Tag Archive: walking

Fixing the Pedestrian Safety Crisis

Mayor Durkan and Lynda Greene unveiling a 25 mph speed limit sign.

Mayor Durkan and Lynda Greene (Dir. of SouthEast Seattle Senior Center) unveil a new speed limit for Rainier Ave.

We can and must keep everyone safe on our streets. This morning, Mayor Durkan outlined four excellent and long overdue strategies to get back on track. Join us and send a letter to the Mayor and other elected leaders thanking them for their leadership and ask them act quickly to implement safer speed limits, redesign our most dangerous streets, and get Vision Zero back on track.

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memorials for traffic violence victims

We are in the middle of a pedestrian safety crisis.

In the few weeks since we first wrote that Vision Zero is off track in Seattle (12 people had died and 70 had suffered life-altering injuries after being struck by vehicles when walking and biking on our city streets, so far this year), three more pedestrians have been struck and killed in two separate incidents:

  • On November 27, a woman in her 60s, Jin “Kimberly” Kim, was hit and killed at 42nd Avenue SW and SW Oregon Street in West Seattle while she was crossing the street from her apartment to the grocery store.
  • On November 29, a driver struck four pedestrians, killing two people: Rebecca Richman, 28, a recent law school graduate, and her brother, Michael Richman, 26, an actor and musician. Their father is still hospitalized and Rebecca’s boyfriend was injured.

This brings the total number of people killed while walking or biking in Seattle to 15 in 2019 alone, making this one of the worst years in recent memory.  

A pile of flowers on the side of the street with a sign that reads: look out for pedestrians.

And these are just the people who have lost their lives on our streets. There have been many others who have suffered life-altering injuries such as a 60-year-old pedestrian still in critical condition after being struck on December 4 while crossing the street at Columbia Street and 4th Avenue downtown — the same intersection where a woman was struck and killed in January of this year. And over two consecutive days, two people on foot were struck by drivers and injured at Delridge Way SW and SW Orchard Street.

The strategies Mayor Durkan outlined this morning are excellent and long overdue — we welcome and applaud these critical steps:

4 Big Steps for Vision Zero

1) Safer speed limits: Safer speeds save lives. We know that Seattle’s arterial streets are where 90% of road traffic deaths and serious injuries happen. That’s why it’s so important that the mayor sent an easy-to-understand message today about safer speed limits: once the signs are changed, wherever you see a painted centerline (indicating an arterial street) in Seattle, you should be driving 25 mph, and wherever you don’t, you should be driving 20 mph.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been working to reduce speeding for years. Back in 2015 our advocacy for traffic safety culminated in the city’s adoption of Vision Zero, the goal of zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries by 2030. In 2016 our Safer Speed Limits for Seattle effort led to all 2,400 miles of non-arterial streets being changed to 20 mph. This made a huge impact for people walking and biking on neighborhood streets, but expanding these safer speeds to our busy streets has been slow and piecemeal. We’re thrilled that the Mayor is now taking on a systemic approach, and are eager to see it implemented as quickly as possible before more tragedies occur.

Slow Down

2) Red light running prevention: Running red lights endangers everyone, so doubling the number of cameras that catch and fine red light runners just makes sense. Automated systems like this limit biases in enforcement (and an ideal system would also issue tickets based on income to limit regressive impacts on low-income neighbors).

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3) Walking head start traffic lights: The majority of collisions between people walking and driving happen at intersections. We applaud SDOT’s new policy to double the number of traffic lights that give people walking a head start next year, with all traffic lights to follow.

Three pedestrians, one with a mobility aid, cross the street holding signs asking for safe crossings.

4) Vision Zero Task Force: This panel of experts will ensure we treat traffic violence like the public health crisis that it is, and provide transparency, accountability, and leadership for Vision Zero. A Vision Zero Task Force comprised of public health officials, first responders, roadway designers, and advocates for seniors, the disability community, and pedestrians, should analyze each and every deadly crash to provide recommendations for how what can be done to achieve Vision Zero. Part of their work will inevitably be analyzing what can be done about emerging trends like the rise in deadly-sized SUVs and increased distracted driving.

