Tag Archive: Vision Zero

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

 

Remembering Ronacin

Memorial Walk for highlights why safe streets are not gentrification.
Ronacin MemorialWorking people of all nationalities need safe bike routes…so [they] don’t have to make dangerous decisions to get to their jobs“~ Councilmember Kshama Sawant

Safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks & other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, they are our is right”~Phyllis Porter, Rainier Valley Greenways

Ronacin Tjhung, was hit and killed in January 2017 while riding his bicycle between his two jobs in the Rainier Valley.

Ronacin had been providing for his children by working 60 hours a week and sending money back home to the Philippines. His five children, who lost their mother to Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, will remain in the Philippines. What was once a crowd-funded site to raise money to support Ronacin’s family and pay medical bills is now a fund to fly his body back home and pay for his funeral. Here’s a link to Ronacin’s GoFundMe crowd-funding site.

Ronacin’s large family attended a Memorial for him, organized by Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and Rainier Valley Greenways.Ronacin’s mother, sister, brother, and step-father, along with his extended family, the Filipino Team MANG cycling club, and impressive numbers of people representing local safe streets groups throughout Seattle walked from the Othello Light Rail Station to South Graham Street on Martin Luther King Avenue South near the spot Ronacin was hit by a car driver.

Robert Getch from Beacon Hill Safe Streets did a stellar job organizing and speaking. He was eloquent about the need for safer streets and about his grief at the loss of a valued family man. Phyllis Porter represented Rainier Valley Greenways and spoke about how “safe transit, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other safety infrastructure is NOT gentrification, but an important right for all.  Central Greenways Shirley Savel spray-painted a ghost bike, and Adam Dodge set it up at the place Ronacin was killed.

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Phyllis Porter, Kshama Sawant, Robert Getch spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin

Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke about why working people needed to be able to have transportation options late at night, especially in low income, culturally diverse areas where access to cars is prohibitively expensive and transit is not reliable during the late night and early morning shifts of many service jobs. She brought up the need for a safe, direct bike route through Rainier Valley, and the importance of signals that would help people cross MLK more quickly and safely.

 

Council President Bruce Harrell offered words of comfort to Ronacin’s family encouraged them to keep involved in making Seattle a better city.

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

Council President Bruce Harrell spoke at the Memorial for Ronacin Tjhung

 

Council member Rob Johnson’s staff Amy Gore attended, as well as CM Sawant’s assistant Rebekah Liebermann. Seattle Police accompanied the group and Dongho Chang represented the Seattle Department of Transportation.

 

Ronacin’s sister Jessica told a little about his life, his boss at McDonald’s spoke about his humor and dedication, and Ronacin’s mother reached out for hugs from the 70 people at the Memorial.

 

The Seattle Bicycle Master Plan includes recommendations for protected north-south bicycle lanes through Rainier Valley, but a direct bicycle route has never been built.

Walking to Graham and MLK

Walking to Graham and MLK

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck

Ghost Bike near S Graham St and MLK Ave S where Ronacin was struck

 

 

 

 

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.

 

World Day of Remembrance Seattle

main-and-5th-fatalityWorld Day of Remembrance is a UN affiliated world-wide event to commemorate victims of traffic violence  http://worlddayofremembrance.org/

 

Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and other local groups are taking part: https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

 

Memorial Gathering at City Hall

Thursday, November 17th 2016 at NOON

City Hall lobby 5th & Cherry

Distribute silhouettes to put up locally. Hear from first responders and from families whose loved ones were killed in Seattle traffic.

 

 

ALL Local Events on Sunday November 20

  1. Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  2. Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  3. Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  4. Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  5. Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  6. Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  7. Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  8. Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  9. West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  10. Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  11. Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S

The City Hall event is open to the public and will recognize attendees from Seattle Fire, Seattle King County Public Health Department, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as families of the victims who have died in traffic in Seattle.

Event co-sponsors include Vision Zero Seattle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Cascade Bicycle Club, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Washington Bike Law

@VisionZeroSea

#WDR2016 #WDR2016sea

VisionZeroSea.org

WorldDayOfRemembrance.org

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/268515693545860/

To honor those who have lost their lives to traffic violence on Seattle’s streets, we will be putting up silhouettes all across the city.

We will meet for a Citywide Memorial on Thursday November 17 at 12:00 noon, in the lobby of City Hall. We will distribute 240 silhouettes representing people who have died in Seattle on our streets in traffic in the past 10 years, and highlight the need for safe streets in our city.

On Sunday, November 20, families and groups around Seattle will install all of the silhouettes at local events.

This a difficult time for many of us right now.  World Day of Remembrance, while not a joyous event, is something that we can come together on, as well as to help raise awareness among our friends and neighbors.

World Day of Remembrance is not a political event, but it is the kind of community building and coming together process that will help us keep America great. Thank you for joining us.

Thank you to the staff at United Reprographics for manufacturing these silhouettes.

Here’s an FAQ with more about #WDR2016 how to set up the silhouettes

all-city-wdr-map

 

 

 

 

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Rainier Safety Project Is a Home Run!

