Found 77 search results for keyword: move seattle

Rainier Beach HS Students Demand Safe Routes to School

Rainier Beach High School Transit Riders Union 10-22-15 event

Rainier Beach High School Transit Riders Union 10-22-15 event

We support Rainier Beach High School students and the Transit Riders Union in their request to help ALL students to a safe route to school.

To date, our city has failed to provide safe healthy streets for students who need to walk or bike to school. Seattle Neighborhood Greenways supporters would prefer students have a healthy option of walking and biking to school. We see free Orca passes and yellow safety crossing flags as a stopgap measure until Seattle uses Move Seattle Levy monies to complete and connected grid of healthy safe streets for all ages and abilities throughout Seattle.

Community support event for Orca passes is next Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Rainier Beach High School in the Performing Arts Center. Guests include Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Bruce Harrell. Transit Riders Union petition in support.

From the event Facebook Page

Join students, teachers, staff, parents, and community members for an evening of interactive storytelling and collective action! Help us call upon our elected representatives on the City Council, Mayor Murray, and the Seattle School Board to fund bus passes for ALL public school students who need Metro to get to school.

Currently, only students who live more than two miles (as the crow flies) from their school are eligible for a free ORCA pass subsidized by the school district. Not only is four or more miles a long way to walk to and from school, often there is no safe route to walk, due to dangerous traffic or neighborhoods.

Since 2011, Metro fares for youth have risen from $0.75 to $1.25 and now to $1.50, or $54 for a monthly pass. This is not affordable for low-income families. It’s time for our city to provide free transportation for all students to get to school!

This summer, as part of a six week program of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, 130 Rainier Valley scholars ages 5-18 organized a march between Seattle Public Schools Headquarters and City Hall, where they rallied and raised awareness about the issue of inequitable transportation in their community. Calling the walk zone policy “inequitable,” students mobilized alongside community members saying that for many students, especially those experiencing poverty, this policy “creates a barrier to getting to school, and therefore a barrier to their education.”

This Town Hall event will be held at Rainier Beach High School in the Performing Arts Center on Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Guests include Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Bruce Harrell. Hope to see you there!

Please sign TRU’s petition as well: http://transitriders.org/free-orca-passes-for-public-school-students/

What Did Your Council Candidate Say About Safe Streets?

by Cathy Tuttle, July 16, 2015

I got my ballot in the mail today!

If you live in Seattle and are registered to vote, you will get to choose two at-large City Council candidates, and one Council candidate who represents your District.  For the past year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has been organizing its advocacy priorities, local groups and volunteers by District as well. We believe District elections will significantly change the face of Seattle projects and policies.

This is a run-off primary election, with ballots due August 4. The top two vote-getters in each position will advance to the November elections when we will choose our nine City Council members. Most of the Districts and at-large positions have many candidates running (there are over 40 people running for nine seats).

I admire every person who has chosen to run for City Council. Every one has made a sacrifice of their time, their money, and their energy to put forward their ideas about how to make Seattle a better and more livable city.

Local Greenways group leaders came up with just two questions that we asked of all 40+ candidates. You can see candidates’ complete responses at the bottom of this post, on this Google spreadsheet, or this Excel pdf.

Here are the two questions each candidate answered:

  • Question 1: What street or transportation projects proposed for your District get you excited? What projects will you push for, and what might you oppose?
  • Question 2: Envision a major street running through a business district in your neighborhood. Now that you’re a City Councilmember, you hear from residents and business owners who are concerned that an SDOT project to increase safety for people walking, biking, driving, and taking transit on this street may impact some on-street parking and slow down traffic by an estimated thirty seconds per mile. You also hear from parents, seniors, and people who live and work in the area that they really want their street to be safer.

