• 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

Wedgwood Community Safety Open House on Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

SDOT is excited to meet with the community and share the latest news about the community-initiated Wedgwood Children and Neighbors Safety Improvement Project open house on Tuesday, February 3. Meet the project team and learn more about the new sidewalks coming to Wedgewood.

We’ve updated the project’s design thanks to community input, and we have full funding for the work since our last open house in late 2012.

Please join us at Wedgwood Elementary School 2720 NE 85th Street from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.(Presentation at 6:45 p.m.)

In 2012, the community requested we add a sidewalk along 28th Avenue NE and repair and replace part of the sidewalk along Ravenna Avenue NE. After reviewing the request, we secured funding to make these improvements as well as build new sidewalks along NE 85th Street and NE 83rd Street. New curbs and curb ramps will also be installed throughout the project area.

These improvements will connect Wedgwood Elementary to the existing sidewalk network south of the school, making it safer and easier for kids, families and neighbors to walk and bike in your community. To educate and encourage kids to walk and bike safely to school, we are also partnering with Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center to provide bike safety education, support for walking school buses, bike trains and an evaluation of arrival and departure procedures.

Wedgewood Safety Improvements Map

Wedgewood Safety Improvements Map

This year, the $1.5 million project is fully funded through the support of local funds such as the  Safe Routes to School program, and a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation. Construction is expected to begin as early as summer 2015 when school is on break; a second construction phase is anticipated in early 2016. To learn more, visit the project webpage at www.seattle.gov/transportation/SafeRoutesWedgwood.htm.

Plan Ahead for Sunday’s Big Game

Seattle’s abuzz with football excitement as the Seahawks look to make history in Phoenix this Sunday.

On this final Blue Friday of the season, we present you with some critical information so you can plan ahead if you plan to drink. It’s common knowledge that drinking and driving don’t mix. Consider these travel options as you put together your game plan for the big day:

  • Get a ride – Take the bus, rail, a cab or a service like Uber, Lyft, Curbed or Flywheel to get around town. Let a professional driver escort you between the party and your home.
  • Select a Designated Driver – Make sure someone stays sober if driving is necessary. Driving impaired is one sure-fire way to ruin a momentous occasion.
  • Park it – If you accidentally consume some “special brownies” at the party, leave your car parked overnight and sleep it off at a friends house. Everything you need to know about pre-paid parking can be found here.
  • Walk safe – Walking impaired is no party. Be sure you’re sober enough to navigate our busy urban streets before heading out solo. If you don’t have your wits about you, have a sober friend help you get to your destination or just sleep it off.


We hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend! GO HAWKS!

Let's hope we get to do this again next week!

Let’s hope we get to do this again next week!


Safer New Pioneer Square Sidewalk Thanks to Neighborhood Street Fund

Thanks to community and SDOT efforts, safety and accessibility have been greatly improved by the addition of a new sidewalk and curb ramp on South Jackson Street from 2nd Ave South to 3rd Ave South in Pioneer Square.

The new sidewalk and curb ramp replaced the outdated sidewalk which had a slanted grade and tall alley curb, which made it difficult for anyone with limited mobility or pushing deliveries to access.

Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street Before New Sidewalk

Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

South Jackson Street After New Sidewalk

Pioneer Square based International Sustainability Institute and the Alliance for Pioneer Square applied for and was awarded a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to pay for these improvements. The Neighborhood Street Fund Program pays for neighborhood transportation projects which are identified and prioritized by the community itself. The funds for this program come from the Bridging the Gap levy.

SDOT staff and crews worked closely with the surrounding businesses and property owners along the stretch of Jackson to plan and complete the work. This project is an example of SDOT and the community working together to make our streets and sidewalks safe and accessible for everyone.

From the Seawall Project Construction site: Safety is a Priority!

The Seawall Project is replacing the city’s aging seawall along the central waterfront, which is a large and complex undertaking. On any given day, large trucks and equipment are continuously entering and exiting the work zone, and lifting, pushing and moving materials and supplies. With the constant action on the site, maintaining a safe working environment for both the project team and the general public is one of our highest priorities.

Starting the day off right

Each morning before the work shift begins, the construction team gathers for a daily ritual: the “stretch n’ bend.” The morning get-together serves as the team’s regular meeting to get limber, outline the day’s objectives, and ensure everyone is wearing the correct personal protection equipment (PPE).

Seawall Construction Site Safety

Workers stretch and prepare for a day of seawall construction.

What is PPE?

Each day, about 100 workers enter the half mile long site through multiple gates, and each individual must be wearing the required personal protection equipment. PPE includes a hard hat, gloves, eye protection, ear protection, vest and hard-soled shoes. Ths equipment ensures that everyone on site is easy to see and protected from the elements. Flaggers at each gate inspect people as they enter, and ensure that they meet safety requirements. Because the seawall is located next to Elliott Bay, the project’s proximity to water sometimes requires that workers wear personal flotation devices or harnesses.

Work Crew wearing personal flotaion devices and other PPE while performing in-water work.

Work Crew wearing personal flotation devices and other PPE while performing in-water work.

