July 28th, 2011 by Thea
The Puget Sound Regional Council has secured $5.2 million in federal funding for transportation improvements in the Mercer Corridor, according to a statement released this afternoon. The PSRC says the funding will go toward constructing and improving bicycle lanes on Roy Street, and sidewalk and pavement reconstruction on Mercer Street.
“Helping communities secure federal transportation funding is one of the key roles of the PSRC,” said PSRC President Josh Brown in a press release. “This project rose to the top on its merits and can not only deliver improvements for the future, but help grow jobs in the near term.”
From the PSRC:
PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of over 80 entities, including all four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region. In 2012, PSRC will select projects for the roughly $400 million in federal funds the region can expect to receive over the next few years.
Read more about the PSRC and its transportation improvement work in the region here.
Tags: bicycle lanes, federal funding, Mercer Corridor, Mercer Street, PSRC, Puget Sound Regional Council, Roy Street, sidewalks, transportation funding
May 9th, 2011 by Thea
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has rescheduled road work to lay new asphalt along Dexter Ave N for this week, on Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11, weather permitting. From SDOT:
Traffic will be limited to one travel lane in each direction from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. On-street parking will be restricted. Drivers should expect additional traffic congestion and delays and are advised to consider using alternate routes. Uniformed police officers will be present to keep traffic moving at the intersection of Westlake Avenue N and Dexter Avenue N. Bicyclists will merge and share the lanes with vehicles on Dexter or they may use the sidewalks or alternate routes.
After repaving, SDOT will install new bus islands, a buffered bike lane, and new traffic markings and street channelization, as part of an ongoing effort to improve traffic congestion caused by car, bus and bicyclist overlaps along Dexter Ave N.
The repaving phase of the project is expected to be completed in early May. The entire project, which will extend from Fremont Avenue North to Roy Street, will be completed in September of this year. Read more about the project at the Dexter Paving website.
Tags: bicycle lanes, bus routes, channelization, congestion, Dexter Ave N, paving, repaving, road work, SDOT, Seattle Department of Transportation, traffic
June 1st, 2010 by Gladys
With so much debate over the proposed changes to Nickerson Street, we thought we should provide a survey for our readers. As we have been reporting, the plan to put Nickerson street on a ‘road diet’ has generated passionate comments. Community groups have formed to oppose and support the change.
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced that this summer Nickerson Street will change to include one driving lane in each direction and a center two-way turn lane. The new configuration will reduce the number of car lanes and add an uphill bicycle lane. The downhill traffic lane will have shared lane markings for bicycles. There will be marked crosswalks installed at Jesse Avenue West, Cremona Street, and Dravus Street.
Click here to take the survey and tell us what you think. Please only vote once. We know that this survey is not scientific but we think it will be interesting to see where people stand on the issue. We will keep you posted on results.
Tags: bicycle lanes, Nickerson St., Nickerson Street "road diet", survey, traffic, traffic lanes
May 25th, 2010 by Thea
This week the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) released its before and after study (.pdf) of the Stone Way N. rechannelization, a reduction of driving lanes to accommodate Seattle’s growing bicycle and pedestrian network, often referred to as a “road diet.” SDOT has compiled detailed data from the Stone Way “road diet,” which was completed in April of 2008, and says the results demonstrate that Seattle’s streets can be made safer through lane reconfigurations.
The report documents the results of lane changes on Stone Way N. from 34th St. to 50th St., which include reduced speeds for motorists and fewer motor and bicycle collisions, despite the fact that the road’s capacity remained the same. Highlights from the study include:
- Motorists drive at speeds closer to the posted 30 mph limit and a decline of more than 80 percent in those traveling over 40 mph;
- Total collisions dropped 14 percent with injury collisions down 33 percent;
- Pedestrian collisions declined by 80 percent;
- Bike trips increased 35 percent but collisions per bicycle trip have declined;
- Volumes show the roadway still easily accommodates motor vehicle traffic; and
- Total traffic on parallel routes and adjacent streets to Stone Way significantly decreased.
Recently a similar rechannelization plan was proposed for W Nickerson St. in Queen Anne between Warren Ave N and 13th Ave W, which would reduce the street to one lane in each direction with a middle turn lane, and add an uphill bicycle lane.
The proposal would also add “sharrows,” or shared lane markings for bicycles to the downhill traffic lane and marked crosswalks at Jesse Ave W, Cremona St. and Dravus St.
