Found 162 search results for keyword: move seattle

Keep Move Seattle Promises on Madison

Madison BRT DELETED bike route mapGetting east-west in Seattle is hard. The Madison Rapid Ride Plus corridor project could be a big improvement for Seattle, and make it easier for everyone to get east-west. Unfortunately, while the project’s latest draft looks good for people who walk and take transit, it no longer includes a safe nearby bike route. 

The Madison project, along with the other seven Rapid Ride Plus projects, was sold to voters as bringing improvements for people who walk, bike, and take transit. The levy promised to build “improved sidewalks and crosswalks to make it easier and safer to walk to the bus” and to construct “either physical separation between people biking from people driving on the street or create an alternative parallel route for people to bike.”

Now the city is going back on its promises. The latest draft of the Madison project will not build a safe nearby route on Union St for people to bike. 

Tell SDOT Director Scott Kubly and the Madison team: Keep the levy’s promises and fund and build a safe route for people to bike as part of the Madison Rapid Ride project. 

Email: 

Or use this form:

 

Let’s MOVE Seattle! 4 Easy Ways You Can Help Next Week

October 9, 2015

yard signsCheck out many ways you can pitch in to support safe streets by helping the Move Seattle Levy!

TWIBBONS!

Add a “Twibbon” to your Facebook or Twitter profile picture.

Yard Signs

Place signs in your neighborhood (the best places are in areas where lots of people are going to be going by). Gordon@seattlegreenways.org can get signs to you. Be sure to take a selfie with your sign and use your greenway Twitter to tweet the photo to @letsmoveseattle!

phone bankCanvass with SNGreenways and Friends

  • Join Ballard Greenways & Connect Ballard Saturday October 10! Start at 12:00Saturday Seattle Coffee Works Ballard (2060 NW Market St, Ballard, WA 98107) ending at 2:30.
  • Join Rainier Valley Greenways Saturday October 24th 10am to 2pm at Bike Works Bike Works, 3715 S. Hudson Ave.

Do Some Phone Banking with your SNGreenways peeps

  • great streets w LevyJoin University Greenways Thursday October 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 at Cafe Allegro (4214 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). They have the upstairs meeting room reserved and we will provide some food.
  • Join Rainier Valley Greenways Tuesday October 20th, at 6:30 PM at Bike Works Bike Works, 3715 S. Hudson Ave.
  • Stay tuned for a Central Seattle Greenway phone bank being scheduled on Monday.
  • None of these times or opportunities work for you? See more Move Seattle campaign opportunities here.

10 Ways You Can Help Move Seattle For Our Kids

Safe Routes Walk HomeWe need YOU to speak for increasing funding for Safe Routes To School in the proposed $930 million transportation levy. This is our best chance to make all schools safe to walk and bike in the next nine years.

Councilmembers will discuss the Levy in Committee until June 23, when it will go to the full Council for a vote. So act quickly!

Here are 10 ways you can help get money for Safe Routes To School in the next few weeks:

  1. June 2nd: Speak for two minutes at the Public Hearing on Tuesday June 2 5:30pm. City Hall.
  2. Stand behind someone who is bravely speaking up for a Move Seattle Levy for Our Kids on Tuesday.
  3. Join the KIdical Mass Ride to City Hall on June 2 4pm at South Lake Union Park.
  4. Call individual City Councilmembers you might know (phone numbers here).
  5. Read about why we think Move Seattle For Our Kids is so important.
  6. Send email to the Council [email protected]
  7. Send snail mail (yes! this is great! especially with kids artwork)
  8. Write a blog post about Safe Routes for Kids and post it on social media listing the Council.
  9. Talk to parents at your PTSA or on the playground about taking action.
  10. Donate to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to support our outreach & advocacy work.

We’re actually pretty pleased that we’ve influenced so much investment into walking and biking safely along our corridors and in our neighborhoods in the Move Seattle Levy. We need just a little more to Move Seattle For Our Kids.

Thank you!

Seattle School Nurses Support Move Seattle For Our Kids

June 1, 2015

Click to see Anne Fote, RN testimony. Begins at 11:35.

Click to see Anne Fote, RN testimony. Begins at 11:35.

