Category Archive: Press Release

10 Ways You Can Help Move Seattle For Our Kids

Safe Routes Walk HomeWe need YOU to speak for increasing funding for Safe Routes To School in the proposed $930 million transportation levy. This is our best chance to make all schools safe to walk and bike in the next nine years.

Councilmembers will discuss the Levy in Committee until June 23, when it will go to the full Council for a vote. So act quickly!

Here are 10 ways you can help get money for Safe Routes To School in the next few weeks:

  1. June 2nd: Speak for two minutes at the Public Hearing on Tuesday June 2 5:30pm. City Hall.
  2. Stand behind someone who is bravely speaking up for a Move Seattle Levy for Our Kids on Tuesday.
  3. Join the KIdical Mass Ride to City Hall on June 2 4pm at South Lake Union Park.
  4. Call individual City Councilmembers you might know (phone numbers here).
  5. Read about why we think Move Seattle For Our Kids is so important.
  6. Send email to the Council council@seattle.gov
  7. Send snail mail (yes! this is great! especially with kids artwork)
  8. Write a blog post about Safe Routes for Kids and post it on social media listing the Council.
  9. Talk to parents at your PTSA or on the playground about taking action.
  10. Donate to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to support our outreach & advocacy work.

We’re actually pretty pleased that we’ve influenced so much investment into walking and biking safely along our corridors and in our neighborhoods in the Move Seattle Levy. We need just a little more to Move Seattle For Our Kids.

Thank you!

Seattle School Nurses Support Move Seattle For Our Kids

June 1, 2015

Click to see Anne Fote, RN testimony. Begins at 11:35.

Click to see Anne Fote, RN testimony. Begins at 11:35.

Seattle School Nurses Association voted unanimously to support additional funding for Safe Routes to School in the Move Seattle Levy. Anne Fote, RN spoke eloquently about walking to school and her experiences at Rainier Beach High School and Hamilton International Middle School in this meeting of the City Council Select Committee On Transportation Funding.

Here is Anne’s complete testimony:

My name is Anne Fote. I am a registered nurse. I currently work at Hamilton International Middle School. Previous to that I was the nurse at Rainier Beach High School.

First of all, I am pleased to let you know that the Seattle School Nurses Association voted unanimously this Tuesday on a resolution supporting an increase for Safe Routes to School funding as part of the Move Seattle Levy. I was at the meeting where we voted on this resolution. The only question we debated was whether it was right to just recommend Safe Routes to School for elementary students. Our school nurses union decided that walking to school safely is equally important for middle school and high school students — and so that is what our resolution says.

I’ll give you a copy, but let me read a bit. We want to “increase in Safe Routes to School Funding over the nine year levy period from $7 million to $38 million, and support the focus of additional money first on the City’s poorest schools, where children who live within the ‘walk zones’ without school bus service often have the fewest transportation options.”

As a health professional, I think walking is a great way to start each day. I’ve also seen walking be a great way for children to make friends. I see children getting to know each other in a healthy way as they walk to my school in the morning.

Unfortunately the walk to school is very stressful when it could be a time for learning, getting exercise, and making friends.

While I was at Rainier Beach, I was called over to evaluate a little boy who had been in a hit and run collision. The boy picked himself up and continued walking to school.  We took him in to be evaluated for concussion and internal injuries. This was a very young child, no more than 8, who was one of the many children who walked alone to South Shore Elementary in Rainier Beach.

Elementary school children walk up to a mile to school, middle school and high schoolers walk up 2 miles, often in the dark, across very busy streets and along roads without much in the way of sidewalks or lights.

A few Hamilton kids have been hit by drivers since I’ve been the nurse there. Two girls were hit by a Hamilton parent.  It is kind of a vicious circle. Parents wouldn’t be driving their kids to school if they felt the streets were safer for walking. And the streets are less safe because so many parents are driving our 55,000 Seattle Public School students to school.

We need safer streets thoughout our school walk zones, for so many good reasons. I encourage you to find funding to support this basic need to get our children to school safely.

Thank you.

Anne Fote, RN BSN Member National Association of School Nurses, School Nurse Association of Washington, Seattle School Nurses Association, and Washington Education Association

Safety Over Speeding: Rainier Day of Action May 20

STEP UP & SPEAK OUT FOR SAFETY!

