Tag Archives: SDOT

What Happens to Seattle’s Streetside Cafés After the Pandemic?

by Ben Adlin


Last summer, when the first COVID-19 vaccine was still months away and indoor dining was limited, a group of businesses in Columbia City transformed a half block’s worth of South Ferdinand Street into The Patio, a shared outdoor seating area open to everyone. Residents could order takeout from nearby Geraldine’s Counter or Lottie’s Lounge, sure — or they could just drop in and say hello to friends they might not have seen since the pandemic began.

After months of social isolation, “a few people said it just kind of saved their life,” said Lottie’s owner Beau Hebert. “They were just going bonkers.”

The project unfolded under a special pilot program by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), part of an aggressive push by the agency to quickly convert public streets and sidewalks into outdoor seating. Restaurants at the time were facing mass closures, and open-air dining offered customers a less-risky alternative to venturing inside. Changes to SDOT’s permitting process, including waiving fees that sometimes cost several thousand dollars per year, led to a proliferation of patio seating across the city.

But with restrictions on indoor dining now gone and nearly three in four eligible King County residents fully vaccinated, the city faces a choice: What to do with its outdoor dining and new communal spaces?

Continue reading What Happens to Seattle’s Streetside Cafés After the Pandemic?

NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Pop-up, Student Jobs at SPL, Preparing for Wildfire Smoke, More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


Image: American Indian Health Commission/Tribal/Urban Indian Health Immunizations Coalition.

Vaccine Pop-Up in White Center, Wednesday, July 28, Noon–6 p.m.

American Indian Health Commission and Tribal/Urban Indian Health Immunizations Coalition are “Pulling Together for Wellness” and providing free vaccines to adults and children 12 and older on Wednesday, July 28 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. No appointment necessary! Free emergency dental services are also available by appointment (call 480-760-1486 to schedule).

Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Vaccine Pop-up, Student Jobs at SPL, Preparing for Wildfire Smoke, More!

District 2 Bears the Brunt of Seattle’s Traffic Deaths

by Lizz Giordano


A car crash in SODO took the life of a pedestrian just over three weeks into 2021. Days later, another traffic death occurred within the same block. Two months after that, a semi-truck collided with a bicyclist on the industrial streets of Georgetown, marking another fatality in the South End, where traffic deaths were quickly outpacing other areas of the city. 

In April, a driver fled the scene of a deadly crash with a bicyclist near Seward Park. Early one morning in June, another person died after an SUV hit a man walking along Airport Way South. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and police blogs show yet another pedestrian was killed near the Columbia City light rail station a few days later. 

Six months into 2021, more than half of all Seattle traffic fatalities have occurred in Council District 2, which includes Rainier Valley, SODO, and parts of Chinatown/International District. 

Continue reading District 2 Bears the Brunt of Seattle’s Traffic Deaths

SDOT Plans to Close Lake Washington Boulevard to Cars on Weekends Through September

by Jack Russillo


Beginning on the Fourth of July weekend, the 3-mile section of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mount Baker Park and Seward Park will be closed to vehicles every weekend of the summer.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced the road closures on Thursday, June 24, as part of its Stay Healthy Streets initiative

The barricades that will signal the section closed-off to cars will be installed Friday afternoons and will be removed Monday mornings, except for Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, when the barricades will be removed on the Tuesday morning after the holiday weekend. People driving to homes along the boulevard because they live there, are visiting, or making deliveries are allowed. 

“This summer’s approach […] expands the lakefront for more use, and supports affordable travel options by making it easier to walk, bike, and roll,” SDOT said in its announcement. “It provides space for children under 12 that are not currently eligible for vaccinations to stay active. It’s consistent to help people planning their trips and it maintains vehicle access during typical commute hours.”

