Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee Seeks New Members

The Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee is looking for new members to help make walking and biking to school in Seattle safer and easier. The volunteer board, which was created by the Seattle City Council in 1975 to improve traffic safety for all of Seattle’s school children, advises the Mayor and City Council with respect to school traffic safety, including adult crossing guard locations, school traffic signs and signals, school safety patrols, bicycle facilities, sidewalks and student traffic safety education.


Board members serve a three-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. Members must be Seattle residents and may not be City employees. The board meets the fourth Friday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. typically at Seattle Public Schools headquarters with occasional field meetings at school sites or school crossings. Ideal committee members may include parents of school children, frequent walkers and bikers, people interested in pedestrian or bicycle encouragement and those with expertise in public health or child injury prevention.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and commissions. Women, young persons, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, persons of color and immigrants are encouraged to apply.

Interested Seattleites should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by 5 p.m. on November 30, 2015, to Ashley Rhead at For more information or questions, call Ashley Rhead at (206) 684-7577 or send an e-mail to the address above.

Share Button

City of Seattle offices will be closed Wednesday, November 11 in observation of Veterans Day

City of Seattle offices will be closed Wednesday, November 11 in observation of Veterans Day which honors our nation’s veterans for their service. On-street pay parking is free for Wednesday, Veterans day.

Veterans Day











On November 11, 1919 President Wilson declared the day the first commemoration of Armistice Day which eventually became known as Veterans Day. Have a pleasant and peaceful Veterans Day.

Share Button

Madison Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Latest Design Options Open House Monday 11/16 @ 5:30 p.m.

The Madison Corridor BRT is hosting an Open House on November 16th from 5 -7 p.m. at the Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Avenue (Level 4, Room 1).  There will be a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m.

12th Avenue Concept

12th Avenue at East Madison Street Design Concept

For over a year, SDOT has been working with communities along the Madison Corridor to develop and assess bus rapid transit (BRT) design concepts from the waterfront to Madison Valley.

Please join your neighbors to review the latest Madison Corridor BRT design concept and see how we are responding to community input. Discussions will focus on the latest design opportunities, including a new Madison Valley routing option and a potential future extension of BRT service to Madison Park.

The meeting is accessible via Metro routes 2 and 12, along with Metro routes serving 3rd Ave. There is bicycle parking near the 4th and 5th Avenue entrances.  There are also covered bike racks in the parking garage reached from Spring Street.

Share Button

SDOT showcases Play Streets, learns how to ‘walk the talk’ at national summit

The City of Seattle got to highlight its Play Streets Pilot Program at a national conference recently. The program lead, Public Space Specialist Seth Geiser, traveled to Washington, D.C. following an invitation to come talk about Seattle’s public space innovation.

Geiser’s session focused on how the Play Streets Program enables temporary neighborhood street transformations, creating more community-building play space where such a resource may be lacking. “[The attendees] were excited about the scale and speed with which we rolled out the program,” said Geiser. “Most feared the amount of regulation that their cities and neighborhoods would have to dedicate to a program like Play Streets. What we’ve found is that you can usually trust the neighborhoods to regulate themselves.”

The focus of the conference was on making the promotion of walking more of an active priority for cities. “What they were trying to do at this conference was look at how we can design and repurpose cities so that walking is more of an everyday thing,” said Geiser.

Breakout sessions at the conference highlighted topics such as urban hiking, the experience of women walking in urban environments, and developing city streets that are user-friendly for people of all ages.

The conference also hosted a number of interactive workshops that allowed conference attendees to physically test out some of the lessons they had learned. One such workshop was held daily and was referred to as a “Netwalking” session (no, not taking your tablet for a stroll). Outside on busy DC streets, attendees were led through activities that taught them how to break away from traditional conference-room meeting environments and instead hold walk-and-talk meetings outside the office. It just might become the new ‘thing.’

The summit’s closing session included a talk given by former King County Executive Ron Sims. Sims, who at one time was also the Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, highlighted ways the built environment is sometimes inequitably developed. In particular, he noted that the location of some homes can hinder access to pedestrian options for those living there.

According to Geiser, the main takeaway from the conference was the importance of making walking a go-to transportation choice.

“No one has to think much about getting in their car and going.” explained Geiser.  “The idea is to make walking just as easy.”

The National Walking Summit, October 28 – 30, welcomed more than 500 visitors and speakers hailing from 40+ states.

Share Button

Seeking Feedback on Ballard’s Urban Design and Transportation Study at Our Open House on 11/18!


The City of Seattle is seeking community input in response to ongoing development, and Sound Transit’s planning for light rail to Ballard. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) are working with neighborhood groups and non-profits, organized as the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth, to develop an integrated Urban Design and Transportation Framework (UDTF).

