Found 94 search results for keyword: move seattle

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.

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


  • 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


  • 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

Today is Giving Tuesday — Your Opportunity to Give!

Because of you, Seattle’s becoming a better city for biking & walking!


As we think about what we’re most grateful for this season, it’s you.

You, and neighbors like you, give your time, energy, and creativity to making Seattle a better city. Whether you’re supporting the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition with your presence at community meetings, advocating for change, helping with hands-on projects, or donating financially — you’re the heart of this safe streets movement.

And because of you, the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways coalition has been achieving a lot this past year — just one major success after another:

  • An official Basic Bike Network resolution that puts Seattle on the path to completing essential east-west and north-south connections by the end of 2019
  • Funding for a Home Zone pilot, an innovative and cost-effective solution to create safe spaces to walk, particularly in neighborhoods without sidewalks
  • And upgraded crosswalk signals that will get people safely across Martin Luther King, Jr Way to the light rail stations in Rainier Valley.

But we’re far from done. Seattle is still a long ways from being the safe city to walk and bike in that we dream of. 

That’s why Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ Board of Directors and the local Bowline Fund have boldly stepped up to match your gifts 2-to-1 this fall, as we head into our busiest season of citywide organizing yet.

Your financial support will help us keep moving the city in the right direction. Please consider taking just a moment to make a gift of any size today.

When you donate to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, you’re helping accelerate safe streets solutions in Seattle. Your support makes it possible for SNG to:

  • Champion safe routes for kids to walk and bike to school
  • Work for safe routes to walk and bike to transit hubs
  • Advocate for walking and biking projects with historically underserved communities
  • Organize for a bike network that connects to every neighborhood

With your support, we know that “safe streets for all” is more than just a hopeful vision — it’s a future that we all, working together as concerned neighbors and proactive communities, can make possible. Thank you for considering a one-time or monthly donation this #GivingTuesday.

In gratitude for all you do to help make Seattle a city that all people can walk, bike, move, and thrive in, 

— Gordon, Clara, and Susan at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Truly any gift amount will help. And, thanks to a collective double-match by our Board of Directors and the Bowline Fund, your donation this year will go three times as far!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
220 2nd Ave S #100

Seattle, WA 98104

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All gifts to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways are 100% tax deductible. Please support our ability to advocate for and activate our safe, healthy streets now! And thank you!

Signals, Sidewalks, and Sports

Dear safe streets supporters,

I want to let you know that we won funding for an innovative pedestrian solution called Home Zones, a walking and biking route to the Sonics arena, and fought and stopped the spread of signals that only prioritize cars! But unfortunately, safe routes to schools did not receive a much needed boost in funding.

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council approved changes to Mayor’s proposed budget and the mayor signed the final version. The mayor’s initial budget was a mixed bag that increased funding for sidewalks, but cut funding to two programs that help enliven our streets as places for people: Pavement to Parks and Summer Parkways. We hope to restore those programs when the timing is right. Despite earlier reports, we were able to ensure full funding remained intact for the popular Play Street program which allows neighbors to temporarily open their streets to play.




As you may have heard, the Seattle City Council unfortunately diverted nearly $3 million that would have gone to increase funding safe routes to schools into the “general fund” to pay for other priorities. 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. But thanks to our advocacy, Councilmembers O’Brien and Herbold indicated that they would like revisit this issue in the spring. We will continue to advocate to adequately fund safe routes to school and sidewalks, so if you have a connection with a school community or PTA please let know.

Read more in the Seattle times: “Seattle budget proposal: Divert $2.7 million in red-light fines from safe-school projects


home zone meeting summer 2018

We are delighted to announce that our concept to rapidly make more areas of Seattle walkable, called Home Zones, won $350,000 and City of Seattle approval. Recognizing that 26% of our streets lack sidewalks and that current funding means we won’t work through this backlog for over 300 years Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is committed to both increasing funding and finding efficient ways to make our streets more walkable. Our Home Zone idea helps implement the efficiency strategy. In essence, our Home Zone idea will be an area that directs thru-traffic to arterial streets that surround a neighborhood, while allowing only local traffic within a neighborhood — thereby making it safer and more comfortable to walk within the neighborhood. We have been working on a DIY pilot with a neighborhood in Licton-Springs this year, and the City of Seattle will be implementing an official pilot in 2019. Thank you to Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for proposing this budget addition.

