Category Archive: Uncategorized

2021 Racial Equity Update & Opportunities

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways embraces the powerful idea that mobility — the ability to get to the goods, services, and opportunities of daily life, safely, comfortably, affordably — is a basic human right.  Yet we know that access to safe, healthy mobility is not equally shared in Seattle. Quite the contrary. In so many aspects of people’s daily life here — where we can afford to live, our ability to own or drive a private vehicle, how far we need to travel to get to work or to the nearest grocery store, how safe we are when walking, rolling, or crossing the street, and how we are viewed by police officers on our streets — race and racism play a huge role in determining our ability to get to where we need to go.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways works to make every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live — for people of all ages, languages, races, ethnicities, genders, and abilities. Achieving this vision requires changing the underlying systems that create race-based disparities in our city and starts with creating a movement that welcomes, supports, uplifts, and celebrates people of color at every level, and centers and amplifies the voices of those currently furthest from justice.

In 2018, we began work on a racial equity action plan that aligned with and added onto every part of our strategic action plan and theory of change. After three years, we’ve now updated our Racial Equity Action Plan for 2021-2024 to strengthen our goals and accountability.

Also new this year are two exciting scholarship funds:

  • Sponsorship for all volunteers to attend equity-focused workshops and training.
  • Sponsorship for BIPOC community members to attend continuing education workshops and training within transportation, urban design, and public space fields. This fund is open to people of color whether or not they are active volunteers within our coalition.

Find out more about our Racial Equity Action Plan here, or get involved in your local Greenways group today!

We are also gathering enthusiastic folks together for an ongoing racial equity workgroup to help us plan events, workshops, and programs. If you are interested, please contact: [email protected]

Last but not least, please SAVE THE DATE for our annual internal racial equity workshop: Thursday, Sep 9th, 2021 – more details to come!

Candidate Forums on Transportation, Equity, and the Environment

In June, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, and allies hosted two candidate forums focusing on transportation, equity, and the environment, both moderated by Erica C. Barnett.

See the recordings and transcripts below to learn more about candidates positions on key issues, and remember to vote! The primary election is August 3, 2021, so look out for ballots in the mail by mid July.

The first forum educated voters about candidates for Mayor of Seattle Jessyn Farrell, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, Andrew Grant Houston and Lance Randall. Colleen Echohawk and Casey Sixkiller were unable to attend.

Check out the recording here, or read the event transcript or event coverage from The Urbanist.

 

In the second forum, we heard from candidates for Seattle City Council Position 9 Nikkita Oliver, Brianna Thomas, and Sara Nelson.

Check out the recording here, or read the event transcript.

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Thank you to all the co-sponsoring organizations: the MASS Coalition, 350 Seattle Action, Cascade Bicycle Club, Disability Rights Washington, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle Subway, Sunrise Seattle, Transportation Choices Coalition, Transit Riders Union, and the Urbanist.

Remember to register to vote online by July 26, or in person by election day, August 3. Check the mail for your ballots starting in mid-July for the primary election, and deposit your ballot in the mail (no postage required) or in an official drop box by 8 pm on August 3, 2021.

Summer 2021 VIP Tours

You’re Invited!

This Summer, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is hosting three exciting tours to show you the innovative and important projects happening all around the city — and you’re invited! Two tours will be on bike, and one on foot. All will be led by SNG’s Executive Director, Gordon Padelford, and will end at a Cafe Street where SNG will host a round of snacks at an outdoor table, and you’ll have time to chat with other people who share your passion for people-focused streets. RSVP to one, two, or all three by emailing: [email protected]

Bike Tour of North Seattle Projects

What: Tour exciting SNG advocacy projects in North Seattle by bike, led by SNG’s Executive Director. Our stops will include Outdoors On The Ave, U District light rail access, Stay Healthy Streets in dense neighborhoods, the new NE 65th protected bike lanes and Green Lake protected bike lanes, Aurora Reimagined for Vision Zero and safer sidewalks, the well-used 1st Ave Stay Healthy Streets, some Safe Routes to School improvements we’re proud of, the 17th Ave Stay Healthy Street, and the Ballard Ave Cafe Street. WOW!

