Tag Archive: safety

The Cost of Vision Zero

Ronacin Tjhung was struck & killed at MLK & South Graham January 2017

Ronacin Tjhung, father of 4 young children, was struck & killed in January 2017 at MLK & South Graham on his way to work

January 2017

May 25, 2017
Cathy Tuttle, @SNGreenways Executive Director

Every life is precious, and over the course of a year, thousands of lives in Seattle are impacted by traffic violence.

In just the past few months in Seattle, two young parents were hit and killed by people driving, people young and old were maimed for life crossing the street, and people commuting to work who’d love to get healthy exercise by walking or biking to their jobs were intimidated by speeding and distracted drivers and so refused to continue commuting by active transportation.

As a society, we’ve chosen to accept this loss of life and freedom as our collective cost of driving.

Serious road injuries and fatalities also have a real economic cost. A shockingly high cost it turns out.

The High Cost of Traffic Violence

The high cost of traffic violence is what we asked Tim Ganter to capture in his extraordinary data visualizations.

Let’s look at one example, the intersection of Rainier Ave S with MLK Ave S, better known as the Accessible Mt. Baker project. In 2016, our advocacy group successfully lobbied for more funding to go to this intersection. 

Tim’s new map tells the story of what our local advocates had verified on the ground.

Click on image for Data viz map

 

  • In the past decade there have been two fatalities and scores of injuries in and around MLK and Rainier Ave S.
  • In the past decade, the cost of traffic violence around MLK and Rainier Ave S added up to an astonishing $17,206,400 according to actuarial tables developed by the National Safety Council.

So which fact is more shocking? The money or the violence?
Which fact is most likely to influence public opinion and get leaders to invest and take action?

 

Stories of individual lives lost and shattered because of traffic violence are compelling. But so too are the dollar costs to our society for choosing to invest in streets that favor safety over speeding.

I encourage you to explore Tim’s work, based on Seattle’s open-sourced traffic incident reports, combined with fully vetted National Safety Council cost estimates for fatalities and injuries.

Please let Tim and @SNGreenways know how you use this work in your own neighborhoods. And let Tim know if you want his expertise in developing traffic data visualizations for your own community.

Vision Zero in a Sanctuary City

May 30, 2017

Statement from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Coalition:

We Renounce Deportation Based on Traffic Violations

Seattle, WA­ –– The undersigned members of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Coalition release the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement on 2/21/17 that a forthcoming executive order may expand deportable offenses to include traffic violations.

Advocates for safe streets have tired of hearing the trivialization of traffic violence as “just a traffic violation” or “no more important than a speeding ticket.” Traffic violations can lead to death and serious injury, especially for vulnerable users of our streets. People walking and biking are frequently the victims of such injuries, and seniors, children, and people with disabilities are disproportionately at risk.

However, as one of the coalition of groups that make up Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, we forcefully reject the Trump administration’s plan to pursue deportation for undocumented immigrants who have committed minor traffic offenses. Individuals in low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately killed and injured by traffic violence on our streets. Now, the primary victims of this violence may also be unfairly targeted by biased and punitive enforcement.

We refuse to allow Vision Zero — Seattle’s goal to eliminate all serious and fatal traffic injuries by 2030 — to be perverted into an excuse to round up and deport our undocumented neighbors and friends, just as we have previously denounced racial profiling committed in the name of traffic safety.

The undersigned seek to work with, not against, the very communities now under attack by the xenophobic and racist policies of the federal government. We declare unequivocally that Vision Zero must not be used as a cover for raids, racial profiling, or other unjust attacks on our fellow Seattleites.

We support the following actions to address traffic violations while minimizing biased enforcement:

  1. Focus on engineering.  Enforcement is not at the core of Vision Zero.  Engineering is at the core.  Understanding which street designs kill people and which street designs don’t is at the core of Vision Zero.  The safest traffic stop is the one that never happens.
  2. Explore restorative justice options for traffic violations. For example, people speeding in school zones in Finland have a choice to pay a substantial fine, or to appear at the school to explain their actions before a panel of school children.
  3. Continue to provide more transportation choices.  Traffic stops don’t happen on a bus, in a protected bike lane, or on a sidewalk (except in rare cases).  When we make driving the only practical choice, we expose vulnerable people to unnecessary risk.
  4. Rely primarily on speed cameras near schools to enforce traffic violations.  Speed cameras don’t require a traffic stop to do their job, they are always on (so they enforce less selectively), and they issue citations based on objective criteria rather than the judgment of an officer.  Cameras should be distributed equitably across the city.