For more, see our FAQ on Home Zones and the Crosscut article.

People walking in a cityscape.



The City Council also restricted funding to “adaptive signals” systems which to date have been used to prioritize moving cars at the expense of everyone walking, biking, or taking transit. In order to build more of these signals SDOT would need to demonstrate they aren’t just prioritizing cars over everyone else. The proviso, put forward by Councilmember Mike O’Brien, reads in part “The Council’s intent is to develop signal technology that prioritizes the safe and comfortable movement of people, not just vehicles. Pedestrians and bicyclists should have frequent and ample opportunities to cross the street, and transit mobility should be prioritized over SOV traffic on key corridors. Signal policy should align with Seattle’s adopted climate, public health, safety, and mobility goals.”

For more See our FAQ on Adaptive Signals and the The Urbanist article “Eleven Ways Adaptive Signals Frustrate, Discourage, and Endanger People Who Walk.”

New Seattle Storm arena

New Seattle Storm arena

Last, but not least, the City Council passed a “statement of legislative intent” from Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda that pledged to find funding for the Thomas St neighborhood greenway which would be the only all ages and abilities walking and biking route connecting South Lake Union and the new Sonics arena located at the Seattle Center.


Thank you to everyone who advocated, volunteered, or donated. With your ongoing support we will make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live.


Gordon Padelford headshot croppedGordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways


P.S. Now is a great to time give to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, because your gift will be tripled by generous support from our Board Members and the Bowline Fund.


Get Your Tickets Now For the Most Invigorating Bike Discussion of the Year!

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Queen Anne Greenways, and Impact Hub Seattle, are pleased to present: 

Building the Cycling City: Dutch Lessons for Seattle

An evening with Melissa & Chris Bruntlett Bruntletts


Please join us for a very special keynote presentation and community panel: 

Friday, October 5, 2018, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Impact Hub Seattle
220 2nd Ave S, Main Event Space
(1st floor, ADA accessible, bike storage available)

Tickets are sliding scale, $5 – $100, and on sale now. Proceeds benefit nonprofit Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Please consider a solidarity ticket of $10 or more to support Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ critically needed work in support of safe and healthy streets citywide.

Click here to order tickets now!

After a keynote presentation from Melissa and Chris Bruntlett we will hear from a panel of experts about how to bring these ideas to life in Seattle and what can be done to address the gender gap in cycling. The panel features:

  • Genesee Adkins, Seattle Department of Transportation Chief of Staff
  • Amanda Barnett, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board co-chair
  • Brie Gyncild, Central Seattle Greenways co-leader
  • Melissa Bruntlett, Modacity
  • Coralie Bruntlett, Chris and Melissa’s daughter and a voice for the new generation
  • Moderated by: Clara Cantor, Community Organizer for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Time: Doors open at 5:00, and the program starts promptly at 5:30.
Date: Friday, October 5th
LocationImpact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Bike Parking: Ample bike parking is available in the Impact Hub’s bike room (bring your bike inside and we’ll help you get down the elevator). We kindly request you leave the bike staples on the sidewalk for family, cargo, and other large bikes.
Tickets: Click here to order tickets now!

About Building the Cycling City
Around the world, countries marvel at Dutch cycling culture and infrastructure while a disheartening “that would never work here” attitude prevents transformative change from happening in most U.S. cities. But the Dutch overcame many of the same challenges as other car-clogged cities like Seattle, and their story is an important model for moving us toward a more human-scale, bike-friendly future.


Join Melissa and Chris Bruntlett for a fun, visual, and interactive discussion. They’ll share the triumphs and challenges of the Dutch cycling story, show how some of the ideas are already being adopted in global cities, and draw out concrete lessons for Seattle to follow their lead.

Following the Bruntletts’ inspiring, photo-rich presentation of what other cities are doing, a lively, solution-focused panel will bring the ideas home to Seattle and ask, “What will it really take to get there?”

The event is scheduled for Friday, October 5th, 5:00-7:00pm at the main event space in Impact Hub Seattle. We’ll have beer, wine, substantive appetizers, and time for socializing! 