A group of people holding a sign that reads: Seattle Neighbors for Vision Zero.

What’s next?

These are welcome first steps but much more remains to be done.

Communities along Rainier Ave S and Aurora Ave N, Seattle’s #1 and #2 most dangerous streets respectively, have been clamoring for safer streets for years. The planned redesign of Rainier Ave S cannot come soon enough after years of delay. And sadly, Aurora Ave still lacks basic pedestrian safety improvements like sidewalks and safe crosswalks for long stretches, which must be addressed as quickly as possible. The city can do much on its own, but the recent fatalities on Aurora Ave, a state route, must also be a wake up call to state legislators. Redesigning our streets is the most effective and equitable approach to keeping people safer on our streets and should be the center of any effort moving forward, while education, encouragement, and enforcement should mainly be supplementary strategies.

If we are truly going to make progress on Vision Zero, we must give the Department of Transportation the political support to implement best practices and innovate new ways to keep everyone safe on our streets—even when those changes are hard. We see today’s announcement as a tremendous step in the right direction. We will continue our work until every neighborhood is a great place to walk, bike and live — where no one loses their life or is seriously injured trying to get to where they need to go.

A protest at Rainier Ave S and Henderson in 2018.

Care about ending traffic violence? Here are three ways you can help keep everyone safe on our streets:

1) If or when you drive, maintain a safe speed (i.e., below the speed limit and suitable for conditions), and be alert for people walking and biking.  

2) Send a letter to the Mayor and other elected leaders thanking them for their leadership and reinforcing the need for safer speed limits, redesigning our most dangerous streets, and getting Vision Zero back on track.

3) Get involved in advocating for traffic safety in your neighborhood

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Together, we can help Seattle make the changes necessary to achieve Vision Zero, and make sure everyone makes it home safely.

Li Tan holding a sign that reads: Vision Zero!

Back to School!

It’s Back to School season! How are the kids in your life getting to and from school?

Did you know that 58% of students in the Seattle Public Schools District live within the school walk zone and are not served by school bus routes, yet only 30% of them walk and bike?

Particularly in schools with dangerous streets nearby, many parents who have the means to do so make the decision to drive their kids to school every day. The increase in vehicle traffic around the school leaves those kids who do not have the option, disproportionately low-income kids and people of color, in even more dangerous conditions.

Here at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, we believe that every child deserves to be able to walk or bike to school safely and comfortably. 

If that’s your take too, we invite you to join our Safe Routes to School campaign! Click here to send a note to your elected leaders in support of Safe Routes to School, and keep updated on the citywide campaign!

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This year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is working to address some systemic problems with both the Seattle Public Schools District and the Seattle Dept. of Transportation, including policies and processes in school planning, lack of communication, insufficient staff, and lack of funding.

We’re also building relationships with 10 focus schools: Bailey Gatzert Elem., John Rogers Elem., Lafayette Elem., Sacajawea Elem., West Woodland Elem., Wing Luke Elem., Mercer International Middle, Franklin High, Rainier Beach High, and Roosevelt High. We’re listening to school communities and learning what’s needed, what’s working and what isn’t. If you’d like to hear more or get involved in engagement with one of these school communities, email Clara@SeattleGreenways.org.

Speak up for Sidewalks and Schoolkids!

Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, of which Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a part, included Safe Routes to School funding in the MASS Transportation Package. If it passes through City Council, we will have funding for an Active Transportation Coordinator to manage several currently ignored programs and processes, including the walking and biking school bus program and the School Crossing Guard program, which currently has vacant positions at one in three schools.

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We Need You!

  • Sign up here to receive updates on the campaign.
  • Share information with families and community members at your children’s school. Check out this one-pager.
  • Support funding for Safe Routes to School in the City of Seattle budget by sending an email to the Seattle City CouncilUse this form to support the MASS Coalition asks, or draft your own email to council@seattle.gov.
  • Send an email to your School Board Director highlighting transportation as an issue and Safe Routes to School as a solution. Find your director here. Several of the School Board Directors are up for re-election this fall — email candidates and attend forums to make sure that candidates know that you care about making sure kids are safe when walking and biking to school.
  • Spread the word about vacant School Crossing Guard positions in your neighborhood. These positions are paid, neighborhood-based, green jobs, perfect for those seeking local, part-time work.

