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Best of the Year | SDOT’s 2022 Highlights!

Blog stats: 1,700 words | 10-minute read

2022 was a significant year for Team SDOT. From welcoming a new Director and re-opening the West Seattle Bridge, to delivering voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle-funded projects, to returning to in-person outreach and events, and planning the future of transportation in Seattle, our team was dedicated to serving you.

It’s our mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities. Here are our top highlights of 2022.

Letter from the Director

Photo of SDOT Director Greg Spotts smiling at the camera on a sunny day. Bushes and trees, as well as parked cars, are in the background. Greg is wearing a navy blue suit jacket and a blue dress shirt.

Hello Seattle. I’m Greg Spotts, SDOT’s Director. I joined SDOT in September and I’m proud of everything our team accomplished in 2022 by working together with Seattle communities and drawing on the skills and dedication of our entire staff. I look forward to meeting and exceeding our goals for 2023. Here are a few areas I’m focused on as we get underway:

Listening Tours

I launched a series of community listening tours. The tours are critical to building relationships, experiencing the rich communities within the city, and understanding what Seattle’s complex transportation system means to the people we serve. In four months, I’ve participated in more than 50 tours, many of which are shown on this map. It’s been a great way to start my workday and I plan to continue them in 2023.

Vision Zero Top to Bottom Review

I initiated a Top to Bottom review of our Vision Zero program, to identify what’s working, and what needs to change to substantially improve safety on our streets. I challenged the entire SDOT team to integrate safety into every aspect of our work. We’ve solicited safety ideas from our staff and listened to community members’ experiences. We will publish our draft findings report soon – please stay tuned. We’re excited to hear public input on the draft report online and via meetings of the Seattle City Council Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee and at presentations to our advisory boards and committees in the first quarter of this year. I look forward to advancing the findings and enabling our team to continue to creatively address this vital challenge with the help of everyone who travels on Seattle’s public right of way.

Advancing Equity

Equity is another central value and goal for SDOT. Our work is guided by our Transportation Equity Framework, which we’ll continue to realize in 2023 and beyond. Our plan calls for inclusive decision-making, affordable and accessible travel options, and facilitating transportation justice initiatives. Demonstrating our commitment to transparency, the public dashboard sharing the 220 tactics and proposed start dates has been translated into 11 languages.

Public Service Excellence

I define our core value of excellence as creating an organization that’s responsive, innovative, transparent, and accountable. These priorities have guided me throughout my career, and I believe they’re already making SDOT better at meeting the needs of the traveling public, by sharing regular updates on our progress along the way. I am empowering staff at all levels of our organization to help embody these values.

Graphic with the words responsive, innovative, transparent, and accountable. The background is blue, and the word text is yellow. Icons highlight each word, including a chat box, a lightbulb, a magnifying glass, and a hand with a star in it.
Graphic highlighting SDOT’s core value of excellence, including being responsive, innovative, transparent, and accountable. Graphic: SDOT

Reflections from Kristen Simpson

SDOT Senior Deputy Director Kristen Simpson smiles at the camera in a photo from downtown Seattle. Other people are in the background, as well as tiles and large trees.

“It was my honor to serve as Interim Director of SDOT from January to September of 2022. This was a highlight of my career, and while not without challenges, it reminded me of what’s possible when we work together as One Seattle. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Greg, our entire SDOT staff, and the public, as we kick off 2023 and continue to build the equitable, climate-friendly transportation system we want for our city.”

– Kristen Simpson, Senior Deputy Director, SDOT

Thank you for entrusting us as the stewards of your transportation system. We look forward to working in service to you, the entire Seattle community, this year and beyond.


Greg Spotts, Director, Seattle Department of Transportation

SDOT’s 2022 Highlights

Link to each highlight below:

Re-Opening the West Seattle Bridge

View of the West Seattle Bridge, looking north toward downtown Seattle. Large cranes and the Duwamish Waterway are also visible in the background and foreground.
View of the West Seattle Bridge, looking north toward downtown Seattle. Photo credit: Chun Kwan

The West Seattle Bridge reopened to the public on September 17, 2022 after being closed 2 ½ years for critical safety repairs after its emergency closure in March of 2020.

During the closure, we also built dozens of projects to improve safety and mobility in neighborhoods affected by bridge detours. We appreciate the resilience of the thousands of people who live and work in West Seattle and Duwamish Valley communities, as we repaired the bridge. Thank you.

Infographic regarding the West Seattle Bridge Re-Opening. The graphic includes a number of statistics, including the date when the bridge closed in March 2020, that the closure was 2 1/2 years long, the date of reopening on September 17, 2022, that 60 miles of steel post-tensioning cables were installed, 10,000 sq feet of carbon fiber sheets were installed, 240 gallons of epoxy were installed to strengthen the bridge, and dozes of projects were built to improve safety and mobility in neighborhoods affected by the closure.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding the West Seattle Bridge closure and re-opening. Graphic: SDOT

Return to In-Person Outreach & Events

Photo of SDOT outreach staff at a summer event in Seattle. The team of six people smiles at the camera while standing under a canopy tent, with informational giveaways on a table with a black tablecloth.