Seattle School Nurses Association voted unanimously to support additional funding for Safe Routes to School in the Move Seattle Levy. Anne Fote, RN spoke eloquently about walking to school and her experiences at Rainier Beach High School and Hamilton International Middle School in this meeting of the City Council Select Committee On Transportation Funding.

Here is Anne’s complete testimony:

My name is Anne Fote. I am a registered nurse. I currently work at Hamilton International Middle School. Previous to that I was the nurse at Rainier Beach High School.

First of all, I am pleased to let you know that the Seattle School Nurses Association voted unanimously this Tuesday on a resolution supporting an increase for Safe Routes to School funding as part of the Move Seattle Levy. I was at the meeting where we voted on this resolution. The only question we debated was whether it was right to just recommend Safe Routes to School for elementary students. Our school nurses union decided that walking to school safely is equally important for middle school and high school students — and so that is what our resolution says.

I’ll give you a copy, but let me read a bit. We want to “increase in Safe Routes to School Funding over the nine year levy period from $7 million to $38 million, and support the focus of additional money first on the City’s poorest schools, where children who live within the ‘walk zones’ without school bus service often have the fewest transportation options.”

As a health professional, I think walking is a great way to start each day. I’ve also seen walking be a great way for children to make friends. I see children getting to know each other in a healthy way as they walk to my school in the morning.

Unfortunately the walk to school is very stressful when it could be a time for learning, getting exercise, and making friends.

While I was at Rainier Beach, I was called over to evaluate a little boy who had been in a hit and run collision. The boy picked himself up and continued walking to school.  We took him in to be evaluated for concussion and internal injuries. This was a very young child, no more than 8, who was one of the many children who walked alone to South Shore Elementary in Rainier Beach.

Elementary school children walk up to a mile to school, middle school and high schoolers walk up 2 miles, often in the dark, across very busy streets and along roads without much in the way of sidewalks or lights.

A few Hamilton kids have been hit by drivers since I’ve been the nurse there. Two girls were hit by a Hamilton parent.  It is kind of a vicious circle. Parents wouldn’t be driving their kids to school if they felt the streets were safer for walking. And the streets are less safe because so many parents are driving our 55,000 Seattle Public School students to school.

We need safer streets thoughout our school walk zones, for so many good reasons. I encourage you to find funding to support this basic need to get our children to school safely.

Thank you.

Anne Fote, RN BSN Member National Association of School Nurses, School Nurse Association of Washington, Seattle School Nurses Association, and Washington Education Association

Move Seattle For Our Kids

Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
April 24, 2015
The $930 million Levy puts just $7 million toward Safe Routes to School. We can do better. Let’s use this opportunity for significant investments for our kids.
Safe Routes for Kids

If you own a house, you need to clean the gutters and occasionally replace the roof or the whole place falls down. That’s what 67% of the Move Seattle Levy is doing — basic and needed maintenance on our roads.

It’s the other 33% that gets me excited though — the greenways and safe intersections, the parklets and streateries, the Sunday Parkways and Walking School Buses, and especially the connected safe streets for our most vulnerable — our children walking to school.

 

Sign a petition to support A Transportation Levy To Move Seattle For Our Kids

 

Safe Routes for Kids Equity Map

Click map for cost estimates for Move Seattle for Kids projects

What we want to see in the Move Seattle Levy is real and complete Safe Routes to School. With a total of $7 million over nine years, there is barely enough to put a few crosswalks around each Seattle school.

We don’t have the money or the votes to invest in robust safety improvements in all School Walk Zones, but we would like the Levy to invest more in the places where families don’t have cars, where traffic violence is endemic, where many young children often have no choice but to walk alone to school.

The Move Seattle Levy proposed by Mayor Murray provides limited Safe Routes features at every Seattle school. We want to make sure these safety dollars for all schools are kept in the Levy. Our Move Seattle For Our Kids proposal seeks to add more traffic safety improvements throughout School Walk Zones in elementary schools where 50% or more students receive free or reduced cost lunch. Depending on the location of the school, extra improvements might include a package of stop signs, crosswalks, stairways, sidewalks, speed bumps, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, traffic signals, and other intersection and road improvements. How much will all of this cost? $38.41 million. Click here to see the details. Read the rest of this entry »

Move Seattle: Transportation Levy

Click here to see our 2016 priorities

What was the 2015 priority?