When: July 20th, 5:30 – 7:00pm

Where: Starting at The Ave Cafe Street in the U District. Biking 9 miles slowly and stopping at key sites. Ending at the Ballard Ave Cafe Street. Join for as much or as little as you want! 

RSVP: Email [email protected]


Walking Tour of a 15-Minute Neighborhood

What: Tour exemplary projects with SNG’s Executive Director. We’ll stop and talk about pedestrian-only streets, Stay Healthy Streets, traffic enforcement and racial justice, Cafe Streets, pedestrian-only districts (Superblocks), 15-Minute Cities, the Madison Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, Pavement to Parks, signal timing, sidewalk repair, and the Melrose Promenade!

When: July 22nd, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Where: Starting at Capitol Hill Station Plaza. Walking 1.2 miles slowly (one hill). Ending at the Melrose Promenade. Join for as much or as little as you want!

RSVP: Email [email protected]


Bike Tour of South Seattle Projects

What: Tour important SNG projects in South Seattle by bike, led by SNG’s Executive Director. Stops will include the new Jose Rizal Bridge protected bike lanes and the Beacon Ave Trail project, the 18th Ave S Stay Healthy Street, Judkins Park Light Rail Station access issues; 25th Ave Stay Healthy Street; MLK protected bike lanes, Lake Washington Boulevard Keep Moving Street, Rainier Ave Vision Zero safety issues and improvements, racial equity and traffic enforcement, and the collaborative Columbia City Cafe Street! WOW — rare opportunity, not to be missed!

When: July 24th, 10:30am – noon

Where: Starting at the Jose Rizal Bridge and I-90 trail. Biking 8.5 miles, mostly flat, slowly, and stopping at key sites. Ending in Columbia City. Join for as much or as little as you want!

RSVP: Email [email protected]

Don’t forget to RSVP by emailing [email protected]

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10 Big Ideas for Seattle’s Next Mayor

Running for office in Seattle this year? Looking to be informed during candidate debates? Download our 10 Ideas for Seattle’s Next Mayor PDF cheat sheet

Our Streets Shape Our Lives, and Our Mayor Shapes our Streets

The Moment & Opportunity 

The next mayor of Seattle will face overlapping challenges around affordability, climate change, equity, health, safety, and more. How we shape our streets and transportation system can make a difference in all of these areas. One quarter of Seattle’s total land is dedicated to streets, and the mayor has wide powers to shape how these spaces are designed to meet our goals as a city. Mayors around the world are rediscovering the public space potential of streets and moving quickly to transform their streets for people. Just last year New York converted 8,550 parking spaces, Oakland created 74 miles of Stay Healthy Streets, and Lisbon doubled its bike network. What will Seattle’s next mayor do?   

How these issues connect to values voters care about
  • Accessibility: People with disabilities deserve equal access to our city (26,000 people in Seattle use a mobility aid), but right now there are too many barriers (156,000 sidewalk maintenance issues, 66% of arterials lack crosswalks, thousands are missing curb ramps, and more). People with disabilities are significantly more likely to be getting around without driving, and to be killed in traffic collisions.
  • Affordability: Transportation is the second biggest household cost after housing. Today, half of all trips in Seattle are under 3 miles, an easy walking and biking distance. We can make Seattle more affordable by making it so that everyone who wants to can accomplish half of their trips on foot or by bike. 
  • Community: Streets designed for people to interact and share space can literally bring together neighbors who have never met, and build stronger community ties. 
  • Economic Prosperity: Encouraging people to shop local by walking and biking helps keep wealth in communities and create more local jobs.
  • Equity & Justice: Black Seattlies are most likely to die in traffic collisions and also face the brunt of an ineffective traffic enforcement system. We can fix this.
  • Health: Incorporating more walking into our daily lives helps keep people healthy, without having to set aside separate time to go to the gym. 
  • Happiness / Quality of Life: People who get to walk and bike regularly are happier and report a higher quality of life. 
  • Kids & Seniors: Seattle’s streets are not designed so that kids can easily and safely go to school, parks, and friends houses; or so that elders can age gracefully in place, but they could be. 
  • Safety: According to the CDC “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the first three decades of Americans’ lives.” Seattle averages 150 life-altering injuries each year and 20 deaths, heavily concentrated in SE Seattle’s District 2, and these numbers are increasing. We can, and must, make our streets safe to travel on for everyone.