Since the plan was first announced, many from both Queen Anne and Magnolia have vocally opposed the proposal. The Magnolia Community Council, Queen Anne Community Council and North Seattle Industrial Association joined up to form the 15th Ave W Coalition with the aim, among other things, to protect 15th Ave W as a route to I-5 and call the recent plan to eliminate a lane in each direction “unacceptable.” Still, many in the neighborhood do support the change. Here are a few comments from readers who are in support of the plan:
Matt the Engineer responded to this story:
Queen Anne and Magnolia, please take a look at the results of Stone Way’s road diet.
There was no effect on traffic volume, yet there was a strong reduction in accidents and injuries and speeding decreased. Not only that, but bike traffic is now a full 15% of rush-hour trips.
The 15th Ave coallition is on the wrong side of this issue, and I request the QACC to reconsider their position.
I’m sorry, MCC, but pedestrians, bus riders, and bike riders are collectively the majority in this town. Other neighborhoods (like North Queen Anne) don’t exist to provide you freeways everywhere.
Justin Baird added,
I live along that stretch of West Nickerson St. I am overjoyed! Average speed westbound is over 45mph and eastbound approaces 50mph. In spite of the fact that while marked intersections are suggested as safer, drivers continue to be ignorant of the fact that all intersections, unless marked otherwise, are legal crosswalks. Aggravated that a pedestrian doesn’t walk 1/3 mile to cross at a light, motorists quite often speed up, honk and curse at a legally crossing pedestrian who has usually waited for the best break on traffic to cross.
Though others in the neighborhood are concerned rechannelizing Nickerson may increase traffic on other popular routes through Queen Anne, and that the city should wait until after the Viaduct work is completed to decrease lanes on this major thoroughfare.
Swell. No doubt that will mean that other cut throughs across from QA from Magnolia/Ballard will be even more conjested. Hello Mercer mess on steroids.
I’m all for bike lanes but g i dunno maybe it would have been prudent to put these in after we finish with the viaduct work. I understand McGinn wants to “wean” us off fossil fuels but interupting people’s commutes home isn’t going to help him with this request.
For more information, check SDOT’s website. What do you think? Are you for or against the rechannelization of W Nickerson St?
Tags: bicycle lanes, rechannelization, SDOT, traffic, W Nickerson St.
May 12th, 2010 by Gladys
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s ‘Walk. Bike. Ride’ initiative means some big changes for Nickerson Street.
It was announced today that this summer Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will change West Nickerson Street to include one driving lane in each direction and a center two-way turn lane. The new configuration, between Warren Avenue North and 13th Avenue West, will reduce the number of motor vehicle lanes and add an uphill bicycle lane. The downhill traffic lane will have sharrows, shared lane markings for bicycles. There will be marked crosswalks installed at Jesse Avenue West, Cremona Street, and Dravus Street.
The city expects the changes on Nickerson to reduce vehicle speeds and collisions. The speed limit on Nickerson is currently 30 mph, but SDOT says that average speeds are significantly higher. The report claims that narrowing the space for motor vehicles has been shown to reduce travel speeds and the kinds of collisions common on Nickerson.
Our sister site, MagnoliaVoice, first reported in March, 2009 that the city was planning to reduce Nickerson to one lane of traffic each way and add bicycle and center turn lanes. The plan was not well received and after a number of concerns were raised, the city backed off the plan and put changes to Nickerson on hold.
Many organization and individuals in Queen Anne and Magnolia have spoken out against the change, as Nickerson is a thoroughfare frequented by many in both neighborhoods on the daily basis. The Magnolia Community Club (MCC) took a strong stand against the plan, saying that Nickerson is the primary route for Magnolia residents traveling to Fremont, Wallingford and the University district and that the route is already frequently congested. Randall Thomsen, MCC president at the time, sent a strongly worded letter to the city, stressing that Nickerson is the alternative to West Mercer Way to access the proposed bored tunnel that will replace the viaduct.
The MCC said that when the viaduct comes down there will be a substantial increase in vehicles seeking access to I-5 and the tunnel by using Nickerson. Even with four lanes, Nickerson will be congested. With only two lanes, it will likely be overwhelmed. The MCC said that the changes to Nickerson are meant to improve safety for bicycles and pedestrians but the improvements will be marginal when weighed against the potential for congestion. There are 19,300 vehicle trips on an average day on Nickerson.
The cost for the changes is about $200,000, coming from the voter-approved Bridging the Gap transportation funding measure. Work will begin this summer with completion by spring 2011.
Tags: bicycle lanes, construction, lane changes, Magnolia, Nickerson, Queen Anne, road changes, SDOT