May 9 2016
Cathy Tuttle

Update: Action Opportunity

Please join us for a Celebrate Safe Streets rally thanking the city for the progress so far and supporting further action.

Celebrate Safe Streets August 17th flyer


Great news about Rainier Ave!

Rainier Rechannelization stats

Seattle’s most dangerous street, Rainier Ave S, got a 4-mile makeover last year, thanks to the tireless advocacy work of Rainier Valley Greenways volunteers AND excellent work by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Vision Zero Road Safety Corridor team.

A year later, reports are coming in showing Rainier Ave S is another successful road safety project!

  • Coming from a total of 1243 total collisions, including 630 injuries and two fatalities in the past three years, Rainier is posting some great safety stats!
  • Top end speeding — that is, people traveling faster than 40 mph — has decreased 95%
  • Travel time for the Route 7 bus that carries 11,000+ people per day has remained unchanged northbound and actually improved schedule time along the route by 1.5 minutes southbound.
  • And best of all, total collisions are down 14%, injuries are reduced 31%, and walk/bike injuries are down a whopping 40%.

Get Well Card for Businesses Hit By Cars held by SNG staff Phyllis Porter & Gordon Padelford on Rainier Ave S

All this is to say, the pilot safety project on Rainier Ave S is working, and working well. More safety improvements are planned — and they can’t come soon enough.

Thank you SDOT, and thank you Rainier Valley Greenways!

Get involved and learn more!

 

Parents Turn Grief Into Action #WDR2015

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
November 15, 2015

Zeytuna_slider

They wear big 3″ buttons with a young face and a date. They are parents still, even if their beloved child has died. Their eyes are haunted.

I have lived through the grief of losing my husband and best friend to cancer. I have gone through the gut-wrenching agony of nursing my teen daughter through lymphoma. I try to have an open heart and my heart breaks every time I face the pain of grieving parents who have lost a child to traffic violence.

Today, November 15, 2015 is the first day the US has honored the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims #WDR2015.

I have had the honor of meeting many parents whose children have died by traffic violence or have been injured for life. In Seattle I have sat with the parents of Zeytuna Edo, Trevon Crease Holden, Sandhya Khadka, Caleb Shoop, Elias Schulte, and more families of people who were killed or gravely injured by traffic violence.

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Multi-Use Trails Reviewed By Expert User

by Don Brubeck, West Seattle Bike Connections
October 15, 2015 (original letter 9/11/15)
The City of Seattle is in the process of updating both its Pedestrian Master Plan and Trails Plan. There are several opportunities for public input. As an everyday bicycle commuter, Don Brubeck, co-leader of West Seattle Bike Connections, has had a lot of experience as a trail user. Don is also a great thinker and writer. We were so impressed with Don’s suggestions that we got his permission to reprint his letter, below. Thank you Don!

Don Brubeck, West Seattle Bike Connections

Don Brubeck, West Seattle Bike Connections

We are happy to know that SDOT is doing a comprehensive study of the multi-use trails. The trails are valued community assets. They are essential in providing mobility and recreation for people of all ages and abilities. The trails vary widely in age, design, condition and use. It seems timely to step back and look at them as a whole, for safety with Vision Zero, and for connectivity and equity as part of the region’s transportation network.

West Seattle Bike Connections is a volunteer community organization advocating for safe and effective bicycle transportation in, to and from West Seattle. We advocate for pedestrian safety as well, and for use of city streets by all modes of transportation. We represent West Seattle and South Park in the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition. We are the West Seattle branch of Cascade Bicycle Club’s “Connect Seattle” groups. We are part of Sustainable West Seattle. At our last meeting, we developed some suggestions for the Trails Upgrade plan, and followed up with other members in an online brainstorming session. Here are our thoughts.

General issues for all multi-use trails and off-street bike paths:

  1. Vehicle drivers entering and exiting driveways frequently fail to stop and look before crossing multi-use paths, creating serious hazards and causing serious injuries. At all public drives, e.g., into parks, public parking lots, Seacrest marina:
    1. Install stop signs and stop bar markings on pavement for exiting drivers.
    2. Restrict curb cut widths to minimum workable, with required sight triangles.
    3. Hold parking lane parking back from entries.
    4. Add trail crossing warning signs to entries to public and private drives.
  2. Posts and bollards are hazardous to bike riders, especially when trail traffic is heavy, and in hours of darkness. Remove posts where not really necessary to prevent vehicle traffic from entering trail. Mark all bollards and posts and mark pavement at posts per national trail standards. Follow WSDOT Design Manual Chapter 1020 – Bicycle Facilities for setback, daytime high visibility paint and nighttime retro-reflective markers, and pavement warning markings per MUTCD.
  3. Pedestrians, dogs on leashes, skaters, skateboarders, people pushing strollers, and tourists on rental bikes and surreys tend to use the entire trail width when in groups, making it difficult to yield and hazardous to all parties for people on bikes or skates to pass in either direction. Even solo pedestrians and inexperienced cyclists are often encountered on either side of the trail, at random. We recommend design and education to encourage travel on the right, with passing on the left and yielding to oncoming traffic, for all trail users.

Read complete letter here

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