About Melissa & Chris Bruntlett

Melissa and Chris Bruntlett are the co-founders of Modacity, a creative agency using words, photography, and film to inspire happier, healthier, simpler forms of mobility. Together, they work with a variety of organizations—including municipal governments, transportation agencies, non-profits, and corporate clients—to address the evolving needs of cities large and small, and enable a variety of mobility options as a way to create successful and more livable regions. They have garnered an international audience by sharing the stories of residents benefiting from these changes, and celebrating how designing streets for people makes them work better for everyone. Melissa and Chris’ stories of emerging bike cultures from around the world have been featured in Momentum Magazine, Grist, Spacing Magazine, and the Huffington Post, as well as many local publications in their hometown of Vancouver. Best known as @modacitylife on social media, they continually challenge the auto-centric thinking that dominates the mainstream discourse, and present a compelling vision of a future where their two children (and countless others) can grow up enjoying the freedom of unlimited movement in a human-scale city.


About Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Since 2011, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, and its coalition of 20 neighborhood-based, volunteer-led chapters, has empowered communities to reclaim Seattle’s streets so that they welcoming and full of life. For everyone — old or young, poor or well off, regardless of how they get around. We are creating a transportation system that gives us more choice for how to get around, keeps us safer, saves us money, and reduces climate pollution. We can get there by making every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike and live. There are many ways to contribute to this exciting and effective grassroots movement, including with your time, energy, and creativity!

Click here to order tickets now!



This special event is made possible with the support of our incredible sponsors and community partners — thank you, we simply could not have put this together without you:


Amsterdam Level Sponsors:

Impact Hub Seattle and Bowline Fund


Copenhagen Level Sponsors:


Vancouver Level Sponsors:


Community Partners

AIA Seattle, Bike Happy, Black Girls Do Bike, Rainier Riders, The Urbanist, U District Advocates, U District Mobility, WSDOT

Basic Bike Network

What is “the Basic Bike Network”?

We know that safety is a major barrier — sixty percent of the population in Seattle wants to bike more, and dangerous streets is the number one reason they choose not to. But the Basic Bike Network, which would build safe and comfortable bike connections to get people where they need to go in and around the center city, has been delayed again and again — see this story for background information.


PikePineBikeLanesLabelsWe also know that when you build connected bike routes, people will come in droves. Around the world, cities like Vancouver, Calgary, New York and London have all implemented connected bike networks, and have seen ridership explode. Even here in Seattle, bike ridership jumped 30% on 2nd Ave when the protected bike lanes there were connected to an incomplete route on Pike and Pine. Every connection matters and makes the network more useful.

In fact, the City of Seattle expects that ridership will double with the completion of the Basic Bike network. That’s why we’re asking the City of Seattle to #BuildItNow!

UPDATE (July 30, 2018): City Council Passes Basic Bike Network Plan

Seattle City Council unanimously voted today in favor of building major pieces of the basic bike network. Thanks to this vote you and your loved ones will have safe, protected routes to bike into and through downtown Seattle from the north, south, and east (2nd Ave to Westlake, Dearborn, and Broadway) by the end of next year.

Other pieces of the network will move forward through the design and outreach phases. The map below outlines what will be built by the end of 2019, what will be designed, and what remains to be done. Safe places to bike on Roy St and 1st Ave N streets are not included in this plan, but we are working to get them built through the Key Arena redevelopment process.


Current Map of the Planned Basic Bike Network

It takes people-power to move a bold vision like the #BasicBikeNetwork forward. High fives and deep appreciation to all who’ve advocated, rallied, donated, and shared their stories so far! While this is an exciting milestone worth celebrating, but aren’t done yet. We’re not going to stop fighting for the Basic Bike Network until all the pieces are built.

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 30

Some of the Basic Bike Network supporters at City Council on July 30


How Can I Make a Difference?

