Vol. 2, No. 10  October 2011

In this issue: 
Spotlight on: getting around during Alaskan Way Viaduct closure Oct. 21 - 31
Options: sidewalk improvements and RapidRide Line B
Tools: bus arrival times on display, safe routes to school grants, bike boxes, and more
Inspiration: prize winners for Jul./Aug. Walk Bike Ride Challenge, Wheel Options, and more
Upcoming: comment on Seattle's transit future and be a Rainier Valley walking ambassador

ThemeMonthSpotlight of the Month:     

Alaskan Way Viaduct Closure Oct. 21 - 31

"The 9-day viaduct closure will create significant traffic issues that people should plan for. Consider adjusting when you travel, your route, taking public transit, carpooling, and telecommuting. We are working with our partner agencies to reduce the closure's impact as much as possible, but we need your help to ensure that people can get where they're going." - Mayor Mike McGinn


Key links for getting around during the closure  

7:30 p.m. Fri. Oct. 21 - 5:00 a.m. Mon. Oct. 31  


We can adapt 

Road closures do not have to mean "Carmageddon." This year the State of California closed 10 miles of a major highway in Los Angeles. Because people adapted, pollution levels dropped and the traffic nightmare some predicted simply didn't happen. Do your part to reduce congestion by using these options: Take public transit. Use a Water Taxi. Bicycle. Form a carpool. Join a vanpool. Arrange to tele-work. Try car sharing with Zipcar.


Transportation agencies are working to keep you moving

  • West Seattle Water Taxi adding two extra runs in the morning and evening during the closure.
  • Fewer backups on Lower West Seattle Bridge
    The Coast Guard will limit afternoon openings of the Lower West Seattle Bridge (swing bridge) to help cyclists and drivers during the closure.
  • Eleven bus routes will be rerouted from SR 99 and travel through SODO during the closure. The first and last bus stops Downtown for these routes will be closed and other stops will be added. More info and a map
  • Route 54 now operates every 15 minutes mid-day and Saturday.
    This route connects Westwood, Fauntleroy, and Alaska Junction to Downtown.
  • New bus lane on SW Avalon Way lets buses bypass traffic backups from the West Seattle Bridge.  
    Not only do buses have the advantage of the bus lane on the West Seattle Bridge, but they now have a bus lane on the last several blocks of SW Avalon Way before the W.S. Bridge. (The Avalon Way bus lane will be part of RapidRide Line C to Downtown in 2012.)
  • New bicycle climbing lane installed on SW Avalon Way from SW Spokane St (just north of Luna Park Cafe) to SW Yancy St (about half way to 35th Ave SW.) The bike lane will be extended up the hill to 36th Ave SW in 2012.
  • Bus lane on 4th Ave Downtown extended
    To help move buses into Downtown the bus lane on Fourth Ave is being extended four blocks south from Washington St to Weller St.
  • Bike improvements from Harbor Island to Downtown 
    The smooth, repaved section of E Marginal Way S has improved bike lanes; the multi-use path on the west side of E Marginal Way S near the Coast Guard building will have a repaved section and 90 feet of new barrier; and the new multi-use path on Alaskan Way will remain open.  More info and a map of the route
  • Bike support station and bike train from West Seattle  Cascade Bicycle Club will inflate tires and provide maps, apples and coffee, then lead a bike train downtown. WSDOT staff will answer questions about biking during the closure. Mon. Oct. 24 and Wed. Oct. 26 on the west side of the Lower W.S. Bridge.  More info


New bus lane on SW Avalon Way 
New bike lane on SW Avalon Way 

OptionsHeaderOptions to Get Around

RapidRide from Bellevue to Redmond opened October 1

RapidRide Line B and enhanced bus stops provide more frequent, reliable and faster service. From Seattle, take ST route 550 from the bus tunnel to the Bellevue Transit Center and transfer to RapidRide Line B to Overlake, Crossroads, and downtown Redmond. Seattle's RapidRide Line C (West Seattle to Downtown) and Line D (Ballard to Downtown) will begin operating in 2012.  


