Be Prepared for Stormy Weekend

A storm is sweeping through Seattle this weekend. Although we don’t know exactly how strong it’ll be, we are recommending that everyone be extra cautious, and if possible avoid commuting, during this inclement weather.


If you notice a downed powerline, DO NOT touch or approach it. Please report downed wires or outages to Seattle City Light at 206-684-7400.

If you notice blocked gutters, we could use your help in clearing them of leaves and debris to keep the 80,000 storm drains throughout our city flowing smoothly. Please report flooding issues to Seattle Public Utilities at 206-386-1800.

If you are planning to go to one of our city’s many parks, you may want to make new plans. All green athletic fields in Seattle will be closed, and additional parks programs/facilities may be impacted throughout the weekend.

If you notice fallen trees or other debris blocking streets or sidewalks, contact SDOT at 206-386-1218

If you can’t avoid traveling this weekend, a few pieces of advice:

Rainy DayFirst, as wind gusts get stronger there is a strong possibility of rolling power outages including traffic signals. Please treat dark signals as all-way stops.

Second, if you’re getting around by foot or by bike, wear high visibility clothing/lights or if you’re driving, be sure to turn your headlights on.

Third, and this goes for everyone, expect traffic to move a bit slower, and don’t try to rush in the rain!

For information on planning for the winter storm season, like what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit, check out Take Winter By Storm, our multi-agency preparedness site. For the latest emergency notifications, sign up for Alert Seattle to get alerts via text, tweet, and more.


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New Curb Bulbs at Burke-Gilman Trail Pop with Colorful Design

The Burke-Gilman Trail is getting a burst of color at the once grey intersection with 40th Ave NE.

With just a bit of paint, street markings, and posts, we can create low-cost curb bulbs where data and community members tell us traffic safety is a concern. Curb bulbs are effective at reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions by increasing the visibility of vulnerable users – people walking and biking – and decreasing the distance they have to travel to get across the street.


New curb bulb at 40th Ave NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Northeast Seattle Greenways and Seattle Children’s Hospital teamed up and were winners of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways PARK(ing) Day Plus design competition in 2015 for their original design of painted curb bulbs at this location.

We then went to work to make the design permanent.

How do we decide what colors to use to really make them stand out? For this crossing, we wanted to let people in the neighborhood help decide colors and design.


We used this ballot to ask residents and trail users which design they preferred. The option with blue circles won the informal contest.


The installation started with laying down colorful thermoplastic, which we blasted with propane torches to make it stick to the concrete. Then we added new posts and signs.


Laying out and trimming the new street marking material at 40th Ave NE and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

“Bringing color and pattern to the ground plane elevates and enlivens an ordinary bit of city infrastructure,” says Kristen Ramirez, who manages public art projects for SDOT and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. One result of the new curb bulbs design, she said, is to “bring pause or wonder to people passing by. The circle pattern could evoke many ideas: ripples on water, constellations, textile patterns, and more.”

It isn’t just an artistic statement though.

Traffic engineering and safety work uses bright colors and patterns, which this project has in spades, to grab driver’s attention and communicate that there are people walking and biking. Extending the curb into the street reduces the width of the travel lanes, which causes people to slow down.

Supported by traffic studies showing that curb bulbs increase yielding to pedestrians, these improvements are one of the many tools in our Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries in Seattle by 2030.

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Brake for Bananas?

Biking or walking to school in Seattle just keeps getting better.


There are more Safe Routes to School than ever, more resources and grants for parents, more schools participating, and the cherry on top? Bananas.

Banana Brakes is our new program to help kids kick off a fruitful school year by giving students fresh fruit, reflectors, bike lights, bracelets, coloring books, and more. We also have updated biking and walking maps so parents can explore their best route to school.


So far, we’ve held Banana Brakes at:

• Whittier Elementary
• Northgate Elementary
• Sand Point Elementary
• Daniel Bagley Elementary
• Beacon Hill International

And we’re just getting started!

