Earlier this month we launched our new Safe Routes to School 5-Year Action Plan called Safe Streets, Healthy Schools and Communities to support reaching our Vision Zero goal to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030.
As part of this plan, we developed new walk and bike maps for every public elementary, middle, and high school. These maps help parents and students determine the safest ways to walk and bike to school. They show crossing conditions, walking and biking conditions, and community facilities like community centers, libraries, and parks within each school’s walk zone. If you are a parent of a student at a Seattle Public School, be sure to check out these maps!
The back side of the map will guide you on how to use the map to plot the safest route from home to school. The maps display which neighborhood streets and busy, arterial streets have sidewalks and which don’t, helping you to identify a route to school that avoids busy streets without sidewalks when possible. You can also identify on the maps the safest places to cross busy streets, like adult crossing guards locations, designated school crosswalks, crosswalks with crossing beacons, all way stops, and traffic signals.
Once you’ve identified your best route, be sure to sit down with your child and go over the walking and biking safety tips included on the back side of the map. For walking, these include looking left, right, and left again at all intersections, making eye contact with people driving before crossing the street, and walking on the left side of the street far from traffic on those neighborhood streets that don’t have sidewalks. For bicycling, always wear a helmet, ride predictably and use hand signals, ride in the same direction as traffic, and walk your bike on crosswalks across busy streets.