The Seattle Department of Transportation responds to some common questions about traffic effects in Seattle:
Can you restrict Corson Avenue S. to local access only?
Limiting neighborhood streets to local access is not an option because changes to Seattle’s street grid have reverberating effects on the traffic system and would require extra enforcement. The Seattle Police Department has a flexible plan; if safety issues arise on Corson they will take action to remedy the problems.
Will the downtown Seattle transit tunnel be open by August?
No, the transit tunnel is expected to reopen in September 2007, operating with just buses until light rail service begins in 2009. However, the E-3 busway is still open and fixes at King Street/Fifth Avenue are in place to improve movement through the intersection and into downtown. The tunnel closure would not be an additional obstacle to movement.
How will you prevent cut-through traffic and speeding on local access streets?
The Seattle Police Department is adding officers to help manage traffic along city streets. Initially, they will focus on First Avenue and S. Spokane Street to make sure freeway users are able to exit, but their plans are flexible and can be adjusted if needed.
The Seattle Department of Transportation anticipates most drivers will be unfamiliar with the area and won't want to take a chance driving on side streets.
If already allowed, drivers can help by parking cars on the street. Parked cars have the effect of calming or slowing down traffic.
Can you install temporary speed bumps on side streets?
No. Due to the high volume of cars, speeds will likely be slow and additional enforcement and synchronizing signals will help manage traffic and speeds.
Will you restrict on-street parking?
There will be no additional parking restrictions related to the I-5 lane closures.
Won't the additional traffic on Argo Bridge be dangerous?
No, existing lane restrictions based on weight are already in effect and are sufficient for managing increased traffic volume expected during the I-5 closures.
Can you add signs to deter speeding?
The Seattle Department of Transportation is considering installing signs in the Beacon Hill neighborhood and on Airport Way near Lucile Street.
Are you adjusting signals to improve traffic flow?
Signals on several city streets will be synchronized to best handle the additional traffic and enhance emergency response. Seattle’s Traffic Management Center will be staffed and remain open on weekends to enhance responsiveness.
Are there traffic cameras in the construction zone and along alternative routes?
The Seattle Department of Transportation does have cameras throughout much of the areas where drivers will be using alternative routes to avoid the construction zone. Use the SDOT cameras and WSDOT cameras to keep an eye on traffic.
Will the city restrict openings of its bridges during construction?
Yes, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will keep the Southwest Spokane Street Swing Bridge (low bridge) over the Duwamish River in place for weekday morning peak period traffic.
Keeping the Swing Bridge closed during the weekday morning peak period should help ease anticipated traffic congestion on area surface streets, and assist Port of Seattle container traffic.
The weekday morning peak hour marine traffic restriction will remain in place from August 13 through August 29. Swing Bridge operations during the afternoon peak period and on weekends are not affected. The Swing Bridge will open for marine traffic as usual on weekends and at times other than weekday mornings.