If you’re moving in or out, you may have discovered the convenience of a portable storage unit. However, what the portable storage unit companies don’t always tell you is that you need a Street Use permit if you are going to put the unit in the public right-of-way. Public right-of-way is more than the street next to the curb; it can also be a driveway, or even a planting strip. [Read more…]
Last Monday Ingraham High School students launched a contest challenging local high school students to design a billboard or create a video demonstrating the dangers of texting while walking or driving. The goal is to reduce the number of collisions involving young people who are distracted while texting.
The contest, known as the “$248 Challenge”, provides a financial incentive for teens to participate while explaining why distracted driving is dangerous in their own words. Three prizes will be awarded — one for the best billboard design, one for the best video, and one for the “People’s Choice.” The winning billboard will be featured on a sign along Aurora Avenue this spring. The billboard or video entry that receives the most votes on the contest’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/248Challenge, will win the “People’s Choice” prize.
State Farm donated the three prizes of $248 each (twice the fine for texting while driving).
Washington State Troopers and Seattle Police Officers joined the students at Ingraham High School to launch the contest, performing a skit involving the arrest of a young person who is texting while in traffic. The event featured a car driven by a Thurston County nineteen-year-old who was killed last year while texting. (See videos about Heather Lerch’s crash on youtube.com. The short version is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfe9SqxFOts and longer version is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0k–HnHrM ).
Check out KOMO-4’s story about the contest launch and contest:
One in four teens admits to texting while driving, and drivers under twenty experience the highest distracted-driving fatality rate, with the 20-29 year group ranking second, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The “$248 Challenge” is part of the educational outreach component of the Aurora Traffic Safety Project. Nearly 50 percent of collisions on Aurora are caused by distracted driving or inattention.
Stay tuned to the SDOT Blog to see the winning videos and billboards in March.
Any one that travels around Seattle realizes we are defined by our “hills.” Whether the hills that no longer exist, such as Denny Regrade, or the ones that do: Queen Anne, First Hill, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, West Seattle and others. SDOT Roadway Structures Manager John Buswell notes that when the City street system was being developed in the early 1900s, the hills became a challenge.
“There were locations where the hill was so steep the street could not be continued, so at these locations stairways were constructed to maintain a connection between neighborhoods,” Buswell says. “In some cases, due to the steepness of the hill, the street that traversed the slope was split, with one direction built higher than the other direction – creating a terrace effect.”
Stairways were constructed to connect portions of the same street. Queen Anne Hill is a great example, and boasts the oldest recorded existing stairway built over 100 years ago in 1906. This stairway is located at Sixth Avenue West and West Highland Drive.
Queen Anne also has some of our longest stairways and stairways with unique architectural features. If you can’t make it out there on foot, take a peek at the www.qastairs.com web site – produced by a private citizen, with information from SDOT’s roadway structures department and funded by 4Culture!
…to make a bus connection, eat your lunch, or just people watch!
This morning, with the sun shining brightly, the happy music of the Spruce Street School Marimba Band playing, and over 100 people excitedly milling about, SDOT celebrated the completion of the McGraw Square Improvements Project. The square is located in the heart of Seattle on Westlake Avenue at Stewart Street/Fifth Avenue and Olive Way. Constructed by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the new plaza makes it easier to travel around downtown, and enhances connections from the South Lake Union Streetcar to other transit options like buses and Link Light rail. The plaza supports the city of Seattle’s goal of making Westlake, along with King Street Station and Colman Dock, one of three transportation hubs serving downtown. In addition to improving multi-modal connections at the Westlake Hub, the project creates a new pedestrian plaza at the downtown terminus of the Seattle Streetcar SLU line. [Read more…]
As part of the King Street Station rehabilitation SDOT is setting Amtrak up to move ticketing, baggage and offices into a brand new space.
Bids were recently advertised for tenant improvement work on the north part of the first floor. When completed late this summer Amtrak will be able to move in and provide better access and customer service at the station. This also makes way for additional work in other areas. To see what’s happening behind the construction walls visit the King Street Station homepage and check out our slideshows.
Want to create a sense of place in your neighborhood and promote more interaction between your neighbors? Then painting an intersection where your streets meet might just be the answer! Not only does it help the neighborhood build a sense of community, but it could have an indirect effect on helping to slow traffic by making drivers aware that you and your neighbors take pride in your neighborhood. [Read more…]
(The final installment of a three part series to review the rules of the road for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists)
Cycling in Seattle often means grinding up steep hills, riding through splendid ridge crest neighborhoods, navigating winding ravines, crossing our working waterways, and traversing industrial and commercial areas. Biking in Seattle is a real treat, but before you don your spandex bike shorts and multi-colored jerseys, it’s critically important to understand the rules of the road. Most people are aware that cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motor vehicles but we all need a refresher from time to time on the laws that are not commonly known or misunderstood.