10 Big Ideas For Seattle’s Next Mayor

1. Make Every Street Walkable: Everyone deserves a safe place to walk and roll, but right now we’re on a 300+ year timeline to make that a reality. The next mayor needs to find additional funding for sidewalks on arterial streets and transit routes like Aurora Ave, and implement five cost-effective Home Zones each year for non-arterial streets.  

 

2. Connect Every Neighborhood by Bike: We need a network of connected, comfortable, safe, and convenient bike routes so people can bike to where they need to go. The next mayor needs to find the funding and political fortitude to make the Citywide Network of the Bicycle Master Plan a reality. Read more

 

3. Renew the Move Seattle Levy: Seattle’s next mayor must find supplemental sources of funding to deliver on the promises made to voters in the Move Seattle Levy, and build towards a transformational renewal proposal in 2024. 

 

4. Make Seattle a 15-Minute City: Everyone should have access to their daily needs within a short walk. The next mayor should make this a central organizing principle of the Comprehensive Master Plan update. Read more.

 

5. Make Stay Healthy Streets & Keep Moving Streets Permanent: These streets have been wildly popular by simply allowing people to safely walk, bike, roll, run, and play in the street. The next mayor should make Stay Healthy Streets the new standard for all neighborhood greenways, continue nimble project delivery, and direct SDOT to co-design permanent improvements for the Keep Moving Streets on Alki Point, Green Lake, and Lake Washington Boulevard. Read more

 

6. Boost Business via Cafe Streets: Cafe Streets are good for public health, small businesses, and our quality of life. The next mayor should make this program permanent in an accessible, safe, collaborative, equitable, and bold way. Read more

 

7. Get Vision Zero Back on Track: Everyone should be able to safely get to where they need to go, but every year 150 people suffer life altering injuries and 20 are killed — and the trends are getting worse. The next mayor should double the Vision Zero budget through the Vehicle Licensing Fee (VLF) to build more safety projects, and help SDOT evolve beyond the antiquated and car-centric “Level Of Service”

 

Traffic Stops Must Stop Leading to Black Deaths

8. Make Traffic Enforcement Equitable: Similar to the push to remove police from mental health response calls, there is a growing professional consensus that police traffic stops are an ineffective and inequitable way to address  traffic safety issues. The next mayor should remove police from traffic enforcement and redirect the resources to road redesigns, automated enforcement, and problem-solving focused enforcement by SDOT employees; and community health, safety, and resilience programs. Read more

 

A sidewalk made impassible by tree roots and crumbling pavement.

9. Repair Sidewalks: Our sidewalks should be safe and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. But right now there are 156,000 known sidewalk maintenance issues, making the sidewalk network we do have increasingly inaccessible to people with disabilities, the elderly, and parents pushing strollers. The next mayor should allocate funding from the VLF, and implement a point of sale sidewalk repair ordinance. 

 

A huge crowd of people stand outside City Hall at the Ride 4 Safe Streets.

10. Be Bold: The next mayor has the power to boldly re-shape our streets to make our city healthier, safer, happier, more just, sustainable, and prosperous. Strong direction from the top matters to make change, especially when it’s controversial. Today’s transformational challenges call for a transformational leader

Michael Colmant Memorial Ride & Walk

Michael ColmantMichael Colmant was passionate about swimming, running, cycling, and aviation. He was a dedicated colleague at King County International Airport, helping to lift up people of color in his profession. He was a loving father and caring friend.