How, if at all, would you engage SDOT and the people who live and work in your neighborhood and mediate conflicting project outcomes? This project will impact traffic in the following ways:

(1) remove some on-street parking for better visibility for people walking

(2) narrow some vehicle lanes to encourage drivers to keep to a maximum 25 mph speed;

(3) re-time traffic signals to give slower elders and children more time to safely cross the street;

(4) dedicate some current vehicle traffic lanes to buses and people on bikes so that they can move more quickly and safely

The illustration below is a word cloud of all candidate answers.

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

Council Candidate Word Cloud in worditout.com

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Underfunded Equity Priority: Safe Routes to School

Click to listen to CIty Council testimony. Begins at 13.50.

Click to listen to CIty Council testimony. Begins at 13.50.

Douglas MacDonald
June 4, 2015
WA State Secretary of Transportation, 2001 – 2007
Key considerations that support the position offered in public comment to the Seattle City Council of May 29, 2015 that a large increase should be made in the proposed allocation to the Safe Routes to School Program.

The Proposed “Move Seattle” Transportation Levy Should Significantly Increase Its Commitment to Safe Routes to Schools. Justice and equity should be served by higher SRTS funding in transportation investment.

 

School children attending the Seattle Public Schools make up about eight percent of the City’s population.

The ethnicity of students in the Seattle School District is not a mirror image of the city population as a whole. Students are less likely to be white and almost twice as likely to be Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Multi-­Racial than citizens at large.

  • Over a quarter (26%) of the students are from non-­‐English speaking backgrounds.
  • Almost two fifths (38%) of the students are from economically stressed family circumstances qualifying students for reduced price or free school meals.
  • Almost one in six (14%) of school age children in Seattle live in poverty.

The purpose of Safe Routes to School investments towards more convenient, safer and healthier trips for school children back and forth from home to school is a transportation investment manifestly responsive to social justice and equity.

SRTS Effectiveness and Results

Nationwide and Washington State research on effectiveness of SRTS programs shows that schools where programs are implemented generally achieve a 20% increase in children walking to school.

We know from WSDOT survey results (2014-­‐15) that nearly 60 percent of parents queried respond that unsafe road crossings are a factor in deciding how their children get to school.

Sampling from classrooms collected by the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction suggests about 1 child in 3 in Seattle already walks to school daily (twice the statewide norm) – underscoring why the safety focus of SRTS is so important. But almost half the Seattle students never walk to school – underscoring the rich opportunity to improve child health and transportation efficiency from SRTS investments.

We know from national and local research that inactive lifestyles are a major contributor to significant health issues for children. Walking and biking to school are widely seen as delivering multiple important health benefits to children.

We know that SDOT has declared a goal of “Building America’s Most Walkable City.” And that the vision of Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan is that “Riding a bicycle is a comfortable and integral part of daily life in Seattle for people of all ages and abilities.” SRTS investments turn rhetoric into reality. Quickly and tangibly.

We know that SRTS programs invariably show ancillary benefits for safer, more walk-­able and more bike-­able trip choices for everyone, old and young, and often do valuable double-­duty as improvements for transit accessibility, a critical need almost everywhere in the city and often especially in lower income neighborhoods.

We know that planning and implementing SRTS programs for individual schools inherently provide rich and welcome opportunities for building positive relationships between the Seattle School District, neighborhood groups and parents, the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle Department of Transportation. The value of these collaborations to daily family and neighborhood life is widely dispersed across the city -­‐-­‐ probably unmatched in this respect by any other transportation investment proposed in the levy.

Increased investment in SRTS builds quickly and positively on a program already underway, widely known and favorably viewed. 

STRS is a program with existing momentum that can quickly be made even more powerful, successful and meaningful to Seattle citizens.

Working with competitive grant money from the state and funds from school zone speed enforcement fines (both sources, however, now in decline, and Olympia’s attention unfortunately focused n big highway spending projects) important beginnings on STRS have been made, giving the program visibility and popularity delivering tangible transportation benefit at very modest cost.