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Thank you for your advocacy!

Be well,
Clara

claraClara Cantor

she/her/hers
(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

 

Fun and Safe Ways to Walk or Bike to School!

Are you looking to encourage your child and their friends to walk or bike to school this school year (and beyond)? Consider organizing a walking school bus or a bike train!

 

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A walking school bus — what is that?

A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school together with one or more adults, or older students. It can be structured in many ways, but is most commonly a route with designated meeting points and a schedule of parents or volunteers who take turns walking the group to school.

What’s a bike train?

Similarly, a bike train is a group of children who bike to school together, accompanied or led by one or more adults, or older students. Bike train leaders should have some bicycling skills, understand traffic laws and feel comfortable riding on the road.

What are the benefits of a walking school bus and a bike train?

Studies show that fewer children walk to school today than even just a few decades ago, and many children don’t meet recommended daily levels of physical activity. For many parents, safety concerns are one of the primary reasons they are reluctant to allow their children to walk or bike to school.

The walking school bus and bike train models are safety-first, by design. But they’re also fun, social, and active ⁠— providing school age children with easy, comfortable access to a healthy lifestyle, as well as improved skills for walking and pedaling safely in the city. Parents benefit too ⁠— they get to enjoy greater piece of mind knowing that their children are being protected by ‘safety in numbers’ as well as the presence of adult supervision.

There’s a terrific community-building aspect to these models as well. With a rotating schedule of parents or volunteers coordinating together to lead the walking school bus or bike train, it can be a great opportunity for people to meet other families in their neighborhood.

Did we emphasize “fun” enough? A walking school bus or bike train is a delightful daily activity ⁠— for both the kids and adults involved. Give it a try! And share your experience with us ⁠— contact Clara with your walking or biking to school stories: clara@seattlegreenways.org

 

Kids Crossing

 

Tips for organizing a walking school bus:

  • Check out your neighborhood walkability checklist, and the City of Seattle’s Safe Routes to School Walking Maps. Determine the safest route to walk to your school and map your route, including what stops are needed.
  • Invite families who live nearby to walk, and contact potential participants (e.g. school faculty and staff, law enforcement officers, other community leaders).
  • Test your route, noting approximate walking times.
  • Identify the number of adults or older students needed to supervise walkers and draft a rotating schedule. Download walking school bus leader schedules and information forms, and recruit volunteers.
  • Check out these safety training guidelines and determine what’s needed for both kids and adult volunteers on your route before kicking off the program.
  • Have fun!

 

A group of smiling kids riding bicycles down the street.

 

Tips for organizing a bike train:

  • Determine safe routes for biking to school with a City of Seattle Bike Web Map, and draft a potential route, including the stops that are needed.
  • Invite families who live nearby to bike, and contact potential participants (e.g. school faculty and staff, law enforcement officers, local bike shops, bike teams/clubs, other community leaders).
  • Pick a route and do a test bike ride, noting approximate biking times.
  • Identify the number of adults or older students needed to supervise bikers and draft a rotating schedule. Check out these scheduling tips for bike train leaders and other guides.
  • Check out these safety training guidelines and determine the safety training, skills and equipment needed for kids and bike train leaders before kicking off the program.
  • Have fun!

 

 

Happy walking and biking!

Li Tan Portrait

Written by Li Tan,
Safe Routes to School Intern
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Big Wins This Month in City Council for the MASS Coalition! Next Steps 9/30

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BIG WINS!

Thanks to your advocacy, the first three pieces of the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Transportation Package passed UNANIMOUSLY through City Council!

We have the energy and momentum to pass the remainder of the package by the end of the year — Save the Date for our next big push on Monday, September 30, 2:00pm for several important policy improvements for people walking and rolling. This second set of policies sailed through committee on September 20th, and will come to a full City Council vote on the 30th!