On April 11, 2021, Michael, 63, was hit and killed by a driver while biking. The driver fled the scene and is still at large. They were driving a Silver 2000 Lincoln LS plate # BKU 0853. Anyone with a tip about the hit-and-run is encouraged to call SPD’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206.233.5000.

A large crowd of people on a grassy slope. Many wear helmets or sit next to bicycles.

On Saturday, May 15, 2021, 160 people gathered on a grassy slope on Seward Park Ave to commemorate Michael Colmant’s life.

The group arrived from two directions: walking together from Seward Park in the north and from the south, biking together from Be’er Sheva Park. The two streams of people congregated together across the street from the ghost bike adorned with flowers and photos which marks the spot where Michael was killed. The crowd was surrounded by parked bikes, trikes, cargo bikes, and trailers, some with signs reading “Safe Streets for the South End,” “Michael Should Be Here,” and “It could have been any of us.”

Walk and Ride

Following the tragic crash last month, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways connected with Michael’s daughter, Sydney, and organized the memorial, walk, and ride, in collaboration with Vanessa Chin, Michael’s friend and colleague, with additional support from Bike Works and Cascade Bicycle Club.

Vanessa Chin speaks into a microphone in a grassy space. A group of people stand and sit somberly behind her.

Many colleagues and friends stood up to speak to those assembled, describing Michael as someone who consistently worked to make things better, gave his time to chat, and really listened to people. Michael’s daughter, Sydney, attended virtually from Vancouver, BC and spoke movingly about his support for her while in nursing school. You can support Michael’s family through their Go Fund Me.


A bar chart showing traffic fatalities in Seattle by District. District 2 (southeast Seattle) shows double the number of fatalities than any other district.

As requested by the family, we are also calling on the city to build safe places for people to bike in the Rainier Valley, and highlighting the fact that over the last five years SE Seattle’s District 2 has had double the number of fatalities as any other council district. In fact, Michael is the second person to be killed while riding a bike in less than a month in District 2 — Robert Miesse, 54, was killed when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike in Georgetown on March 24. Many people gathered in Georgetown for a memorial ride just 2 days before Michael Colmant was killed.

As a city, we are failing Vision Zero, the city’s goal to reduce the number of road-traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2030. The Vision Zero team is underfunded, and Seattle is way behind on goals to build protected places for people to bike. Seward Park Ave, where Michael was hit and killed, is designated for upgrading in Seattle’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. However, due to the lack of funding and political will to build a connected network of safe bike routes, this popular route for people biking is missing from all construction lists for safety upgrades.

Senator Rebecca Saldaña, wearing a pink sundress, speaks to people sitting on a large grassy slope.

We invited elected leaders to speak to how we could do more as a city to get Vision Zero back on track.

State Senator Rebecca Saldaña (pictured above in pink), who has been leading efforts at the state level to shift transportation funding from mainly focusing on highway expansion to a more holistic approach spoke to the need to shift priorities.

King County Executive Dow Constantine spoke about Mike as a colleague and also spoke to the need to make safer streets.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay couldn’t be there but sent a statement that was read:

“Dear Mike,

My heart is with you and your whole family. Thank you so much for all your years of dedication to public service. Even in your passing, you are committing everyone around you to the public good as we all come together and work to keep our pedestrians and cyclists safe on our streets, especially in South Seattle.

Rest in Peace, Mike.”

 

Tammy MoralesSeattle Councilmember Tammy Morales, District 2, Seattle City Council also could not make it, but sent a statement saying:

“I watch my kids bike to their friends and hope that they will return unscathed. But we need more than hopeful wishes, we need action. In Michael’s honor, for those that continue to push for safety, and for those who watch as their loved ones move across this City, I am committed to protection for all ages and abilities in Southeast Seattle and District 2.”