  • What: Join the Day of Action! An event to raise awareness and build support for a safer Rainier Ave S. Join a crosswalk action, help collect petition signatures, post flyers, take portraits of supporters, or sign a Get Well Soon Rainier Ave card. However you want to be involved, we could use your help!
  • When: Wednesday May 20th from 5:30-7:30 PM (5:30-6:30 main event)
  • Where: Columbia City at S Edmunds St & Rainier Ave S.
  • Why: With 1,243 crashes in the past three years, Rainier Avenue South is the most dangerous street in Seattle. Every crash impacts our community – from cars careening into our businesses to our children being run down by drivers who never even stop. We say enough! Rainier Ave S should be made safe for all people to walk, bike, drive, catch the bus, shop, and live.

Can make it to the event? Sign the Rainier Valley Greenways petition to support SAFETY OVER SPEEDING!

day of action half sheet

Leo Almanzor Memorial Walk 1-17-15 2 P.M.

For Immediate Release
Phyllis Porter Phyllis@Seattlegreenways.org  (253) 545-8567
Leo Almanzor Memorial Walk Saturday, January 17, 2015 2 P.M. at 5th & Pike

A community was devastated by a horrific collision around 9:30 P.M. on November 22, 2014 as Leo Almanzor attempted to cross the intersection of Pike Street and 5th Avenue in downtown Seattle and was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver.  Mr. Almanzor, 68, had taken the bus from his home in Columbia City and was walking to his job at Washington Athletic Club, where he had worked as a janitor for 17 years.

Leo Almanzor 2014

Leo Almanzor was killed in a hit-and-run collision on 11-22-14

The Seattle Times reported many witnesses saw a speeding car hit Mr. Almanzor on that fateful Saturday night. Seattle Police are still investigating the crash and have recovered the car but made no arrests.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, in cooperation with family and friends of Leo Almanzor, invites the community to participate in a Memorial Walk in his memory.

Mr. Almanzor’s family will join traffic safety advocates at 5th and Pike, along with City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Austin Miller from Mayor Ed Murray’s office and Scott Kubly, Director of Seattle Department of Transportation.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has committed to organizing Memorials whenever a person is killed walking or biking in Seattle, followed by a community Solutions Meeting with City representatives who have the power to make our streets safer and prevent future deaths.

The Memorial Walk for Leo Almanzor will begin at 2 P.M. on Saturday, January 17, with a gathering at the corner of Pike Street and 5th Avenue.  We will carry signs and hear a few words from people who knew and loved for Leo as well as City officials.

After the Memorial Walk, we will walk or bus to the Impact HUB at 220 2nd Avenue South at the corner of S. Washington and 2nd Avenue South for a Solutions Meeting.  Community members and representatives from the Seattle Department of Transportation will discuss ways to improve traffic safety for people who live and work in downtown Seattle.

“Leo” immigrated to Seattle from the Philippines in 1979. He was very involved with raising his nieces and nephews.  Leo’s family recalled his love for horse races at Emerald Downs and said he often quoted the announcer’s phrase, “There they go”! He loved music and requested the same present every year, “a CD, a new Walkman, and headphones” and thought cassette tapes made the most authentic sound. Read the rest of this entry »

City Plans To Make Roosevelt Way NE Safer For All

 January 13, 2015

Congratulations to Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly, Seattle City Council Transportation Committee members Tom Rasmussen (Chair), Jean Godden, and Mike O’Brien for their bold leadership and vision that will soon make Roosevelt Way NE safer for everyone.

You can thank them all on this letter! 

How does this project make Roosevelt Way NE safer? Read the rest of this entry »

Ride Your Bike in a Gold Level Seattle!

It’s official! Seattle named a GOLD LEVEL Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Go out and ride!

Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Seattle with a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community award, joining more than 325 visionary communities from across the country.

With the announcement of 55 new and renewing BFBs today, Seattle joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming our neighborhoods.

“With new greenways, protected bike lanes, family-friendly biking and broad community and government support for everyday cycling, Seattle is poised to be one of the most bike-able cities in the world!,” enthused Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Executive Director Cathy Tuttle. “Let’s take those steps to Platinum Level!”