Champions:

Huge thanks to Councilmembers Mike O’Brien, Abel Pacheco, and Teresa Mosqueda for sponsoring these three critical pieces of the MASS Transportation Package, and to the rest of the council for voting to pass them! Thank them at:  Council@Seattle.gov (email) or @SeattleCouncil (Twitter)

What passed:

  1. A Bicycle Safety Ordinance making it harder for politicians to delay or delete bike projects.
  2. A resolution requesting full funding for Bicycle Implementation Plan projects, including the Beacon Ave Trail, Martin Luther King Jr. Way, the Georgetown-to-South Park Trail, the SODO-to-Georgetown connection, and two-way bike lanes on 4th Ave downtown.
  3. A resolution requesting that SDOT build off-sidewalk bike and scooter parking (in-street bike corrals) to ensure pedestrian access on sidewalks, especially for those of us with disabilities.

We’re not done yet.

We packed the council chambers and sent hundreds of emails, and together we showed the strength of community support behind sustainable transportation measures. Then, following the Climate Strike on September 20th, we filled council chambers again and spoke out passionately for safer sidewalks and pedestrian-first signal-timing. This second set of MASS Transportation Package policies were approved in committee. And now they move to a full council vote.

We need you on Monday, September 30, at 2:00pm as these important pedestrian policy improvements move to a full council vote. It’s people-power — your voice, your presence, your mailed in comments, that can move these policies over the finish line. 

Email the Mayor and Councilmembers now to show your support.

 

The MASS Transportation Package – Safe & Equitable Transportation for All

These are the first of twelve total pieces of the MASS Transportation Package — which includes policy reforms and investments in sidewalks, bus lanes, and bike paths that will help you get where you need to go safely and efficiently. Find out more about the package in this interview.

We need to connect Seattle’s diverse and vibrant neighborhoods, minimize reliance on private vehicles, create walkable and roll-able communities, and ensure safe and equitable access to transportation for all people, particularly for those who have been historically and are currently under-served. Please support the MASS Transportation Package.

Take Action:

 

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 

Clara Cantor
she/her/hers

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

 

The Home Zone Solution: Making Streets Without Sidewalks More Walkable

A group of people talking around a table with a large map covered in post-it notes.In 2018, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways set out to pilot a quick and cheap way to make Seattle neighborhoods safer to walk, bike, and live in for people of all ages and abilities. Our solution? Neighborhood “home zones” — a low-cost model that’s been implemented with success in other countries.

home zone problemThe Problem

A number of Seattle neighborhoods lack sidewalks, including large areas of North Seattle, which has the highest concentration of older adults in the city. Combined with increasing cut-through traffic, the lack of safe places to walk makes many neighborhood streets dangerous and uncomfortable. Given the current rate of city funding for pedestrian infrastructure, it’s going to take Seattle 300 years (at a minimum) to make every neighborhood safe for walking. We think this timeline is unacceptable and we set about creating a Home Zone demonstration project to show the city that more immediate, low-cost solutions are possible.

home zone solutionThe Home Zone Solution

A Home Zone is an area that is protected from lots of fast-moving cut-through traffic so that streets are safe enough to walk on. Home Zones direct thru-traffic to arterial streets that surround a neighborhood, keeping local access for residents, emergency access. Home Zones can use a variety of design improvements such as diverters, speed humps, and other elements, but focus on improvements that have the best “bang for our buck”, recognizing that Seattle’s pedestrian budget is stretched very thin.

A Pilot Project

Licton Springs is one of a number of neighborhoods that were annexed by the City of Seattle years back without existing sidewalks. We worked with neighbors in the Licton Springs neighborhood to identify a multi-block area to establish the Home Zone demonstration project, and community leaders from within the neighborhood to help coordinate the project. Over the course of the year, volunteers with the “Meridian Project” gathered at community design meetings, did door-to-door outreach, and toured the neighborhood streets to take note of known street hazards as well as opportunities for future traffic-calming.

Results to Date

This project is still underway, but the results have already surpassed our expectations on two fronts—one being the level of enthusiasm and participation from a multi-generational base of neighborhood volunteers; but also, and most notably, the unexpectedly brisk buy-in from the City, whereby Seattle is ready to invest $350,000 in a pilot Home Zone project of its own, based on our persistent vision and promotion of this model.