 

 

Dongho Chang

Finally, Dongho Chang, Seattle’s Chief Traffic Engineer, spoke about the importance of holding the City accountable to making progress on Vision Zero. And that’s exactly what we intend to do.

We must do more to prevent tragedies like this. Increased funding for Vision Zero would allow the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to increase safety for more of our most dangerous streets in the Rainier Valley and citywide. Increased funding for our Bicycle Master Plan would allow SDOT to build the first comfortable, efficient, connected route into and through SE Seattle, connecting the Rainier Valley to downtown and the rest of the city.

Ultimately, this isn’t about statistics. Each number is a person like Michael, who meant so much to so many, and each loss is felt acutely by family, friends, and community. We must do better. This fall the Seattle City Council has the option to double the Vision Zero budget. We hope you will join us or stay involved in this fight for safer streets for all. Thank you.

 

A crowd of people with bicycles. A bike in the center has a baby seat and a sign that reads "Safe Streets for the South End."

 

Update on $80 million funding debate + Saturday Memorial Walk

We recently wrote about protecting $80 million in funding for walking, biking, and transit projects from the chopping block. On Monday, the City Council voted to punt this decision to the fall budget process.

We are disappointed the City Council did not stick with the SDOT and community stakeholder proposal. That proposal would have doubled funding for Vision Zero, created the first-ever bike route maintenance fund, made hundreds of blocks of sidewalks and crosswalks accessible, created a new bus and subway plan, and repaired some bridges.

Council was initially tempted by Councilmember Pedersen’s proposal that would have bonded all the funding to partially pay for bridge projects, even though SDOT itself said they do not have shovel-ready bridge projects for this relatively small amount of funding. But, thanks to advocates like you, they instead asked for more analysis and will take up the issue again in the fall.

We are grateful to Councilmember Strauss, whose amendment asked for more analysis, Councilmember Morales, who spoke up strongly for Vision Zero, and Councilmember Mosqueda, who asked for more information on Vision Zero, the ADA Transition Plan, and a progress update on bike routes in the Move Seattle Levy.

Stay tuned for more opportunities to make a difference on this important source of funding.


Not doubling the Vision Zero budget, which would have allowed SDOT to create safer streets across the city, stings especially sharp this week, as we work to organize a memorial walk and ride for Michael Colmant this Saturday (details below).

Michael was biking on Seward Park Ave, a common route between Lake Washington Boulevard and the Rainier Beach neighborhood, on April 11th, when he was killed by a driver in a hit-and-run.

Michael was passionate about swimming, running, cycling, and aviation. He was a dedicated colleague at King County International Airport, helping lift up people of color in his profession. He was a loving father and caring friend. He should still be with us, and will be missed.

As requested by the family, we are also shining a light on the fact that SE Seattle’s District 2 has had double the number of fatalities as any other Council District. We must do better to reach Vision Zero. So we are hosting a memorial walk and ride this Saturday to give a voice to the family and bring attention to these safety disparities. If you’re able to, please consider attending in support.

When: This Saturday, May 15th, at 2:00pm

Where:
The ride will start at Be’er Sheva Park next to the intersection of Seward Park S and S Henderson St.
The walk will start at Seward Park, just north of the traffic circle at the park’s entrance.
Both will meet at the crash site where friends and family members will speak.

For additional information see: https://www.facebook.com/events/303311481178199

You can also support the family’s Go Fund Me. And anyone with a tip about the hit-and-run is encouraged to call SPD’s Violent Crimes Tip Line at 206.233.5000. The person was driving an older Nissan Sentra that likely has a broken windshield and a license plate similar to BKU 053.

We hope you can attend this Saturday’s memorial walk and ride for Michael Colmant.

Thank you for all that you do,

Gordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Tell the City: Public space programs should be equitable, accessible

Support a Stay Healthy Blocks program that works for people!