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways worked with our allies to make sure the Levy to Move Seattle, which replaces the expiring Bridging the Gap transportation levy, was passed so we can build safe and healthy streets for all people.
The levy represents over a third of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s budget, and funds about 80% of all the walking and biking projects in the city. We needed to pass it to…
  1. Make Progress on the Pedestrian Master Plan.
  2. Keep us on track to build half of the Bicycle Master Plan by 2024.
  3. Keep us on track to reach Vision Zero by 2030.
  4. Build a future where everyone has real choices for how to get around.

What happened?

 

Wow! Your hard work paid off! We passed the Move Seattle Levy with 58.7% of the vote! Thank you!

The future of living in Seattle suddenly seems a lot more hopeful.

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Seattle will be able to repair bridges, repave roads, and replace broken signals and signs. Important as it is to maintain the infrastructure we have, your local action helped to pass a nearly billion dollar transportation levy because you are also ready to transform Seattle streets!

Over the next nine years, we now have the funding to build half of the Bicycle Master Plan and build or repair nearly 500 blocks of sidewalks. Of special note, thanks to your efforts to highlight the importance of children being able to safely walk and bike to school, the Mayor has pledged to make safe routes to every school his first priority.

Our work as a grassroots advocacy coalition is just beginning. Now comes the fun part when we make sure streets are built to standards that transform Seattle into a leading beacon of safe and healthy streets for all.

Once again, you proved the power of neighbors who care. Thank you!

  • Together we advocated for the most progressive transportation levy in Seattle’s history.
  • Together we made safe routes to school the number one topic of discussion.
  • Together we made thousands of calls, hosted press conferences, placed scores of yard signs, doorbelled across the city, donated, spread the word on our social networks, and waved signs.
  • Together we passed a transformative levy by a strong margin.
  • Together we won funding for safer streets for all.  

Thank you!

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Move Seattle For Our Kids Campaign Recap

Earlier this year we worked to strengthen the levy proposal. Read more about our efforts below.

July 3rd, 2015

This November, voters will be asked to approve the $930 million Move Seattle Levy to replace the expiring Bridging the Gap Levy. This levy will fund more than a quarter of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) budget. Last week, Seattle City Council voted on final amendments before voting to put the levy on the ballot.

Thanks to your support, we have some big wins for Safe Routes To School. While we are disappointed the City Council did not increase funding for safe routes to school, we feel the package overall has been improved significantly for our most vulnerable people — our kids, our elders, and our transit dependent — thanks to our collective efforts.

testimony collage

Our Biggest Wins

  • Major Project Review: All major SDOT projects ($5 million +) will now be evaluated based on whether they advance the goals of the Safe Routes to School Program. This will give neighbors new opportunities to ensure big SDOT projects make it easier and safer for kids to walk and bike to school.
  • School Walk Zones: SDOT will expand the focus of the Safe Routes to School Program from a mere 300 feet from the school door, to a more realistic one mile distance that many kids need to walk or bike from. This expansion of scope is critical to make sure the city starts working towards making the entire Seattle Public School Walk Zones truly walkable and bikeable.
  • Social Justice: SDOT will first work to improve access to schools that have been historically underinvested in and have high levels of poverty: Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King, Jr., West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Wing Luke, Northgate, Van Asselt, Emerson, Concord, Rainier View, and Roxhill. These schools will receive investment “within the first three years of the levy.”
  • Increased Importance: Safe Routes to School became the most talked about issue related to the levy, garneringhighqualityearnedmediacoverage. According to city insiders, our collective efforts have elevated the issue of the safety of our children to a new level of importance in the city.
  • No Backfilling: A “no backfilling” restriction in the levy makes it difficult for the City Council to reduce the city’s general fund allocation to SDOT. This ensures the levy money will go to to increase funding for safe streets, instead of potentially replacing existing funding.
  • Commitments from other organizations: Our partners have committed to help us advocate for red light camera money to be shifted from the general fund to the SDOT budget for an intersection safety program. This is going to be a big lift, but we’re cautiously optimistic for the success of this Vision Zero program.

Missed Opportunities

  • Increased Funding: Despite our best efforts the Seattle City Council did not increase funding for Safe Routes to School at all. We had originally sought an increase of $31.41 million (to the proposed $7 million), and later were willing to compromise significantly downward. Unfortunately, the concern that this change might “unbalance” the package won out over the need to increase funding for Safe Routes to School.