Member groups of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Coalition (listed below)

  • Beacon Hill Safe Streets
  • Central Seattle Greenways
  • Duwamish Valley Safe Streets
  • Licton Haller Greenways
  • Maple Leaf Greenways
  • Pinehurst Greenways
  • Queen Anne Greenways
  • Rainier Valley Greenways
  • Wallingford Greenways
  • West Seattle Bike Connections

SNG logo1

 

 

 

 

Turning a Safety Corridor Into a Street for People #Fix65th

Council member Rob Johnson at 2016 #Fix65th rally

Councilmember Rob Johnson speaks to 2016 #Fix65th Vision Zero Rally participants

In 2016, following a cluster of tragic fatalities and serious injuries on NE 65th St of people walking and biking, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways brought together a coalition to make safety improvements.

NE Seattle Greenways held a community rally and safety walk with District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson. Hundreds of people signed our petition, and powerful local neighborhood groups (Roosevelt Neighborhood Association & Ravenna-Bryant Community Association) joined up to make safety on NE 65th one of their priorities as well.

Our #Fix65th coalition and Councilmember Johnson’s support were just what was needed to make #fix65th a priority for Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and late in 2016 the City funded and began to plan for a safer, more functional street.

Making NE 65th a great street for people who walk, bike, take the bus, shop, go to school, and live is even more critical now than ever with the Roosevelt Light Rail Station due to open in 2021.

photo: Dongho Chang, Seattle City Chief Traffic Engineer

We’re super excited to report, based on our coalition’s recommendations, that SDOT has already changed speed signs to 25 MPH (they were 30 MPH), and improved existing traffic signals.

Much more is planned!

Make sure to attend the next SDOT #Fix65th Open House on May 18 to see what else is in the works for 2017. If you can’t attend the May 18 meeting, SDOT has an on-line survey up in May to record your ideas as well.

 

SDOT Open House to #Fix65th

  • When: Thursday May 18, 2017 from 6 to 8 PM
  • Where: Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St
  • Who: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or travels along NE 65th St.
  • What: Review concept plans for 2017 safety and see what’s already been improved
  • Why: Because we all need safe, healthy streets!

More information: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/NE65VisionZero.htm and https://fix65th.wordpress.com

 

World Day of Remembrance 2016 at 20th NE and NE 65th

World Day of Remembrance 2016 at 20th NE and NE 65th

 

Sanctuary Cities, Federal funding, Vision Zero

January 27, 2017

Dear Mayor Murray and Seattle City Council,

One America SNG letter 1.27.17

Click for full document

The purpose of this letter is to express our support for the Mayor’s declaration of Seattle as a Sanctuary City, committed to shielding undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and family separation. President Trump has expressed his intent through executive order to punish sanctuary cities by threatening to revoke their federal funding. Because of the City of Seattle’s principled stand, under some scenarios, the President’s position may put into question billions of federal dollars annually for infrastructure and other essential municipal services for Seattle and the region, which could in turn have a direct impact on projects and policies we have advocated for, together.

Our crumbling streets can be rebuilt later – our humanity cannot. In Seattle, we trust in our ability to draw on significant internal resources to continue to maintain and improve our street infrastructure while we continue to protect and welcome people new to Seattle who come here from across the world.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition members are located throughout Seattle, from Lake City to Rainier Beach. As part of our organizing model, we ally and support those groups that bring neighbors together in positive, construc- tive gatherings and coalesce to defend basic human rights, including the work of One America. Immigrants are mem- bers of our coalitions and communities, and all of us deserve access to basic, safe infrastructure.

Immigrant and refugee communities have taken action to support community transportation improvements including the Move Seattle Levy. Recently One America and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways partnered on distributing “Hate Has No Home Here” multi-lingual yard signs. And sadly, immigrant communities are often our partners on Vision Zero Memorial Walks following traffic fatalities. Together, we strive to put people first in a manner that recognizes how creating a more equitable community can mean taking important risks.

We resolve to support people of color, children, the elderly, the other-abled, and the people who cannot afford to travel by means other than by transit, on foot or by bike. We will continue to do what we can to ensure their safety comes first, even–especially–as we face the possibility of an unsupportive federal administration. We will support Seattle in its efforts to protect and increase federal investments in critical transportation infrastructure needs. And we will oppose actions by federal authorities, like using the threat of cuts to federal funding to compel the City to undermine values that we cherish.

One of our active community members has taken to delivering flower bulbs by cargo bike, “because we’ll need to see signs of hope in the spring.” We will look to the spring of 2017 as a time to celebrate our diverse community.

