Tag Archive: tactical urbanism

Tactical Urbanism Creates Permanent Places

August 25, 2016

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has stepped out of their box, and into an intersection full of psychedelic circles.

A recent article at The Urbanist highlights SDOT plans to construct an exciting new protected intersection at the Burke Gilman Trail crossing of 40th Ave NE.

The safety design for 40th Ave NE is based on one of five Tactical Urbanism road safety improvements, funded and showcased by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARKing Day Plus Design Competition.

NE Seattle Greenways volunteers Kenneth Trease, Jen Goldman, and Andres Salomon teamed up with Seattle Children’s Hospital Transportation staff Jamie Cheney and Drew Dresman to build and monitor this one-day project built of traffic cones and chalk. SDOT’s recreation of the PARKing Day Plus design is built of flex-posts and thermoplastic and will keep people safe at a highly problematic trail crossing.

The use of just cones to simulate curb bulbs – and a few “stop for pedestrian” signs at the crossing and along the trail – had people approaching the crosswalk more cautiously in cars and on bikes. This crosswalk had been the site of a recent serious injury collision between a car driver and bicycle rider.

Staff from Seattle Children’s Hospital joined as volunteers at the information table with NE Seattle Greenways members.

Jen Goldman, one of the Protected Intersection project leads said,

“Our biggest take-home – we did not have one complaint about the crossing through the day. All feedback for the curb bulbs was favorable. People agreed that the crossing was dangerous as is. Granted, we were more able to speak with people walking and biking by vs driving, but some people who stopped and chatted mentioned they had driven through earlier in the day as well. The Metropolitan Market manager had reservations when discussing the project at first, but was pleased when seeing it.”

Jen’s daughter Maggie who celebrated her 6th birthday at the intersection crossing with cupcakes, thought it was a splendid place for a party for a girl who likes to walk and bike!

We couldn’t be happier to see a community-designed tactical urbanism project be transformed into a colorful permanent safety improvement!

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

Sadik-Khan & Mayor Murray get in a #StreetFight

jsk_book-copy-1030x515Janette Sadik-Khan and Mayor Ed Murray get in a #StreetFight. May the best urbanist win!

Janette Sadik-Khan is visiting Seattle!
Sadik-Khan is the former, and famous, New York City DOT Commissioner. She will talk with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about her new book Street Fight.

Town Hall Seattle 1119 8th Avenue
Monday, March 21. 7:30-9 PM. Doors open 6:30PM

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways leaders of our 20 local groups crowd-sourced these 10 questions:

  1. What percentage of a city’s transportation budget should go towards making streets safe for people who walk? Towards Vision Zero generally?
  2. Should safety improvements go in first in low-income neighborhoods? How do you counter the charge of gentrification when you make streets safer?
  3. What’s the best approach to talking to small business owners when you put protected bike lanes next to their shops? Do you remove or add parking to protect bike lanes? (we love the idea of parked cars protecting most bike lanes as you did in NYC — we haven’t seen car protected bike lanes in Seattle much yet)
  4. How can we sell a Center City downtown network of protected bike lanes to our business and political leaders as the smartest choice economically and politically? Seattle has been planning a protected downtown network for five years and still has another five to go as it works through transit demands and small business owner fears. New York has a pretty good downtown protected bike network. Did business opposition keep your dedicated bike lanes to streets such as First Avenue along Manhattan’s fringes?
  5. What’s the secret of building great on-street plazas quickly and inexpensively? (you are famous for building huge plazas all over NYC in order to calm traffic and turn streets into people places. Seattle is still burnishing a few tiny on-street plazas on out of the way streets.)
  6. How impressed are you with the changes you’ve seen around our city since your last visit? It’s been a full year since you’ve returned to Seattle to help usher Seattle into the tactical urbanism era.
  7. How do you turn a DOT that’s used to 3 or 4-year turnaround times for planning and implementation of major capital projects into a more nimble organization that does tons of small but effective safety improvements?
  8. Bike share. Let’s say you operated a small bike share system that became insolvent.  You have a choice of expanding the existing system or starting fresh with a stationless system, which would you choose and why? What impeded expanding the NYC bike-sharing network north of 58thStreet in Manhattan?
  9. How did New York buy into Complete Streets ideals?  We hear, “we can’t fit all modes on all streets.” To some people this means people biking should be pushed to side streets whenever possible and buses should only get priority when it doesn’t impede car traffic. What does complete streets mean to you? Should streets that everyone needs to get to because there are many commercial destinations, schools, libraries, etc have access for everyone? And why is the mode that is never removed the car, not transit or biking?
  10. How do you gauge the optimal amount of community process?  – In Seattle we sometimes seem to go overboard and other times we barely let people know before making major street improvements. What’s the best way to strike a balance?

Welcome @SEA_DOTr!

January 9, 2016
by Cathy Tuttle

For weeks now, a poorly managed building site and less than stellar City oversight has forced Roosevelt High School children to walk in traffic — just a few feet away from last year’s DUI death of Andres Hulslander.

SEATrans Roosevelt 1-8-16

Seattle’s Transformation Department fixed the problem using entirely upcycled, leftover, and on-site materials to create a five-foot walkway and 11-foot driving lane. People drive slower past the walkway, and starting Monday morning, our children now have a protected space to run for the bus.

Cost: $0

Thanks Seattle Transformation Department!

Not affiliated with the Seattle Department of Transportation or any other City agency. Using Tactical Urbanism actions, Seattle Transformation Department is adapting models from other US Departments of Transformation @PBOTrans and @NYC_DOTr Contact them at SEADOTr@ruggedinbox.com

PARK(ing) Day 2015 Design Competition

Free CoffeeIs there a street or intersection that you use on a regular basis that feels unsafe?  Do you have ideas for how things like sidewalks, bike lanes, curb bulbs, pedestrian crossings, or traffic calming could be added?  Submit your ideas for how you’d like to see the street changed, even if you’re unable to commit to doing a PARK(ing) Day event.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual international event that gives people the opportunity to bring much-needed human space to asphalt.  Last year, members of NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways took advantage of PARK(ing) Day 2014 to successfully redesign a bridge, intersection, and adjacent road, making it feel safer and more comfortable for all users. Read the rest of this entry »