Overall, we are happy that Seattle Neighborhood Greenways and YOU, our passionate coalition of people who care about safe streets, could make such a positive impact on this huge political initiative.

Thank you for being a part of it all. We hope you will continue to support safe routes to school and consider donating to Seattle Neighborhood Greenways so that we can continue to advocate for safer, healthier streets for people in Seattle.

Sincerely,

Cathy Tuttle Executive Director

family walking SR2S

 

For previous updates on our efforts see: Move Seattle For Our Kids

 

the Seattle Transportation Plan must be bold!

As you might have already heard, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is creating a new plan called the “Seattle Transportation Plan.” This plan will guide transportation planning and implementation for the next decade and beyond. It will update and combine the city’s bike, freight, pedestrian, and transit maps into one plan. It also will determine how and where people will fit onto Seattle’s streets. Learn more here. 

This plan is currently going through what is known as a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) alternatives analysis, and we need to ensure the alternatives are as strong as possible from the beginning. 

Can you take a minute to send a comment by this Friday to make sure this important plan reflects and advances our safety, equity, and climate goals? Please send them a comment today! 

 

Act Now! button

 

Working with our allies we have identified five main concerns and suggestions: 

Before moving forward with SEPA analysis for the Seattle Transportation Plan, please revise the proposed alternatives in the following way:

  1. Delete Alternative 2 which would be a failure of our necessary climate goals. Seattle must be a leader on a just transition to a sustainable future, and failing to do so by 2044 should not be studied as an option.
  2. Add a bold Alternative 4. We need a new alternative that makes bold progress in the next decade, rather than waiting for 2044. We need an alternative that rapidly makes walking, biking, and transit the most convenient, safe, and comfortable ways to get around Seattle. Let’s plan for an accessible city for all, where sidewalks and crosswalks are ubiquitous. Let’s plan for a bike friendly city where every street is safe to bike on. Let’s plan for a city where frequent transit is prioritized over the movement of cars. Let’s plan for a city where our streets are recognized as public space for play, community building, trees, gardens, cafes, and so much more! In short, let’s plan for a future that is more sustainable, equitable, safe, affordable, healthy, accessible, and thriving.
  3. Plan for an affordable 15 Minute City. Please revise the alternatives to plan for a city where everyone has an affordable home, and where daily needs are within a short walk or roll. These strategies must be developed in concert with the land use plan to be effective and equitable.
  4. Improve the “themes” used to evaluate the alternatives. Please improve the universal design theme away from app solutions and towards the needs of non-drivers and people with disabilities. Please add public space, kid-friendly, elderly-friendly, and noise pollution as new themes to better help understand the outcomes that different alternatives would create.
  5. Reduce the over-emphasis on vehicle electrification: The draft alternatives envision a large role for the City of Seattle in promoting private electric vehicles. SDOT should instead focus on what it has the most control over: prioritizing investments and street space so that walking, biking, and transit are the most convenient, safe, and comfortable ways to get around.

Can you take a minute to send a comment by this Friday to make sure this important plan reflects and advances our safety, equity, and climate goals? Please send them a comment today! Act Now! button

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 

Volunteers Clear Sidewalks and Bike Lanes in South Seattle

By Bob Svercl, co-chair of Beacon Hill Safe Streets

A selfie with a white man in a red shirt. Behind him, a row of smiling people holding tools pose on a sidewalk next to an enormous wall of blackberry bushes. Himalayan blackberries are quite delicious, but they can be quite vicious when you’re trying to ride in the rain on a trail that has been enveloped by them, their thorny vines grabbing at your rain jacket; they make for an un-fun trip. So is being forced to trek across sidewalks half-covered in vines and mud and bike lanes buried in piles of slippery wet leaves, freshly leafblown (I’ve decided that’s a word) from the nearby sidewalk.

After dealing with delays or cancellations this fall on online requests to clear these obstructions from our car-free ways of travel, a handful of neighbors decided to grab some yard tools (including those of us who don’t even have yards!), attach them to our bikes & e-bikes, and do the work ourselves.

A before image on the left shows a bike navigating a narrow pathway overgrown with high blackberries. An after photo on the right shows two people standing proudly next to a wide, cleared sidewalk bordered by a short concrete retaining wall that was previously invisible.

