Progress made on Vision Zero Campaign, City reports

The City of Seattle has released its 2017 Vision Zero Progress Report, which highlights steps the City has taken to move closer to its Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Vision Zero was launched in 2015 as a citywide, collaborative effort to improve street safety for everyone. Since then, the City has supported Vision Zero with more than $200 million in funding through the 9-year Levy to Move Seattle.

For the past two years, Seattle has moved forward on a number of engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to meet this aggressive goal and improve safety for all travelers:

  • Redesigned portions of Seattle’s most crash-prone streets, making them safer travel for people driving, walking, biking, and riding transit
  • Improved coordination between SDOT and the Seattle Police Department to enhance enforcement efforts and target top contributing circumstances to crashes (speeding, impairment, distraction, failure to yield to pedestrians)
  • Reduced the speed limit on 2,400 miles of residential (non-arterial) streets and 75 miles of center city arterials, because slowing down to the speed of life is critical to reaching Vision Zero
  • Partnered with transportation companies to reduce impaired driving by offering discounted rides in nightlife hotspots
  • Developed an approach to reach out to underrepresented communities, as they often bear a disproportionate burden of crashes

“Seattle is one of the safest cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean we should accept death and injury as a byproduct of commuting,” says SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “We will continue to retool our streets with an emphasis on safety versus speed.”

The City knows that ending traffic deaths will not happen overnight. Vision Zero is a long-term goal that Seattle can only achieve with a steady stream of changes to our streets and our behavior.

While SDOT has seen trends headed in the right direction,preventable tragedies still do occur. Over the past two years, more than 40 people have lost their lives as a result of traffic collisions. Another 300 people have been seriously injured. People walking and biking, and older adults continue to be overrepresented in serious and fatal crashes.

“I’m proud that Seattle is a national leader on safety, but there is more work ahead,” says City Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “To reach our goal of zero traffic deaths, we need to do everything we can to make sure our kids, older adults, and everyone in between can get around our growing city safely.”

In the months ahead, SDOT plan to:

  • Continue focusing on high crash corridors
  • Improve pedestrian safety by installing more than 40 leading pedestrian intervals to give people walking a head start in crosswalks
  • Expand turn restrictions in some locations
  • Review speed limits in urban villages where vehicle-pedestrian collisions occur most often
  • Build 50 blocks of new sidewalks

Read more about has been achieved done and where the City is headed in their Vision Zero Progress Report, available at www.seattle.gov/visionzero.

SDOT launches Pothole Palooza, aims to aggressively repair neighborhood potholes

SDOT is kicking off Pothole Palooza today, a campaign to aggressively repair potholes across the city.

Locals are being encouraged to report neighborhood potholes so that SDOT can map them out as their Pothole Rangers move throughout the city.

Locals can report potholes in three ways:

During the campaign, SDOT crews will be assigned to specific districts around the city. SDOT Crews will be joined by crews from Seattle Parks and Recreation who will assist with these efforts.

“We recognize that residents have been patient through a tough winter that’s resulted in an increased number of potholes and we want them to know that we’re listening when they report them,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “You’ve told us where they are, and we are marshaling our resources to fill them.”

According to SDOT, potholes occur when street pavement cracks and breaks because of water and vehicle traffic. During winter months, water can cause the material under the pavement to erode, freeze and expand, and then thaw and contract causing the pavement to sink down and break.

Many streets, particularly in the outer areas of the city, have a very poor underlying structure, or sub base, which reacts poorly to these conditions. This freeze/thaw cycle can cause the pavement to crack so that it deteriorates quickly under the weight of traffic, and then streets can seem to break out in potholes overnight.

Seattle has had an extremely wet and cold 2016-2017 winter season. Residents typically see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. February and March are when we see the highest numbers of potholes. This past February was the wettest we have experienced in thirty years.

Click here to find out more about Pothole Palooza.

Mighty-O Launches the first parklet of 2017 in Ballard

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Seattle’s ninth parklet opened outside of Mighty-O Donuts (1555 NW Market St,) to much fanfare on March 7.

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) joined parklet host Mighty-O Donuts and neighborhood residents to celebrate the opening of this new public space at 17th Ave NW and NW Market St in Ballard.

“Seattle’s Parklet Program has been a great success since its launch in early 2013,” stated Scott Kubly, SDOT director. “People all over the city enjoy having these unique neighborhood gathering spaces.”

