Category Archive: News

Family Bikes Belong on Transit

Want to help Family Bikes get places? Sign this letter!

To Sound Transit Board and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray:

Bringing bicycles on Sound Transit LINK light rail can be challenging, especially for families. Parents with young children often find it difficult to lift heavy bicycles onto train hooks. Bicycles with attached childrens’ seats, bicycles with front baskets, and bicycles with long tails often do not fit on bicycle hooks provided in the bicycle area of Sound Transit LINK light rail cars.

Some parents might choose to leave their bicycles at light rail stations, but bicycle parking at Sound Transit light rail stations is often challenging for families as well, with bicycle racks and bike boxes that are not designed to fit larger-sized family bicycles.

Therefore, we encourage the following actions from Sound Transit LINK light rail:

  1. Provide secure bicycle parking for bicycles of all sizes at every Sound Transit LINK light rail station.
  2. Purchase some open “flex” cars when Sound Transit makes its next light rail car purchase, to allow people with bicycles, oversized luggage, mobility devices, strollers, and other non-standard equipment more flexibility in their use of light rail space – open space can also hold more passengers who can stand at peak travel times.
  3. Develop a policy to encourage people using family bikes and cargo bikes to allow them to use light rail during off-peak hours (for example, family bicycles may use light rail at any times other than 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays and at times posted as high-capacity travel times such as major sports events).

It is particularly families who bike that benefit most from the expanded range of combining light rail with biking.  For an individual on a road bike, biking 10 miles each way is usually not as much of an undertaking. However, that same 10 mile trip with a few kids will involve bathroom and snack breaks, and much more energy output by the parent (who is piloting a combined 100-150lbs of kid + bike, instead of just a 20lb bike).  For parents biking with children, transit is a godsend. If transit can replace a portion of that trip, that can make a huge difference in how mobile a family can be without relying on a car.

People who use bicycles with their children need accommodation. We all want to do our part to be a multi-modal, climate-healthy, safe region and taking Sound Transit LINK light rail will help us reach our goals. Thank you!

 

Good Reflections on Safe Lights to School

January 31, 2015
by Cathy Tuttle

Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly
Monica Sweet showing off reflector lights at Safe Routes to School assembly

Two Lake City Greenways leaders teamed up with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and made a glowing impression on children who walk to school in a neighborhood with high needs for safety improvements.

Recently at Cedar Park Elementary (Olympic Hills Interim) parent Karoliina Kuisma and Monica Sweet of Lake City Greenways presented a school assembly about safe walking and the need for reflectors for visibility at night. They did a demonstration where Monica wore a black coat and black pants.

When they turned out the lights on stage and Monica walked across stage, it was hard to see her. Then she turned around and walked the other way, but had reflectors pinned all over the left side of her coat. Midway across stage Karoliina used a flash camera to illuminate Monica, replicating what drivers would see in their car headlights. The students were amazed how just a few lights shone really brightly!

Afterwards, Karolina and Monica went to each classroom and delivered mixed packages of keychain reflectors (available for free from the SDOT Safe Routes to School program). With her SDOT Safe Routes to School Mini grant, Monica also purchased Finnish reflectors  in the shape of hearts and otter paw prints (otters are the school mascot).

Monica said, “From the buzz I heard in every classroom, this program was a hit. Thank you for the SRTS Mini grant and SDOT’s donation of reflectors. Today in Lake City, 296 kids today learned a little science, had some fun and now know more about what it means to be safe.”

20 MPH Streets Start With Schools

January 31, 2016
by Cathy Tuttle

Overwhelming Evidence of Speed Hump Effectiveness
Overwhelming Evidence of Speed Hump Effectiveness

It’s official. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will engineer safe streets around ALL Seattle schools!

Speed humps are highly effective, inexpensive, and quick to install. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been working closely with SDOT on a policy of engineered speed bumps around all schools, based on the Vancouver BC model of traffic calming on non-arterial streets in all School Walk Zones.

Speed bumps will be prioritized using the Vision Zero and Race & Social Justice lenses in the Safe Routes to School Action Plan. (That means the schools with the highest need get speed humps first.)

People who live in school zones that that are not highly prioritized for funding may request speed hump funding through Neighborhood Street Fund or Neighborhood Matching Fund.2016 SDOT Speed Hump Policy page 1

The policy states “To discourage speeds above 20 mph all day, speed humps may be routinely installed on all non-arterials that are signed with 20 mph school speed zones. SDOT has evaluated the effectiveness of speed humps and speed cushions in school zones and found they are effective at reducing … speed to near 20 mph; and they nearly eliminate top-end speeders who drive more than 35 mph that pose the greatest danger for children walking and biking in school zones.(emphasis added)”

Read the complete Speed Hump Policy here.