A young child points to a map while speaking to an adult.The initial community design workshop was a vibrant affair, packed to capacity, with a high level of participation across the room. We had a robust turnout of 60 people, including kids, elders, homeowners, renters, business owners, and members of the local deaf community. Food was provided and short presentations were made, but the bulk of the 2-hour meetup involved maps, markers, and sticky notes—and community members deeply engaged with each other in identifying both the hazards of their local streets and possible solutions. The community identified traffic-calming, art, and wayfinding ideas to be explored further. Building off of this large meeting, we hosted two smaller strategy meetings and a community walking audit to formalize the initial input we gathered.

A home-made wayfinding sign with walking times and distances, decorated for Halloween.Local community volunteers created a delightful wayfinding sign, pointing to popular nearby parks, libraries, and shopping districts, within walking distances noted. Sites have been selected and designs drawn up for self-watering planter box chicanes, now only awaiting official permits before they can be put together and installed on the street through a community work party. A street mural is also in the works: We’ve selected potential locations and are talking with local artists about designs — installation is expected in June when the pavement will be dry and warm enough for the paint to adhere properly.

Going Forward: A Model to Replicate

One of our key goals going in was to inspire the city of Seattle to adopt the Home Zone model as a large-scale, systemic solution that’s affordable, and immediately within reach. In November 2019, Seattle City Council approved a budget of $350,000 for the city to create its own Home Zone pilot project, building on ideas we developed.

 

For more details about the Home Zone model, see our handy Home Zone FAQ.

Community Outreach Around Green Lake

Story by Tom Lang, Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets

If you have been to Green Lake, you probably walked, biked, or drove through the Starbucks intersection (NE Ravenna Blvd / NE 71st Street / E Green Lake Way/Drive). This intersection is confusing, uncomfortable, and dangerous.

Because La Escuelita Bilingual School is right next door, and since many sports teams and families use the play fields nearby, fixing this intersection is a huge priority for Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets (GLWSS), a brand new member of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition that re-formed early this year. Since February, GLWSS has focused on the impending 2019 re-paving project that will see the installation of two-way protected bike lanes around the entire east side of Green Lake. While we support the project as a whole, our group has several proposed changes to the SDOT plans which would make the park, playfields, and business district safer and more accessible to pedestrians and people on bikes. By slowing speed limits, narrowing the car traffic lanes, and “squaring up” several intersections, this project will now result in greater predictability, visibility, and safety for all users.

 

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On PARK(ing) Day in September, we hosted two pop-up parks — one at the Starbucks intersection and another at the Kidd Valley intersection (N 50th Street / Stone Way N / Green Lake Way N).

One of the goals of PARK(ing) Day is to encourage residents to re-imagine their streets — exactly what we had been doing all summer as we talked with our neighbors about redesigning the two troubled intersections. Our small but mighty team of volunteers planned and organized a park at each of these intersections: next to Starbucks in the morning and in front of Kidd Valley in the afternoon.

With generous donations from both of these business, we were able to provide coffee to our morning visitors and milkshakes in the afternoon. We invited the students from La Escuelita to join us and add to our community art project. We set up a putt putt course in front of Kidd Valley and rewarded golfers with a coupon for a free milkshake. We had a great time transforming these spaces in the streets into places for people to gather and enjoy themselves.

GLWSS Park(ing) Day 2018

 

At each of these locations we talked with our neighbors about SDOT’s re-paving plans. The most common response we heard was that people hadn’t yet heard about the project. Despite the mailers and community meetings, most people didn’t know the details, and were eager to learn. We gathered another 30 signatures of support on this day and helped more people see
the potential in their streets.

Following a successful summer of community outreach, the Green Lake & Wallingford Safe Streets Group leadership met with SDOT project managers and went over the 60% design for the re-paving project — including many of our suggestions. We are very happy to see the Starbucks intersection will be much safer in 2019, and the proposed stoplight added at N 52nd Street has been removed from their plans. These are big wins for our small group!

Unfortunately, we learned in November that SDOT removed the bike lanes from the street design for N 40th St. We’re distressed at the precedent of removing a route designated on the Bicycle Master Plan, and awaiting more news from SDOT in early 2019. If you’d like to get involved, visit us at GLWstreets.org and drop in on our monthly meeting!