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Seattle Launches Safe Routes to School “Let’s Go” Program

The City of Seattle officially launched a new partnership between the City, Seattle Public Schools and Cascade Bicycle Club to provide universal pedestrian and bicycle education at every public Seattle elementary school called “Let’s Go.” The announcement was made at Madrona K-8 School in Seattle. Thanks to everyone involved for making “Let’s Go ” happen, and special thanks to Madrona K-8 students and staff for hosting the announcement and demonstrating the safety lessons they learned.

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chatting with Madron K-8 students about safety

SDOT Director Scott Kubly chats with Madrona K-8 students about biking and pedestrian safety lessons.

“Let’s Go” delivers universal walking and biking safety education training for every third, fourth and fifth grade public school student. Over the past year the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has worked with its partners to develop and pilot the program. The program will be implemented in the physical education classes at all K-5 and K-8 schools starting this fall and will continue for the next seven years.

The three-week program provides a solid foundation of skills required for students to safely walk and roll through the built environment, avoiding the most common types of collisions. Respect is a cornerstone of the program as students learn about “right of way” and how to communicate with other street and trail users. Students are also taught the importance of wearing bike helmets and having them fitted correctly.

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping

Students demonstrate following rules of the road such as properly stopping.

Cascade Bicycle Club is contracted by Seattle Public Schools to train physical education teachers, assist in the classroom with curriculum, and deliver bikes, helmets and equipment to schools for use during the three-week program. The students receive critical, real-time practice walking and biking in a safe environment so they can apply their skills under supervision.

Safe Routes to School is a core component of Seattle’s Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. For more information on Vision Zero, please visit #VisionZeroSEA

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International Walk/Bike to School Day

Today is International Walk/Bike to School Day! Students throughout Seattle are enjoying our city’s Safe Routes to School by walking and biking to school today, part of our program to promote community, healthy lifestyles, and a cleaner environment.


Here at SDOT, we developed school walk and bike maps to help you and your child determine the best route to safely walk and bike to school. These maps highlight street safety features, bicycle facilities, intersection controls, and other neighborhood destinations.


Our Safe Routes to School program is continuing to make getting to school easier for students throughout the city, and we look forward to seeing even more kids walking or biking! We even have free incentive packs of stickers, temporary tattoos, and more to encourage kids to walk and bike.


If you’d like to throw your own event celebrating Walktober, check out Feet First’s guide to getting something started at your school.

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October is Walk to School Month!

Or “Walktober,” as those in the know like to say!

Walktober is a time for kids, parents and teachers to celebrate walking to school with fun events and activities. The goals of this month are to promote walking to school safely while having fun.

Want to set up a Walk to School month at your school? Checkout Feet First’s guide to setting up a Walktober event. Or you can participate on the biggest walking day – International Walk to School Day is October 5!

SDOT is offering free incentives to help encourage more kids to try out walking to school!


We have whole assortment of goodies that include stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps. All schools and PTA groups within the Seattle city limit are welcome to request materials.

Just go to our incentives page and filling out an order form!

Incentive packages include:

  • Option A: An assortment of stickers, temporary tattoos, wrist bands, and hand stamps
  • Option B: 1,000 stickers
  • Option C: 1,000 temporary tattoos
  • Option D: 2 hand stamps
  • Option E: 1,000 wrist bands

Incentives are offered to promote walking to school as part of our Safe Routes to School Program. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the project coordinator, Serena Lehman at

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Fall Mini Grant Funding Now Open for Safe Routes to School Projects

The Seattle Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for the Safe Routes to School Mini Grants of up to $1,000 to fund projects that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety and encourage walking and biking to school. Public and private schools, PTAs, and other non-profit organizations may apply.

Mini Grants can fund a wide range of projects and programs at schools that improve conditions for walkers and bikers, educate kids on safety walking and biking behaviors, or encourage more kids to ride their bikes or walk to school. Examples of projects funded in the past include student safety patrol equipment, crossing flags, after school bike clubs, traffic circulation plans, walking school buses, bike trains, bike rodeos, and bike and walk to school campaigns.

