in Lake City, promoting healthy ways of getting to school.  More than 115 kids were fitted with helmets and received prizes for successfully making it through a bike rodeo that taught safe bicycling skills. The Seattle Fire Department’s Senior Fire Cadet Program brought a shiny red fire truck for kids to see and taught kids about fire safety and how to dial 911 in an emergency.

Roxhill Elementary School’s Block Party was held on Mother’s Day, celebrating the important role mothers play in keeping kids safe, healthy, and active. Feet First and Cascade Bicycle Club were again teaching kids the skills for walking and biking in their neighborhood. 50 kids received new bike helmets and navigated through a bike rodeo. Two beautiful brand new bikes were raffled off. Roxhill Principal Sahnica Washington and PTA President Alejandra Diaz joined in the fun riding on the Walking School Bus.

The fun continues today at Roxhill with an All School Walk Day where school buses drop kids off a few blocks from the school and everyone walks to school together. Denny Middle School marching band will provide tunes for the walk, and State Representative Eileen Cody and School Board Member Marty McLaren will be there to support walking to school.

For more information about Safe Routes to School, visit http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/saferoutes.htm.

Record Number of People Ride Bikes Over Fremont and Spokane Street Bridges

Warm weather, Bike to Work competitions and improving bike infrastructure seem to be attracting more people to jump on their bikes. Tuesday, Seattle 8080139598_6200bb6d59hit an all-time high with 6,088 people crossing the Fremont Bridge on bikes. And this wasn’t the only location experiencing high bike volumes. Spokane Street had its  highest day with a cool 1,847 people riding by yesterday. The official ‘Bike to Work Day’ is tomorrow, Friday. The weather isn’t predicted to be as warm, but it feels like a challenge is brewing. Seattle, let’s blow these new highs out of the water! Tune in on Monday to see how we do.

Please remember when crossing the Fremont Bridge that pedestrians are vulnerable users too. Ride slowly, or walk your bike and always let someone know if you are passing. Roll on!

 

Broadway’s Artful Bike Bollards and Power Poles

Protective blue bollards edge the bike lane in Broadway,

Protective blue bollards edge the bike lane in Broadway,

Have you been to Capitol Hill lately and seen the low lying loops along Broadway? The burly blue barricade? What are they? Where’d they come from? What are they for?

"Eye of the needle" caps the tops of a power pole on Broadway.

“Eye of the needle” cap on pole supporting streetcar power line.

They’re called “bollards,” and they’ve been placed along the newly opened Broadway Protected Bike Lane to help drivers identify the edge of the bike lane. They also provide a visual and physical barrier to protect people riding bikes. The Broadway Bike Lane was developed as part of the First Hill Streetcar Project.

The bollards’ design is the work of Seattle artist Claudia Fitchwho worked with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) staff and First Hill Streetcar Project designers, including Mithun, to develop site-integrated artwork along the entire route of the streetcar. Imagining the streetcar’s continuous power wire as a thread tying neighborhoods together, Fitch drew on metaphors related to sewing, needlework and beadwork in conceiving her creations. That’s why the bollards are suggestive of ”stitches,” and large sculptural “beads” and “eye-of-the needle” caps adorn the poles supporting streetcar power wires.

There are 21 bollards along the 1.2 mile bike lane within a 2’ wide buffer separating bikes from cars. They were manufactured of molded plastic by Landscape Forms in Kalamazoo, Michigan and are filled with hundreds of pounds of sand.  Members of the Seattle Conservation Corps assisted with their installation.

Fitch’s artwork includes many public art installations in the Northwest, including at CenturyLink Field and in the South Lake Union neighborhood. She has also exhibited her work in museums and galleries nationally and internationally.

Her streetcar artwork was commissioned with funds transferred to SDOT from Sound Transit. SDOT partnered with the Office of Arts & Culture to administer the art project.

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Another “eye of the needle.”

"Beads"on streetcar poles at the Yesler platform.

“Beads”on streetcar poles at the Yesler platform.