Continue reading SDOT Plans to Close Lake Washington Boulevard to Cars on Weekends Through September

Lake Washington Boulevard Closed Memorial Day Weekend, Summer Plans Not Decided

by Jack Russillo


Over the holiday weekend, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will close a one-mile section of Lake Washington Boulevard — from Mount Baker Park to Genesee Park — to cars and open it up for pedestrians to recreate freely. The closure will begin “around noon” on Friday, May 28, when SDOT crews put up barriers on the roadway. The road will be open to cars again on the morning of Tuesday, June 1.

“We hear from a lot of people who love it and that it just feels like freedom for them to have this space to walk, bike, walk with strollers, roller skate, scoot on scooters, and just be with the open space of Lake Washington,” said Sara Colling, a senior outreach lead at SDOT. “It just opens up a lot of opportunities. With that, there are tradeoffs, which is why the decision-making process is complicated.”

Continue reading Lake Washington Boulevard Closed Memorial Day Weekend, Summer Plans Not Decided

Durkan Revisits Push to Move Parking Enforcement From Police to SDOT

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Six months after the Seattle City Council voted to move the city’s parking enforcement officers from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to a new Community Safety and Communications Center by June, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Sam Zimbabwe hope the council will revisit their decision. On Tuesday, April 13, Durkan’s office transmitted legislation to the council that would move the roughly 100 parking enforcement officers to SDOT instead, arguing that SDOT is better equipped to manage parking enforcement.

But the proposal is an unwanted case of déjà vu for the Seattle Parking Enforcement Officers’ Guild (SPEOG), the union that represents the officers. When the council was considering opportunities to shift some positions and responsibilities away from the police department as part of the larger conversation about defunding SPD last fall, SPEOG leadership lobbied the council to move them into the Community Safety and Communications Center, arguing that the placement would signal the parking officers’ role in the city’s reimagined approach to public safety.

Continue reading Durkan Revisits Push to Move Parking Enforcement From Police to SDOT

As Seattle Gears Up for Winter Weather, Officials Scramble to Secure Emergency Shelter

by Ben Adlin


Seattle officials are urging residents to prepare for a series of winter storms expected to bring snow and sustained below-freezing temperatures to the region this week, warning that the severe weather could cause power outages, create problems for drivers, and put vulnerable populations at risk.

“We have to check in with our neighbors at times like this, especially our seniors and disabled neighbors,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “And also remember, you have the responsibility to shovel that sidewalk in front of your property.”

Agencies around King County are gearing up for the severe weather — preparing to clear roads and adjust bus routes, for example — but leaders at Wednesday’s press conference acknowledged the ongoing pandemic will complicate some efforts, such as expanding emergency shelter for people without housing.

Continue reading As Seattle Gears Up for Winter Weather, Officials Scramble to Secure Emergency Shelter

The Morning Update Show — 1/22/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, Jan. 22

Guest Host Mike Davis of South Seattle Emerald | Biden’s Executive Orders | COVID impacts on the restaurant industry | Vaccine “Pop-Up” locations | Wellspring: Hospitality Workers Grant | Food Fri-Yay! Frelard Tamales

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 1/22/21

The Morning Update Show — 1/21/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, and whereweconverge.com.

We’ll also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, Jan. 21

Special Guest Host — Justin Carder of Capitol Hill Seattle Blog | Inauguration Recap | Demonstrators Take to the Streets of Seattle | SDOT Gives Advice for Winter Weather Preparedness | Rewind With Besa! — Besa Gordon | LIVE — Sawant Receiving Threatening Emails

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 1/21/21

Outdoor Dining Expands to Othello on Saturday Under SDOT Pilot Program

by Ben Adlin


A new program to convert Seattle streets into open-air café spaces will expand to the Othello neighborhood this weekend, with organizers closing a dead-end road to vehicle traffic and setting up patio-style seating for the community. It’s the latest example of how the city is rethinking its use of public space amid an ongoing pandemic. Continue reading Outdoor Dining Expands to Othello on Saturday Under SDOT Pilot Program