News blog for Seattle's Fremont neighborhood

 

Fremont-Based Zebigo.com Helps Get You Where You Need To Go

June 29th, 2011 by master

Zebigo CEO Mark Russell ridesharing in Seattle.Imagine two people.

The first one wants to get from Fremont to Tacoma but isn’t sure how. They don’t have their own car. The bus isn’t an option and a train is too pricey.

The second one knows they’re driving from Fremont to Tacoma but they’re not all that excited about dropping a chunk of money on gas to get there (especially these days…).

Fremont start-up Zebigo.com wants to bring these two people together and solve both problems.

According to CEO, Jonathan Wolff, Zebigo is a “dynamic ride-sharing service” that gives people with a destination in mind a way to reach out to drivers and passengers interested in partnering up to get there. Whether your concern is financial or because you want to do your part to cut down on unnecessary congestion, gas consumption or carbon emissions, Zebigo wants to help you out.

“We provide an alternative for travel to any event, concert or sporting event,” says Wolff as he breaks down the many reasons Seattlites have for short-term travel.

So I know what you’re thinking…”You want me to get in the car with a complete stranger and let them drive me somewhere?” Zebigo is extremely aware of that concern and they’ve instituted a strict policy for make sure the driver and the passenger are covered. User comments and ratings help weed out the good drivers from the bad ones and passengers can request background checks on any driver. Zebigo also keeps a paper-trail of every trip and has an automated system that allows prospective drivers and passengers to speak without giving out personal information like phone numbers. In other word, safety is a paramount concern.

Currently Zebigo is in a beta mode, working strictly in Seattle. as they learn what people like about their service. So far, over 600 riders have signed up for the program and 10 completed trips have been recorded. Roughly-speaking, a 15-minute ride will probably cost a passenger about $5, a half-hour ride will run you about $15.

Zebigo chose their Fremont location based on access to the Silicon Canal as well all the major highways of the area. Not to mention the fact that many of their developers live the area.

Social media is a big deal to Zebigo, who sees outlets like Facebook and Twitter as “way to share organically.” So, you know, follow them on Facebook and Twitter. And of course check out their website to find out more about signing up and booking your first Zebigo trip. It’s a great opportunity to help shape an up-and-coming Fremont-based business.

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July 4 Traffic Alert – Gasworks Park

July 2nd, 2010 by master

More than 50,000 people are expected in and around Gasworks Park to celebrate the fireworks festivities at the Family 4th at Lake Union on Sunday, from 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

The park opens at noon Sunday.

From 12 noon to 6 p.m., Seattle Police will set up a perimeter restricting traffic to “local access only” between Sunnyside Avenue N. on the east, Interlake Avenue N. on the west, N. 39th Street on the north and N. Northlake Way/GasWorks Park on the south. From 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., the restricted traffic access perimeter will be go further to I-5 on the east, Stone Way N. on the west, N. 40th Street on the north and N Northlake Way/ Lake Union/Gas Works Park on the south.

Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

The fireworks traditionally draws a lot of spectators on the water, as well. Boat traffic is expected to increase at least 30 percent on the Lake Union for the event. Boaters coming into the lake need to pass through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and keep the following times in mind: the Fremont Bridge will not open for marine traffic between 9 p.m. on the 4th until 12:30 a.m. on July 5th; the Ballard and University Bridge will not open for marine traffic from 10 p.m. on the 4th until 1:00 a.m. July 5.

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Lane of Fremont Bridge closed until 3 today

June 24th, 2010 by master

Some traffic issues today, if you’re planning on using the Fremont Bridge:

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Roadway Structures crews will perform maintenance work on several bridges in north Seattle this week. This work is subject to change in the event crews are called to other locations for unplanned emergency work. In addition, there are closures on a WSDOT bridge and a King County bridge adjacent to the Seattle city limits.

For Fremont, that means one curb lane of the Fremont Bridge will be closed at a time for about three hours each to repair the bridge deck. The work is scheduled for today, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Fremont street closures today; this weekend

June 11th, 2010 by master

If you’re not going to be part of the Fremont 5K & Briefcase Relay today, try to find alternate routes around downtown Fremont this afternoon and tonight, as streets will be closed for the event.

North 34th Street will be closed between Fremont Avenue N. and Stone Way N. for staging beginning at 5:45 p.m. The course begins at N. 34th Street east of Fremont Avenue N; proceeds east on 34th to NE Pacific Street; then east on Pacific to N. 40th Street; at 40th the runners and walkers move on to the Burke-Gilman trail; then head west on the Burke-Gilman Trail to Stone Way N. and N. 34th Street; and finally goes west on 34th to finish at Fremont Avenue N.