The Mighty-O parklet is designed around a reused boat hull, and was celebrated with origami boat-making, boat races, and plenty of donuts. Hosted by Friends of Mighty-O Parklet, a local group of neighborhood volunteers, the parklet was funded by private donations and a Seattle Department of Neighborhoods grant.

“Mighty-O set sail a few years ago with an idea to participate in this community project, the 1940’s era boat was inspired by our cities maritime past,” said Megan Helmer, Mighty-O co-owner. “We are grateful to SDOT, Department of Neighborhoods, community donations, and the volunteers who came together to make this project possible.”

Parklets help activate city streets, provide seating and community gathering spaces, and support local businesses. They can also take the form of a streatery which is a parklet that is a sidewalk café during business hours. Parklets and streateries are small-scale public spaces built adjacent to sidewalks within on-street parking spots. They encourage walking and biking by providing interesting places for sitting or talking with neighbors.

Parklet and streatery design, permitting, construction, and maintenance costs are funded by the parklet or streatery host. The design of each parklet or streatery reflects the character of the surrounding neighborhood, and complies with City safety and mobility standards.

If you are interested in being a parklet or streatery host can get more information online, e-mail parklets@seattle.gov, or call (206) 684-5267.

Nearby News: Temporary traffic impacts continue on Magnolia Bridge this week

SDOT advises travelers that crews will continue work on the Magnolia Bridge this week as part of the assessment of the safe load capacity of the bridge.

Travelers can expect:

On Wednesday, February 8:

  • Closure of the westbound curb lane on the bridge from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Intermittent traffic stops on the bridge for a few minutes at a time between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

On Thursday, February 9:

  • Closure of the westbound curb lane on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sidewalk, bus stops, and marina access will remain open throughout the work.

 SDOT appreciates the public’s patience during this work.

Nearby News: Temporary traffic impacts for Magnolia Bridge next week

SDOT is advising local travelers that crews will be doing work on the Magnolia Bridge as part of continuing assessment of the safe load capacity of the bridge.

Travelers can expect the following impact on traffic:

On Tuesday, February 7:

  • Closure of the westbound curb lane on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, February 8:

  • Closure of the westbound curb lane on the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Intermittent traffic stops on the bridge for a few minutes at a time between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sidewalk, bus stops, and marina access will remain open throughout the work.

SDOT appreciates the public’s patience during this work.

SDOT to host North Seattle Neighborhood Greenway and School Safety Project drop-in event

SDOT has been working with community members from Crown Hill, Greenwood, Licton Springs, and Northgate since summer 2016 to select a route for a new east-west neighborhood greenway to be built in 2018.

Seattle Public Schools is redeveloping the Wilson-Pacific school site into new elementary, K-8, and middle schools that will open in 2017, and we’re planning to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge for the Northgate Link light rail station scheduled to open in 2021.

Before the new schools open and in preparation for the new bridge, SDOT is prioritizing this neighborhood greenway and school safety project to make North Seattle transportation safer for everyone – whether you’re walking, driving, biking, taking transit, or moving goods.

Locals are invited to attend a drop-in event at Crown Hill Center (9250 14th Ave NW) on February 4 from 10 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with SDOT representatives about plans to get people safely across Holman Rd NW and NW92nd St. SDOT will also be discussing how to enhance connections for walking and biking through Crown Bill Park.

If you can’t attend the event, give feedback on the project via the online survey. Click here to read the project fact sheet.

Nearby News: Lane closures scheduled on Meridian Ave N

SDOT is advising travelers that there will be lane closures on Meridian Ave N between N103rd and N 112th streets today (Friday, November 18) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Crews working for SDOT will be lane striping on Meridian Ave N. This work is weather dependent. SDOT appreciates the public’s patience while this work is being completed.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

This work is part of the Meridian Ave N Paving and Safety Improvements Project.

Locals who have questions or concerns, are encouraged to contact the construction outreach team at 2016MeridianPaving@seattle.gov or leave a message at (206) 727-3669.

Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Update: Driveway cameras to be installed

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SDOT crews working on the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Final Environmental Impact Statement will be installing cameras at selected driveways in Ballard next week to document the number of vehicles crossing potential trail routes that are being considered.

Cameras will typically remain in place for one week before being shifted to a new location.

This camera placement is part of SDOT’s effort to document the existing conditions along the potential routes for the Missing Link.

The Final EIS, which is set to include a recommended route for the Missing Link, will be published in 2017.

Further information about the driveway camera study is available online.

Locals can email questions in relation to the Missing Link EIS to BGT_MissingLink_Info@seattle.gov.