The Steps recommended for Seattle to get to Platinum include:

  1. Continue to expand the on and off street bike network, and make intersections safer for cyclists. Focus on network connectivity. On roads with posted speed limits of more than 35 mph, it is recommended to provide protected bicycle infrastructure. Ensure that all Seattle bridges have safe entry and exit points for cyclists, as well as a safe space to cross.
  2. Provide high quality on-street bike parking throughout the community, especially in the historic and landmark districts. Provide convenient and secure bike parking at event venues and major transit hubs.
  3. Expand the Safe Routes to School program.
  4. Dedicate SDOT staff time to encouragement and education efforts and better financially and logistically support bike-related
  5. encouragement and education efforts by advocates and bike groups. Set encouragement and education goals, metrics, and values.
  6. Continue to expand your public education campaign promoting the share the road message.
  7. Host a greater variety of family-oriented, low income and young professional-oriented bike events and rides.
  8. Step up enforcement of the Vulnerable User ordinance , 20mph speed limits, and the Failure to Yield ordinance.
  9. Aggressively implement the new bike plan by increasing funding.

“Visionary community leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of communities for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their residents and beyond.”

The BFC program is revolutionizing the way communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability and transportation networks, while allowing them to benchmark their progress toward improving their bicycle-friendliness. With this impressive round, there are now 326 BFCs in all 50 states. The [award level] BFC award recognizes [Community]’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.

The BFC program provides a roadmap to building a Bicycle Friendly Community and the application itself has become a rigorous and an educational tool in itself. Since its inception, more than 800 distinct communities have applied and the five levels of the award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve.

To apply or learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.

About the Bicycle Friendly AmericaSM Program
The Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA

The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

North Greenways Receive Major National Park Service Award

Rainier Valley Greenways November 2012

Rainier Valley Greenways community meeting November 2012

National-Park-ServiceFor the third year in a row, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has received the prestigious National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance award (RTCA).

In 2012 and 2013, Rainier Valley Greenways had the pleasure of working with the experienced staff of the RTCA in planning and prioritizing Rainier Valley traffic safety improvements. The RTCA was instrumental in helping the growing Rainier Valley Greenways group to set goals, facilitate meetings, and create graphics.

We just received word the RTCA will work in 2015 with the new North Greenways groups in Haller Lake and Northgate areas on “interconnected walking and biking routes for Safe and Green Streets for North Seattle.” The RTCA will help with outreach and community engagement, and help, as they did in Rainier Valley Greenways, with a strong action plan.  Even more thrilling than the honor of this award is the opportunity to work for another year with the talented staff at the RTCA!

Interested in joining the new Licton-Haller group? Sign up! licton-hallergreenways@googlegroups.com

Traffic Signal Construction Begins for New U-District Greenway

Congratulations to University Greenways! This week, SDOT began construction on a new stop light for crossing NE 50th on the 12th Ave University Neighborhood Greenway. See the press release from SDOT below.u-district_signal

—————————————————————————

October 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Marybeth Turner, Public Relations Supervisor, 206.684.8548

NE 50th Street and 12th Avenue NE lane closure
New traffic signal to enhance safety of neighborhood greenway

SEATTLE—A single westbound lane closure will be required beginning Monday, Oct. 20th to provide access for crews to begin construction on the installation of a new signal at Northeast 50th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast in the University District.

As part of the University Neighborhood Greenway, the Seattle Department of Transportation will be making improvements to the intersection including installing a new traffic signal, upgrading curb ramps and striping four new crosswalks. These improvements will improve pedestrian mobility and safety for all users of the street.

Work on this project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, weather permitting.

Vigil Walk for Zeytuna Edo

photo of Zeytuna with mapcasaynaya lugaynta ee Zeytuna

Waa maxay cusub oo la Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

Zeytuna was walking with her family at Genesee and MLK when she became the victim of a hit and run car collision, leaving her hospitalized with very serious injuries.  Her family and the community have planned a gathering to bring attention to this incident involving Zeytuna and to talk about making our streets safer for all.

DONATE to Zeytuna’s family through YouCaring.com

Please read this letter to Mayor Ed Murray about Solutions for Traffic Safety in Rainier Vista   Fadlan akhri warqadan inuu Mayor Ed Murray oo ku saabsan Fikrado Gaadiidka Ammaan ee Rainier Vista

The Vigil Walk for Zeytuna Edo started at Columbia City Light Rail Station at Alaska & Martin Luther King and stopped at Genesee & MLK for a healing Vigil. The Solutions Meeting at the Boys & Girls Club – where Zeytuna & her family were headed when she was struck featured Mayor Ed Murray, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Family members, and community neighbors and leaders.

