A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

UPDATE: CLOSURES POSTONED — Reminder: 12 weeks of lane closures on SR 99 between Valley Street and Aurora Bridge begin next week

March 6th, 2015 by Doree

Updated Monday 11 a.m.: Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing the lane closures on Highway 99 that were supposed to start Wednesday. Here’s WSDOT’s announcement:

The Washington State Department of Transportation is postponing plans for long-term lane closures on State Route 99 originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 11.

These closures were needed to install several large sign foundations for the SR 99 North Access project. While this work must occur, it will be rescheduled to a later date in an effort to minimize impacts to the traveling public. The public will be alerted in advance of any future lane closures.

Full closure of northbound SR 99 tonight — Contractor crews still plan to close northbound SR 99 to straighten the curve in the highway near Mercer Street.

Tonight, SR 99 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. between the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street. All lanes will open at 6 a.m. in time for the morning commute.

Earlier: Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 11 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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12 weeks of SR 99 lane closures begin in March

February 19th, 2015 by Doree

Washington Department of Transportation crews will be working on the future north portal of the State Route 99 tunnel and will need to close one lane in both directions of SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between Valley Street and the Aurora Bridge. The closures begin March 7 and will last about 12 weeks.

Two lanes will be open in each direction while crews install foundations for four large sign structures in the median and curb areas.

Work is planned in two phases. View a map of the work locations.

  • Phase 1 (approximately 8 weeks): one lane closed in both directions for median work — One lane in the northbound and southbound directions will be closed around-the-clock while crews install four sign foundations in the median
  • Phase 2 (approximately 4 weeks): one lane closed in southbound direction for curb work — One southbound lane will be closed around-the-clock while crews install two sign foundations in the southbound curb area

Because northbound and southbound buses will travel – and stop – in the outside lanes with other vehicle traffic, trips may take longer than normal. During both phases the southbound bus-only lane restriction will be lifted.

In an effort to balance the needs of drivers and residents, some work will occur during nighttime and weekend hours. An additional lane may close at night and during some weekend days.

The long-term lane closures are expected to cause additional backups on SR 99 for vehicles and buses, particularly during peak commute times. WSDOT is encouraging drivers and bus riders to:

Questions? Contact us at viaduct@wsdot.wa.gov or 1-888-AWV-LINE (298-5463) or visit us at www.AlaskanWayViaduct.org.

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Aurora Avenue will be down to just one southbound lane on Wednesday and Thursday

October 7th, 2014 by Doree

If you’re heading downtown on Wednesday and Thursday, be prepared for congestion as Aurora Avenue will be restricted to one southbound lane so Seattle Department of Transportation can repair the pavement in the southbound lanes between North 40th and 41st streets. Work will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days, weather permitting.

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GAIN hosting informational meeting on sex workers in North Seattle

June 18th, 2014 by Doree

GAIN (Greenwood Aurora Involved Neighbors) North is hosting an informational meeting on a “multifaceted approach” to sex workers in North Seattle from 7-9 p.m. Monday, June 23, at Uppercrust Catering, 8420 Greenwood Ave. N.

Seattle Police Department North Precinct Officers Brandon Gordon, Dave Gordon and Sergeant Newsom will present information, along with Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, representatives from The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, and Ben Katt of Aurora Commons, a “neighborhood living room” at 8914 Aurora Ave. N.

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Watch out for construction on Aurora as crews complete RapidRide pedestrian improvements

November 13th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation and King County Metro crews are installing a number of pedestrian improvements along Aurora Avenue, getting ready for Metro’s RapidRide Line E route, which begins service in early 2014.

The improvements include the installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of North 95th Street and Aurora Avenue North, along with a number of new sidewalks on Aurora and some of its side streets. These sidewalks, where existing sidewalks are substandard or don’t exist, will give transit riders a safer and more pleasant path to and from their RapidRide stops on Aurora.

The project will also add a number of federally mandated Americans with Disabilities (ADA) curb ramps (although not at every Aurora intersection). Finally, the project provides funding for additional bus arrival signs along the corridor. Construction will be completed by the end of 2014.

The E Line will operate along Aurora between the Aurora Village Transit Center and downtown Seattle. Like other RapidRide routes, it is intended to improve transit speed and reliability, all intended to make travel by public transit more appealing to commuters.

