In preparation for the replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, SDOT is upgrading the intersection between 1st Ave S & S Massachusetts Street. This is near the Showbox SoDo where 5 pedestrians were struck last Thursday night.
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This work includes restoring the sidewalk and installing pedestrian signal poles. During construction, there will be some sidewalk closures and detours for walkers in the area. The project is expected to be substantially complete by November 15.
Sidewalks on the Ballard Bridge will be closed over the next several weeks as work is done to repair and paint the handrails.
The sidewalk on the east side of the bridge is now closed through August 30th. On August 31, or shortly thereafter, the sidewalk on the west side will close for three weeks. The sidewalks will be closed around the clock, Monday through Friday, and will reopen for weekends.
The public stairway is partially closed. Access to the west sidewalk is open, but access to the east sidewalk is closed. This situation will reverse when the contractor moves the handrail painting to the west side of the bridge.
Detour signs direct pedestrians to the side not being painted.
Bicyclists are encouraged to use one of the alternate detour routes being provided; either the Ballard Locks or the Fremont Bridge. Alternately, if using a detour route is a hardship, bicyclists may use the sidewalk not being painted. However, due to the narrowness of the sidewalks and the contra-flow bike traffic, bicyclists will be required to dismount and walk their bikes across the bridge.
The Rainier Valley Post (via Publicola) reports that SDOT is doing some construction along Rainier Ave. Most of these improvements are transit-oriented, to the benefit of the riders of the popular bus route 7.
Pedestrians will benefit, too, with new pedestrian signals across Rainier at 39th Ave S and at S Fronteac St. Some crosswalks will be repainted and curb ramps will be added in several places along the street.
The project is expected to continue through the end of the year.
SDOT’s blog shows the makeover of a sidewalk along Northgate Way. The asphalt had degraded as greenery had grown onto the path and after receiving a request, SDOT repaved it with funds from the Bridging the Gap initiative.
My Ballard reports on crosswalk improvements on Leary Ave NW.
View Leary Ave NW between Market St & 20th Ave in a larger map
Changes include ladder style crosswalk markings in the street, overhead flood lighting in the crosswalk zone, a vehicle stop line for southbound traffic, new signage, the removal of one tree on the west side of the street, new light poles and new parking restrictions on the east and west side of the street for a distance of 35 feet in advance of the crosswalk. The work will take about seven days and will completed at some point before Labor Day.
There will also be curb bulbs added as part of this project. SDOT will continue evaluate additional improvement options, though funding for that is not currently available.
From SDOT’s blog:
The NE 45th St Viaduct Project is not only replacing the old timber structure to the west – it’s also inspired a new outreach effort. The project includes a program to encourage walking, biking, and riding during and after construction. A “Bike, Bus, Walk Map” of the project area shows specific bus routes, biking options, walking distances and Zipcar locations.
The map also shows a pedestrian detour route while the viaduct is under construction.
The project to fix the “Mercer Mess” has been somewhat controversial, as some drivers have complained about inadequate improvement to travel times.
However, this resident’s perspective highlights the benefits to pedestrians of this project:
I look forward to the day that I won’t have to take my life in my hands when walking along or crossing Valley. While the new sidewalks are a beautiful improvement, just as soon as they went in they became the preferred route for bicycle commuters, who tend to zoom up behind my preschooler and shout, ON YOUR LEFT. Of course, given the current state of Valley, the bikers don’t have much of a choice. I certainly wouldn’t feel safe pedaling into the sea of spaced-out drivers exiting the freeway, not to mention the dangers of old train tracks and the streetcar. Most drivers coming off of I-5 onto Valley don’t seem to realize that they are no longer on the freeway. Their goal is to get through the next light at any cost and they don’t register the possibility of bikers or pedestrians.
UPDATE: Orphan Road has word of a Google Group set up in support of the “road diet”
The mayor’s proposal to put Nickerson St on a road diet is facing some opposition
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s “road diet” for West Nickerson Street is drawing opposition from Councilman Tom Rasmussen, who says the project should probably be delayed until 2016 — when other corridors including two-way Mercer Street and the Alaskan Way Tunnel are completed, and their traffic detours let up.
Rasmussen wants to scrutinize the plan June 8 in the council’s transportation committee, which he chairs.
In a typical “road diet,” a four-lane arterial is restriped so there are two traffic lanes and a center left-turn lane — and often bike lanes, plus some raised medians to help pedestrians. There have been 24 such lane reductions in the city since 1972.
The mayor, a longtime environmental activist, announced the Nickerson road diet May 11, as part of a re-emphasis on walking, biking and transit projects. One goal is for lower car speeds to improve pedestrian safety; the street passes through Seattle Pacific University.
Several local streets including Stone Way and Fauntleroy Way SW have recently been put on road diets with success in reducing accidents and improving the environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The SDOT blog mentions that more curb ramps (inclined planes) will be installed this summer:
As previously reported here, SDOT is busy installing inclined planes, which we call curb ramps, throughout the city. As a result, we are creating a barrier-free environment for all and improving our pedestrian system in the process.
SDOT crews will focus much of their efforts on Aurora Avenue North this summer. More than 30 new ramps will be installed to ease access to transit and local businesses. These new ramps will be constructed between N 85th St and N 100th St.
But Aurora isn’t the only place where you’ll see new inclined planes popping up. Our crews will be installing these ramps from 14th Ave S to 20th Ave E to 33rd Ave W this year. So whether you’re travelling via wheelchair, pushing a stroller, or carting groceries back home, be thankful for the inclined plane.