Council approves new Seattle Department of Transportation director

“Fun morning walking by the Streetcar maintenance facility, grabbing a quick breakfast sandwich ūü•™ and then hopping on the streetcar headed towards Municipal Tower,” Spotts posted Wednesday morning

Greg Spotts’s social media skills are strong. The City Council agrees with Mayor Bruce Harrell that he will also make a good leader for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Tuesday, the council approved Spotts as the next SDOT director in a unanimous 9-0 vote. Continue reading

Schedule a streets tour with mayor’s pick to lead SDOT

A Spotts tour this summer included this stop at a neighborhood’s ghost bike. “Safety will be my number one priority,” Spotts wrote.

While Mayor Bruce Harrell’s¬†pick to lead the the¬†Seattle Department of Transportation works his way through the confirmation process, nominee¬†Greg Spotts is scheduling listening tours “where Greg can walk, bike, roll, or take transit with folks to build relationships, experience your community, and understand what Seattle’s complex transportation system means to you.”

You can request a tour here.

The nominee is calling on individuals and groups to call out for the tours as he moves forward toward taking on the 1,200-person, $700 million a year department that has struggled against safety goals and ongoing traffic and transit woes. Last year, the city hit its highest number of traffic-related deaths since 2006.

CHS reported here on Spotts and his work as chief sustainability officer in Los Angeles.

Harrell included a change at the top of SDOT¬†as he launched his new administration earlier this year saying the department needed to take a more ‚Äúbalanced‚ÄĚ approach that better recognizes ‚Äúthe role of cars and new electric vehicles.‚ÄĚ

 

SUBSCRIBE AND KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE -- $1/$5/$10
We love providing community news on CHS free for thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you are enjoying CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep CHS available to all. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 

Harrell’s nominee to head Seattle Department of Transportation has ’15-minute city’ aspirations

Greg Spotts

Calling him an innovative and inclusive leader “committed to designing, constructing, and maintaining sustainable transportation infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of communities,” Mayor Bruce Harrell has named Los Angeles transportation official Greg Spotts to lead the Seattle Department of Transportation.

The choice must be confirmed by the Seattle City Council.

Spotts currently serves as the executive officer and chief sustainability officer at the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, overseeing 1,500 staff positions, and an annual budget of $230 million, plus a capital program of more than $350 million, according to Harrell’s office.

Harrell says Spotts has led efforts to make Los Angeles “more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly and sustainable.” Continue reading

‘Is this a bus stop or a DoorDash pick up zone?’ — New hub collecting feedback and ideas for next Seattle Transportation Plan

 

SUBSCRIBE AND KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE -- $1/$5/$10
We love providing community news on CHS free for thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you are enjoying CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep CHS available to all. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 
Have thoughts on Seattle’s transportation needs and priorities? City Hall has launched a new Seattle Transportation Plan Online Engagement Hub where residents can “take a new survey to share their transportation priorities, come to an upcoming event and tell the department what they see places for change.”

You can visit the hub here.

The effort comes as city leaders set out to shape the next Seattle Transportation Plan for the city, the high level, 20-year planning process used to prioritize and shape street and sidewalk projects. Continue reading

Calls for Vision Zero public hearing in wake of Seattle pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Councilmember Tammy Morales representing District 2 is calling for a public hearing on the status of the city’s Vision Zero funding in the wake of two more people struck and killed by drivers recently in Seattle.

Last Wednesday morning, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a driver in SoDo. May 6th, a pedestrian was struck and killed in West Seattle.

Councilmember Morales said there have been multiple other recent incidents where people were killed as she called for the council to fulfill its pedestrian and bike infrastructure funding commitments, and requested a Vision Zero briefing be held in the Transportation and Utilities Committee. Continue reading

With its test period wrapped and parking ‘improved,’ Seattle hands out new scooter share permits

A Bird fleet manager at work (Image: Bird)

Seattle is shuffling through a renewed set of providers for the city’s fleet of shared scooters and bikes with one brand new provider entering the mix and two others winding down operations in the city.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says the shuffling as it hands out permits for the 2022-2023 period comes with the conclusion of its “pilot phase” integrating the new scooters and bikes onto the city’s streets and sidewalks.