GLWSS Park(ing) Day 2018

We’re going to keep moving forward with our primary task: to make the streets around Green Lake and Wallingford safer for people of all ages, abilities, and transportation choices. Remember — one important role of our community group is to educate our neighbors about current transportation projects, build community connections, and get people thinking in creative ways about how we use our streets.

Speak up for Sidewalks and Schoolkids!

Friends,

Did you see the news this week that nearly $3 million that would have funded sidewalks and crosswalks for schools has been siphoned into the city’s “general fund”?

This funding would have helped children at 25 schools across Seattle walk to class safely by investing in projects like enhanced crosswalks, traffic calming, and walkways. Instead these projects will be delayed, adding to the 300-year backlog of sidewalk projects.

We need you to speak up now in support for funding sidewalks and crosswalks so that kids in Seattle can get safely to and from school.

Act Now! buttonkids-crossing.jpgSeattle Neighborhood Greenways has championed the Safe Routes to School program since our founding in 2011 as a core piece of our work. We’re committed to making every neighborhood a great place to walk and making sure every child can safely walk to school. But in order to do that we need our city leaders to increase funding for safe routes to schools and sidewalks.

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We need you to act now and send a letter to your councilmembers asking them to ensure that Safe Routes to School are adequately funded and kids can get safely to and from school.

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Thank you for your continued advocacy!

Be well,
Clara

 

 

clara

Clara Cantor

she/her/hers
(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

 

P.S. Whether or not we win back this funding, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will continue to advocate to adequately fund safe routes to school and sidewalks next year, and hope you will stay engaged in this effort.

Sign up here to volunteer with us or Donate here. Thank you.

Speak up for Walking and Biking in Seattle’s 2018 City Budget!

We care about making every neighborhood in Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live, but too many important projects are being delayed or watered down.

That’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is leading the charge as part of a new transportation alliance Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS)We’re calling on the Mayor and City Council to go beyond general statements of support for transportation and environmental issues, and act now to align our city budget with Seattle’s values.

Walking

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, backed by the MASS alliance, has four main city budget priorities this year:

  1. Safer Intersections. Halt spending on adaptive signals, which prioritize cars over everyone else, until the technology can prioritize people walking and biking.
  2. Traffic Calming. Fund a Home Zone pilot project, using diverters and traffic calming to limit and slow traffic on residential streets, particularly in areas with no sidewalks.
  3. Basic Bike Network. Add additional funding to get people to and from the new Arena and into and through Uptown and South Lake Union.
  4. Equitable Street Parks. Restore funding to successful Pavement to Parks projects with an equity focus.

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Act now to ask City Council to support these priorities, and join us on Wednesday, October 24 at 2:00 pm at the Transportation Committee Budget Hearing. Public comment is at the end of the meeting, likely around 4:00 pm.

Get involved in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways by volunteering with us or donating to support our work.
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Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 clara

Clara Cantor

(206) 681-5526
Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Website – Twitter – Facebook

Would You Walk or Bike to the New Seattle Center Arena?

We need YOU to speak up for walking and biking at the Special City Council Meeting for Civic Arenas at Seattle City Hall this Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am.
The City Council will vote on ordinances relating to the redevelopment of the Seattle Center Arena (formerly known as Key Arena) this Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am. Public comment will be at the beginning of the meeting.
Show Up and Ask the City to:
  1. Complete the Basic Bike Network by requiring OakView Group (OVG) to fund a small square of safe bike connections immediately surrounding Seattle Center and the new Arena: on Roy St, 5th Ave, and Broad St in addition to the already-planned 1st Ave N / Queen Anne Ave Couplet. This will provide safe, connected routes for people on bikes from SLU and points north, not just from downtown.
  2. Extend pedestrian routes off of Seattle Center Campus to the East (to SLU), South (to Downtown), and West (to the waterfront).
  3. Put a hold on implementing adaptive signal technology until it can measure and mitigate pedestrian delay.

We will be there with signs to share. RSVP to Clara@Seattlegreenways.org or by replying to this email.