A few of the schools, for example, were state funds have already bought starter investments include Dearborn Park, Roxhill, Olympic Hills, Concord, Baylet Gatzert, Sanislo, High Point, Fairmont Park and Hawthorne, among others. Other important progress, though limited in scale and scope, has also already been made by the City’s use of its own resources. Some of the additional schools where progress has been achieved include North Beach, Salmon Bay, Wing Luke and Kimball among others.

City projects have included new sidewalks (but, since 2007, only 27 block faces), curb bulbs and curb ramps, flashing beacons, newly painted crosswalks and other improvements.

 

SRTS needs and priorities deserve more investment than now proposed.

We know that despite all the above, the proposed funding level for SRTS in the current proposal for the $930 million nine-­‐year “Move Seattle” transportation levy proposal is just $7 million. This would work out to about $750,000 a year – hardly enough to make a significant dent in SRTS needs and opportunities. This works out to about 7/10ths of 1 percent of the fiscal commitment in the levy – for essential transportation improvements for a population that just counting students alone (not even tallying their parents, or other citizens who directly benefit from these investments) makes up eight percent of the City’s population. Members of the population that have uniquely high claims on transportation spending for reasons of age, social equity and overall personal and community health.

We know from the diligent work of the analysis spearheaded by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways that investment on the scale of $20 million is required to achieve solid STRS progress within the one mile walk zones of ten elementary schools with the highest equity claims for attention. Adding 17 next level equity elementary schools would bring the total scale above $35 million. Key steps taken for high school walk zones are also badly needed. The funding level in the currently proposed levy of $7 million (less than 8/10ths of one percent of the total levy amount) would if unchanged signal a lack of intention to make any more than token progress toward the safety, convenience, health and equity benefits the STRS program should deliver. A larger commitment will both strengthen the levy program and strengthen its tangible appeal to prospective Seattle voters.

View this written testimony in memo form.

Read the rest of this entry »

Should We Put More Money In The Levy For Our Kids?

May 20, 2015 Cathy TuttleSchool Walk Zone Dunlap Elementary

In the $930 million Move Seattle Levy, $7 million has been allocated for Safe Routes to School.  That $7 million is simply not enough to address safe routes for kids in all 97 Seattle Public Schools (and many private schools). We believe the Levy should provide $40 million for Safe Routes to School. Let me explain why in more detail.

When this young boy leaves this school, he’ll need to walk home somewhere within this School Walk Zone.

Thanks to previous wise investments by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), some of his walk will be safe and more pleasant. But he’ll still face many gaps on his way home – missing sidewalks, faded crosswalks, traffic signals, speed bumps & tables, and stop signs to slow inattentive drivers. I’ve walked this Walk Zone and there are places I don’t feel comfortable as an adult crossing the street.

We need to invest money in our Levy to get this young boy home safely.

With the help of transportation experts, we’ve calculated about $40 million can fill some of the biggest gaps at 28 elementary schools where half or more of the kids qualify for free lunch.

SDOT already invests a lot in Safe Routes to School. 20mph speed cameras next to a few schools bring in more than $5 million a year that we’ll need to keep investing in a backlog of hazardous road conditions in the Walk Zones of all 97 Seattle Public Schools.

Where’s the $40 million going to come from?

Well, there is $930 million in the proposed Levy. Most large engineering projects – big repaving, bus corridors, bridge repairs –  need to leverage big state and federal money. We believe these mega-projects can leverage a little more.

Unfortunately the fine-grained careful investments that give this boy a safer walk home qualify for almost no outside matching monies. Small neighborhood-scale investments for our most vulnerable are what cities are expected to make, what transformative levies are intended address, and what compassionate voters approve. Unlike big paving and bridge projects, money for safety improvements for walking in our neighborhoods is never going to come from state or federal transportation packages (and if you believe it is, you haven’t been following the news lately).

It is truly up to us to decide to provide $40 million to Move Seattle for Our Kids.

The Move Seattle Levy is a once in a generation opportunity to change course and decide to invest in our most vulnerable and valuable. Let’s invest in our kids.