Volunteers from Rainier Valley Greenways-Safe Streets & Beacon Hill Safe Streets started on the sidewalk of S Orcas St on Beacon Hill next to Dearborn Park Elementary School that was built in 2017 with funds from the Move Seattle Levy. Overgrown with vines and debris, the sidewalk was half-covered and thus half-unusable. We worked our way downhill with clippers, pruning shears, and a broom to cut through and clear the blackberry vines, knotweed, and various other plants that had spilled onto the sidewalk. To our surprise, we discovered a short concrete retaining wall that had been completely hidden by overgrowth. When we finished, the sidewalk had grown to a full 12 feet of useable space.

A before image on the left shows a sidewalk and bike lane covered with piles of wet, slippery, orange leaves. An after photo on the right shows the freshly cleared bike lane and sidewalk, much more inviting and accessible. The vehicle travel lanes are leaf-free in both photos.

The next month, word spread and we were joined by others as we tackled both the protected bike lanes and sidewalks along S Columbian Way between Beacon Ave S and MLK Way, followed by a section of sidewalk along S Graham St near its intersection with MLK Way. Next we joined with Central Seattle Greenways for a group effort clearing up to three-quarters of a mile of the brand new East Union Street protected bike lanes, drains, and sidewalks in the Central District.

Group selfie of white man wearing rain jacket smiling with women and a man standing behind him holding brooms and shovels in a parking protected bike lane that is newly cleared of leaves and debris, now pushed onto the nearby planting strip. Bicycle wayfinding signs with a Neighborhood Greenway sign are behind them.

Pro tip: snow shovels are very useful for picking up piles of mushy wet leaves, as they have a similar density to snow.

One of the best parts about doing this volunteer work was that while we were clearing the sidewalks and bike lanes, we saw many people walking and biking who were immediately able to utilize the safer pathways, and some even thanked us while they passed by. It’s really fulfilling to be able to witness the positive change from your own effort in real time, and I’m appreciative of everyone who took time out of their weekends to help out with these efforts.

A group of people, including a child in a pink shirt, stand on a sidewalk gathered around a cargo bike for a coffee break. Some wear reflective safety vests and hold yard tools.

We don’t plan to clear out all of the bike lanes, sidewalks, and other pathways that people rely upon as they walk, bike, and roll around our city, as that would be an insurmountable task. But we have shown that even a small scale effort can make a big impact on others.

Editor’s Note:

SDOT has only one bike-lane sized street sweeper, and this fall it was out of commission for repairs while wet, slippery leaves accumulated in bike lanes across the city, creating dangerous conditions for people biking, particularly on steep slopes. Neighbors in South Seattle stepped up to fill the void with a series of Volunteer Neighborhood Cleanups where they cleared sidewalks and bike lanes to increase accessibility for everyone.

Thanks to your budget advocacy this fall, the 2022 Seattle City Budget will also include and increase of $800,000 for active transportation maintenance including sweeping bike lanes, as well as repainting, replacing flex posts and more. Maintaining our transportation infrastructure should be the City’s responsibility, but we’re inspired by and grateful for neighbors who step up to take ownership of their community spaces and make sure that they are safe and accessible.

Poll: Seattle voters support streets for people

Conversations about changes to Seattle’s streets can often feel contentious, but is that just because of who chooses to engage in these debates, or is Seattle truly divided? To find out, we teamed up with the Northwest Progressive Institute to compose our questions, and they contracted with Change Research to poll the public. The poll has a modeled margin of error of 4.1% at the 95% confidence interval (read more about the methodology here). The short answer is that at least when it comes to transportation issues Seattlites are surprisingly united!

A row of people on bicycles in a protected lane share the street with a King County Metrobus.In brief, we found Seattle voters…

  1. Share common values for how to shape the future of our streets
  2. Support giving space for safe routes to school, bike lanes, sidewalks, street cafes, and bus lanes even when it means removing a lane of traffic or parking
  3. Are eager to implement transformational ideas

Shared values

When planning for our transportation future, the vast majority of Seattle voters thought that our elected leaders should take into account safety, racial equity, sustainability, accessibility, affordability, convenience, kid-friendly, health, and happiness.