Visit our website: to download the application or apply online. In addition to the application, a letter of support from the school principal must be mailed or emailed by the application due date. If you have questions, please contact Serena Lehman at Completed applications are due October 31st, 2016 by 5p.m. Applicants will be notified of awards the first week of December 2016 and funds will be distributed in January 2017.

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Worker’s Solutions Help SDOT Improve Safety

We are working hard to decrease the number, and severity, of accidents at SDOT. Whether someone is out in the field installing new pedestrian features, fixing potholes, pruning trees, or planning a new bike lane, safety is our top priority.


As part of this effort, we’ve revamped our Accident Prevention Program to encourage solutions directly from the workers engaging with a potential hazard. We’ve had great success so far, and are currently ahead of our goal for work-related injury and illness

By getting all employees focused on safety, we’ve been able to come up with new strategies, encourage new people to get involved, and helped activate individuals to serve as safety role models for their co-workers. Not only can this shift produce great ideas and decrease accidents, it can also improve morale without incurring unnecessary costs.


The revamped Accident Prevention Program is being incorporated into new employee orientations, safety meetings, and classroom training sessions.


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City Officially Opens Westlake Protected Bike Lane

The Westlake protected bike lane on the west side of Lake Union is now officially open, connecting the Fremont Bridge and surrounding trails and parks to South Lake Union and downtown. Driven by an extensive community input process, the completed project addresses the pedestrian, bike and vehicular conflicts the corridor’s undefined parking and sidewalk space created.

People biking now have a separate space to ride, making the area safer and more comfortable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. The project also improves safety for all users by featuring a pedestrian path for people walking that is separate from the bicycle lanes. The designated space for people biking also makes the parking lot more predictable for drivers, which makes this scenic corridor more accessible for residents, employees and customers.

“Our goal is to provide safe, reliable, and predictable transportation infrastructure that connects people to homes, jobs, and recreation,” said Mayor Murray. “We heard from local businesses and residents that preserving public parking was a key priority to maintain economic opportunity. I’m happy to say we were able to build a protected
bike lane, improve pedestrian crossings, and preserve 90% of the original parking. I’m proud of the work the community and the City has done to make today a reality.”

The opening celebration on September 15 featured speakers, giveaways, snacks, games and a ride-along led by Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Scott Kubly.

“The Westlake protected bike lane makes everyone’s trip along the corridor safer and more predictable,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. “My thanks to the Design Advisory Committee for its critical work on this important safety project.”

The Westlake protected bike lane project began in fall 2013 and attracted hundreds of attendees to project open houses and community meetings. Project design was overseen by a Design Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of local businesses, residents, freight, and the bicycle and pedestrian communities. With this community input built into the design, the Westlake protected bike lane creates a safer, more comfortable corridor for people walking, biking, and driving while preserving approximately 90 percent of the parking. The City thanks the Westlake community’s residents, businesses, customers and commuters for their patience throughout the completion of this project.

Visit the Westlake protected bike lane project web page for more information at

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Friendly Safety Reminders for Back to School

Welcome to a new school year!  Safety is our #1 concern and we want to remind you of a few things:

Stopping for a school bus – When the red lights are flashing, there are kids ahead! It is Washington state law to stop for a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing – whether it is on your side of the road, the opposite side or at an intersection you are approaching.



School crossingSlow down when you are driving through school zones – Children have difficulty judging a car’s speed and distance.  When school zone beacons are flashing, the speed limit is 20 MPH, even if children are not present.  Driving at or below 20 MPH gives people driving and children walking more time to see each other and react.

The current fine for speeding in an active school zone is $234.

Speed cameras are installed in 20 MPH school zones at 14 schools throughout Seattle to enforce speeds while the yellow beacons are flashing.

school times map These speed cameras aim to reduce vehicular speeds and improve safety for all during those drop-off and pick-up hours.  Fines collected from these cameras goes towards supporting our Safe Routes to School Program.

More information about our school zone speed camera program 

Have a safe and happy school year!

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