A group of people smiling and waving signs in support of the Safe Streets and the Basic Bike Network
The expansion of the Seattle Center Arena (formerly Key Arena) is slated to begin construction this October. The Arena developer has a responsibility to the City to ensure that event attendees have viable, comfortable, and efficient transportation options, and to incentivise their use. But the current plans map out a future for Uptown clogged by cars.

The current plans include a goal to have a whopping 55% of opening day arena event attendees arrive by private vehicle, with only 1% of event attendees arriving by bike and 10% by walking. We need City Council to require this big development to aim for more efficient transportation.

NHL Seattle found that 40% of expected attendees live within 4 miles of the arena. That’s 5,000 more people per event that could be choosing to walk or bike to the Arena if it were a comfortable, intuitive experience. Additionally, no matter how people start their journey to the arena, every event attendee will be a pedestrian for some part of their trip – walking to transit hubs or parking garages.

People walking on a city street.

Developer investments in walking and biking infrastructure will improve the transportation experience for those arriving via any mode, minimize the negative impacts on the neighborhood, increase interactions between event attendees and local businesses, and will have the largest positive impact for the dollars spent.

The Oakview Group (OVG), the Arena developers, have been asked to fund many positive improvements, including:

  • Protected bike lanes (PBLs) and bus-only lanes on 1st Ave N and Queen Anne Ave, directly in front of the arena. Additionally, some pedestrian improvements to Seattle Center Campus and streets immediately adjacent.

  • Centralized locations for a small amount of personal bike parking, to stage and park bikeshare bikes, and bike facilities for employees.

  • Designated drop off zone for TNCs, creating predictability and reducing conflicts and safety issues between TNCs and people walking and biking (negotiations still underway).

However, this mitigation represents the bare minimum, and City Council should push OVG to be more aggressive in their modeshare goals and to fund the transportation mitigation that will enable success in reaching them.

Map of the Basic Bike Network

We Need YOU to Show Up and Ask the City to:

  1. Complete the Basic Bike Network (above) by requiring OVG to fund a small square of remaining connections immediately surrounding Seattle Center and the new Arena: on Roy St (1st Ave N to 5th Ave), 5th Ave (Roy St to Broad St), and Broad St (2nd Ave to 5th Ave) in addition to the already-planned 1st Ave N / Queen Anne Ave Couplet. This will provide safe, connected routes for people on bikes from SLU and points north, not just from downtown.
  2. Extend pedestrian routes off of Seattle Center Campus to the East (to SLU via Thomas St Greenway), South (to Downtown via 4th Ave), and West (to the waterfront and the Elliot Bay Trail via the John Coney overpass). This includes wayfinding, lighting, ADA compliant curb ramps, and sidewalk repair.
  3. Put a hold on implementing adaptive signal technology until SDOT commits to measuring and valuing delay for people walking (as they do currently for people driving), and the technology advances to a point where it is able to measure and minimize that delay.Friday, September 14, at 9:30 am.

We’ll see you there!

 

A headshot of Clara Cantor

Clara Cantor

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

The Business of Safe Streets on Pike/Pine

Would you encourage your loved one to ride their bicycle here?

aweful pine bike lane image by david seater

This is currently the condition on Pine St, an important walk/bike transportation corridor. It’s unpleasant for people walking and downright dangerous for people biking. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Central Seattle Greenways has set out to make some changes.

They teamed up with Capitol Hill Housing’s Renter’s Initiative, the Capitol Hill Community Council, and Cascade Bicycle Club and over three days in Spring 2017, approximately 20 volunteers and staff conducted door-to-door business engagement along the Pike/Pine corridor.

Team members spoke with people in 59 (!) businesses about how people get to their establishment, what traffic safety issues they see on the streets, and what kind of street improvements they would be interested in seeing.

The good news is that business people really do care about safe streets. The conversations went well and the volunteer teams collected valuable information, made new contacts, and helped start a conversation about how to improve the safety of Pike/Pine for people walking and biking to local businesses.

This fall the team is planning to continue advocating for safer crosswalks bike lanes on the Pike/Pine corridor.

Would you like to get involved? Stay tuned!

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Part of the business outreach team

Part of the business outreach team

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