These values are what underpin Seattle Neighborhood Greenway’s vision and work, so seeming them shared so strongly was heartening and will help guide how we talk about what we do.

 


Support for bike lanes, sidewalks, cafe streets, and bus lanes — even when it means removing parking or travel lanes

Even when it comes to seemingly contentious transportation projects that require converting a lane or traffic or parking spaces, Seattle voters were overwhelmingly supportive. They are willing to convert travel lanes and parking lanes into more space for kids to get to school, outdoor dining, wider sidewalks, safe bike lanes, and bus lanes. This scientific polling finds that Seattle voters are in fact more united around an inclusive transportation vision, even when there are difficult tradeoffs, than parts of the public discourse would lead us to believe.

We hope this finding encourages Mayor Elect Harrell and SDOT to be bold in proposing street improvements that reflect our shared values as a city, even when it feels challenging, since they will know the public has their back.

 


Transformational ideas are popular

Overall, the public is very supportive of transformational ideas like creating pedestrian only streets, shifting the enforcement of traffic laws from SPD to SDOT, implementing a 15 Minute City vision, and creating more Home Zones and Stay Healthy Streets.
Strong support for pedestrian only streets 
The public is overwhelmingly supportive (81%) of seeing more pedestrian only shopping streets. These streets could build off the success of the city’s Cafe Streets program, which has allowed small businesses to thrive by using street space for retail, dining, and other uses. The city should create permanent policies to allow for pedestrianized small business streets, so that we can help our local economy thrive during this difficult time, and rebound after the pandemic, guided by new research of how to create successful pedestrian only streets.

 

A group of people walking down the street holding Black Lives Matter signs.

Traffic enforcement is an area of consensus for the policing debate
The public is very supportive (73%) of transferring traffic enforcement duties away from SPD and to the Seattle Department of Transportation. This would result in more equitable outcomes, because traffic stops are the #1 way the public interact with the police, which as we know can escalate with tragic deadly consequences, especially for people of color. It would also result in a more pragmatic approach, that would refocus traffic enforcement towards problem solving to keep people safe, rather than just writing tickets. Leaders at the state level should propose legislation to allow this common sense solution, so that cities can move traffic enforcement responsibilities from police departments to transportation departments. This would be a more equitable, efficient, and safe system for everyone.

 

15 Minute City graphic that shows how many different destinations you could get to quickly

Talking about 15 Minute Cities brings people together
Conversations around zoning and land use can be contentious, but the public is overwhelmingly supportive (81%) of adding more housing, retail, and neighborhood amenities to make it so that people can walk to their daily needs in fifteen minutes or less. Our ask: This 15 Minute City concept could bring people together around a shared vision for how we should grow as a city, and should be used as a foundation for updating the city’s zoning and land use plan (called the Comprehensive Master Plan).

 

Stay Healthy Streets and Home Zones remain popular
The poll found that 67% of people support efforts like Stay Healthy Streets and Home Zones that limit traffic on neighborhood streets to local access only. These two pilot programs have been a lifeline during the pandemic, and they have also been a successful experiment showing the way towards a better future. The Seattle City Council is working to add funding to the Home Zone program for next year, which is a cost-effective way to make neighborhoods, especially those without sidewalks, a safer and more comfortable place to walk. Outgoing Mayor Durkan promised at least 20 miles of permanent Stay Healthy Street, a promise which Mayor-elect Harrell has said he will expand upon. We laid out a vision for how the Stay Healthy Street program can better serve all Seattlites.  

 

A School Streets graphic showing figures walking, rolling, biking, delivering goods, and a school bus.

School Streets need to demonstrate their benefit better
While safe routes to school projects in general are wildly popular (84% in the tradeoff question), the School Streets pilot that allows schools to close their adjacent streets to create a safer and more orderly way for kids to walk, bike, and bus only got 55% support. Participating schools report that this has calmed what can be a hectic and dangerous time around the start and end to the school day, but these stories have not yet been widely reported. We think that with more public education of the benefits of this SDOT pilot program, the public would be even more supportive.

 

A sidewalk made impassible by tree roots and crumbling pavement.

