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After nearly a two year absence (and $280 million dollars), University of Washington Football is back with us in Northeast Seattle.
The countdown to the first game on Saturday night has a motto: “Retake Montlake.” But residents in the path of 70,000+ spectators leaving the stadium area may take that slogan to mean “Retake Montlake, and 25th, and 45th, and 520, and residential streets used as a shortcut and…” etc.
The traffic plan for game days this year is similar to the one used in the past. But additional restrictions on parking in certain areas may be new to you.
Traffic Plan for Game Days
- The Washington State Department of Transportation will operate the Montlake Bridge under a modified schedule which will keep the bridge in the down position (open to vehicles and pedestrians) approximately two hours and thirty minutes before the start of the game and up to three hours after the game concludes.
- Seattle Police officers will staff intersections before and after the event in the immediate area to help facilitate safe vehicle and pedestrian flow.
- Lane and traffic restrictions to help control traffic flow will also be implemented throughout the area.
- At the conclusion of the game, Montlake Boulevard NE will be closed to through traffic between NE Pacific Street and NE 45th Street until the traffic volumes exiting the stadium parking lots subsides.
- All northbound traffic crossing the Montlake Bridge, excluding emergency and permit holding vehicles, will be re-routed westbound on NE Pacific Street.
- Southbound traffic traveling toward Husky Stadium will also be detoured away from the stadium.
- All traffic exiting stadium parking lots along Montlake Boulevard NE will be routed northbound.
- Pedestrian traffic is given precedence for the first 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game by Seattle Police officers to help move the crowds safely away from the stadium.
- At the conclusion of the game, NE 25th Street between Montlake Blvd NE and NE 75th Street becomes one-way northbound for approximately two hours.
Astute observers may note that there is no new traffic plan component for the newly redesigned NE 75th Street itself.
Reminder: NE 75th Street’s rechannelization was designed for the other 358 or so days of the year. As were all the other streets leading to and from Husky Stadium. We should all expect congestion on local roads when those other seven or so days of the year roll around, and 70,000 people all try to go home at once.
But having said that, should residents have comments/observations for SDOT about the massive traffic exodus (on NE 75th Street or elsewhere), we can leave them at this number: 684-ROAD.
Additional Restrictions on Parking
To ease parking congestion in popular areas of the city, SDOT has set up Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) that allow residents to park for longer periods of time than visitors.
New to you, however, may be the RPZs around Husky Stadium: the Game Day RPZs – set up in Zones A, B, 1, 6 and 20 to specifically maintain parking for residents in the area on game days.
Zone A: Montlake / Husky Game Days
Zone 1: Montlake
Zone 6: University Park (NEW)
Zone 20: Ravenna/Bryant
This year, SDOT added Game Day restrictions to RPZ 6 (University Park). This area is directly south of Ravenna Park to NE 50th St, and between 15th Avenue NE and Ravenna Ave NE (down Ravenna all the way to NE 45th Street)
Below is a picture of a couple parking signs posted in RPZ 6. The green one on the top is probably familiar to you. The red one on the bottom, however, is new.
What this means for Saturday, for example, is that vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal or guest pass are NOT ALLOWED TO PARK in this area between 4 PM and 11 PM (three hours before the 7 PM game, and two hours after).
That’s seven straight hours of no parking for any vehicles without a RPZ 6 decal (or guest pass).
And this restriction does include those cute little Car2Go vehicles (answers apply to all Game Day RPZs):
— car2go Seattle (@car2goSeattle) August 29, 2013
— car2go Seattle (@car2goSeattle) August 29, 2013
The new restrictions have at least one resident of RPZ 6 very concerned. This individual lives in an area of the zone known as the Ravenna Springs neighborhood. Via email (name withheld until we get permission to use it):
These new restrictions were pushed through by several members of UPCC. Those of us who live on Ravenna Ave below 55th and have been following the “process” are extremely unhappy with it. We happen to live on the last street in Zone 6, and have pretty much nothing to do with the UPCC neighborhood up the hill. In fact, we’re the independent Ravenna Springs neighborhood.