The most important rule all cyclists should know is that helmets are required by law. This is really a no-brainer. Be sure to protect your noggin before you put your foot on the pedal. Another no-brainer: brakes are required! Every bike on the street should have working brakes that will enable the operator to the wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
Unless both hands are needed to control or operate the bicycle, cyclists should provide hand signals whenever turning or stopping. A complete description of these hand signals can be found here. Speaking of hands on the handlebars, it should be noted that cyclists should maintain at least one hand on the handlebars at all times. You should not attempt to carry large packages and ride at the same time. Leave the juggling while riding for the parade.
While cyclists must obey the same rules of the road as drivers, it is legal for bikers to ride on the sidewalk. Bikers that choose to ride on the sidewalk must travel at a reasonably safe speed and always yield to pedestrians. Cyclists should ring a bell or use their voice before overtaking or passing a pedestrian. The same rule applies to crosswalks too. Bikers can legally cross the roadway in a crosswalk so long as they yield to pedestrians. Drivers are required to stop for both pedestrians and cyclists in crosswalks. And, as we’ve pointed out numerous times in this series, every intersection contains a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked.
If you plan on riding while it’s dark, your bicycle should be equipped with a lamp on the front that emits a white light visible from at least 500 feet to the front. A red reflector should be mounted below the seat and should be visible for up to 600 feet to the rear. A red light may be used in addition to the red reflector.
When traveling on a roadway with bike lanes, cyclists may choose to ride in the street or within the bike lane according to their comfort level and safety needs. Cyclists should always pass on the left when overtaking a slower vehicle or cyclist. Bicyclists (and drivers) should not pass on the right. Also keep in mind that cyclists should not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
To complete construction efficiently crews rebuilding 15th Avenue NE in the University District are going all out, night and day!
The work schedule is quite the balancing act with very little wiggle room on such a highly utilized roadway. Despite that, in just the first four weeks crews have installed about 2,500 feet of conduit; installed 11 new storm water filters; and demolished more than 2,500 square yards of existing roadway while reconstructing the southbound curb lane from NE Pacific Street to NE 43rd Street.
The contractor is rebuilding the entire street, curb to curb, and improving sidewalks from NE Pacific to NE 45th streets. Work this next month includes:
- Completion of both southbound lanes between NE Pacific and NE 45th streets
- Demolition of existing roadway and reconstruction of new concrete pavement on additional lanes between NE Pacific and NE 45th streets
- Sidewalk replacement in areas along the west side of 15th Ave NE between NE Pacific and NE 45th streets
- Installation of new electrical conduit behind the curbs
In June, when the summer break begins at the University of Washington, the contractor will work on the piece of 15th NE between NE 45th Street and NE 50th Street. The last work will be to resurface 15th NE with asphalt from NE 50th to NE 55th.
Want to see more photos of this fast-moving project? Visit Flickr.
Spring is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for Spring Clean – Seattle’s premier community cleanup event, 23 years old and going strong! It is time to start thinking, talking to your neighbors, and signing up to participate!
While the people in this photo are part of a well organized group cleaning up Lake Union; sometimes just two or three neighbors have come together to clean up places they have noticed garbage or illegal dumping in their neighborhood. It is a chance to get to know your neighbors and make a difference. The City tries to make it easy by coming and hauling away the garbage you have collected.
Other Project Ideas include: protect salmon by stenciling storm drains, paint out graffiti, remove invasive plants, or join a planned event in your community. Please note that all Spring Clean projects are on public property.
Dates: Spring Clean is a two-month event lasting from April through May.
The City Will Help You! FREE litter cleanup bags, gloves, safety vests, and waste disposal permits.
Get Started. Call 206-233-7187 or go to www.seattle.gov/util/SpringClean.
SDOT recently installed five new flashing school zone beacons. The beacons put 20 mph school zone speeds up in lights to slow drivers down. “Adding flashing beacons has been shown to lower speeds through school zones,” said SDOT Safe Routes to School Coordinator Brian Dougherty. This typically means fewer accidents with kids and others walking in the neighborhood.
Data compiled in the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan identified Dunlap, Bailey Gatzert, BF Day, and Thurgood Marshall Elementary schools and South Shore K-8 School for these beacons based on factors such as traffic, collisions, and places that generate walking in school neighborhoods. This year SDOT will also install new school zone beacons at Coe and Beacon Hill Elementary schools, Mercer Middle School, and Garfield High School. Funding for the new beacons is provided by the Bridging the Gap transportation levy, passed by Seattle voters in 2006.