In fact, it might be easier to bike or walk around our part of town this weekend.

SDOT also has a Traffic advisory in effect for the whole weekend due to a number of large events Seattle-wide. Including: UW Graduation, Roosevelt Neighborhood Parade, Leschi Shore Run and Seattle University’s Commencement Ceremony.

For the UW Graduation, which might have an impact on Fremont residents, from SDOT:

Expect heavy congestion with both pedestrians and vehicles near the stadium between noon and 6 p.m. Anticipate heavier traffic than usual on I-5 through the University District and on SR-520. At approximately 3:30 p.m., Seattle Police will set up traffic controls closing Montlake Boulevard between NE Pacific Street and NE 45th Street to through traffic to help move cars parked in the stadium lots out of the area after the ceremonies. Traffic approaching the closure will be detoured around the area. This restriction, which is similar to traffic routing for Husky football games, will be in effect until approximately 5:30 p.m. Avoid the Montlake Bridge if possible.

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New traffic cameras on 36th Street

May 26th, 2010 by master

Smile, you’re on camera.

Luckily, these aren’t red-light cameras, but new traffic cameras – 38 in all, all over the city.

This month the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has made “real time” views from 38 new traffic cameras around the city available online as a way of making it easier to pinpoint congestion and collisions, as well as monitoring traffic and road conditions.

Warning: it’s not the easiest map to work, but if you play around with it, it can be useful. It’s very sensitive to the zoom in zoom out of the Mac touchpad!

In Fremont, the new cameras that show up on the online map are on N. 36th Street – one at Evanston Ave. N., and one at Fremont Ave. N. These neighborhoods had at least 6 new cameras: Ballard, SODO/Georgetown, Capitol Hill/Central District and Downtown.

Use it as a way to figure out which routes not to take – or which routes will get you from A to B fastest.

SDOT traffic engineers are using the information to identify locations where they can make changes to improve traffic flow.

There are also eight new electronic “Dynamic Message Signs” (“DMS”) now operating on major arterials, providing handy travel alerts to people already on the road.

It’s not the end of the camera craze. By the end of August, SDOT will add a few more cameras and six DMS signs. In addition, by the end of the year WSDOT will add six traffic cameras and six DMS signs that SDOT will own and operate, on State Route 99.

Travelers Map

The views from the SDOT traffic cameras, as well as WSDOT cameras located within the city of Seattle, are available on the Travelers Map on SDOT’s website. The Travelers site also indicates the level of congestion on major arterial streets and Seattle area state highways, and provides information on special events and construction likely to have significant impacts on traffic. (Today, for instance, looks like it’ll be a heavy traffic day downtown with the Sounders FC and Mariners games.)

A total of 19.7 million visits were made to the Travelers website in 2009.

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Stone Way lane reduction study: speeders & collisions down

May 25th, 2010 by master

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) today released its before and after study of the Stone Way N. rechannelization, which the department said demonstrates that Seattle’s streets can be made safer through lane reconfigurations.

The report documents that the lane changes on Stone Way N. from 34th St. to 50th St. have had the effect of reduced speeds for motorists and fewer motor and bicycle collisions – while still maintaining the road’s capacity.

Highlights from the study include:
• Motor vehicles now travel at speeds nearer the legal limit;
• Total collisions dropped 14 percent with injury collisions down 33 percent;
• Pedestrian collisions declined significantly;
• Bike trips increased 35 percent but collisions per bicycle trip have declined; and
• Volumes show the roadway still easily accommodates motor vehicle traffic.

Data collected by SDOT on the rechannelized street shows motorists drive at speeds closer to the posted 30 m.p.h. limit and a decline of more than 80 percent in those traveling over 40 m.p.h. The study also reveals a decrease in total collisions by 14 percent and pedestrian collisions by 80 percent.

The study compared the before period (April 2005-August 2007) to a period after the rechannelization (August 2007-December 2009.) SDOT converted the street to two general travel lanes with a center turn lane from N. 40th to N. 50th streets in August 2007 and from N. 34th to N. 40th streets in April 2008. Additional bike and pedestrian facilities were also installed at those times. Before the lane reduction, the street consisted of four general purpose travel lanes.