Sidewalk repair

Did you know that repairing sidewalks are the responsibility of the adjacent property owner? Many people do not, and there is little help or incentive for them to do so. There are 150,000 known sidewalk hazards, which can be dangerous and completely block access for folks walking and rolling.
The City of Seattle recently conducted an audit on current sidewalk repair policies and programs and recommended the Oakland buy/sell/repair ordinance which requires property owners to bring sidewalks into compliance before a property is sold. Oakland reported a 65% increase in sidewalk repairs after this was implemented. To do this equitably the city would need to set up a revolving fund to give property owners access to funds before the sale goes through to make the repair, and to subsidize low income land owners. This would essentially function like a capital gains tax on property sales, that would capture some of the skyrocketing wealth created by owning land.
A better long term solution would be for the State Legislature to give Seattle more options for progressive taxation to fully fund the city run sidewalk repair program, but in the meantime Seattle should do what it can to make our sidewalks more accessible. We understand why on its face this idea is less popular (45% support, 8% unsure) than the others we polled about, but we think that when all of this is explained it will be seen as a progressive and pragmatic temporary solution, while we wait on Olympia to deliver better revenue options to fully fund a City of Seattle run program.
In summary, Seattle voters…
  1. Share common values for how to shape the future of our streets
  2. Support giving space for safe routes to school, bike lanes, sidewalks, street cafes, and bus lanes even when it means removing a lane of traffic or parking
  3. Are eager to implement transformational ideas

These ideas are widely popular, and passionately supported

Big Wins from the 2022 Seattle City Budget

12 Big Wins for the 2022 Seattle City Budget!

Advocates like you across Seattle have rallied allies, given public comment, and written to elected officials to push for a city budget that aligns with our values and priorities. On Nov 22, City Council finalized the 2022 Seattle City Budget. And it includes substantial gains, including tripling the budget for Vision Zero — Seattle’s goal to have zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2030 — which has been chronically underfunded.

Street Safety:

1. Vision Zero: $5.1 million increase for Vision Zero street safety projects in 2022, via ongoing vehicle licensing fees and a new increase in the commercial parking tax championed by Councilmember Lewis. This increase nearly TRIPLES the current Vision Zero budget.

2. Home Zones: $1 million for this low-cost solution for traffic-calmed neighborhood streets championed by Councilmember Morales.

3. New sidewalks in District 2: $2 million for sidewalks accessing the IDIC Filipino Senior & Family Services Center, Rainier View Elementary School, and other locations in D2  championed by Councilmember Morales.

4. Maintenance: $1.5 million for sidewalk repair and curb ramps, and $800,000 for active transportation maintenance including sweeping bike lanes, planter box maintenance, replacing flex posts, and more, included in Mayor Durkan’s proposed budget.

5. NE 45th Street crossing of Interstate 5: $150,000 for this vital connection, in addition to the funding last year, which has not been used due to delays. Championed by Councilmember Pedersen.

6. MLK Jr Way Safety: A request that SDOT draft a plan and cost estimate to make this high crash corridor where 8 people have been killed in the last 2 years safer for people walking, biking, and accessing transit. This report, requested by Councilmember Morales, will be returned in September, 2022 in time for next year’s budget deliberations.

Public Space for People:

7. Lake Washington Boulevard: $200,000 for equitable outreach and permanent design for this beautiful public park space for people championed by Councilmember Morales.

8. Ballard Ave NW: $270,000 for designing permanent pedestrian and streetscape improvements, building on the successful temporary Cafe Street, championed by Councilmember Strauss.

Policing and Traffic Enforcement:

9. Parking Enforcement: 120 full-time positions moved from the police department to the department of transportation, which will now be conducted by un-armed city employees and governed by SDOT’s values and goals.

10. Data Collection: A request that SDOT analyze what it would take to collect street safety and crash data in order to move this work away from the Seattle Police Department. This report, championed by Councilmember Morales, will be returned by Sept, 2022 in time for next year’s budget deliberations.

Ongoing Planning:

11. Transportation Equity Workgroup: $1 million in continued funding for this important workgroup that has just released their initial Transportation Equity Framework.

12. Seattle Transportation Plan: A proviso on the $2.5 million funding this long-term, multimodal planning effort will allow Council and the public an opportunity to see plans and provide comment, and ensure that our values and priorities are incorporated. This opportunity, championed by Councilmember González, will open up this opaque process and have huge impacts on our abilities to make streets safer.

Click here to thank the City Council for doing the right thing, and get involved in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways by volunteering with us or donating to support our work.