SDOT’s transportation element of this coordinated study Move Ballard, will recommend near-term multimodal transportation improvements for the Ballard Hub Urban Village in response to the area’s recent growth. The plan will also evaluate potential future high capacity (e.g. light rail, bus rapid transit) transit station areas in anticipation of possible Metro and Sound Transit investments in the neighborhood. This meeting is an opportunity to comment on Move Ballard’s draft recommendations.

Over the summer, SDOT gathered feedback on the community’s priorities for transportation improvements and location preferences for a future high capacity transit station. Based on community input, traffic analysis, adopted modal plans, and ongoing projects; SDOT prioritized and evaluated local transportation improvements and future high capacity transit station locations.
The City, and Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth are hosting an open house on Wednesday, November 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Leif Erikson Lodge. This meeting is your opportunity to:

• Learn what we heard at the last open house and various stakeholder meetings
• Comment on the draft priorities and recommended design concepts for local transportation improvements
• Comment on draft evaluation of potential high capacity transit station locations (e.g. light rail)
• Comment on draft streetscape designs

While the main focus of this open house will be on transportation, this is also an opportunity to comment on land use and urban design draft recommendations.
Here are ways you can share your input:

• Attend the Community Meeting:
November 18, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Leif Erikson Lodge, Large Hall (2nd floor)
2245 NW 57th St
Light snacks will be provided.

• Review information online and contact the project planners:
Move Ballard and Ballard Urban Design and Transportation Framework.


At the first meeting held a year ago, the community shared its affection of Ballard’s historic qualities and its tradition of industry. Residents conveyed their appreciation of the growth and variety of shops and restaurants in their walkable neighborhood. However, community members also expressed concerns that a number of recent high-density projects being built in the area do not contribute to Ballard’s character. There were also concerns about affordability and transportation improvements that haven’t kept pace with the growth.

The City then worked with the Ballard Partnership to define responses to the community input on the character of growth in Ballard core business areas. At the second project public meeting last November, the City received strong support for preliminary recommendations to shape new development, streetscape and open space in downtown Ballard. At the third project meeting in May, we heard the community’s priorities for transportation improvements for all travel modes and preferences for potential future high capacity transit station locations. At the upcoming meeting, you will have the chance to comment on the draft prioritization of local transportation improvements and assessment of potential future high capacity station locations. Tell us what you think about the future of all modes of transportation in Ballard.

If you have questions or comments, here are the project contacts: Chris Yake with SDOT at or 206-727-8719. Aditi Kambuj with DPD at
or 206-615-1739.

Share Button

Community Outreach in Rainier Beach

Last Saturday was Halloween and the Rainier Beach community came together for music, trick-or-treating, costumes, and good old Halloween fun at the second annual Boo Bash at the Beach: Rainier Beach Halloween Party. The Seattle Department of Transportation was an event sponsor and hosted a booth on Saturday with project information, SDOT giveaways, and candy, too. SDOT has a handful of projects in Rainier Beach at the moment, including one that is in construction and two that are scheduled to begin construction later this month. We pulled information together on these projects to coordinate our outreach and help residents and community members in Rainier Beach understand the collective work SDOT that is doing in this area.

Boo Bash

The rain surely didn’t stop the fun and over 3,000 people turned out to the event! We interacted with hundreds of people at the SDOT booth, handing out candy, reflectors, keychains, pencils, and project information.

So what are all these SDOT projects in Rainier Beach?

Check out the Boo Bash at the Beach Facebook Page to see more photos of the event!

Share Button

Help us redesign our website to work better for you!

We know. We have a ton of information on the SDOT website. And it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. With your help, we’re aiming to fully redesign it to make it more user-friendly, accessible, and easy to use.

Here’s how you can help:

Step 1 is this online survey. It should take you about 10 minutes. It’ll be up for the next two weeks.

Step 2 is a series of 90 minute in-person focus groups in mid-November. If you’re interested in participating, please share your contact info with us at the end of the survey, or contact Allison Schwartz at or (206) 386-4654. She’ll give you a call back or email you a series of questions to make sure we get a varied group of participants.

With this input, we’ll start reworking the way the site’s organized, as well as the content.

Then (wait for it) more testing and refinement.

We’ll need a couple months to move all the content over to the city’s content management system. Our goal is to get the new site up and running in Spring 2016.

We look forward to hearing your ideas!

onedoesnot letsdothis
Share Button

How is Vision Zero doing in Seattle?

On February 12th, 2015, Mayor Murray announced Vision Zero – Seattle’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Seattle Police Department (SPD) have partnered to achieve our safety goals by following the basic principles of this approach which include:

  • Roadway design that takes human error into account and creates a safer, more predictable environment for all travelers
  • Targeted education and public engagement that empowers people to make better decisions
  • Data-driven enforcement that targets high crash areas and key behaviors


How does someone find out how well is Seattle doing with their Vision Zero goal?

