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Don’t Blend In

Mother and children walking across the street with crosswalk flags.

Smith Family. Photo credit: Tariqa Waters

Commuters watch out for our neon friends!

Seattle’s highest collision corridor occurs on Rainier Avenue South. On average, Rainier Avenue South sees one crash per day that takes 45 minutes to clear.



Why Rainier Valley?

Rainier Valley is home to some of Seattle’s most culture-rich and diverse residents and schools. Rainier Valley’s Safe Street project “Don’t Blend In” safety awareness campaign seeks to empower youth and communities of color throughout Rainier Valley with a creative campaign to share safety and mobility information and build awareness. Special thanks goes to NONWHITEWORKS for their vision and support of this campaign emphasizing communities of color and safety in Rainier valley. The campaign was funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.


Community members cross the street on Rainier Ave. S.

Community members cross the street on Rainier Ave. S. Photo credit: Ishisaka


The campaign kicked off in early summer with community outreach events in Rainier Beach, Pioneer Square, and Columbia City that featured local performance and visual artists, button making, safety information and giveaways to community members, offering safety tips and increased awareness to commuters. In July, we sponsored posters and advertisements at Rainier Beach Light Rail Station, on Sound Transit Trains and King County Metro buses. In August, we sponsored two billboards along Rainier, with imagery targeting vehicle drivers. To conclude the campaign, we will be distributing custom “Back to School’ themed safety items and information to the community.

These efforts follow a collaborative process that was launched in 2014 to improve Rainier Avenue South, as part of Seattle’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Vision Zero takes a three-pronged approach: smarter street design, targeted enforcement, and public engagement. We are in Phase 2 of the project and recently:

  • Added bus lanes
  • Optimized signal timing for better signal coordination
  • Added leading pedestrian intervals for safer pedestrian crossing
  • Repainted crosswalks so that they are more visible

Our upcoming work later in 2019 and in 2020 will continue to enhance access and safety through Rainier Valley.