 

 

Seattle ♥s Humps

by Cathy Tuttle
January 24, 2016

SNG Speed Hump Study On Lake City Greenway

SNG Speed Hump Study On Lake City Greenway

Let’s hear it for the lowly speed hump!

Seattle is poised to soon get thousands of these amazingly effective speed control devices near our schools and parks!

Speed humps, often called speed bumps**, are quick and inexpensive to install, and when installed correctly, force drivers to slow down.

Do speed humps work?

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) started installing speed humps as part of neighborhood greenways and Safe Routes to School projects a couple of years ago. Wisely, SDOT measured speed data to track hump effectiveness.

Total speeding on the streets near three elementary schools dropped between 79 – 88 percent after speed humps were installed, and high-end speeding was nearly eradicated, and there was a 90 percent drop in aggressive drivers traveling more than 10 MPH over the speed limit.

Speed is the most important factors that determines how seriously a person is injured in a collision and, of course, whether the collision occurs in the first place. So yes, speed humps work.

SDOT Safe Routes Speed Hump Report

SDOT Safe Routes Speed Hump Report

What is a hump?

Technically, speed “humps” are different from the speed “bumps” you often encounter in parking lots. Built correctly, humps are more gradual and are not meant to bring people to a nearly complete stop. If you are driving or riding a bike at 20 MPH or below, you will not need to adjust your speed to go over them comfortably. If you are moving faster than 20 MPH, however, you will need to slow or face a jolt. And unlike with some speed bumps, the speed humps are not so sudden that they are likely to cause someone on a bike to crash.

Seattle’s speed humps will save lives, and they will prevent many people from serious and sometimes debilitating injuries.They will also make neighborhood streets places where people of all ages can live, have fun and get around on foot and bike.

Why is Seattle getting many new humps now?

In 2015, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG) staff came back from a Vancouver BC Study Trip with Commute Seattle, excited to share best practices. Among our take-aways was a Vancouver policy of putting speed humps on all non-arterial streets at EVERY school and EVERY park. SNG staff worked with SDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator Brian Dougherty and Parks staff on adapting Vancouver speed hump policies and we’re pleased to report Seattle has just now adopted similar policies!Speed Hump Effectiveness

Expect slower speeds soon where our children play and go to school. We have the tools to make our streets safer, and the speed hump is one of our most powerful tools in our safety toolbox. We can’t wait to see more of them!

**You may hear the terms speed humps and speed bumps used interchangeably by traffic safety professionals. Speed “humps” are actually the official term but according to our friends in Portland traffic engineering, the signs that said “Humps Ahead” were frequently stolen by the public but “Bumps Ahead” were left to perform their traffic calming duty.

Greenways UW Capstone for Licton Haller 1/14/16

January 12, 2016

UW Capstone Class Plans with Community!

UW Capstone Class Plans with Community in Mind!

A GREAT OPPORTUNITY and a A FACT-FINDING MEETING

If you care about the Licton Springs and Haller Lake neighborhoods

Change is happening in our neighborhood: Growth, traffic, the 3 new schools on 90th, a new bridge to the new Sound Transit station at Northgate, future Sound Transit Stations at 130th and 145th. Here is an opportunity to help the neighborhood envision change for the better.

The University of Washington Master of Landscape Architecture’s Capstone Studio will focus on the urban design issues of the Licton Springs and Haller Lake neighborhoods for the next 6 months. This is a chance for the neighborhood to work with UW masters candidates to explore creative ideas and opportunities for the neighborhood’s future. Your insights would greatly enrich what the students undertake. The students want to hear from you about your neighborhood!!

Thursday Jan. 14, 7 to 9 PM
Green Lake Community Center Room 3, 2nd floor
7201 E Green Lake Dr N

the room is accessible – an elevator is available. It is on bus route 48 and 2 blocks from bus route 16

Your insights would greatly enrich what the UW Master of Landscape Architecture’s Capstone Studio students undertake. The students are just getting underway, studying the community spaces/places and travel opportunities and challenges within the neighborhood, particularly for children. Students plan to develop design proposals for improving pedestrian and bicycle travel, as well as improving ecological, play and learning potentials for schools, parks and other community destinations. Students will be looking both to near term and longer term opportunities, including the Safe Routes to School planning for Northgate Elementary and the new schools under construction, and the Northgate Light Rail stop and possible pedestrian bridge and the potential Light Rail stop at 130th.

The studio’s outcomes are intended to support current initiatives in the neighborhoods and serve as a catalyst for new ones. The students will be identifying and developing design proposals January-March, then refining the work and creating a booklet April-June.

Help Plan Safe Routes to School to Eagle Staff, Northgate & Other Local Schools

Help Plan Safe Routes to School to Eagle Staff, Northgate & Other Local Schools

 

 

Welcome @SEA_DOTr!

January 9, 2016
by Cathy Tuttle

For weeks now, a poorly managed building site and less than stellar City oversight has forced Roosevelt High School children to walk in traffic — just a few feet away from last year’s DUI death of Andres Hulslander.