The City publishes our Vision Zero progress online through the Performance Seattle portal . This information can be found under the “Transportation” section, and then navigate to the “Achieve zero traffic fatalities by 2030” under “Safety”.

Performance SeattleOur trending progress is measured using a 5-year rolling average. The rolling average is commonly used by federal agencies to smooth out the short-term variations and fluctuations in crashes and severity each year. This develops a trend line that we can track to see how we are doing with our safety goals.

How do I find out what causes these fatal and serious injury collisions in Seattle?

Each year, SDOT publishes the Traffic Report online. This report contains a wide range of traffic data unique to Seattle, and also includes detailed information about the collision patterns, such as:

  • Contributing circumstances to these fatal and serious injury collisions
  • General information about the fatal collisions which occurred that year
  • Breakdowns on the pedestrian and bicycle collisions


What can I do to help promote Vision Zero?

You can help by creating a culture of safety in your workplace, around your family and friends, and your neighborhood. Tell them about what it means to you if they put themselves and everyone on the road at risk if they pick up that phone while driving. Ask them about how many traffic deaths they would want to have amongst their family, friends, and neighbors with the decisions and choices they make when they are behind the wheel.

Everyone has the right to safety and the area you live in should not determine your quality of life. Our shared goal and collective responsibility is ZERO deaths and ZERO serious injuries .

Here is a link to our safety education resources:


Share Button

New Pedestrian Mobility Rule–on to Next Steps

A revised SDOT Director’s Rule on Pedestrian Mobility in and Around Work Zones now takes its next steps (pun intended) with our team reviewing all  comments that came in, and refining the final policy. The 2-week public comment period ended October 29, with more than 30 comments–a common running theme was, “Thank goodness; we need this!” We hope to have the new rule, referred to as DR 10-1015 (i.e. Director’s Rule October 2015), completed later this month.

As we reported October 20, several questions have come up along the way. More recently those questions have included, “Must all projects, existing and new, be in compliance by January 1, 2016?” The answer is: this new rule applies to new projects after January 1, 2016. However, we will work with all projects to transition as much as possible to meet the key components of the rule.

Reroute example graphicAnd specifics, there have been a lot of questions there.  All the specifics are addressed in section 7 of DR 10-2015, Pedestrian Walkway Standards. Things like impact-rated barricades anchored or otherwise  stabilized are referenced to protect pedestrian pathways adjacent to travel lanes. Above is a diagram showing a project using the sidewalk area and creating a pedestrian reroute (meaning keeping people on the same side as the existing sidewalk; a detour is when pedestrians must cross to the other side of the street, for example). That safe pathway includes water-filled Jersey barriers, handrails and ADA compliant ramps.

Another question is, “Are there exceptions?” and yes, every rule seems to have those. In this case special requests for sidewalk closures in unique situations will be determined on a case-by-case basis and only as a last resort. It’s the intent of this policy that all pedestrian facilities remain open and meet ADA requirements unless it is too hazardous to do so. It’s all in line with our effort the last two years to raise the bar, including asking more of builders but also giving more.

The team is also looking at duration of project and cost impacts for small projects, for potential rule adjustments. So there you have it. We’ll report out again as we walk through (again, pun intended) the comments and apply final refinements. Thank you for sharing our interest in safety and access!


Share Button

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Please be mindful that Trick-or-Treaters will be out and about, and that shorter days and drizzly weather can affect visibility. Children-involved car/pedestrian collisions are nearly twice as likely to happen on Halloween nationally, compared to other days of the year, so it’s important that kids (and their parents) stay very visible. Being visible as pedestrians or bikers is a good idea not only on Halloween but throughout the fall and winter months.

halloween night

Collisions involving pedestrians become more frequent and more severe during our darkest months—November, December, and January. The clock is turned back on Sunday, so that means longer nights. The sun will start setting before 5 o’clock next week and it will be dark during the busiest hours of our commutes.

Here are SDOT’s Top Safety Tips for Halloween and beyond:

  •  Be visible. Take extra measures to ensure you can be seen when you walk and bike on our streets. Wear light-colored clothing and/or reflective gear so drivers can spot you.
  • Make good decisions when you walk, bike, or drive. Don’t drive distracted (anything from talking on your cell phone to adjusting your costume) and make sure you have a safe way to get home if you plan to drink.
  • Take it slow on our streets. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. With speed, the frequency and severity of collisions increases.
  • Follow the rules. Drivers should know that every intersection is a legal crosswalk – whether there are pavement markings or not – so drivers should almost always stop for pedestrians. Pedestrians should cross the street at intersections or crosswalks where drivers expect to see you.
  • Always be alert on our streets. A crosswalk is not a suitable location to check your phone and it’s not a good idea to listen to music while bike commuting. Take an active role in safety by keeping your eyes and ears on the road.


Remember that we’re all in this together and we all just want to get to get to the Halloween candy safely. Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!


Share Button