We were thrilled to return to in-person outreach events this summer after two-plus years of virtual meetings during the pandemic.

Over the summer, we attended dozens of events throughout Seattle and heard from thousands of people about their transportation experiences and feedback. Thank you to everyone who supported these efforts!

Infographic highlighting in-person outreach events. The graphic notes that 30+ outreach events, farmers markets, and festivals took place, and that 465 free helmets were distributed at the events.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding 2022 in-person outreach events. Graphic: SDOT

Engagement on the Seattle Transportation Plan

Graphic showing a snapshot from the Seattle Transportation Plan (STP) online engagement hub. To the right, an outreach staff person speaks with attendees at a summertime festival, at a table with informational giveaways.

The Seattle Transportation Plan (STP) is our commitment to building a transportation system that provides everyone with access to safe, efficient, and affordable options to reach places and opportunities. Together, we’re reimagining how we move around the city and enjoy our public spaces by creating a 20-year plan.

Since March 2022, we’ve been engaging with you and your neighbors. Here are some stats on and community participation to-date:

Graphic highlighting key stats for the Seattle Transportation Plan (STP) public engagement, including: 61,000 total data points collected (phases 1 and 2 to date), 28,000+ total visits to the online engagement hub, 7,000+ comments placed on interactive maps, 6,000+ people engaged at outreach events, 9,000+ responses to surveys, 95 social media posts, 68 community events, and 45 meetings and briefings.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding Seattle Transportation Plan community engagement. Graphic: SDOT

We’ll share the draft STP in early 2023 and ask for your feedback to be sure we’re on the right track. Help us by sharing your input on the Online Engagement Hub.

Published our Transportation Equity Framework (TEF)

Photo of staff and community members standing together to celebrate the publication of the Transportation Equity Framework in summer 2022. Eight people stand near a building and a large display board, on a sunny day.

Since 2019, the Transportation Equity Workgroup has helped shape our vision for elevating equity in all aspects of SDOT’s work. This past summer, after a robust development process, we published the Transportation Equity Framework. The framework lays out a detailed plan with over 200 specific tactics that advance the values identified. You can read more details in this blog post.

Infographic highlighting key stats from the Transportation Equity Framework, including 3+ years of development to deliver the framework, 11 community members who formed the Transportation Equity Workgroup, 200+ specific tactics focused on advancing equity, 8 equity strategic drivers, and 6 years of implementation from 2022-2028.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding the Transportation Equity Framework. Graphic: SDOT

Delivering on Levy to Move Seattle Projects

A graphic icon showing the Levy to Move Seattle, with blue icons showing various travel modes, including train, truck, bus, car, bike, and walking.
Logo of the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. Graphic: SDOT.

“Finishing strong on the Levy is one of the most important tasks we have over the next two years. I am proud of our work across the department to remain on track to meet almost every one of our 30 commitments made to voters in 2015, despite managing the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, a global pandemic’s strain on City revenues, and staffing and materials shortages. As we complete our Levy deliverables, we are also developing a plan to continue funding our collective vision for transportation in Seattle.”

– Greg Spotts, SDOT Director

Secured federal grant and partner funding

Photo of the Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge at night. The green bridge is illuminated, and a large building is in the upper right corner, also illuminated.

Harnessing federal funding and applying for grants is an important way to stretch Seattle tax dollars. In 2022, we secured more than $38 million in new federal funding through our state and regional partners. These funding sources are a vital part of helping us to deliver on our commitments in the Levy to Move Seattle. (Photo to left of Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge, courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives Digital Collection 77699)

Infographic highlighting leveraging grants and partner funding, including $22.6 million to make bridges stronger, for bridge maintenance, and upgrades to several bridges; $4.8 million to make walking, rolling, and biking for several facilities in Seattle, $1.5 million to support repaving on Denny Way, and $9.7 million to make transit more reliable and efficient.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding leveraging grants and partner funding. Graphic: SDOT

Delivering Levy-funded safety and mobility improvements

We’re reimagining some of our busiest streets and making it easier to choose walking, rolling, biking, and taking transit. We’re building safer routes to schools, making bridges stronger, repairing, and constructing new sidewalks, expanding our bike network, implementing community-requested projects, adding new crosswalks, planting trees, and so much more. In 2022, we accomplished the following Levy-funded improvements:

Infographic highlighting Levy to Move Seattle dollars at work, including 4 major streets made safer through comprehensive improvements including new signals, crossings, sidewalks, curb ramps, and more; 15 projects completed to make it safer for students to walk, roll, and bike to school; 1,500 crosswalks and 560 arterial lane-miles remarked with new paint; 5+ miles added to our bicycle network; 3 completed Neighborhood Street Fund projects.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding Levy-funded improvements delivered in 2022 (part 1 of 2). Graphic: SDOT
Infographic highlighting additional improvements funded by the Levy to Move Seattle, including 27+ lane-miles repaved, 2 bridge seismic retrofit projects completed, continued construction on major transit corridors, 14+ blocks of new sidewalks built, 28+ blocks of existing sidewalks repaired, and 2 improvements made to make freight travel and goods delivery more efficient.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding Levy-funded improvements delivered in 2022 (part 2 of 2). Graphic: SDOT

Completed construction along Delridge Way SW

Photo of Delridge Way SW, including parked cars, a planted center median strip with new trees, large buildings, and gray skies.

In 2022, we completed construction work on Delridge Way SW, a street in West Seattle that stretches from the West Seattle Bridge to White Center. Community input was essential to determine the location of safety projects and finalize RapidRide H Line enhancements and bus stops in coordination with King County Metro. Thank you Delridge community for your participation!

No matter how you’re traveling – whether by foot or wheels, your trip is smoother and safer thanks to this project. Next up: addition of RapidRide H Line bus service with Metro!

Transformed 15th Ave NE in the Roosevelt area

Photo of a person biking on a newly repaved 15th Ave NE. The person is turning into a protected bike lane, with large trees in the background and curb ramp in the foreground.

The 15th Ave NE Paving Project is complete! 15th Ave NE is a busy street connecting University District, Ravenna, and Maple Leaf neighborhoods, serving multiple bus routes, and containing homes, businesses, and Roosevelt High School.

We paved 1.3 miles of street, added protected bike lanes, new left turn lanes, and new crossings with flashing beacons, and 24/7 parking; upgraded sidewalks and ADA-accessible curb ramps, partnered with Seattle Public Utilities to upgrade sewer and water mains, and moved the Roosevelt High School bus loading zone to improve access for students with disabilities.

Advanced Urgent Sustainability & Environmental Efforts

People bike along 4th Ave in downtown Seattle and the Belltown neighborhood, on a sunny day. Large trees are in the background, and painted green protected bike lane in the foreground.

Climate change represents a major crisis for our shared future that demands a robust response at all levels. Seattle has established a series of ambitious goals to combat pollution contributing to climate change. This includes transportation, which makes up 61 percent of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

These climate goals are detailed on the first infographic below, and some of the many measures we’ve taken in 2022 to address climate and the environment are shown in the second infographic below, including new bus lanes, new bike lanes, tree plantings, and ADA-accessible curb ramps for people walking, rolling, and biking.

Infographic highlighting Seattle climate and sustainability goals, including reaching an 82% reduction in transportation emissions from 2008 levels by 2030; 90% of personal trips being zero emissions by 2030; 100% of all shared mobility trips being zero emission by 2030; 30% of all freight trips being zero emission by 2030; and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding our climate and sustainability goals. Graphic: SDOT
Infographic highlighting measure to advance sustainable transportation infrastructure, including installing 1.59 miles of new bus lanes, adding 5+ miles to our bicycle network, planting 371 trees, and completing 1,445 ADA-accessible curb ramps.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding sustainable transportation infrastructure completed in 2022. Graphic: SDOT

Launched the Ride Now Pilot Program

Photo of a Yellow Cab driver smiling at the camera. The yellow cab minivan allows people in wheelchairs to ride as part of the Ride Now pilot program. Large buildings are in the background.

In spring and early summer 2022, we operated the Ride Now pilot program, which offered free and discounted rides to transit and other local trips for older adults (65+), people with disabilities, and their caregivers. This pilot program featured inclusive engagement throughout its development and operation. You can read more about the pilot program in our recap blog post or video highlight.

Infographic regarding the Ride Now pilot program, including noting a spring/summer 2022 launch, free and discounted rides to transit and local trips for adults 65+, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, 1,000 participants, and 6,700+ vouchers used.
By-the-numbers infographic regarding the Ride Now pilot program. Graphic: SDOT

Looking Ahead to 2023

2023 promises to be another big year for SDOT, the City of Seattle, and you. Our theme for the new year is Delivery: fast and flavorful, in concert with our values. We remain focused on delivering projects to improve safety and mobility throughout the city, while centering equity. We look forward to delivering on our commitments in the Levy to Move Seattle and completing projects both large and small to keep Seattle moving forward.

A graphic icon showing the Levy to Move Seattle, with blue icons showing various travel modes, including train, truck, bus, car, bike, and walking.
Logo of the voter-approved Levy to Move Seattle. Graphic: SDOT.

We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year. Thank you!