200 Silhouettes Posted in Seattle as a Memorial to People Killed in Car Crashes

WDR 2023 Sign on 35th Ave SW & SW Hudson St

Earlier this week we distributed over 200 orange silhouettes around Seattle to mark locations where car collisions have killed people since 2015. The installation is part of The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR), an international event on Sunday, November 19th that brings attention to the millions of people who have been killed and seriously injured on roads around the world and the impact these deaths have on our communities.

In 2015, the City of Seattle adopted Vision Zero as a goal and a program to eliminate deaths and serious injuries for all road users by 2030. Unfortunately, that goal continues to be out of reach with the city seeing nearly 30 deaths and 180 serious injuries every year, and 2023 is on track to be one of the deadliest years on record.

SNG Volunteer Positing WDR Sign in West Seattle

“While there are multiple factors that are leading to this increase in crashes, street design plays a major role. 80% of pedestrian fatalities occur on streets with more than one travel lane in each direction — our wide, busy streets where people feel comfortable driving fast. Meanwhile, 80% of people biking are killed on streets without bike lanes,” said Gordon Padelford, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Executive Director. “The good news is that as we’ve seen in cities around the world reducing deaths by car collisions is possible. The most important thing local governments, including Seattle, can do is to redesign our streets with safety as the priority. In doing so we can ensure everyone can make it home safely to their loved ones whether they’re driving, walking, or riding a bike on our streets.”

2024 is an important opportunity for Seattle to focus on safety for its streets. The Seattle Department of Transportation released its Seattle Transportation plan earlier this fall which will guide how the city goes about planning for its transportation network for the next decade and beyond. The initial draft lacks the commitment to redesign our most dangerous streets — Aurora Ave N, MLK Way S, 4th Ave S (SODO), and Lake City Way.

WDR 2023 Sign on Aurora Ave N

“The Seattle Transportation Plan and the next transportation levy must make major safety improvements on our most dangerous streets if we are going to have any hope to reach our city’s Vision Zero goal,” said Clara Cantor, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Community Organizer. “People in Seattle have said again and again through polling and surveys that they want a safe transportation system where everyone gets home safely. It is time for the city to do something about it.”

To bring awareness to this issue events are being hosted at the following locations.

Friday, November 17, 2023
SODO - SODO Link Station Station
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Saturday, November 18, 2023
Aurora Avenue - Aurora Ave and N 84th Street
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Information about the installation

Photos of the Silhouettes

Live updates via X/Twitter

Map of all collisions resulting in deaths on Seattle Streets since 2015