Safe Routes to School: Mini Grants and Free Bikes for Kids

SDOT’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program has been busy!

The SRTS Mini Grant Program has chosen its grant recipients for the fall 2016 cycle. Twenty-two schools, PTAs and community groups will receive mini grants, which provide up to $1,000 to support biking and walking to school safely.


  • Alki Elementary received a $1,000 grant to start a neighborhood Walking School Bus
  • North Beach Elementary will update student safety patrol gear and promote May’s Bike to School Month
  • Eckstein Middle school will continue hosting “Biker Breakfasts” and promoting bicycle safety and sustainable transportation
  • Beacon Hill International School will invest in: new safety vests for kids and walking leaders, crossing flags, new signage, maps, and incentives for students when they get to school

The next mini grant application period for spring runs April 1 – 30, 2017. PTA members or principals are encouraged to apply. For questions contact Serena Lehman:

Here’s an update on another SRTS program, “We Create the Wheel,” recently teamed up with Bike Works‘ “Kids Bike-O-Rama” and other community groups to give away 150 bikes to kids in Columbia City!

The bikes at the event were made available to qualifying low-income families and given test runs in the outdoor obstacle course by young riders before being taken home – at little to no charge!


The fun day included rooms of bikes and Bike Works staff and volunteers who helped fit and distribute freshly-refurbished bikes. Young people involved with Bike Works fixed up the 150 donated bikes before they were given final safety checks and made available to kids and families at the event.

By opening channels to youth and families to biking, Bike Works, SDOT, and community partners are working toward goals of empowering youth and building resilience.  Learn more about Bike Works Bike Giveaway Programs here.

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Remembering Those We’ve Lost

This week, Seattle is observing World Remembrance Day and commemorating the 240 people who died in traffic incidents over the past 10 years. On Thursday, families who have lost loved ones, city employees, and first responders gathered at City Hall at an event organized by Seattle Neighborhood Greenways for a public memorial with silhouette cut-outs to represent those we’ve lost.


SDOT Traffic Safety Coordinator Jim Curtin speaking at City Hall memorial 11/17

This Sunday, November 20, local Greenways coalition member groups will hold events throughout the city to install the silhouettes as a public reminder, and come together as a community to commit to doing better:

  • Ballard/Aurora/Fremont noon Peddler Brewing Company 1514 NW Leary Way
  • Beacon Hill/Mt. Baker 10AM The Station 2533 16th Ave S
  • Central/Capitol Hill noon Victrola Coffee Roasters 310 E. Pike St.
  • Crown Hill/Broadview noon Holy Grounds 9000 Holman Way NW
  • Downtown/Belltown 10AM Uptown Espresso 2504 4th Ave
  • Lake City/Northgate 10AM Kaffeeklatsch 12513 Lake City Way NE
  • Queen Anne/Magnolia 10AM Starbucks 2135 Queen Anne Ave N
  • Ravenna/Roosevelt 10AM Third Place Cafe 6504 20th Ave NE
  • West Seattle 10AM Ampersand Café 2536 Alki Ave SW
  • Rainier Valley 10:15AM Bike Works 3711 S Hudson St. (back entrance to warehouse)
  • Duwamish Valley noon Oxbow Park (Hat & Boots) 6430 Corson Ave S


As a city, we’ve committed to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030 through our Vision Zero initiative. These tragedies mostly aren’t “accidents,” but preventable incidents caused by poor behaviors and unforgiving roadway designs.

Earlier this month, we instituted lower speed limits – arterials in central Seattle were reduced from 30mph to 25, residential streets throughout the city from 25mph to 20 – an adjustment proven to increase crash survival rates. And over the last year, we’ve made significant investments in our Safe Routes to School program to make it easier and safer for students to walk and bike. These efforts were funded through the 2015 voter approved Levy to Move Seattle, which has supported safety and infrastructure improvements throughout the city.

By working with community groups, health-care professionals, university researchers, and local corporate partners, we can eliminate death and serious injuries on our streets.


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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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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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Safe Routes to School Kicks Off the New School Year

September 7th is the first day of school for Seattle Public Schools and the SDOT Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program got kids and parents excited about the start of the new school year!

The first annual SRTS Kickoff Event on Friday, August 26th in Cedar Park was a great success! More than 100 people from schools across the city gathered in the Lake City neighborhood for a fun afternoon of promoting safer ways for kids to walk and bike to school.


The first 50 people got free helmets and help with helmet fittings at the SRTS Kick off event!

After learning about safe driving and walking, people won gift cards donated by Recycled Cycles and gear donated by R2 Bicycles. Families also got repairs done on their bikes, thanks to Hampsten Cycles, Mend Bicycles, and R2 Bicycles. There was music, healthy snacks and a bike rodeo put on by Lake City Greenways and Cascade Bicycle Club, which also had some “slow races” – where the winner comes in last! Kids enjoyed bicycle-themed story time and heard their favorite books read by Nancy Pew of the Seattle Public Library, Lake City Branch.


Bicycle Storytime with Nancy Pew from the Seattle Public Library.

Parents learned about the Mini Grant Program, which provides up to $1,000 for activities that promote safe walking and biking to school and is accepting applications October 1st – 31st. Families explored their best route to school using SDOT’s interactive walking and biking maps, neighbors heard about the Cedar Park Elementary School SRTS Project and people got Vision Zero safety yard signs to put up in their neighborhoods.

Everyone had a blast at this event that was packed with fun and information! Michael Snyder, whose 3 ½ year-old son had a great time riding his balance bike around the track said, “It was great to see so many children and adults learn how to ride more safely. As a society, we do a great job teaching children that we stop at a stop sign, but most don’t quite know what to do next.” But now he does!

What a great way to start off the school year!

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