On the Friday morning following Thanksgiving night, when friends and family are visiting and there is normally no parking enforcement, restrictions will begin at 9am! The only way you won’t get a $50 ticket is to have a Zone 6 permit or a guest pass. Problematic because guest passes cost an additional $30 and are limited to one per household.
UPDATE (10:41 AM): For more information on the city’s Restricted Parking Zones and how to obtain RPZ decals and guest passes, visit SDOT’s Restricted Parking Zone Program Online Permitting page.
Let the games begin.
The Seattle Department of Transportation crew that had been laying down “proto-lanes” on NE 75th Street finished up their work today. And it was not long after they’d put away their paint can that the SDOT Painting Truck Convoy rolled in to finish the job*.
Above is a picture of NE 75th Street at about 23rd Avenue NE, taken at 10:15 PM on Friday night. It’s done.
Here we’re looking west down NE 75th Street, from the same location.
Additionally, the no-parking-during-commutes parking signs were replaced with these no parking signs.
The “Wild West” has been tamed…or has it?
Drive around/Walk around/Bike around on it a bit, everyone, then let’s meet back here in the comments to talk about our experiences.
*UPDATE (Saturday morning): The roadway improvements are not *completely* finished, but the new lanes had been laid down as of last night. The era of driving two-by-two is over. This morning, a crew was spotted adding reflectors to the sides of the new left turn lane.
UPDATE (Saturday afternoon): A truck/machine/thing was seen grinding the old yellow stripes off the middle of the road, east of 25th Avenue NE. Did not continue west of 25th, however. Monday’s job, perhaps.
UPDATE (Saturday evening): Valarie Bunn, Wedgwood historian extraordinaire, sent us some photos of the old lane lines being ground off the road earlier today.
The only female SDOT worker I’ve seen working on the improvements, and this is the job she’s doing. As my ancestors would say, “Uff da.”
And I believe the machine pictured above cleans up after the grinding equipment has done its job.
UPDATE (Sunday morning): OMG they’re back at it again already.
Workers, cones, and signs were spotted near 20th Avenue NE around 7 AM. And around 9 AM, the grinding gear was spotted in the same location:
They're here! And on a Sunday! pic.twitter.com/CiMR81v1jg
— Starace 1919 (@Starace1919) August 25, 2013
With a goal of getting the new road configuration for NE 75th Street in by the first day of school (two weeks from today), it’s no surprise that the Seattle Department of Transportation has started preparing the Northeast Seattle arterial so quickly.
Some pictures from today (Wednesday):
View down NE 75th Street, looking west towards the signaled intersection with 20th Avenue NE. Truck with moving lighted arrow signage telling motorists to move to the right.
View from the west side of the SDOT crew’s spot in the middle of NE 75th Street, as they stop to look at the plans for a moment.
Worker on the right watches the NE 75th Street plans, while the worker on the left paints the lane plans onto the road surface.
Above picture taken a few seconds after the previous one, showing the lane painting occurring.
A look down the hill towards 20th Avenue NE. As the crew worked in the center of the arterial, vehicles parted around them, already driving in the new configuration.
We’ll add more photos here when we have them!
Driven the new NE 75th Street configuration yet? What do you think so far? Tell us in the comments.
We can’t let Sand Point Way NE have all the lane closure fun, can we?
The Seattle Department of Transportation sent out an advisory this week about upcoming work on the NE 45th St Viaduct that will cause various lane closures from August 5-19.
Structures crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will close one lane at a time on the Northeast 45th Street Viaduct starting next week to repair an expansion joint. They will start on the outside, westbound lane and progress to the opposite side of the roadway. When the eastbound lane is closed, eastbound traffic will be shifted to temporarily use one of the westbound lanes, providing one lane in each direction. The closures will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from August 5 to August 19.
