Downtown ribbon cutting includes good vibes for new bike projects including Pike protected lanes

Now on 8th Ave (Image: SDOT)

Mayor Jenny Durkan and SDOT director Sam Zimbabwe weren’t out for a ride but they did come out to celebrate Wednesday’s opening of a new 8th Ave protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The redesigned 8th Ave includes a “one-way northbound protected bike lane between Pike St and Bell St, one travel lane, paid parking and load zones, and new bike signals at busy intersection,” SDOT reports. “This project completes a two-way couplet for people biking with the existing one-way southbound 7th Ave protected bike lane.” Continue reading

With engineering and economics study underway, Lid I-5 effort holds open house

A rendering from an early community workshop on ideas for the lid concept including housing, open park space, and more (Image: Lid I-5)

With work underway to study the “engineering and economics of lidding I-5 between Madison Street and Denny Way,” a Lid I-5 Community Open House on Capitol Hill Wednesday night will provide updates from the groups advocating for the project, two city council members, and the people managing the research.

In March, CHS reported on the $1.5 million study process and the lengthy local and national firms contributing work to the project. The Lid I-5 group has been advocating for the lid and helping to push the idea from an urbanist dream into City Hall’s budget. The University of Washington is also conducting a real estate analysis of the economics and value a lid might have for private development that could also consider how funds generated by the new buildings might offset the costs of building the lid.

Council members Sally Bagshaw and Abel Pacheco are scheduled to attend the open house Wednesday at The Summit meeting space at 420 E Pike to remark on the earliest stages of the effort. The session is slated to start at 5:30 PM. You can learn more and register here.

Police take one into custody after downtown stabbing suspect reportedly flees to Capitol Hill — UPDATE

Police quickly took a suspect into custody who reportedly fled toward Capitol Hill completely naked after stabbing multiple people at the 6th Ave Nordstrom building.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the suspect was reported as a nude male seen fleeing eastbound on Pike toward Capitol Hill after the stabbing incident inside the 1600 block 6th Ave building. Police reportedly took the male into custody after he was spotted headed east near 8th and Pine.

Details were not immediately clear about the scene of the attack but Seattle Fire was responding to a report of two or three people stabbed across multiple floors of the downtown building.

UPDATE: Police say three people were stabbed in the incident and confirmed that the naked suspect was taken into custody: Continue reading

Seattle marks first commute without buses in downtown Transit Tunnel

Bus riders downtown might be searching for new stops and light rail passengers to and from Capitol Hill should have a smoother, maybe even quicker go of it. Monday morning marked the first commute through Seattle with buses kicked out of the downtown transit tunnel.

City officials are calling it a second chapter of the “Seattle Squeeze” following Seattle’s weeks without SR-99 in chapter one — a story that turned out to be a little overdone.

Sound Transit says the booting of the buses as necessary as the Washington State Convention Center expansion project will soon remove the northbound access point for buses at the former Convention Place Station and the agency needs to update the older downtown Seattle stations to prepare for expansion to Northgate in 2021 and the opening of the Blue Line to the Eastside in 2023.

SDOT has posted about the changes on Seattle surface streets to accommodate the increased bus activity here.

Metro and Sound Transit say the change will have immediate benefits for light rail riders, “enabling reliable six-minute peak hour headways, eliminating significant service disruptions that occur under joint operations.”

“Light rail service frequencies will increase in future years as the system expands,” officials promise.

You can learn more about the Metro service changes and tunnel transition plans here.

Team comes together for City of Seattle feasibility study for new lid over I-5

A $1.5 million process is underway to study the feasibility of a new lid over I-5 connecting downtown to Capitol Hill somewhere between Denny Way and Madison and you can get a look for yourself at the areas involved and how they might change in the future.

The city announced that a consultant team led by global engineering firm WSP has been selected to run the $1.5 million study of the technical feasibility of building a lid with possible green spaces and public parks, schools, and affordable housing developments. Continue reading

Good news for Capitol Hill Station riders as Metro buses prepare to exit Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel for good

King County Metro is rolling out another set of service upgrades and changes on routes across the Seattle area and while relatively public transit-rich Capitol Hill mostly misses out on any direct upgrades, the changes will include a major step for transportation in Central Seattle — and better service to and from Capitol Hill Station for light rail riders.

It’s time for the end of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel as we know it. In March, the DSTT begins its new life as a “rail only” conduit. Continue reading

Seattle has new $286M plan to connect First Hill Streetcar to the South Lake Union Trolley via 1st Ave

1st Ave circa 2025

Like most things, the longer Seattle waits to build its downtown streetcar line, the more expensive it will get. Mayor Jenny Durkan put Seattle’s 1st Ave route back on track Thursday, announcing a new $286 million price tag for the planned Center City Connector to link the First Hill Streetcar and South Lake Union Trolley via 1st Ave. Meanwhile, there is still no word on planned optimization work for Broadway to speed up the route for the First Hill Streetcar as it shares the lanes with vehicular traffic.

When it finally goes into service in about six year, the 1st Ave streetcar shouldn’t face similar delays — it will have its own dedicated lane. Continue reading

Crazy auto theft includes 911 calls reporting owner on SUV’s hood before hit and run crash on Capitol Hill

Seattle Police received a harrowing 911 call Tuesday night — the owner of a new white Subaru SUV reportedly jumped onto the hood of the car trying to prevent it from being stolen as it was driven east near 7th and Pike downtown.

The owner was apparently able to quickly extract herself from the dangerous predicament but police soon received a report of a hit and run crash on Capitol Hill near Belmont and Pike involving the stolen vehicle around 8:45 PM. There were no reported serious injuries.

The car was later spotted headed northbound on I-5 but there were no immediate reports of police recovering the vehicle or catching up with the suspect.

Police were looking for a white male who appeared to be in his 30s with red or blond hair, a goatee, and wearing a black beanie at the time of the heist, according to West Precinct dispatches.

 

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Eight years in, Seattle ready to study ‘engineering and financial feasibility’ of lidding I-5

It’s a Seattle Freeway Revolt of a different sort and now the city has the money to execute an engineering and financial feasibility study of the potential benefits “for covering more of the I-5 freeway trench in central Seattle.”

The $1.5 million in funding from the Washington State Convention Center expansion’s $83 million public benefits package is now available to the City of Seattle and an advisory council has been formed, the Lid I-5 community group announced last week:

The study funding enables OPCD to procure an expert consultant team with qualifications in civil and structural engineering, economic analysis, urban design, and environmental mitigation. The study is expected to last through 2019 and will inform the next steps in lid design, planning, permitting, and capital funding. Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) staff will be engaged during the process. Recent and ongoing freeway lid projects – including in Bellevue, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Dallas, and Philadelphia – provide helpful case studies and a pool of experienced specialists that Seattle’s effort can draw from.

Continue reading

50 years after ‘Freeway Revolt,’ I-5 lid between Capitol Hill and downtown Seattle visions take shape

There’s a sort-of joke that floats around in land use circles that when deciding what to put on a piece of property: They’re not making any more land.

But if a Seattle group has its way, the city just might make more land — smack in the middle of it all — by putting a lid on I-5.

“A freeway lid is literally making land out of thin air,” said David Yeaworth, a consultant who worked with the group proposing the idea.

Lid I-5 Collaborative // Final Presentations

A citizen-led effort to put a lid over I-5, and develop ideas for what to do with the new real estate, is nearing a new phase with a presentation event next Wednesday night, October 3rd, on Capitol Hill. Teams will share their ideas shaped over months of community design gatherings for how a lidded I-5 might look, and what sorts of buildings and facilities could possibly go on it. Continue reading