Sidewalk repair near Rainier Ave S enhances transit service

New sidewalks leading to new bus stops on Rainier Ave S have made walking and transit access safer and easier. More info


Pedestrian improvements in Southeast Seattle

Repaired sidewalks and curbs at Waters Ave S at S Fletcher St have created a much better walking environment, a safer surface, accessible ramps and better connections from the neighborhood to the route 7 bus stop across the street. More info  
















ToolsTools to Help You Walk, Bike and Ride

Real time bus arrival times on display at 3rd and Pine Downtown

Check out Macy's window for up-to-the-minute arrival times from One Bus Away. This demonstration project is the first of many improvements for this busy bus stop. Watch for a wider sidewalk and new lighting in 2012 designed to increase public safety and security. More info


Improve walking and bicycling to your school with a $1,000 Safe Routes to School Mini Grant

Fund activities and safety improvements to encourage more children to walk or bike to school. Private and public schools, PTAs, or other school-related nonprofit groups may apply. Deadline for applications is Friday, October 28th.  More info 


What's a "bike box?"

First, it's not really a box! It's a part of the street that's located between a traffic signal and the stop line, and it's painted green to designate a space where bicyclists may stop in front of motor vehicles and wait for the signal to change. SDOT has installed several bike boxes throughout the city; the latest is at N 34th St and Fremont Ave N. More info


WBRr 101: online transit tools

("WBRr 101" provides info for new readers of the Walk Bike Rider)


InspirationInspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Julie V. wins an electric bike in the Walk Bike Ride Challenge 
Congratulations to Julie, the winner of the e-Moto electric bike in the Jul./Aug. round of the Walk Bike Ride Challenge. Six other prize winners received a night stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel, an Apple iPad, or gift certificates to Zipcar, REI, Nordstrom, or Seattle farmer's markets. The list of all prize winners is here. Anyone participating in the program in 2011 could win our end-of-year prizes: another e-Moto bike and another stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel.   


West Seattle Commute Challenge    

Commute Seattle has challenged West Seattleites who commute into downtown Seattle to test and track different commute options both before and after the nine day AWV closure. Track the challenge and cheer on our West Seattle Commuter Challenge participants on the Commute Seattle Facebook page. There will be prizes distributed throughout the challenge via Facebook.


Wheel Options October 16 - 29

Choose not to drive alone to work at least twice during October 16 - 29, and you could win fantastic prizes, including $2,500 in cash. Learn more here.


Census: Seattleites are walking, biking and using transit more often

Walking, biking or using transit? The census says you're a trendsetter, because more of us are doing what you're doing. In fact, between 2009 and 2010, bike commuting in Seattle rose 22%, making us the #2 cycling city in the nation. Seattle even bested light rail Mecca Portland for transit trips.




Comment on Seattle's transit future

Attend an SDOT open house to learn about and comment on the City's Transit Master Plan (TMP), a vision for top quality, frequent transit services over the next 20 years:

  • Oct. 25, Aljoya Thornton Creek (450 NE 100th St)
  • Oct. 26, West Seattle Eagles Hall (4426 California Ave SW)
  • Nov.15, Ballard High School (1418 NW 65th St)
  • Nov.17, New Holly Gathering Hall (7054 32nd Ave S)

All meetings run from 6 to 8 p.m. Detailed directions are here.  The final TMP will be adopted in early 2012.


More opportunities to get out walking in Rainier Valley

Feet First, a local pedestrian advocacy organization, is looking for Rainier Valley residents interested in becoming Neighborhood Walking Ambassadors. Program training is Sat., Oct. 29, 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. at the Rainier Beach Public Library (9125 Rainier Ave S). Light refreshments. More Info 

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Dave Allen and Kathy Anderson 

Way to Go, Seattle! 


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