Wishing you strength and happiness in 2017.

Rich Stolz, Executive Director One America

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

 

A Basic Bike Network for One Center City

As you may have seen in the media, the One Center City process is well underway. One Center City aims to “bring together many communities, perspectives and partners, to create a 20-year plan for how we move through, connect to, and experience Seattle’s Center City neighborhoods.” As part of the One Center City process, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club are proposing a Basic Bike Network as an early implementation strategy. This interim strategy will allow the city to improve mobility and safety quickly, and collect data about how a connected network of safe places to bike downtown would work best.

Get Involved

Sign up to get involved with this campaign by checking the box below that reads “District 7: Connect Uptown to SLU and beyond.

 

Proposed Basic Bike Network

(Download this information as a 1 page handout)

Downtown Minimum grid map v5 without header

WHY A BASIC BIKE NETWORK?

Our downtown streets are crowded and offer limited bike connections. A connected network of safe bicycle lanes is essential to efficiently move people.

WHY NOW?

One Center City (OCC)
Though the OCC process will eventually produce a comprehensive multi-modal plan for downtown, people need safe places to bike as soon as possible. A pilot basic bike network would make a sensible early deliverable for OCC to make bicycling safer and inform the final plans based on data from the pilot network

Data collection
A pilot network would allow the city to “test” bike facilities, collect data, and make evidence-based decisions about the final OCC plan.

Reliable mobility options are needed
Bicycling is a reliable way to travel to, from and within downtown — even when transit is delayed. Implementing a basic bike network will provide more people with a failsafe mobility option.

CASE STUDIES

Calgary offers the best example of quickly implementing a basic bike network, setting realistic target metrics and collecting pre- and post data during an 18-month pilot. After the pilot, Calgary voted to make the network permanent.

Major takeaways include:

  • Bike mode share doubled in three months
  • Improved safety along the most dangerous routes
  • Increased diversity of ridership, including women and children
  • Declines in illegal bicycle behavior
  • Little to no delays for SOV traffic  

Edmonton is now following its approach, with other cities following closely behind. Other cities have demonstrated that a pilot network is a successful model: Seattle’s plan coupled with the comprehensive multimodal OCC process would truly make it a transportation leader amongst our peer cities.

For more information contact: Padelford at gordon@seattlegreenways.org, www.seattlegreenways.org
or Kelsey Mesher kelseym@cascade.org, (206) 769-1069 www.cascade.org   

Get Involved

Sign up to get involved with this campaign by checking the box below that reads “District 7: Connect Uptown to SLU and beyond.

 

Volunteer Appreciation PARTY!

Party Hat graphicWe want to thank you at our annual volunteer appreciation gathering this Groundhog’s Day!  

Let’s celebrate all of the progress you helped make possible in 2016!

New to volunteering with us? Come see what we’re all about.

Date/Time:
Thursday February 2nd, 2017
5:30PM —> 7:30PM

RSVP here!

Location:
Impact Hub  4th Floor 
220 2nd Ave S  Seattle, WA 98104

Food and beverages provided courtesy of:
Peddler Brewing Company
BOL Pho Bistro
Essential Bakery & Co.
and more!

How to get to our party:

Bike parking is available in the basement of the Impact Hub.

Pioneer Square is extremely accessible by transit:
tripplanner.kingcounty.gov 

During First Thursday Art Walks in Pioneer Square, car parking is free from 5 pm to 10 pm at three parking garages listed below. To redeem, pick up a voucher at participating Pioneer Square stores, restaurants, or galleries. 

RSVP here!

FACEBOOK Event

Celebrate the Opening of Roosevelt!

University Greenways members talked to 43 business owners about safety on Roosevelt Way

Andres, Atom and other local Greenways leaders prepare to do small business outreach along Roosevelt in 2013. Side note, two other Greenways leaders pictured here are now fathers — Orion and Alma’s dads also want safer, healthier streets for their new babies.

November 2 2016

Atom, the little tyke in the photo, was not quite two years old in 2013 when his dad, Andres, got together with a group of other safe streets advocates from NE Seattle Greenways and University Greenways to run a campaign to turn the Roosevelt Way NE repaving project into the Roosevelt Way NE repaving and Protected Bike Lane project.

The group pictured here, plus a few others, went out and talked to small businesses about the business benefits of having slower traffic, safer places for people to bike and walk, and great public spaces in the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Thanks to their focused local campaign, and the local business support it generated, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) decided late in 2014 to turn Roosevelt into one of Seattle’s premiere Complete Streets.