But on the bright side, it’s good to get this work done before the UW students come back to town, right?
On Wednesday, July 24, from approximately 6:30-9 PM, Ravenna Blog will be attending the NE 75th St Design Alternatives Review meeting being held at the Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE), and will provide live coverage below.
The agenda for the meeting, released by SDOT’s Jim Curtin via the NE 75th St listserv on Monday, looks like this:
7:00 Welcome and Announcements
7:05 Recap of Spring Meetings
7:15 SDOT Presentation
7:45 Questions and Answers
8:15 Speak Directly with SDOT
If you have not yet done your NE 75th St homework, please look over the four SDOT proposed designs for the arterial here.
UPDATE (Thursday, July 25): SDOT has made the presentation available online, with a few updates made for the Thursday afternoon presentation (as requested with more visuals!). You can download the PowerPoint presentation itself here (5.7 MB), or just the slides in PDF format here (2 MB).
Here’s an example of some of the added graphics (this one of what NE 75th St might look like under Proposal 4 with increased pedestrian crosswalk features):
Ahead of the Bicycle Master Plan Update public comment deadline of Friday, July 26, a group of business owners and residents near NE 65th Street are meeting to discuss the BMP’s proposed cycle track for the Ravenna thoroughfare.
Ravenna Bicycle Path Small Business Owners/Residents’ Work Group
Next Meeting Tuesday, July 23, 7 p.m.
Varsity Restaurant, 2300 N.E. 65th St.
Concerns about NE 65th St and the BMP listed on the flyer include:
- Loss of parking along NE 65th St, and cars being displaced to nearly residential streets;
- Effects during special events (like University of Washington Football home games);
- Emergency vehicle access to Ravenna Ida Culver;
- Recommendation for a cycle track on NE 65th St was accompanied by “no empirical evidence to support it,” and no studies (environmental, traffic impact, or economic impact.
For more information about this meeting, residents are asked to contact Mark Briant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comment on the City of Seattle’s 2013 Bicycle Master Plan Update can be sent to email@example.com. For a guide on making comments, you can use this form (Microsoft Word or PDF), supplied by the BMP Project Library page.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has gone through all the feedback they received and data they’ve collected about NE 75th St and nearby roadways, and come up with some design alternatives for the area. And the big reveal is coming soon.
Via the NE 75th Street Road Safety Corridor Project email list (emphasis ours):
Please join the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to review proposed roadway design changes on NE 75th Street and other nearby streets. Two meetings have been scheduled to consider the proposals and gather public feedback:
Evening Meeting: Wednesday, July 24th, 7-9PM in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church (8008 35th Ave NE)
Daytime Meeting: Thursday, July 25th, 1-3PM in the Fellowship Hall (downstairs) at Messiah Lutheran Church (7050 35th Ave NE)
The Ravenna Blog is planning on attending the evening meeting on Wednesday, July 24, and will have LIVE COVERAGE running for those of you at home — follow along live and/or read later.
At 10:39 AM on Wednesday morning, Seattle Fire units responded to a vehicle vs. pedestrian collision on 35th Ave NE, just south of the intersection at NE 75th St.
The Seattle Fire Department reported on twitter that they had transported a male in his 20s to Harborview Medical Center. The victim was in “critical condition with heavy trauma.”
As for the incident itself, the Seattle Police Department Blotter described the circumstances this way:
At 10:39 am this morning a man got off a Metro coach and stepped into the southbound lanes of 35th Avenue NE. He was struck by a car driving south on 35th and sustained life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the vehicle that struck the man was evaluated at the scene by Drug Recognition Experts, as is routine with incidents like this. The driver showed no obvious signs of impairment and was released from the scene just after 1 PM. Dectectives from the Traffic Collision Investigation Squad were still processing the scene as of 1:26 PM, but said that the street “should reopen within the hour.”
We will update this post when we find out more information on the circumstances of the collision and/or updates on the man’s condition.