Safety training is also part of the goal of maintaining a safe working environment. Each person that works on the project must complete a site safety training course and receive and display a sticker on their hard hat indicating they are approved to be inside the construction zone.

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.

Bridging the Gap Levy Dollars at work – 2015, part 2

Last week’s post focused more on the larger projects (bridges, paving, trees and the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Projects) supported by your transportation levy – BTG. This week we will look at the work plans for pedestrians, bikes and traffic management operations.

Since the BTG initiative was passed by Seattle voters in 2006, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has pulled together ambitious work plans each year and 2015 is no exception. SDOT crews will continue replacing guardrail and focus on replacing and repairing crash cushions at key roadway points across the city. Crews will also rehabilitate seven stairways and construct seven blocks of new sidewalk.

Bridging the Gap

More work to be completed in 2015:

  • SDOT will install 2,000 new regulatory signs and new street name signs will be installed at 1,250 intersections.


  • Crews will make 40 crossing improvements, complete eight Safe Routes to School projects, construct 200 new curb ramps and install pedestrian countdown signals at 25 intersections.


  • More than 520 centerline lane miles of arterial roadway will be restriped, 500 crosswalks will also be restriped and 60 miles of on-street bicycle facilities will be maintained.


  • SDOT will inspect 40 miles of trails and bikeways, install 25 miles of signed bicycle routes, install 12 miles of greenways and seven miles of bike lanes and sharrows and install 500 bicycle parking spaces across the city.


  • 50,000 transit service hours will be preserved, two transit corridors will be designed, and two will be constructed, while six priority bus corridors will see strategic spot improvements constructed.


Through the first six years of the levy, the city has delivered on the promises made by BTG. We have constructed more than 107 blocks of new sidewalk, installed more than 47,600 new regulatory signs, replaced street names signs at 11,137 intersections, improved walking routes more than 50 schools, remarked 5,240 crosswalks, installed 181 miles of bike route signage, striped 156 miles of bike lanes and sharrows, upgraded 16,000 linear-feet of guardrail and installed pedestrian countdown signals at 255 intersections. Each of these projects help residents of Seattle navigate the city a little easier and a little more safely.

For more information about BTG’s goals and progress on meeting those targets, please visit the BTG web page.

New Holman Road NW Ped Median Gets Elmed!

So maybe elmed is not a word, but certainly the new Holman Road NW pedestrian median can now claim the elm treatment. SDOT Urban Forestry crews planted nine elm hybrids along the roadway this past weekend and into today. The trees are the finishing touches to the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project that completed construction in December (with large tree pits awaiting trees).

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with completed tree pits, December 2014

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015

Holman Road NW New Pedestrian Median, with planted trees, January 2015








Despite the new trees being barely five or so years old, each one weighed 600 pounds with its root ball–bark babies requiring heavy equipment and traffic control to ensure safe planting.

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid Dutch elm trees along Holman Road NW

SDOT Urban Forestry crews install new hybrid elm trees along Holman Road NW

Seven of the new trees were installed in the long median that flanks the pedestrian overpass at 13th Avenue NW and one tree was planted in each of the other two short medians.

The trees are the crowning top to the new pedestrian median near 13th Avenue NW, across from Crown Hill Park. In the fall the leaves will turn a vivid golden hue.


Photo of established hybrid elm; inset: fall color


The new median is just one of the many pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements brought by the Holman Road NW Arterial Paving Project.


Providing an alternative crossing is important at this location as the nearby NW 92nd Street is a greenway and a future Safe Routes to School pathway at Mary Avenue (Whitman Middle School is just around the corner).

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014

Looking southbound at Holman Avenue near 13th Avenue NW, fall 2014



Data shows cars slowdown in areas where there are street trees, making the neighborhood safer.


Yet another part of the Holman Project is discussion around removing the pedestrian bridge and replacing it with a pedestrian signal. That idea, which opens up the space for better sight lines, is still in need of funding.

Open House for 11th Avenue NW Student-Powered Project!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we talked about the Shoreline Street Ends program preserving and improving public access to Seattle’s waterways?

Well, Monday night, January 26, you can offer your ideas and thoughts on a street end project led by University of Washington students!

In the unique partnership effort, graduate and undergraduate students in UW’s landscape architecture “Design/Build” program will conceptualize and construct the new 11th Avenue NW shoreline street end. They want to know what you’d like to see:

What: Open House for 11th Avenue NW Shoreline Street End partner project

Who: University of Washington students leading the charge!

When: January 26, 2015 from 6PM to 7:30PM

Where: Ballard Public Library, 5614 22nd Avenue NW


Hope to see you there!


Mercer Corridor Project – Maintaining Safety through the Corridor

Travelers who use the Mercer Corridor have much to look forward to as construction is expected to wrap-up later this year. As pavement is poured, lanes are added, sidewalks poured, bike lanes completed and signal timing adjusted, SDOT will maintain its commitment to safety to all those who work, live and travel in the corridor. Though traffic capacity is limited, the project opened two new westbound lanes between Ninth Ave N and Queen Anne Ave N last summer. This provides a much improved, direct route from I-5 to Seattle Center, Uptown and Queen Anne, and it also eliminates some of the challenges between turning vehicles and pedestrians.

