Posts Tagged ‘Traffic’

The City listens at May 19 Parking Meeting

May 21, 2010

The Fremont Chamber hosted a panel from The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the City of Seattle Police Department in Parking Enforcement for the May 19, 2010 monthly meeting. Headlining the speaker was Director of SDOT, Peter Hahn. Accompanying Mr. Hahn from SDOT were Mike Estey and Mary Catherine Snyder. Director of Parking Enforcement William Edwards was joined by George Murray, Supervisor for parking in the Fremont area at the meeting.

The meeting focused on parking issues in Fremont; the main thrust of the discussion was on the parking pay station kiosks that have been in Fremont for almost a year now. The Chamber has taken a hard stand that the pay stations are not working for Fremont businesses and should be removed.

The Meeting started with networking and some pointed discussions between the City and individual Fremont business owners. The formal presentation began at 8:15 am with introduction by Marko Tubic, president of the Fremont Chamber. Peter Hahn led the discussion with  his refreshing frankness about transit and how he “does not have a philosophy” as much as he serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and is trying to make transportation of all sorts in Seattle better. The biggest issue he sees is the lack of maintenance that has been hurting the City for years. He feels the City’s resources should be spent on bringing what we have back to good as a top priority. He noted that he got the message from talking with people earlier that pay stations are not liked and that Fremont does not support a road diet on Nickerson. Overall Mr. Hahn kept his comments short to allow more time for questions.

Mary Catherine Snyder followed with a short presentation of statistics, where it was noted that Fremont has the lowest hour pay rate in the City of $1.50 per hour and that Fremont’s paid spaces have the highest occupancy rate in neighborhoods of 47% (Ballard is 34%, Greenlake 41%, University District 35%)… to the City this is apparently good. They do not see a less that 50% utilization as a problem and something that needs to be changed. There was discussion about statistics and their accuracy, especially given the wide range of many of the City’s study areas.

Director William Edwards then spoke about the focus of parking enforcement and the need for balance between too much “hard” enforcement and not enough. The policy of the department is to create turn over and move people when they have been parked too long, without being overly rigid and ticketing people when they are a few minutes over time. He was concerned to hear of aggressive behavior on the part of his officers, and he would like to hear details of instances where officers are rude to drivers.

The floor was then open to questions.

Many excellent questions and discussions ensued.

Here is a summary, made by Peter Hahn of the points made:

1. Remove vegetation obscuring parking signs – immediate action.

2.  Address the lack of clarity in parking signs – we’ll start looking at this.

3.  Reduce the times in which parking is taken away by contractors who are “planning” to do work, but have not yet started – we’ll be looking at this.

4.  Potentially re-examine the RPZ and the inhibiting impact on important events and festivals – we’ll look for ways this can be re-opened.

5.  Remove the kiosks.

6.  NO to Nickerson road diet.

The Fremont Chamber is putting together a Transportation Committee to discuss parking, road diets, bus routes and more. If you are interested in joining the group please contact Jessica at 206-632-1500 or

You are welcome to join the Fremont Chamber for our monthly meetings, on the third Wednesday of each month. Our themes for the meetings change each month. Upcoming meetings include:

Picnic in the Park on June 16, noon, Speed Networking in Gasworks with a Turkish Picnic lunch by Sureyya.

Marketing for small business, July 21, 5p – 7p at Om Culture, a panel discussion of how to best use online tools and networking to grow your business


Bus Stops Along Route 28 To Close April 4th

March 16, 2010

Rider Alert on North 36th St

Metro Rider Alert for Route 28 in March 2010 - photo by K. Lindsay

According to a sign posted, in March 2010,  at the Route 28 bus stop on North 36th Street (at the foot of Dayton Avenue), bus stops will be removed for better spacing along the route. 

For this stop, riders are recommended to go to the stop at North 36th Street and Phinney Avenue or at Fremont Avenue and North 34th Street.   For riders who already hike a distance to get to this stop, the inconvenience is extreme – possibly even a deterrant to ridership.  For vehicular traffic, removal of this (and potentially, other stops) can mean the addition of on-street parking spaces.

Please comment about this change to, and put “Route 28” in the subject line.

Aurora Safety Barrier Construction Update

March 2, 2010
Arial shot of Aurora Bridge by WSDOT

George Washington Memorial Bridge a.k.a. Aurora Bridge 2002 photo by WSDOT

Greg Phipps of the Washington Department of Transportation sent out an update on contruction plans for the safety barrier for the Aurora Bridge.

Based on early conversations with the contractor we expect that preliminary construction will start in Spring of 2010.  Preliminary construction involves verifying the location of rebar in the bridge deck and then drilling holes in the deck at locations where the fence will be bolted.  Once preliminary work is completed, and approved by our bridge engineers, the contractor can submit their order to the fence manufacturer.

Our contract allows double lane closures in one direction overnight and single lane closures during the day between the morning and afternoon commute.  The number of lanes closed is based on traffic volumes. We can close more lanes at night because there’s less traffic.  However, our contractor may be able to install the fence with fewer lane closures than are allowed in the contract. We should know more details in the next few weeks.

Construction noise is an uncertain factor right now. We know the work will be noisy, especially the drilling I mentioned earlier. If the contractor can work during the day, the noise won’t have as much of an effect on those near the bridge as it would have at night when people are trying to sleep.  We have noise variances from the city of Seattle for night work and will notify bridge neighbors before it begins, and will take all reasonable steps to minimize noise. Again, we will know more about the extent of night work in the next few weeks.

For more information, subscribe to the e-mail update mailing list at the Washington Department of Transportation web site.