Please sign our petition to the Mayor & City Council if you believe we should Move Seattle for Our Kids.

Construction Zone Mobility: Room For Improvement

May 2015
Cross-posted with The UrbanistConstruction Zone Signs

Seattle is a boom town. Until recently, traffic plans during new building construction disregarded the mobility of people walking and biking beside building sites. This disregard is a safety issue, not just an inconvenience.

Last year, Seattle created a Construction Hub Coordination Program with dedicated staff who work to improve access for all during construction in high growth areas designated by the City as “Construction Hubs.”. Construction sites in South Lake Union, Ballard, Alaska Way, Capitol Hill, and West Seattle Junction are getting better for people walking and biking near them, but problems still remain, in these locations and throughout the city.

In Seattle, we still place a higher value on preserving street parking around construction sites at the expense of providing safe access for people who walk or bike. Sidewalks are routinely blocked, and safe intersection crossings removed for extended periods. Read the rest of this entry »

District 4: Wallingford, University, Bryant, Laurelhurst

Click here to see our 2016 priorities

Local SNG Coalition groups involved: Wallingford Greenways, University Greenways

What is the 2015 priority? Bring the Wallingford Neighborhood Greenway up to current standards and connect it to the future light rail station on Brooklyn NE.
cropped-Girls-Crossing-at-Wallingford-and-43rd.jpg

Campaign Updates

  • Big Win! The 43rd Wallingford Neighborhood Greenway’s crossing of Stone Way was awarded $89,300 to install a Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon using the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund process.
  • We are encouraged that SDOT is currently undergoing a review of existing neighborhood greenways and identifying needed improvements.
  • Big Win! $2 million to study and improve the N 45th St Bridge crossing between Wallingford and the University District was included for funding and voter approved in the Move Seattle Levy.

2015 Campaigns

From six people in a church basement in 2011 working to bring neighborhood greenways to Seattle, we’ve grown to a coalition of 20 neighborhood groups working on all aspects of safe & healthy streets across Seattle. We’ve had enormous success getting our greenway routes and intersection priorities funded and built, as well as building coalitions and funding for larger safe street infrastructure projects.

For 2015, our coalition decided to focus on three citywide priorities and seven priorities from groups in the new City Council Districts. Ten priorities in all. Here they are:2015 SNG Priorities Map

CITYWIDE PRIORITIES

  • Vision Zero. Advocate for strong local and city support for engineered speed reduction, enforcement, education, and more. See campaign page
  • Renew Bridging the Gap. Improve and get out the votes for a citywide funding package focused on healthy transportation as Bridging the Gap expires in 2015. See campaign page
  • Complete Streets. Make sure our own Seattle Complete Streets Ordinance is enforced. Make sure major SDOT improvement projects are funded and tied to walk/bike safety improvements. See campaign page

COUNCIL DISTRICT PRIORITIES

  • District 1: Create safe intersections across 35th Ave SW and build a parallel greenway. See campaign page
  • District 2: Redesign Rainier Ave S so that it is no longer the most dangerous street in the city. See campaign page
  • District 3: Design and fund better walking and biking connections as part of the SR-520 project. See campaign page
  • District 4: Bring the Wallingford Greenway up to current standards and connect it to the future light rail station on Brooklyn NE. See campaign page
  • District 5: Elevate the N/NW 92nd St. as the major cross-town all ages and abilities connection in North Seattle, and connect people across Aurora and I-5 with direct links to Wilson Pacific School, North Seattle College, and Northgate Light Rail Station. See campaign page
  • District 6: Make 6th Ave NW, including its NW Market Street intersection safe enough for children to get to school. See campaign page
  • District 7: Ensure the Lake to Bay Loop is an all ages and abilities route. See campaign page

Planning for Walking and Biking to U-District Light Rail

The University District is the second largest business district in Seattle, and with the University of Washington, Seattle Children’s facilities, and other major entities located there, it’s already a complex area for pedestrians, bikers, and buses.