SDOT says the 2022-2023 providers came out on top in “a competitive application process” requiring each scooter company “to provide a detailed strategy for how they would address safety, equity, and improper parking.”

SDOT has selected three scooter companies to receive operation permits: Lime, LINK by Superpedestrian, and, a newcomer to the city, Bird. In addition to scooters, riders continue to have the option of renting shared bicycles from Lime and Veo.

SDOT says Wheels and Spin will not continue operating in Seattle and each has “a few weeks to wind down their operations and transfer their fleet to other cities.” Continue reading

SDOT seeks volunteer advisors to ‘help shape the future of transportation’ in Seattle

(Image: SDOT)

Would you like to help the city sort out its transportation future all while volunteering your time for no pay only to have your input captured in a slide deck as it is slowly eroded by the Seattle process?

You optimistic types should check out this call to arms from the Seattle Department of Transportation as it looks to fill the citizen ranks of several key advisory boards:

Volunteer Opportunity
Are you passionate about transportation issues facing Seattle? Do you want to help shape the future of transportation in the city? 
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has openings for volunteer community members for the following advisory boards and committees: Continue reading

Work finally begins on $4.3M Melrose Promenade pedestrian and biking overhaul — kind of

Already delayed by the city’s backlog of street improvement projects from a plan for a start of construction last summer, work on the Melrose Promenade project is finally underway. But there are more construction delays to come.

The city says the ongoing concrete workers’ strike will mean work on many key elements of the planned overhaul will have to wait.

“No Park” signs have gone up in work areas along the route and work is beginning on drainage and electrical systems near Melrose Ave and E Pine. Continue reading

Soon, you can ride your bike without a helmet — legally — in Seattle

In 30 days, people riding bikes without a helmet in Seattle will no longer be breaking the law. The King County Board of Health voted Thursday to repeal the county’s mandatory helmet law citing evidence that enforcement disproportionately targets people of color and the homeless.

“The general sentiment of the majority was that they still strongly recommend helmet use, just not the police-enforced strategy for achieving that public health goal,” the Seattle Bike Blog reports:

A large coalition, including major biking and safe streets advocacy organizations like Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and even the national League of American Bicyclists have signed onto the effort to repeal the law. But the most recent repeal effort got kickstarted following a 2020 Real Change investigation into an incident in which a man experiencing homelessness was ticketed for not wearing a helmet after someone drove into and injured him. Subsequent research by the Helmet Law Working Group found that nearly half of Seattle helmet law citations went to people experiencing homelessness. Police also issue the tickets inequitably.

In addition to repealing the law, Thursday’s vote included a resolution encouraging King County cities to repeal local helmet laws. Cities with their own helmet laws include Auburn, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Kent, Lake Forest Park, Maple Valley, North Bend, Pacific, Renton, SeaTac and Snoqualmie.

The Seattle Police Department, meanwhile, had already stopped enforcing the helmet law as part of equitable policing changes to its traffic stop policies.

As for safety, you can have your pick of statistics. Helmets prevent more people from getting hurt — especially serious head injuries. You should still wear a helmet when you can.

The King County repeal, meanwhile, goes into effect in 30 days.

 

SUBSCRIBE AND KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE -- $1/$5/$10
We love providing community news on CHS free for thousands of readers. What sustains the effort are voluntary subscriptions from paying supporters. If you are enjoying CHS, SUBSCRIBE HERE and help keep CHS available to all. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 

It’s been a while but Seattle’s bike share fleet is growing again — Plus, SDOT updates on scooters and Emerging Mobility Technology like ‘Autonomous Vehicles’ and drones

The Seattle Bike Blog calls them “the first legitimate bike share competitor” to Lime’s fleet in the city. People who don’t understand living in a city call them “an eyesore.”

It’s been awhile since bike shares made a headline on CHS — the last time we checked in on the industry was here in June 2020 as the share systems made a return to Seattle with Lime taking over Uber’s bike presence here.

But this week, a new style of bike joined the city’s hodgepodge fleet of bike and scooter shares. Here’s what SDOT has to say about Veo: Continue reading