National studies show that lane reductions can result in lower motor vehicle speeds, improved pedestrian safety, increased bicycling trips and fewer collisions, while maintaining a corridor’s capacity. Starting in 1972 with California Ave. SW and N. 45th St, the city of Seattle has implemented 24 rechannelizations as of April 2010.

There was one interesting increase, buried at the end of the study:

The number of rear‐end collisions increased, especially between N. 39th St. and N. 41st St. This type of collision increased 65% during the study period (from 17 to 28) in spite of the overall reduction in the number of collisions. Since most of the increase was attributable to the
section of roadway where there was a transition from 4 lanes to 3 lanes during the interim
period between August 2007 and April 2008, one possible explanation is that drivers had
difficulty making left turns in this transition area.  While these types of collisions tend to be
minor in nature, SDOT will again examine the rate of rear‐end collisions within the next two
years to determine if the rate in fact declined after the roadway was rechannelized south of
40th Street.

For more information: check out SDOT’s website.

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Talk transfer station traffic troubles

May 12th, 2010 by master

Our sister site, My Wallingford, reported this today:

If you live or work near the North Recycling and Disposal Station (NRDS) and have concerns about traffic in the area, show up at a community meeting tomorrow night to let Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) hear your experiences.

Bill Benzer, who’s project manager for the SRDS rebuild slated to start in 2012, told us that he has been hearing from stakeholders in the community about current traffic issues and wanted to get neighbors and SDOT together to share information.

Residents around the North Recycling and Disposal Station have complained of drivers using residential streets instead of arterials and speeding.

Here are details about the meeting, which will take place Thursday, May 13, at 6:30 PM at the Hamilton Middle School Library, located at 4400 Interlake Ave N (former Lincoln High School):

At this meeting, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Share your questions or concerns related to NRDS traffic on Interlake, Ashworth, Carr Place, and Woodlawn Avenues North with representatives from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).
  • Learn more about the city’s neighborhood traffic calming program and first steps for identifying problems, common strategies the City uses to deal with different traffic issues on neighborhood streets, what is required to implement these solutions, and what you can do.

For more information about this project or the community meeting:

  • You can call or e-mail Bill Benzer, the NRDS project manager, at (206) 684-7845 or Bill.Benzer@seattle.gov
  • You can learn more about traffic calming at SDOT’s website
  • You can learn more about what is proposed for the North Recycling and Disposal Station at the NRDS project website
Even if you don’t live near the transfer station, this is a good opportunity to learn about the traffic-calming measures available to the neighborhood.

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Nickerson to become one lane of car travel

May 12th, 2010 by master

Our sister site, Magnolia Voice, reported this earlier today:

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s ‘Walk. Bike. Ride’ initiative means some big changes for Nickerson Street.

It was announced today that this summer Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will change West Nickerson Street to include one driving lane in each direction and a center two-way turn lane. The new configuration, between Warren Avenue North and 13th Avenue West, will reduce the number of motor vehicle lanes and add an uphill bicycle lane. The downhill traffic lane will have sharrows, shared lane markings for bicycles. There will be marked crosswalks installed at Jesse Avenue West, Cremona Street, and Dravus Street.

The city expects the changes on Nickerson to reduce vehicle speeds and collisions. The speed limit on Nickerson is 30 mph, but SDOT says that average speeds are significantly higher. The report claims that narrowing the space for motor vehicles has been shown to reduce travel speeds and the kinds of collisions common on Nickerson.

[Read more →]

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Construction on Aurora Bridge fence begins today

April 19th, 2010 by master

Just a reminder that starting tonight construction begins on the nine-foot-tall safety fence along the outer railing of the Aurora Bridge.  Two lanes of traffic will be closed Sunday through Thursday nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.  The sidewalk on the side of the bridge where work is taking place will also be closed during that time.  The barrier is designed to help deter people from jumping or falling from the bridge.   

AuroraFenceElevationView_510px

Night work is expected to last through May and neighbors have been warned that it will get noisy.  The Department of Transportation is offering free industrial-strength earplugs to residents in the area who request it.  To receive earplugs, call 206-267-6019 or email phippsg@wsdot.wa.gov with your name, address and number of earplugs needed.  You can also keep track of construction updates through the WSDOT’s project page. 

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Aurora Bridge repairs scheduled for Wednesday

March 9th, 2010 by master

The southbound right hand lane of the Aurora Bridge will be closed on Wednesday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The closure is to allow Seattle Department of Transportation bridge crews to complete repairs on the underside of the bridge. 

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