A new light rail station at NE 43rd Street and Brooklyn Ave NE is scheduled for 2021, and plans for mobility and access aren’t coming along fast enough.

Drew Dresman, Transportation Planner for Seattle Children’s, sets up the problem handily in The Urbanist:

“Sound Transit’s construction of Northlink is on track to extend light rail to the north end of Seattle by 2021. After decades of failed attempts and hard work, we will finally have a fast, reliable rail line connecting North and South Seattle. Unfortunately, major questions have been left unanswered as to how people will be able to safely and easily access our future light rail stations and nowhere is this oversight more glaring than in the U District. U District Station will attract tens of thousands of daily users, but unlike Northgate Station and a growing list of others, no agency has studied how people will travel to and from U District Station and what improvements are needed to ensure people can reach Link safely and comfortably by 2021.”

Enter the community advocates and a powerful neighborhood coalition

For the past nine months, residents and representatives of several organizations in the University District have been meeting to discuss the need for a coordinated plan for light rail station access at the forthcoming U District Station. Together, members of the U District Greenways neighborhood group, U District Advocates, U District Partnership, as well as transportation staff from Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington formed a neighborhood-based coalition: the U District Mobility Group.

As a first joint action, the Mobility Group hosted a station access walking tour on September 7th — with hopes of building a unified vision for multi-modal access to the new station and the surrounding areas.

The well-attended (65+ participants) Station Mobility Tour began at the UW Tower and led participants through the neighborhood, on foot, with stops and speakers at several locations. At each location, members of the working group shared insights about the anticipated challenges for accessing the station by foot, bike and bus — and presented a variety of mobility solutions.

u dist mobility walking tour compressed

Current mobility challenges in the U District

The U District Mobility Group identified several current problematic conditions for pedestrians and cyclists in the neighborhood:

  • Most people walk or take transit to the U District and UW — yet pedestrian amenities and public open space are lacking.
  • Many pedestrians and bicyclists do not feel safe near major arterials.
  • Transit suffers from speed & reliability issues and cumbersome transfers.
  • Automobile traffic is concentrated on NE 45th Street, 15th Avenue NE, and the intersection at Roosevelt Way NE & 11th Avenue NE.

Growth and changes ahead

When the U District Station opens in 2021 it’s expected to serve 24,000 daily riders. That’s a daily influx/outflux of pedestrians and bicyclists in a neighborhood where walking is already the most common form of travel. At the University of Washington alone, 76% of students and employees take transit, walk, or ride bikes.

The new light rail station is one among several major changes slated for the neighborhood. With recent upzoning and other development impacts, the U District faces unprecedented commercial, academic and residential growth. The City and Sound Transit are both planning major capital investments in the U District, and Metro is expected to restructure area bus service.

Members of the U District Mobility Group want to ensure that as the neighborhood redevelops there’s a coordinated, holistic vision in place for how people will move about safely, comfortably, and efficiently.

Via Drew Dresman, here’s a taste of what that holistic vision could include:

  • Prioritize safety concerns for the tens of thousands of daily pedestrians in the immediate vicinity of the station.
  • Develop great bus-rail transfers and ensure connecting buses have reliable pathways to the station, even during evening rush hour.
  • Ensure people on bikes have safe routes to the station including alternatives to major arterials such as NE 45th Street and improvements at dangerous intersections.
  • Ensure adequate loading areas and building access for private vehicles.
  • Create streets that support vibrant, safe and welcoming experiences for all.

Getting the community organizing and outreach funded

So far, the U District Mobility Working Group has $87,000 in funding pledged and/or received from Seattle Children’s, U District Partnership, the University of Washington, Sound Transit, Seattle Department of Transportation and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. This total includes a $42,000 award from the Neighborhood Matching Fund Program.

Interested in updates on the U District light rail station mobility project? Sign up here.

Interested in getting involved in a wide range of U District mobility projects? Join the U District Greenways group here.

If you value our work, please donate to keep us going.