SEATrans Roosevelt 1-8-16

Seattle’s Transformation Department fixed the problem using entirely upcycled, leftover, and on-site materials to create a five-foot walkway and 11-foot driving lane. People drive slower past the walkway, and starting Monday morning, our children now have a protected space to run for the bus.

Cost: $0

Thanks Seattle Transformation Department!

Not affiliated with the Seattle Department of Transportation or any other City agency. Using Tactical Urbanism actions, Seattle Transformation Department is adapting models from other US Departments of Transformation @PBOTrans and @NYC_DOTr Contact them at SEADOTr@ruggedinbox.com

2015 Growing A Garden of Greenways

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Lake City Greenways Builds Community In Olympic Hills Pocket Park

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director
December 2015

Let me tell you a story about one person who reached out to neighbors over the past few years, and with their help – and a little help from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways – built a park, got safer routes to their local school, slowed traffic on one of Seattle’s most dangerous streets, and helped well over one hundred neighbors meet each other for the first time.

I’m talking about Janine Blaeloch, founder of Lake City Greenways, who led the effort to develop Olympic Hills Pocket Park, gathered neighbors for crosswalk actions to slow Lake City Way traffic, and helped with the Olympic Hills Safe Routes to School sidewalk project.

What is extraordinary is that I could have as easily told you this same story a dozen times and more about Greenways leaders throughout Seattle – Phyllis Porter and Deb Salls leading Rainier Avenue South road rechannelization efforts, Don Brubeck and Deb Vandermar who were instrumental in the road safety and safe intersection efforts along 35th Ave SW, leaders at University and NE Seattle Greenways who visited business owners up and down Roosevelt Way NE and helped to make protected bike lanes on Roosevelt a reality, leaders at Licton Haller and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways who are helping five local school groups plan for their Safe Routes to School priorities.
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Social Justice in the Crosswalk

Dec 9, 2015
By Robyn Kwon
 

Robyn photo
Is walking across the crosswalks in Seattle more dangerous for certain people with different ethnic backgrounds?

During a summer observational field experiment, we tested the hypothesis to see if drivers’ behavior exposes racial or sex bias towards pedestrians. Our results found that White males had a shorter wait time and lower average number of vehicles that passed before a vehicle stopped compared to Black males. In addition, there were more first stop vehicles and a longer average distance for White males. Results for sex bias found that females had a lower average number of vehicles that passed before a vehicle stopped with a shorter wait time compared to males. Females also had a higher percentage of first stop vehicles but a shorter distance between where drivers stopped and where the pedestrian stood at the crosswalk.

Much like the Portland study also looking into Racial Bias in Driver Yielding Behavior at Crosswalks, data from both studies indicate that drivers were less likely to stop for Black pedestrians than for White pedestrians. White males had a shorter wait time, higher percentage for a first car stop and lower average number of vehicles that passed before a vehicle stopped compared to Black males. For the total wait time in the Portland study, Black pedestrians had to wait 2.39 seconds longer while this study illustrated that Black pedestrians had to wait 1.95 seconds longer. For yielding behavior based on first car stops, the Portland study stated that although results did not significantly differ by race, Black pedestrians were more than twice as likely as White pedestrians to have to wait for two or more vehicles.
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#Party4OurStreets Awards

Dec 9, 2015

As a grassroots organization the energy, vitality, and strength of our organization comes from our amazing volunteers. We are so proud of their donations of time and energy this year and wowed by how much they accomplished!

shirley winning 2015

Check out the awards below for our 2015 categories:

  • Amazing Advocacy
  • Greenway Champion
  • Community Builder
  • Exemplary Street Experiment
  • Fact Finding
  • Public Servant
  • Wendy

Advocacy header

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Roosevelt BRT Road Diet Analysis

by Andres Salomon, NE Seattle Greenways
November 26, 2015

NOTE: Seattle DOT Is gathering public input for the Roosevelt to Downtown High Capacity Corridor (Bus Rapid Transit BRT) Project. Be sure to let them know that you want safety improvements for people walking and biking to be the primary focus for this project. Put your Public comment here, or attend a public meeting.

Public SDOT meetings

Wednesday, December 9
6 – 8 PM
TOPS School, Cafeteria
2500 Franklin Avenue E
Seattle, WA
Thursday, December 10
6 – 8 PM
UW Tower, Cafeteria North
4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Seattle WA

Same content at both SDOT meetings. A brief presentation starts at 6:15.

 

Within 1/2 mile of the #RooseveltBRT corridor, 30% of surveyed households don’t own a car. Compare this to 8% non-car ownership for the rest of Seattle.

 

Car-free household density map

Where are all of those zero-car households? Here’s a density map. Darker areas have > 10 car-free households per acre.

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