A key part of our work at SDOT is to make sure people have access to affordable transportation options.
In Seattle, transportation is the second highest household cost after housing, and we know communities at risk of displacement bear the brunt of transportation inequities. That’s why, in alignment with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative goals, we established our Transportation Equity Program in 2017 and are focused on leading with a racial equity framework.
Earlier this year, we opened the application for community members to apply for a seat on our Transportation Equity Workgroup (TEW).
We invited those with personal or professional expertise and who are affiliated with Seattle and King County-located community-based organizations, coalitions, and networks from or serving the following communities:
- People of color
- People with low-income
- Immigrant and refugee populations
- Native populations
- People living with disabilities
- People experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity
- LGBTQ+ people
- Individuals who identify as girls and women
- Older adults
- Individuals who were formerly incarcerated
- High-risk displacement neighborhoods
- Racial justice, environmental justice, and/or transportation justice-based organizations
- Underrepresented and under-resourced human service providers and community-based organizations
We are excited to share that ten community members have been selected to take part in the Transportation Equity Workgroup!
Our new members are participating in a one-year facilitated process to provide community-guided recommendations. These recommendations will be considered in the development of our Transportation Equity Agenda, a framework for transportation equity goals and priorities.
As part of the workgroup’s onboarding process, the TEW has just undergone a comprehensive full two days of “SDOT School.” 🍎😄
SDOT School was created by our Transportation Equity Program staff with the help of our Intradepartmental Transportation Equity Team to help the workgroup learn all about the work we do!
The first day of SDOT School focused on the foundation of our department and our planning work, including a budget 101 course; our policy & planning division; the roles of our Transportation Advisory Boards; the American Disabilities Act (ADA) program; and a panel with our transportation partners: King County Metro, Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The second day of SDOT School was on our project delivery, implementation, and operations, which covered our Festival Streets program, community grants, our Vision Zero initiative, moving from planning to project delivery, and getting to know our divisions.
The TEW also took a field trip on the second day to visit the Cheasty Park Stairway.
This field trip helped the group learn more about the intersection of art and public space, as well as meet local artist, Angelina Villalobos, who led the community project to repaint the Cheasty staircase.
Throughout SDOT School, our work group wrote equity areas of interests and concerns in their community on Post-It Notes to start generating ideas.
Key themes that came out of this exercise included safety, transit access, economic development, land use/housing/displacement, community engagement and participation, transparency and decision-making, mobility and transportation options and infrastructure, and planning and maintenance.
The TEW will now start working on the agenda building process and community guided suggestions during their monthly meetings.
We are honored to be working with our 10 Transportation Equity Workgroup members, and we look forward to collectively creating the Transportation Equity Agenda!