Seattle’s Stay Healthy Blocks is a DIY open space program that allows people to walk, roll, and play in calm neighborhood streets while remaining socially distanced. While enjoyed by many, the program is currently inequitable and extremely burdensome. Stay Healthy Block permit holders from across the city came together to write a letter asking the city to improve the program.

Click here to send an email in support of an equitable and accessible program that provides open space for people.

When Seattle rolled out the first Stay Healthy Streets in mid April, neighbors all over the city reached out, asking how to make a Stay Healthy Street in their neighborhood. The decrease in traffic was increasing speeding and other unsafe driver behaviors, and people wanted outdoor space to recreate outside of their homes and to get to essential jobs and services. But the City initially focused the program only on existing neighborhood greenways, a network of residential streets that already prioritizes people walking and biking and discourages vehicle traffic.

Last fall, SDOT launched the Stay Healthy Blocks program, in which neighbors could create their own space to walk, roll, and play in the street. We were thrilled, and heard positive feedback from people across the city. Normally reserved Seattleites texted the contact numbers listed on signs, saying, “I can’t say how much this has improved my life.”

Despite the positive reception, the City imposed restrictive rules on the second permit cycle that drastically reduced the effectiveness of the program and ensured that only those privileged with time and money can participate.

  • Limited hours cause confusion for drivers and extra labor for permit holders.
  • Sign requirements are costly.
  • Storage requirements make the program inaccessible for those living in apartments or in Seattle’s densest neighborhoods most in need of public open space.
  • Groups that forget to move signs daily have had to risk citations and fines.

These changes turned an extremely promising program into an unworkable one that only a few can enjoy.

We call on the city to improve the program so that every neighborhood can enjoy the benefits of streets that prioritize people:

  1. Allow the Stay Healthy Blocks to be in place 24/7, mitigating the need to move and store barriers.
  2. Restore all Stay Healthy Blocks applications that have not been renewed.
  3. Provide the necessary equipment to permit holders to close the blocks.
  4. Work with the residents who want to make their Stay Healthy Blocks permanent.
  5. Assist residents to start Stay Healthy Blocks, especially in areas without adequate open space.

By making these changes SDOT will allow the Stay Healthy Blocks program to flourish and grow into a program that provides safe and healthy space for people on all of our city streets.

We need a program that provides public open space where it’s most needed, not just where homeowners can afford it.

Click here tell the City to support a Stay Healthy Blocks program that works for people! 

Thank you for your continued advocacy!

 

Clara Cantor
She/her

Community Organizer
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways
Website – Twitter – Facebook

 

Join us for SNG’s Annual Volunteer Thank You Party!

Vol Party Banner Color

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’
Virtual Annual Volunteer Thank You Party!

Friday, February 5, 2021, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
RSVP HERE for Event Link

Join Seattle Neighborhood Greenways to virtually gather, celebrate what our community came together to achieve throughout 2020, and to launch our 10th Anniversary year!

Join for a moment to say hello or stay the whole time to meet new folks and catch up with old friends. There will be a brief program at 6:00 pm.

All are welcome — you don’t have to had volunteered with us before to come celebrate!

Facebook Event Page here.

RSVP HERE for Event Link

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a volunteer-powered grassroots organisation and community. We’re celebrating all of the incredible people who make our coalition and our movement the community that it is. To learn more, check out our year-end wrap up here.

GreenwaysGramSend a Greenways Gram!

It’s been a tough year, and we appreciate the people who have been there for us as individuals, as an organisation, and as a movement.

Spreading the love is easy! Text a compliment or note of appreciation to 2 people you’re grateful for within the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways movement. Follow it with this message:

💚You’ve received a Greenways Gram!! 💚Pass it along 💚For more info: tinyurl.com/y6pwsfce 💚

If you don’t have the contact info you need, contact Clara at [email protected] or 206-681-5526

Responsive, Resilient, Revolutionary: Your Impact

Thank you for supporting Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. More than ever, we need your help this year to reach our annual fundraising goal. With your help, we can keep making an impact next year. Every amount counts and we thank you in advance for including us in your year-end giving. If you haven’t donated to our end-of-year campaign yet, this is one of those years that would really make a difference.

