It's Back to School season! How are the kids in your life getting to and from school?
Did you know that 58% of students in the Seattle Public Schools District live within the school walk zone and are not served by school bus routes, yet only 30% of them walk and bike? Particularly in schools with dangerous streets nearby, many parents who have the means to do so make the decision to drive their kids to school every day. The increase in vehicle traffic around the school leaves those kids who do not have the option, disproportionately low-income kids and people of color, in even more dangerous conditions. Here at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, we believe that every child deserves to be able to walk or bike to school safely and comfortably. If that's your take too, we invite you to join our Safe Routes to School campaign! Click here to send a note to your elected leaders in support of Safe Routes to School, and keep updated on the citywide campaign!
This year, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is working to address some systemic problems with both the Seattle Public Schools District and the Seattle Dept. of Transportation, including policies and processes in school planning, lack of communication, insufficient staff, and lack of funding. We're also building relationships with 10 focus schools: Bailey Gatzert Elem., John Rogers Elem., Lafayette Elem., Sacajawea Elem., West Woodland Elem., Wing Luke Elem., Mercer International Middle, Franklin High, Rainier Beach High, and Roosevelt High. We're listening to school communities and learning what's needed, what's working and what isn't. If you'd like to hear more or get involved in engagement with one of these school communities, email Clara@SeattleGreenways.org.
Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, the Move All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, of which Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a part, included Safe Routes to School funding in the MASS Transportation Package. If it passes through City Council, we will have funding for an Active Transportation Coordinator to manage several currently ignored programs and processes, including the walking and biking school bus program and the School Crossing Guard program, which currently has vacant positions at one in three schools.
We Need You!
- Sign up here to receive updates on the campaign.
- Share information with families and community members at your children's school. Check out this one-pager.
- Support funding for Safe Routes to School in the City of Seattle budget by sending an email to the Seattle City Council. Use this form to support the MASS Coalition asks, or draft your own email to email@example.com.
- Send an email to your School Board Director highlighting transportation as an issue and Safe Routes to School as a solution. Find your director here. Several of the School Board Directors are up for re-election this fall -- email candidates and attend forums to make sure that candidates know that you care about making sure kids are safe when walking and biking to school.
- Spread the word about vacant School Crossing Guard positions in your neighborhood. These positions are paid, neighborhood-based, green jobs, perfect for those seeking local, part-time work.
Thank you for your advocacy! Be well, Clara