Fast forward three years. Atom is five and the Roosevelt Way NE Protected Bike Lane will officially open, this Saturday, November 5 2016.  Kidical Mass riders will wield the scissors at a grand ribbon-cutting event with SDOT around noon at the University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE.

Meet Andres, Max, Scott, Bob, Orion, Forrest, Drew, Alma, Madi, Rjider, Brandt, Barbara, Hank, and many more of the people who made this project possible for this generation and for future generations.

  • If you want to join the Kidical Mass Ride, come to at Mighty-O Donuts 2110 N 55th at 10:30 AM
  • Otherwise, join the fun ribbon-cutting at University Food Bank 5017 Roosevelt Way NE at noon!

 

 

 

Tactical Urbanism Creates Permanent Places

August 25, 2016

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

PARKing Day Plus 2015 project leads to new Burke Gilman Trail design from SDOT

Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has stepped out of their box, and into an intersection full of psychedelic circles.

A recent article at The Urbanist highlights SDOT plans to construct an exciting new protected intersection at the Burke Gilman Trail crossing of 40th Ave NE.

The safety design for 40th Ave NE is based on one of five Tactical Urbanism road safety improvements, funded and showcased by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARKing Day Plus Design Competition.

NE Seattle Greenways volunteers Kenneth Trease, Jen Goldman, and Andres Salomon teamed up with Seattle Children’s Hospital Transportation staff Jamie Cheney and Drew Dresman to build and monitor this one-day project built of traffic cones and chalk. SDOT’s recreation of the PARKing Day Plus design is built of flex-posts and thermoplastic and will keep people safe at a highly problematic trail crossing.

The use of just cones to simulate curb bulbs – and a few “stop for pedestrian” signs at the crossing and along the trail – had people approaching the crosswalk more cautiously in cars and on bikes. This crosswalk had been the site of a recent serious injury collision between a car driver and bicycle rider.

Staff from Seattle Children’s Hospital joined as volunteers at the information table with NE Seattle Greenways members.

Jen Goldman, one of the Protected Intersection project leads said,

“Our biggest take-home – we did not have one complaint about the crossing through the day. All feedback for the curb bulbs was favorable. People agreed that the crossing was dangerous as is. Granted, we were more able to speak with people walking and biking by vs driving, but some people who stopped and chatted mentioned they had driven through earlier in the day as well. The Metropolitan Market manager had reservations when discussing the project at first, but was pleased when seeing it.”

Jen’s daughter Maggie who celebrated her 6th birthday at the intersection crossing with cupcakes, thought it was a splendid place for a party for a girl who likes to walk and bike!

We couldn’t be happier to see a community-designed tactical urbanism project be transformed into a colorful permanent safety improvement!

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

PARKing Day Plus 2015 volunteers observed traffic and people walking & biking across the trail

#Fix65th Rally for Safer Streets

NE 65th is vital for businesses, schools, and people who live, work, and play in NE Seattle.

Sign a petition to support this campaign.

But in just the past three years in this short stretch NE 65th, 12 people walking or biking have been killed or sent to the hospital along just 0.3 miles of NE 65th St. In that same period of time, 12 car-only collisions injured 19 people.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Join us next Thursday June 16 8-9am at a kick-off rally asking the Mayor to #Fix65th. :

We can’t wait for more injuries or fatalities.

NE 65th safety issues
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1333479236666617/

Biking experience in Seattle by a Dutch student

foto (1)

Hi!

My name is Max Albert, I am a Dutch student who is currently doing an internship at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. I have ridden my bike on a daily basis ever since I was 4 years old and would say I am extremely comfortable on it. In case you haven’t heard of the Netherlands, its literal translation from Dutch is “low lands”, meaning that there are almost no hills.

When coming to Seattle I naturally had the intent to ride my bike everywhere, without a helmet of course. However, this quickly changed as I first explored Downtown. The sight of people blending in with cars on the busy roads and flying down the hills was a completely different sight from what I was used to, and made me think twice about my previous made statement about riding my bike everywhere. I had been warned that it could be dangerous but this was truly something else.

I received a bike from one of my colleagues at the office where I am doing my internship which is located Downtown near Pioneer Square Station. The bike was waiting for me in the basement and ready for use. On my first day one of my colleagues and I went on a trip by car, with bikes on the bike rack, to evaluate two of the recently finished Greenways in Delridge and Ballard which were quite comfortable, definitely something I could get used to. Read the rest of this entry »

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