Upcoming Rainier Valley meetings

  • Rainier Ave S Road Safety Corridor Project SDOT Columbia City Wed Nov 12 6-8pm
  • Rainier Ave S Road Safety Corridor Project SDOT Rainier Beach Tues Nov 18 4:30-6:30pm
  • Rainier Valley Greenways monthly meeting. Bike Works 3715 S Hudson St Wed Nov 18 6:30-8:30pm

Contacts:
– Rainier Valley Greenways- Phyllis Porter 206-695-2522 / 253-545-8567

– Bike Works- Deb Salls 206-695-2607 / 651-231-3629

– Seattle Neighborhood Greenways- Cathy Tuttle 206-713-5869

What’s the most important acronym on Seattle streets?

click here for ROWIM community comments

click here for ROWIM community comments

The Seattle ROWIM or Right Of Way Improvement Manual may be the most important acronym guiding the development of Seattle streets today.

How wide are sidewalks required to be? Where can driveways go? What sorts of street lighting do developers need to provide around new condo buildings? These questions are always important, but they are of critical importance now.

You might be forgiven for not knowing that more than 10,000 housing units are in the works in Seattle and $2.8 billion worth of projects are under construction, but you have been sleeping if you have missed the 40+ big cranes massively  transforming our city in Ballard, U-District, South Lake Union, First Hill, and downtown.

Fortuitously, Seattle is also mandated to do a 10-year update of its Right of Way Improvement Manual.

The current ROWIM was written before there was much attention paid to bikes as transportation, parklets, street furnishings, or safe and healthy street architecture for people who walk. Note that SDOT will also be updating its Complete Streets Ordinance as it updates the ROWIM.

The City of Seattle hired the Toole Design Group as a consultant on the project and expects to complete the ROWIM update as a web-based on-line document by the end of 2015. Expect the new and improved Seattle ROWIM to have some of the same flavor of Boston Complete Streets Guidelines that Toole worked on last year. We hope to see lots of new street typology — greenways, historic boulevards, festival streets, play streets, home zones and maybe even the elusive woonerf.

A group of Seattle people who are passionate about the wonky aspects of streets began meeting in December of 2013 to discuss the ROWIM. The group represented people in Seattle who serve on City Boards & Commissions, people who staff active transportation advocacy groups, students, and interested community members. They met because they all believe the ROWIM has the potential to reflect the aspirations of a Vision Zero, carbon neutral, equitable, healthy city that prioritizes people who walk, bike and use transit.

The ROWIM community comments are summarized in a 9-page document, with highlights below. Some comments are about policy, some are really digging into the weeds. We hope you find them all helpful. Read the complete community comments here.

  1. Mode hierarchy. Choices about mode hierarchy will happen from now on with every project. SDOT has uncompromising standards for level of service and safety for the movement of motorized vehicles. We need to invest in equally rigorous standards for all modes and a have clear expectations for level of service for all modes of travel. Our recommendation is to place the comfort and safety of people walking and biking at the top of our mode hierarchy.
  2. Build to Vision Zero standards. Safe streets are SDOT’s number one concern. The ROWIM needs to include information on traffic control devices, traffic calming on arterials, and traffic calming on residential streets.  In order to reach Vision Zero by 2030, every project — especially every major capital project — needs to be designed to achieve zero deaths and serious injuries in the ROW, not just “improve” safety conditions.
  3. Reflect anticipated land use strategies on a 20-year timeframe. Seattle will be denser and greener. We will thrive without prioritizing the use of single occupancy vehicles in the allocation and design of our limited right of way resources.
  4. Be context sensitive. Make street improvements be context specific. There is a huge difference in residential, commercial, industrial property, yet many street uses have a one-size-fits-all approach for street trees, curb ramps, sidewalks, driveways, lighting and so on.
  5. Demand excellence. Allow SDOT to innovate and encourage pilot projects.  Seattle is known as an innovative city.  We’ve embraced NACTO, and we’re one of the most highly educated cities in the nation. Our ROWIM should allow us to continually experiment and learn.
  6. Make safe streets legal. We want to see new concepts and ideas in this version of the ROWIM. There are a variety of street classifications, safety tools, livable street elements, and intersection treatments that need to be defined and permitted for future use.
  7. Collaborate interdepartmentally, with other agencies, and with the public on right-of-way improvements. From a community perspective, public land is public land. We don’t much care if it is managed by Parks, SDOT, SPU, Schools, Libraries, Metro  etc. It belongs to all of us. Let’s start making plans and rules for our public spaces collectively. This approach will be needed if we are to build a new connected, citywide grid of low-stress biking and walking routes.
  8. Format the ROWIM for easy use.

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