Let’s get Going Around Town, out of Town, and into Town.

We are going to talk transportation with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Swedish Cherry Hill transportation representatives and others on Saturday, April 14th.

Sometimes we soar above it all, looking down at the strings of lights reflecting our highways, roads and bridges.  Mostly, we are here on the ground needing to move from one place to the other. SDOT asks, “Did you know 27% of Seattle’s land is made up of streets, sidewalks, and other transportation-related public space? That’s a lot of land, but it’s still a finite amount of space to move a growing amount of people and goods in and around.” The mission of the department is delivering a high-quality transportation system to Seattle for a vibrant Seattle with connected people, places, and products. 

SDOT’s 2018 Proposed Budget is $472,399,991, including the ten-year Move Seattle vision to integrate transit, walking, biking, and freight planning. The $930 million Move Seattle levy is funded through a property tax approved in 2015. SDOT also has responsibility for paving city roads, planning for parking, and subsidizing and planning Metro service in Seattle. Besides the director and finance office, SDOT has eight divisions; Policy and Planning Division, Project Development Division, Transit and Mobility Division, Maintenance Operations Division, Transportation Operations Division, Capital Projects and Roadway Structures Division, and Street Use Division.  These services are crucial to the well-being of our neighborhood and city.  Our guests know that we are interested in the progress of the Swedish single occupancy vehicle reduction planning and in updates, challenges and status of SDOT projects in the Central District. These include the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plans, Neighborhood Project Grants, Madison BRT, status of planning for the 3/4 bus on James or Yesler, and for electrifying the 48 bus.  Please bring your specific questions and comments for our guests. 

Remember too that there is always a time for announcements, comments, and expressing other community concerns.


Work for Safe Walks to School at Bailey Gatzert

On March 15, Squire Park Community Council members participated in a walk with representatives of the Greenways, First Hill and Bailey Gatzert School to work on ensuring a safe walk to school for Bailey Gatzert students.  As Brie Gyncild of Greenways stated, the goal of Safe Routes to School is to make it safe and comfortable for students to walk or bike to school from anywhere within the school's designated walk zone. Bailey Gatzert is located in a particularly challenging area, and we don't expect to solve all the problems this year. Our goal for the walk is to identify the easy fixes - minor changes that the Seattle Department of Transportation can make immediately - and the top three engineering priorities. Then, as a community, we'll need to work with SDOT to secure state, federal, and other funding to address those priorities.

Please watch for updates and information on how the broader community may be involved in advocacy and implementation.


Who in the Central District will Survive the 23rd Avenue Improvement Project?

In June 2015, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) began the first phase of construction on 23rd Avenue between S Jackson St and E John St. to improve safety and mobility for people who drive, walk, bike and take transit in the area. Completion of this phase is early 2017. The other two phases (E. John to Roanoke and S. Jackson to Rainier Avenue S.) are scheduled to begin construction in 2017 if funding is identified. Originally the project area was divided into three work zones (A, B, and C) to limit the impacts of the full northbound detour on any one particular residential area or business.  However, the timing and phasing of the northbound detour changed and work in Zone A and Zone B overlapped, leaving the detours in place for longer periods of time than originally planned. MLK Jr. Wy. was the suggested detour, which then limited auto access to the businesses along  23rd Avenue and to the  northbound buses.  Long term changes to the route 4, traffic problems around Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, and increased traffic on side streets negatively impacted the area.  The detour of the long articulated 48 has resulted in traffic jams at 23rd and E. Union.  These combined with unpredictable intersection closures, mainly on weekends and usually announced (but not always) have created  a straggling thirteen block corridor to be avoided where the community expected  a predictable phased construction project.Recently, after intense advocacy by the 23rd Avenue businesses, the city and Mayor Murray have promised funds to help with marketing and improved coordination with SDOT, along with federally backed $650,000 to assist businesses that qualify.  However it is not clear that these funds are adequate to meet the terms of the plan.




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