 

Vision Zero

What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is based on the idea that no one should die or suffer serious injury in traffic. Vision Zero is an international movement to get to the goal of zero traffic fatalities or serious injuries. Seattle’s goal for Vision Zero is 2030.

Memorial Walk for Leo Almanzor 11/22/14

What are the principles of Vision Zero in Seattle?

  1.  Life is Most Important. The protection of human life and health must be the overriding goal of traffic planning and engineering, taking priority over vehicle speeds and other objectives.
  2.  Every Person Matters. Everyone has the right to be safe on our streets, regardless of the way they choose to travel.
  3.  People Make Mistakes. In order to prevent and reduce death and serious injury, traffic systems can and must be designed to account for the inevitability of human error.
  4. The Government is Responsible for Safe Streets. ALL elected officials and government staff need to collaborate and act now to achieve Vision Zero.

What is Seattle Neighborhood Greenways doing about Vision Zero?

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways works to create a city where everyone can get to where they need to go safely.

Cathy Supports Streets for People

Merlin and Cathy

Merlin Rainwater & Cathy Tuttle at a rally for Vision Zero 20 MPH streets

August 1, 2017

Come join me for a farewell beer — and welcome new staff at a party at Peddler Brewing in Ballard on Sunday August 13 from 4 to 8 PM.

It has been my great pleasure getting to know you.

You are people all over Seattle doing your part to reclaim streets as public space.

You are the parents walking to school with your children in Lake City along streets with no sidewalks. You are the tech workers who suffer daily terrifying near misses on your bike to work. You are the families celebrating Play Streets in Queen Anne. You are Rainier Valley family bikers negotiating a car-free life. You are neighbors who are trying to figure out how to travel safely on foot and by bike between South Park and Georgetown. You are families mourning the death of a loved one from traffic violence. You are the teams painting streets in Ballard on PARKing Day. You are older adults who long for a nice place to sit outside on slower, safer streets where people driving stop as you cross the street.

You are part of a citywide movement — and Seattle in turn is part of a global movement — of people who share a vision of streets as essential public places for people.

As the founding Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways (SNG), I’ve worked full time and tirelessly for the past six years, listening to your stories, uniting our coalitions, and amplifying our voices.

In the past six years as ED, my work has been to direct the conversation, and I’ve seen our streets transformed. More people are walking and biking along protected bike lanes and greenways, parklets and play streets are opening, safe routes for children to our lowest income schools are prioritized. We’re in a good place. And we have far to go.

I’ve worked side by side for the past four years with SNG Policy Director Gordon Padelford, a master coalition builder. I’m delighted he is taking over as ED of SNG. His focused advocacy has helped to put Seattle on the map as a 20 MPH Vision Zero city, and his work has directed millions of dollars into Safe Routes to School, true multi-modal corridors, road rechannelizations, sidewalks, protected bike lanes, better traffic signals, safer routes to transit, Play Streets, tactical urbanism, and much more.

As we continue on our journey dedicated to reclaiming contested public space for people, I am asking you to keep caring and to keep showing up.

Please support the work of Gordon and his team of professional advocates (welcome to the SNG team Susan Gleason!). Support your neighborhood’s on-the-ground greenway group. Keep demanding safe, healthy streets for people of all ages, all abilities, and all incomes.

Thirty percent or more of land in most every city is primarily dedicated to moving and storing cars. I am leaving on a series of extended stays in cities around the world that are working out the details of how to transform their streets into public spaces for people. First stop, Berlin.

We are at a tipping point in the transformation of Seattle into a walkable city. We are witnesses of and advocates for the movement towards a bike-friendly city. We are transforming our streets into public places where people can sit, meet, talk, and play.

With your help, Seattle can become a growing city where streets support people’s lives as they move around, meet new people, raise a family, and grow old. A city I look forward to visiting. Keep going strong my friends.

With love,

Cathy Tuttle, PhD, Board member
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
@CathyTuttle

Thank you Seattle

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