Here are five ways to keep the momentum going:

  1. Take a moment to email a thank you to the Mayor for committing to build safe, convenient protected bike lanes on Pike/Pine connecting downtown and Capitol Hill by 2019.
  2. Volunteer with us.
  3. Become a monthly donor. Your gift allows us to fight for safe places to bike for people of all ages and abilities.
  4. Share a photo of yourself along with a quote about why a basic bike network is important to you. Check out our inspiring album on Facebook and share your own story with tags #basicbikenetwork, #wecantwait, and #seattlegreenways. Or email for other ways to volunteer to make a difference.
  5. Ride your bike & bring a friend! There is safety in numbers – research has shown the more people who ride their bikes, the safer everyone is. Summer is a great time to encourage a friend, colleague, or family member to try biking in Seattle.

You are making a difference and together we will build a city that reflects our common needs and shared values by making every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live.

What was the “people protected bike lane”?

Everyone who wants to bike should be able to because biking can make us happier, keep us healthier, save us money, and reduce climate pollution. That’s why we’re advocating to build a connected network of safe and comfortable streets for people biking.

At 8:00am on the morning of Bike Everywhere Day, we took this message to the street by forming Seattle’s first people-protected bike lane in front of City Hall on 4th Avenue. The hugely successful free speech action and the rally that followed demonstrated the joy and safety that protected bike lanes can bring to our streets.

Standing side by side, we created a colorful human barrier between people riding bicycles and car traffic. Five group rides from around the city (Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Fremont, Ravenna, and West Seattle) joined people on their regular commuting route and converged at the people-protected bike lane amidst a positive fanfare of cheering, high fives, and waving streamers.

ride and rally wavingAcross the street afterwards, the Rally for the Basic Bike Network featured a slate of powerful female speakers including Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who spoke to the crowd about the need to build the basic bike network:
sally bagshaw speaking (image from her office)
Clara Cantor, Community Organizer for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, rallied the crowd chanting “Build it Now!”

Clara at 2018 ride and rally

The mood turned more somber when Clara asked the crowd to “raise your hand if you have been involved in a crash or close call in the last month” and every hand in the audience went up, including Councilmember Rob Johnson’s.

ride and rally 2018 people who have been invovled in crash or near miss in past monthAnd as a people-powered movement we can’t win these improvements without you.

ppbl shot (ben hughey) thank youA big high five to everyone who showed up and took part in the people protected bike lane or the ride and rally, and to all the volunteers who helped us make signs, carry supplies in their cargo bikes, spread the word, or otherwise supported us to make this event a success.

people high fiving through bike lane copy

Safer Crossings for Madison Park Business District

Story by Bob Edmiston, Madison Park Greenways.

In the summer of 2013, a Madison Park resident was struck by a driver while walking across East Madison Street in a marked crosswalk, in broad daylight—and was critically injured. The community organized and formally asked the City of Seattle to make it safer to cross the street in our little neighborhood business district.

The community’s focus was on a complicated 6-way intersection where East Madison Street, McGilvra Blvd East and East Garfield Street meet. Many of the crossing distances there ranged from 50-100 feet across, exposing people on foot to hazardous speeding traffic. Parking near and within the intersection was blocking critical lines of sight between people walking and people driving. The combination of these compounding design flaws are thought to have factored into the tragic collision of 2013. Fixing these hazards became the objective of our Madison Park Greenways group.



Five years later, after many grant applications, pitches, community design meetings and countless volunteer hours, the project is now nearly complete. The results are excellent. The adjoining streets have been squared up, entrances narrowed, curb lines moved in order to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and sight lines have been improved. Landscaping is being restored in a way that will permanently keep sight lines clear.



By eliminating the worst safety issues of this very complicated intersection, this project has made Madison Park’s central intersection feel safer to cross on foot and safer to drive through. Since this intersection is the primary crossing for children who attend McGilvra Elementary School, the improved intersection opens up the possibility of walking or biking to school to more of the community.



The man who was critically injured has recovered has been anticipating completion of this project. It was his desire that the crossing between Wells Fargo Bank and Starbucks be finally made safe for those who live, visit and work here.



This project would not have been possible without a sustained multi-year direct collaboration effort between the Madison Park Community Council, the Madison Park Business Association, Madison Park Greenways and the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and Seattle Department of Transportation staff. They have all done outstanding work. We plan on holding a ribbon cutting celebration soon.

Inspired by this community-driven success story? Pitch in to help make more outcomes like this possible.

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