Vol. 2, No. 8  August 2011

In this issue: 
Spotlight on: safe, healthy neighborhoods
Options: getting around SODO construction, bike lanes in Lake City
Tools: make the most of Seattle's stairways, Metro tools for SR 520 and SR 99
Inspiration: Zipcar's Low Car Diet, film about choices changing lives of non-drivers and more
Upcoming: Rainier Valley Summer Streets, prepare for Walk to School Month and more

ThemeMonthSpotlight of the Month:  Safe, Healthy Neighborhoods

"Working together to build a safe, healthy Seattle is one of my top values.  You can make a difference by choosing to walk, ride a bike or use transit to get where you're going. This can help make our communities safer and help address our nation's obesity epidemic."  - Mayor Mike McGinn

Here's another reason to walk, bike and ride: it makes neighborhoods safer and healthier.


Stronger neighborhood networks

Walking, biking and riding are social activities which help you know your neighbors.  This can lead to block watch groups and knowledge of who can help you during a disaster or power outage.  Forging strong relationships among neighbors to enhance safety is a key purpose of the "National Night Out" block parties each August and Seattle Summer Streets.

Knowing your options empowers you

Knowing your travel options reduces your risk of being stranded during unplanned events or emergencies like a storm, earthquake or other situations which temporarily eliminate some of your choices.  If your car breaks down, you will know other ways to get across town.  In a big snowstorm you may need to rely on transit, so familiarize yourself with the routes you will use.

Active transportation improves your health by burning calories rather than gas

Seattle has high obesity rates, with unacceptable disparities based on income and race, so the City has signed onto Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign.  Healthy eating and active living help solve the problem of childhood obesity.

When more people cycle or walk, it makes it safer for everyone

Motorists who get used to seeing cyclists and pedestrians become more attentive, slow down, pass more cautiously, double-check their blind spots and expect the unexpected.

OptionsHeaderOptions to Get Around

Get around construction in SODO

You can still bike between Downtown and West Seattle during the major construction for the Alaskan Way Viaduct (AWV) Project and the Spokane Street Viaduct Project.  Bike routes and roads will evolve during construction, so the best advice is:

a)     Follow the detour signs.

b)    Visit WSDOT's website for AWV construction info for cyclists and walkers.  It currently highlights a new multi-purpose trail on Alaskan Way S between S Atlantic Street (just south of Safeco Field) and S King Street (just north of Qwest Field parking lot).  This new trail goes around the freight train "tail track," so cyclists no longer get stuck behind a parked train.


New bike lanes on NE 125th St connect Lake City homes and businesses

Bike lanes have been added to about a mile of NE 125th St between Roosevelt Way NE / 10 Ave NE and 30th Ave NE.  These new lanes provide a vital east-west connection in our on-street bicycle system.  Next year SDOT plans to extend these facilities eastward to connect with the sharrows on 35th Ave NE.  The reduction of vehicle travel lanes helps slow autos to the posted speed limit making the area a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.


ToolsTools to Make Walking, Biking and Riding Easier and Better

Use Seattle's stairways for direct connections and exercise

Stairways in Seattle provide shortcuts and great connections.  Who needs a treadmill when you can get your exercise using our amazing network of stairs? (Plus, the views are better.)  These resources help you make the most of this special amenity:

         "Seattle All Stairs" interactive map of 650 stairways  Click on the map for a photo of each stairway and the number of steps it contains. Check out the recommended walks.

         The Seattle stairways blog has detailed descriptions of walks and many great photos.

         There's a website dedicated to Queen Anne's stairways.

         Seattle's Recreational Walking Map is another helpful resource.  Order a hard copy online.


Metro's toolbox for options on SR 520 and SR 99

To help you get around the congestion on the 520 Bridge and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, Metro provides a handy set of tools on this "We'll Get You There" website. Many of these resources can help with any commute in the Seattle area.

We want your feedback about on-street parking

SDOT aims to maximize the use of our transportation system, including our finite supply of on-street parking.  Help us learn more about how people use the city's paid parking system by taking this online survey.  More info is here.


InspirationInspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Follow Seattleites in Zipcar's Low Car Diet

Three Seattleites have given up their personal car for one month in Zipcar's Low Car Diet. Follow Egan, Michael and Patsy (and participants in a dozen other cities) via twitter and Michael's blog or Patsy's blog. Read their bios on the website and try some of their newly learned skills in getting around. Their adventure wraps up August 25.


More people taking Metro and Amtrak

June saw big ridership increases on King County Metro and Amtrak Cascades. Metro's daily ridership was nearly 6 percent higher than last June, while ridership on Amtrak Cascades was 10 percent higher, with nearly 80,000 passengers.  Amtrak ridership has been soaring nationwide; projections show an all-time record this year of over 30 million passengers.


New film about King County transportation options

Life in Motion: Overview"Life in Motion," a new 3-minute film by the King County Mobility Coalition, shares the stories of King County residents and how trains, buses, accessible taxicabs and other options make a big difference in their lives. Today thousands of fellow residents in King County are unable to drive because of age, physical challenges, or finances. These factors restrict many of us from driving at some point in our lives, and all of us are restricted from driving until well into our teenage years.

Carpool/Vanpool through mid-September and win great prizes

Give gas prices a "Knockout Punch" by carpooling or vanpooling August 15 through September 18. Report your trips at Rideshareonline and you could win an Apple iPad, a getaway for two at a luxury hotel and more.


Sixty-five percent of Downtown commuters walk, bike or ride  

More downtown commuters are choosing buses, trains, bikes, feet and carpools, with a whopping 40% using transit. This shows that people use choices when they are available.

Transit Master Plan identifies key corridors 

Seattle's Transit Master Plan (TMP), the City's blueprint for future transit investments, has identified the type of transit Seattle would need in key areas to meet our needs in 2030. This includes three high capacity transit corridors, two downtown alignments where rail transit makes sense, bus rapid transit in the East Madison Street corridor from Colman Dock to 23rd Avenue and 15 corridors where improvements could greatly enhance speed and reliability of bus service.


Rainier Valley Summer Streets August 20

Don't miss Rainier Valley's Summer Streets this Saturday August 20 along Rainier from Alaska to Brandon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come out and watch the 19th Annual Rainier Valley Heritage Parade then stay and play in the street afterwards. There will be music, art, slow bike races and great food, along with ScoopFest at Full Tilt Ice Cream to support the Rainier Valley Food Bank. Moving Planet Across Washington!  September 24

Join the parade of boats and bikes, feet and wheels, pedaling, rowing, sailing, walking, dancing, skipping, skating, and jumping from all over Puget Sound.  Moving Planet focuses on slowing climate change by moving from dirty fossil fuels to clean contemporary active energy.  South Lake Union Park.

Start Planning for International Walk to School (IWALK) in October

   Sign up for the Safe Routes to School email list to get info to plan your IWALK events.

   Attend a planning meeting to network and share ideas with other IWALK schools. Receive free lollipop signs, walking maps, incentives and more. Tuesday, September 13th; 10:30 a.m.- 12:00 Noon; John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (Seattle Public Schools Headquarters in SODO); 2445 3rd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134. More info is at the Feet First website.

     Register your school's IWALK event.

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Current and past newsletters are on our newsletter web page



Dave Allen

Way to Go, Seattle! Team


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