Tag Archive: safe routes to school

Connections on Columbian Way

Would you like to be able to safely bike from Beacon Hill to Columbia City and vice versa?  The pieces are finally coming together to make that happen, but first we need you need to speak up! 

Fill out the City’s two-question survey and ask for *Option A* on both questions. 

This exciting protected bike lane would span from MLK to 15th Ave S and connect people to Mercer Middle School, Jefferson Park, the VA, two small Beacon Hill business districts, Rainier Vista, and be within a few blocks of the heart of Columbia City.

Columbian Way PBL extension

How did we get here? 

Back in 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ local group Beacon Hill Safe Streets (formerly Beacon B.I.K.E.S.) got a grant, hired Alta Planning, and engaged in a community process to come up with the Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan.
Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan 2011

“Neighbors and advocates describe the process of creating the circulation plan as “local destination-based planning”. The community values continuous routes without gaps, so that children and adults can more safely travel the entire route to their destination. The goal is to enable families and children to travel to local destinations on continuous signed routes. Advocates believe that if a system is sufficiently safe for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors.”

Part of this plan was a bike lane on Columbian Way:

Click to Zoom

Click to Zoom

Beacon Hill Safe Streets then advocated successfully to get this route, and many others included in the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan update of 2014. Beacon hill greenway and trail Bike Blog

The Columbian Way protected bike lane would connect to other improvements Beacon Hill Safe Streets advocated for including the 15th & Columbian safe routes to school intersection redesign, the North-South Beacon Hill neighborhood greenway, and the Jefferson Park trail (see graphic at right).

It takes time to build a network of safe streets, but we’re well on our way thanks to continued energy from volunteers and donors who make this grassroots movement work. With your support we can realize the original Beacon Hill Safe Streets vision of safe streets “for children to get to school, all Beacon Hill neighbors will be able to comfortably and more safely ride bikes on local trips to the store, to parks, and to visit neighbors””

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

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92nd: One Street To Unite Us All

August 1, 2017

Dedicated leaders in Licton Haller Greenways, Greenwood Phinney Greenways, Ballard Greenways, NW Greenways, Maple Leaf Greenways, and the Aurora Licton Urban Village (ALUV) all had a hand in promoting critical pieces of connected street for people.

Thanks to connected, dedicated, long-term community work, 92nd is a protected, safe street that goes from Holman Road, across Aurora Avenue North, and across I-5,

Lee Bruch and GPGW

Celebrate with a ribbon cutting and kids bike parade!  Facebook Event Page

Join community, friends, and families opening a new walk bike pathway to school
N 92nd and Ashworth Ave N
Sunday, August 27 from 2 to 3:30 PM

bike ribbon cutting

People who’ve lived in Seattle for a while know how difficult it is to travel east to west. Maybe it is because of the steep hills that define our neighborhoods.

Because of the work of multiple local groups, there is a new way for people who walk and bike to go from east to west on NW/N/NE 92nd (the street changes its prefix as it travels). Here are some of the many groups and people who contributed to this safe street corridor.

  • Ballard Greenways champion Selena Cariostis proposed a signalized crossing of Holman Road NW at 92nd NW to get to Whitman Middle School. Her project was awarded more than $1 million in Move Seattle Levy funds and a signalized crossing will be built in 2018.
  • Greenwood Phinney Greenways (GPGW) leader Justin Martin and Forrest Baum from NW Greenways set up scouting rides with Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to find optimal east-west streets for people who walk and bike through the north Greenwood area to Greenwood Ave N. Their greenway recommendations will be part of the north end safe routes connections.
  • Robin Randels, Teresa  Damaske from GPGW joined up with Lee Bruch and Suzi Zook of Licton Haller Greenways to scout the best place to way to cross Aurora Ave N.
  • Led by Lee Bruch, these groups all teamed up with Jan Brucker at Aurora Licton Urban Village to get a traffic signal  funded at 92nd and Aurora. Because Aurora is a state highway, these groups also sat down at multiple meetings with the Washington Department of Transportation.
  • Getting Seattle Public Schools to support a walk-bike trail to Cascade and Eagle Staff Schools on 92nd was a multi-year effort of Cathy Tuttle from SNGreenways.
  • Brock Howell and Ian Strader from Maple Leaf Greenways and Janine Blaeloch, Monica Sweet, and Dai Toyama from Lake City Greenways helped to convince SDOT to join up the I-5 crossing to the new protected bike lanes stretching along N/NE 92nd.
  • SDOT staff managed projects all along this corridor including Dongho Chang, Darby Watson, Mark Bandy, Brian Dougherty, Ashley Rhead, Serena Lehman, Dawn Schellenberg, and Dan Anderson.
  • Eagle Staff and Cascade PTSA leader James Dailey is motivating the school community to walk & bike to school.
  • Seattle City Councilmembers Debra Juarez and Mike O’Brien attended several community policy walks.

It really takes a village — or in this case multiple villages — to build safe, connected streets.

Join us in celebration August 27!

92nd map

Want to support work like this? Volunteer and donate:

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Two Dads Take on I-5 Safety

Two dads from NE Seattle Greenways have joined forces to make crossing I-5 safer for all (the SNG 2016 Priority for District 4).

Andres Salomon and Scott Cooper were awarded Northeast District Council support during the Neighborhood Park & Street Fund process in 2016.

Andres and Scott know crossing i-5 is important for people of all ages walking to and from Green Lake Elementary, grocery stores, senior housing, Roosevelt High School, local business districts, and many other other important community assets. Andres and Scott know these community connections will become even more important when light rail opens in Roosevelt in 2021.

In addition to support from NE District Council, Andres and Scott have successfully lobbied WSDOT and SDOT to consider safety improvements over and under I-5 that use paint and posts to control traffic speeds.

Find more details of their ideas here.

Thank you Scott and Andres

Read the rest of this entry »

A Network of Safe Streets

For the first time ever, two greenways are crossing paths!

Thanks to the consistent and focused advocacy work of Ballard Greenways and Seattle Department of Transportation, the NW 58th Street Greenway goes west to east from Shilshole to 4th Ave NW, crossing 17th Ave NW that goes between Leary Way NW and NW 89th St.

Read more about this historic first piece of a citywide safe streets grid at Seattle Bike Blog.

What's the sound of two greenways crossing?

What’s the sound of two greenways crossing?

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

Safe Routes To School Playgrounds

November 24, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 8.06.41 AMYou can tell how much the Dutch care about traffic safety by looking at their school playgrounds.

On a recent trip to The Hague in the Netherlands, Queen Anne Greenways leader Mark Ostrow saw a playground painted as a mini Traffic Garden where young children could practice road safety skills.

Mark decided to follow up with help from Google Maps to see if many Dutch schools used big expanses of playgrounds to familiarize their children with road safety in a protected environment.

They do!

Mark notes wryly, “They even have little parking spaces.”

Mark found Dutch elementary schools (“basisschool”) paint nearly the entire asphalt surface of their playgrounds with mocked-up road markings, so one can assume they are a common playtime activity and prominent part of the physical education curriculum.

Painted asphalt playgrounds would be a terrific complement to a newly launched partnership between Cascade Bike Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Seattle Public Schools to offer a three-week walk and bike safety curriculum to every third through fifth grader in Seattle Public Schools starting in the 2016-17 academic year.

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