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Minor injuries when car hit light pole at Green Lake yesterday

October 15th, 2013 by Doree

A woman received minor injuries when her car jumped the curb and hit a light pole on Aurora Avenue North by Green Lake just before 5 p.m. Monday. Chris sent us a photo of the scene.

Aurora-west-green-lake-car-ax-10-14-13-resized

Seattle Fire Department Public Information Office Kyle Moore tells us the woman, who was in her 50’s, was taken to Virginia Mason in stable condition. She was able to get out of the car on her own before firefighters arrived. No one else was injured.

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MOHAI leading walking tour of Aurora Avenue: ‘Life on Seattle’s Mother Road’

August 15th, 2013 by Doree

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) will lead a walking tour of Aurora Avenue/Highway 99 called “Aurora: Life on Seattle’s Mother Road,” from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

It’s part of MOHAI’s Neighborhood History Tour series, and will “explore the history of this once important Puget Sound lifeline and illustrate how it has affected the growth of our neighborhoods.”

Thousands of drivers use Aurora Avenue every day: it’s a vital traffic corridor. Yet few understand how a city street can be as controversial as this one. Aurora plays host to a broad and colorful spectrum of Seattle characters. It’s been called “visual garbage.” But it is also an essential place to people who live in and love, Seattle. Historian Roger van Oosten will give an informative, witty, and fun tour of the heart of Aurora, offering insight into why this historic Mother Road is vital to Seattle’s past, present and future.

Cost is $15 for MOHAI members; $20 general. You can buy tickets online. Meet at the corner of Stone Avenue North and North 90th Street. The tour covers approximately two-and-a-half miles.

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SDOT working on Aurora Avenue improvements this week

August 11th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation will begin work this week on Aurora Avenue North improvements, including installing Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes, adding signal priority for Metro buses, and retiming corridor traffic signals.

Beginning September 8, BAT lanes will be in operation for the north and southbound directions on Aurora between N 38th and N 115th streets during peak travel times – 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m. BAT lanes are reserved for buses and right-turning vehicles. The exception will be the southbound BAT lanes between N 77th and N 72nd streets, which will be activated only during the morning peak period until parking in this area is further evaluated.

Once the BAT lanes are operating, SDOT will retime signals to keep traffic moving and reduce travel times for all users of Aurora. During the fall, SDOT will install transit signal priority systems to enable traffic signals to detect approaching buses and extend a green light or end a red light early. This will improve service and reduce delays for transit users.

Following installation of the BAT lanes and traffic signal retiming, King County Metro will start RapidRide E Line service on Aurora Avenue N in February 2014, replacing Route 358.

Details of the project schedule are as follows:
• August 12, 2013: SDOT will begin removing existing signs and roadway striping, and installing new signs and striping. Medians also will be installed at Aurora/N. 87thand Aurora/N. 88th to improve safety. The expected duration of the work is three weeks, ending on September 6. Temporary parking restrictions will occur during construction.

• September 8, 2013: SDOT will open the BAT lanes.

• September 8-27, 2013: SDOT will adjust traffic signals based on the new roadway configuration and traffic queues.

• Fall 2013: SDOT will install and configure transit signal priority systems.

• February 15, 2014: King County Metro will begin RapidRide E Line service.

 

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Take SDOT survey on Aurora Avenue changes

July 3rd, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Department of Transportation is making changes to Aurora Avenue North before launching the RapidRide E Line next year. You can take a survey about the changes. The public comment period ends Friday, July 12.

As part of the development of King County Metro’s RapidRide E Line project along Aurora Avenue North, we are working with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to implement traffic signal timing improvements and peak period Business Access and Transit (BAT) lanes between N 38th Street and N 115th Street. The E Line replaces Route 358 in February 2014. The E Line will operate between Shoreline’s Aurora Village Transit Center and downtown Seattle.

RapidRide features high-frequency service, off-board fare payment at RapidRide stations, and systems that integrate the buses with traffic signals and signs.

Recommendations by SDOT:

  • Adjust timing of traffic signals for all lanes to keep vehicles moving
  • New traffic signals to detect approaching transit and extend a green light or end a red light early
  • Implement peak period BAT lanes: morning (6-9 a.m.) and evening (3-7 p.m.)

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