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Happy Earth Day from all of us at SDOT!

NE 68th St Neighborhood Greenway.

Today is Earth Day. Celebrate with us! 

The effects of climate change are undeniable. At the same time, changing the way we travel can be a powerful vehicle (pun intended!) to mitigate these effects.  

Importantly, our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities historically bear a larger burden when it comes to the effects of climate change. In this way, equity and sustainability go hand-in-hand, and supporting environmentally-friendly, reliable travel options means supporting everyone in our City. 

We at SDOT and the City of Seattle on the whole are working to create a more resilient, sustainable city. Recently, the City of Seattle released a first of its kind, comprehensive City-wide plan that outlines how we will move toward a clean and equitable transportation system! The goal of this plan is to reduce climate emissions and air pollution, increase electric mobility options, and create a pipeline of green jobs and workforce diversity. 

There is more to be done, and it can feel overwhelming for everyone at times. Still, small changes can add up!  

Under a tree in bloom in Columbia City. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr.
Under a tree in bloom in Columbia City. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr.

Here are some ways you can celebrate Earth Day with us: 

To the extent you are able, #flipyourtrip! 

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is evenmore inviting to take a scooter, ride a bike on one of the many new bike lanes and Neighborhood Greenways, or walk to your favorite neighborhood park, restaurant, or business. By walking, rolling, biking, or scooting, you reduce air and water pollution caused by your vehicle. Read some tips from our SpokesSalmon, Sal – a trip-flipping expert! Watch Sal’s Guide to Car-Free Travel below!

We recognize that taking advantage of car-free travel is not possible for everyone, and it is not always safe to walk, roll, or bike around your neighborhood. We are working to invest in communities who have been traditionally underserved by investments in infrastructure. Importantly, through engagement with our communities, we intend to deliver a just and equitable transportation network as we move through the reopening and recovery phases of the COVID-19 public health crisis

As you think about flipping your trip: keep in mind that King County Metro plans to incrementally increase passenger limits during the next six months

On April 17, Metro modified passenger limits to 40% of pre-COVID capacity (50% of seated capacity). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, King County Metro is still taking precautions to ensure that people remain safe while riding. Taking transit safely is another way to reduce your carbon footprint.  

We are continuing to invest in transit! Most recently, we were excited to announce almost $60 million in federal funding allocated for the Madison BRT RapidRide G Line, and we are working with King County Metro on a proposal to make Route 40 bus trips more reliable, safe, and on-time! 

You can apply for a free permit to plant in your planting strip or traffic circle! Photo credit: SDOT

Calling all green thumbs! 

Consider gardening in your planting strip, which is easy with a free permit.  Learn more here, too. (P.S. Our new online tool can help you identify the right tree to plant so we can all keep our urban landscape happy & healthy.

We have green thumbs, too! You can read more about how we’re keeping our urban landscape and canopy cover healthy and thriving in the recent blogs we wrote to celebrate Foliage Week. 

Spring has sprung! Over the weekend, we planted about 40 new trees in South Park. 

Yes, we’re still celebrating the first full week of spring! Today, learn about the work of our Urban Forestry Irrigation Team. 

Meet Shane Dewald, SDOT Senior Landscape Architect 

Neighbors enjoying a playstreet in 2019 (pre-pandemic). 

Apply for an Earth Day Play Street Permit. 

Celebrate Mother Nature with your neighbors on an Earth Day themed play street between April 22 and April 25. Learn more here! 

Play Earth Day Bingo with our friends at Seattle Public Utilities! 

Each square on the Earth Day Bingo board ties to a specific eco-centered action you can take. From conserving water, to recycling right, to preventing pollution in your neighborhood, you’ll be doing your part to help.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!