 

You would need thousands of words to fully describe a year as difficult as 2020, but as I think about Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, looking back on our work together this year, three surprisingly positive words keep coming to mind: responsive, resilient, and revolutionary.

Responsive, because after the pandemic hit, we paused, talked to our grassroots network and the public about what they were experiencing, and retooled our entire work plan to respond to community needs.

In the earliest days of the coronavirus spread, we heard people clamoring for space to get outside and safely walk, bike, run, and get to essential services. With crowded sidewalks and parks, people felt like they had nowhere to go where there was enough space to socially distance. So we developed a community-sourced plan to respond to emerging needs, incorporating suggestions from our partners and residents citywide.

  • The City of Seattle was inspired by our plan and has implemented 26 miles of Stay Healthy Streets and Keep Moving Streets so far. While not perfect, these streets have made a positive difference in our neighborhoods, and helped keep people healthy. That’s why Seattle became the first city in the nation to pledge to make 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent.
  • The City has rolled out another piece of our plan: creating a new program to allow small businesses to expand into the street for socially-distanced outdoor seating and retail. More than 100 businesses have already applied for these permits, allowing them to safely serve their customers outside and keep paying their employees.
  • In response to the murder of George Floyd and other people of color at the hands of police, we have embarked on an effort to not only rethink laws like “jaywalking” that are disproportionately enforced, but to reimagine traffic law enforcement itself. We convened Whose Streets? Our Streets!, a group of talented people of color with insights into transportation justice, who have been charting an equitable way to keep everyone safe on our streets.

 

Resilient, because despite the challenges of the pandemic, our network of 15 neighborhood groups has continued to stay active and organize for change across the city.

It has been a tough year, but because of supporters like you we have made significant progress.

I’m always amazed by the determination and energy of our volunteers, but this year I’ve been blown away. Our staff and volunteers have stepped up to support the communities we serve in amazing ways this year, from delivering food bank supplies by bike, to educating neighbors about safe places to walk and bike, to working to fix unjust systems, to building signs that neighbors can use to close their streets to cars. I have been in awe of the passion, energy, and fortitude displayed by so many of you who are determined to make our city a better place — thank you. Here a few numbers that demonstrate this remarkable resilience:

  • 1,598 new members joined SNG, just in the second half of 2020!
  • 2,179 advocacy messages were sent to elected officials.
  • 4,500 flyers were distributed, reaching every home along the Stay Healthy Streets.
  • 4 amazing videos produced to tell stories of resilience during the pandemic.
  • $43,000 raised at our annual event, Streets For People, getting us very close to our end-of-year fundraising goal. Can you help us finish the year strong?

 

Revolutionary, because few could have imagined at the beginning of the year we would have 26 miles of open streets for people — and that’s just the start of what gives me hope that big change is still possible.

No one could have predicted the sudden transformation we all witnessed on Seattle streets this year, with 26 miles of safe routes where people can walk, bike, run, roll, and play, and cars are only guests. 26 miles where our values of health, sustainability, and equity are manifest. 26 miles that show us daily life in Seattle can be radically different, quickly and cheaply. And in a dark and difficult year, this progress gives me hope for the future. Here are three more areas of progress that give me hope for the future:

  • $17 million for walking and biking projects: Despite a difficult year for the city budget, we worked with our allies to save millions of dollars for Safe Routes to School, the Georgetown to South Park Trail, sidewalk repairs, South End bike routes, safe routes to transit, and the Duwamish Longhouse crosswalk and trail. This budget victory gives me hope that Seattle will see the value of investing in a green and just recovery that puts people to work in good jobs and makes our communities safer and more convenient to get around in.
  • 200 miles of safer speeds & 150 safer intersections: Seattle rolled out safer speed limit signs on 200 miles of arterial streets, with the default limit now being 25 MPH. 150 intersections were upgraded with traffic lights that give people walking and rolling a head start to get into the intersection, which helps prevent collisions. These improvements give me hope that the city is making gradual progress towards our Vision Zero goal of zero serious injuries or fatalities on our streets.
  • The Basic Bike Network nears completion: With the construction of protected bike lanes on Bell St and part of 4th Ave, we are close to completing our vision for a downtown bike network that connects people to where they need to go. Gaps remain, but the progress makes me hopeful that when more people return to commuting downtown, many will choose to bike instead of drive because of the connections we are building.

 

In the end, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways isn’t really about sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, or trails. We’re about people. We’re about supporting people in one of the most fundamental of daily activities — getting from one place to another, safely, comfortably, conveniently. And despite all that has happened, we have achieved so much together this year thanks to your support.

We have nimbly responded to community needs, and proven that our network of neighborhood advocates is resilient and able to deliver revolutionary results even in difficult times. If you agree that we have contributed to creating a city that is healthier, safer, more equitable, and more sustainable, I hope we can count on you to chip in financially as you are able to, so we can continue to make progress in 2021.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Gordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gordon helping post Stay Healthy Street survey flyers. 

2020 Year In Review – Three Words to Describe Our Movement

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A letter from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Director Gordon Padelford

You would need thousands of words to fully describe a year as difficult  as 2020, but as I reflect on Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, looking back on our work together this year, three surprisingly positive words keep coming to mind: responsive, resilient, and revolutionary

Responsive, because after the pandemic hit, we paused, talked to our grassroots network and the public about what they were experiencing, and retooled our entire work plan to respond to community needs. We developed a community-sourced plan to respond to emerging needs, incorporating suggestions from our partners and residents citywide. As a result of our work together, Seattle became the first city in the nation to pledge to make 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent and created a new program to allow small businesses to expand into the street for socially distanced outdoor seating and retail. In response to the murder of George Floyd and other people of color at the hands of police, we started a workgroup to completely rethink traffic law enforcement. 

Resilient, because despite the challenges of the pandemic, our network of 15 neighborhood groups has continued to stay active and organize for change across the city. I’m always amazed by the determination and energy of our volunteers, but this year I’ve been blown away. Our staff and volunteers have stepped up to support the communities we serve in amazing ways this year, from delivering food bank supplies by bike, to educating neighbors about safe places to walk and bike, to working to fix unjust systems, to building signs that neighbors can use to close their streets to cars. Here are a few stats that speak to this energy: we’ve welcomed 1,600 new active members in just the second half of 2020, sent 2,200 advocacy messages to elected officials, and distributed 4,500 outreach flyers to every home along each Stay Healthy Street. And I also want to take a moment for some key thank yous: to our phenomenal partners in the MASS Coalition; to social justice leader Aaron Dixon, for joining us for our annual racial equity seminar; to Councilmember Tammy Morales for speaking at our successful annual event, Streets For People; and to everyone else who has partnered with us this year.  

Revolutionary, because few could have imagined at the beginning of the year we would have 26 miles of open streets for people — and that’s just the start of what gives me hope that big change is still possible. We also won $17 million for walking and biking projects, and secured 300 safer intersections and 200 miles of streets at safer speeds. Plus, at last, we got Bell St and part of 4th Ave completed as part of the Basic Bike Network downtown. 

In the end, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways isn’t really about sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, or trails. We’re about people. We’re about supporting people in one of the most fundamental of daily activities — getting from one place to another, safely, comfortably, conveniently. And despite all that has happened, we have achieved so much together this year thanks to you. I hope you’ll enjoy this last newsletter of 2020, and keep us in mind for any end of year giving.

 

Sincerely,

Gordon Padelford headshot croppedGordon Padelford
Executive Director
Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

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