What’s Next:

Read more about what this means and what’s next for Vision Zero, Home Zones, Lake Washington Boulevard, and Traffic Enforcement.

Vision Zero

This past weekend, we remembered and honored the 30 people who have been killed by speeding vehicles so far in 2021, including 5 people killed just in the last month. In 2015, the City of Seattle committed to Vision Zero — the goal to have zero traffic deaths or serious injuries on city streets by 2030 — but those numbers have been increasing, due in part to the program being chronically underfunded.

Advocates like you successfully increased the budget for Vision Zero street safety projects by $5.1 million via vehicle licensing fees and a commercial parking tax increase. Rather than a one-time increase, this revenue is ongoing, and will continue to fund street safety year after year.

The Vision Zero budget has strong safety and equity filters, so this funding makes a real difference to the streets and intersections where it’s needed most. Big-scale street re-designs make the most impact on safety, but small safety infrastructure like new sidewalks and crossings, traffic signals that give pedestrians a head start at intersections, protected left turns for vehicles, pedestrian refuge islands, and protected bike lanes can make our streets significantly safer for a fraction of the cost.

Home Zones

Home Zone is a low-cost, holistic plan that pushes through-traffic to surrounding arterials and traffic-calms a whole neighborhood of residential streets at once. After SNG and neighborhood organizers worked on a successful DIY Home Zone in Licton Springs, City Council adopted an official pilot of the program in 2019.

This program has been plagued by projects that are only partially completed and funding that has dried up, and people are demoralized. Councilmember Morales, advocating for her constituents in Holly Park and Rainier Beach that have been clamoring for a Home Zone since the program was paused due to Covid-related budget cuts last year, initially proposed an increase of $3.7 million. This number was cut down through the rebalancing process, but we will continue to advocate for increased funding so that we can fulfil promises and make real changes to neighborhoods desperate to calm speeding cut-through traffic.

Lake Washington Boulevard

In the summer of 2020, three miles of Lake Washington Boulevard, from Mt. Baker Park to Seward Park, closed to vehicle through-traffic and opened to people walking, running, rolling, and riding bikes. It was a wild success. During intermittent openings since, SDOT’s survey of nearly 7,000 people found that 65% supported keeping the street open to people all the time (not just on weekends) including a majority of 98118 residents, and respondents who identified as BIPOC.

In 2022, the City will conduct equitable community engagement that will create a design for permanent improvements to Lake Washington Boulevard.

And, SDOT just announced that Lake Washington Boulevard will open again this weekend, from November 25 – 28. If you get outside and enjoy it, share a photo and tag us on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), use #AccessLWB, or email [email protected]. You can also join our volunteer workgroup to help create an Accessible Lake Washington Boulevard by emailing [email protected]

Policing

Although changes to the police department budget were not as dramatic as some might have hoped, the Solidarity Budget coalition (which SNG endorsed and collaborated with) did win many improvements (read the press release here). Despite promises nationwide after protests in the summer of 2020, Seattle will be the only major city in the country that divested from policing two years in a row, allowing investment in community health and well-being.

The biggest change came from permanently moving parking enforcement from the police department into the department of transportation. Parking enforcement will now be conducted by un-armed city employees and governed by SDOT’s values and goals. Seattle also took the first tentative step towards moving street safety and crash data collection into SDOT as well, as recommended by our Whose Streets? Our Streets! Workgroup.

Recent polling shows that traffic enforcement is an area of wide public consensus for the movement to divest from policing. The public is very supportive (73%) of transferring traffic enforcement duties away from SPD and to SDOT. This is a common sense solution that would both result in more equitable outcomes (traffic stops are the #1 way the public interact with the police, which as we know can escalate with deadly consequences) and result in a more pragmatic approach to traffic safety that will save lives and keep people moving safely. Our Whose Streets? Our Streets! Workgroup is continuing this advocacy.

As we celebrate these hard-fought wins, we also look ahead to the coming year, and continue to push for the #SolidarityBudget that would divest from policing and invest in community health and safety, including safe streets and thriving, walkable communities. We thank you for your tireless energy in helping to make it happen. You are making a difference!

Click here to thank the City Council for doing the right thing, and get involved in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways by volunteering with us or donating to support our work.

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 

Clara Cantor
she/her

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

 

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