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Bicycle and Pedestrian route

Work in the past six months has focused on Mercer between Fifth Ave N and Ninth Ave N, and south along Fifth Ave N. Installation of new signals, sidewalks, and accessible ramps has required that traffic lanes, sidewalks, and crosswalks be closed to protect pedestrians and others from construction activities. Pedestrians have had to cross the street at signalized intersections and sometimes travel two or three blocks out of their way to avoid the construction zones. This is inconvenient, but necessary to maintain safe, accessible connections during construction. Pedestrian maps highlighting closures and detour routes are posted on our project website as well as on sidewalks in the project area. Here’s a link: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/mercercorridor.htm

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

Mercer St Pedestrian Detour map

As work progresses, more corners and crosswalks are opening up with improved ramps and sidewalks. All new sidewalks and curbs are constructed to meet the current Americans with Disabilities Act standards for mobility providing safe travels for all users in the corridor.

Work will continue near the intersection of Dexter Ave N and Mercer St where temporary configurations have been in place on both streets since July of last year. Temporary roadways were constructed so that crews could safely work on major utility relocations on both Mercer St and Dexter Ave N. Both roadways and corresponding curvatures drivers experience will be removed this year, starting with Mercer St the weekend of February 7.

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

Removing the bridge over Broad St at the intersection of Mercer St and Dexter Ave N

During this weekend closure, crews will also stripe the eastbound lanes with their final markings. Pedestrians will also experience a noticeable change in their routing as the temporary roadways are removed. Following the February 7 weekend closure, pedestrians will be moved from the south side of Mercer St to new sidewalks on the north side of Mercer St between 5th Ave N and Dexter Ave N. The new separated bicycle path will be in place adjacent to the sidewalk, but crews will wait for drier weather to add channelization markings on the bike path.

Do You take Transit on Madison Street? Your input is greatly appreciated.

Do you take Transit on Madison Street? SDOT has a new online survey and is seeking input for the Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Study.

The Study is developing a concept design for BRT from Colman Dock to Martin Luther King Jr. Way and will examine two alternatives to evaluate travel-time savings, traffic impacts, ridership projections, and parking impacts in the coming months.


Route 12 Bus on Madison Street

The 2.1-mile corridor runs from Colman Dock east to 23rd Avenue and will improve access to ferries, Third Avenue transit, First Hill medical facilities and housing, Seattle University, the Central district, Link Light Rail, and the First Hill Streetcar.

Madison Street Cooridor Map

Madison Street Cooridor Map

SDOT is seeking input on key elements before this analysis begins, including transit connections, routing options, station locations, and an alternate bike facility.  After the analysis is complete, SDOT will launch a round of outreach to share the results and discuss community preferences about the design options. The last question of the survey is a map exercise; don’t forget to share your map. #MadisonBRT

The survey ends February 5th.  You can request paper copies of the survey directly from SDOT, by emailing MadisonBRT@seattle.gov or contacting Sara Walton at 206-386-4645.

For more information on the Madison BRT study, visit the project website.

Battery Drive System Impresses in First Tests of New Streetcars

The first performance tests of the new streetcars on order for the First Hill Streetcar line were completed in December. In addition to testing acceleration and braking, the performance tests featured off-wire operation powered by a rechargeable battery system, known as the On-Board Energy Storage System (OESS). When operating on the First Hill Streetcar line, the streetcars will be powered by the OESS on each inbound trip from Capitol Hill to Pioneer Square (2.5 miles). The batteries will be recharging whenever the streetcar is braking, and will also recharge on the outbound trip from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill, while being powered from the overhead wires (known as the Overhead Contact System, or OCS).

Czech Streetcar Test

Street Car Battery drive testing in Czech Republic.

Street Car Map

Initial tests were performed on a test track at the factory where the first streetcar was completed in the Czech city of Ostrava. The streetcar operated off-wire for 3 miles, using 25% of the battery capacity of the OESS. Subsequent tests were performed on the Ostrava streetcar system. This allowed for uphill and downhill operation and simulation of traffic conditions that may be encountered in Seattle. During this testing, the streetcar operated on battery drive for distances as great as four miles and durations as long as 37 minutes. The testing also demonstrated that batteries recharge rapidly from regenerative braking and during operation on the OCS.

The test results indicate that the OESS will be more than adequate for the requirements of the First Hill line, and can also be used for significant segments of the planned Center City Connector streetcar extension.

Streetcar Battery drive testing in Czech Republic.

Streetcar Battery drive testing in Czech Republic.

The OESS was developed for the First Hill Streetcar to reduce overhead wire conflicts with the Metro trolley bus system. Several other cities plan to use battery drive to avoid overhead conflicts (such as bridge overpasses), save energy costs, or limit the visual impact of overhead contact systems. A similar system has been in use in Nice, France since 2007.

For more information, please follw link: http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/