Vol. 3 , No. 9  September 2012

In this issue: 
Spotlight on:   October is Walk to School Month          
Options:   You won't need a car...                              
Tools:   S. Myrtle and Othello Street Project Complete                              
Inspiration:   New bike parking app, plus fall colors in the Arboretum                               
Upcoming:   Walk, bike and ride transit to City Arts Fest                     

Spotlight of the Month:  October is Walk to School MonthThemeMonth

Kids have an easier time walking to school now that Seattle makes the places people live, work and play easier to get to on foot. So, lace up those shoes, kids; it's walk to school time. With the implementation of Safe Routes to School, 30 school zones are now better marked and safer. Improvements include new sidewalk installation, enhanced street crossings and new signs, making walking and biking more accessible to kids and hopefully establishing life-long habits. Highland Park, Greeenlake, Sanislo, Dearborn Park and TOPS at Seward are five Seattle area elementary schools that got new and improved walking routes this year.


We asked Rachel Wright, a Highland Park School parent, what she thought of the Safe Routes to School program and the importance of walkability, and here is what she said. "I have learned so much about the process of creating safer, more walkable neighborhoods.  It has been wonderful to learn the "why" and "how" of creating safer routes to school in our neighborhood. Walkability is feeling safe as my children and I walk to places within and near our neighborhood. It also means there are practical places to walk to--like parks and green spaces--where we can enjoy family activities." Rachel stressed the importance of safety with this advice, "Talk with children about safety.  Give them information about crossing streets safely.  Make sure they are visible and, when possible, wearing bright, reflective colors.  Our rainy, gray winters can make all pedestrians, and especially our smallest ones, harder to see."  


As we encourage more students to walk or bike to school we want them to be equipped with the knowledge needed to safely make their way to school and back home again. Here are a few tips you can share with your children:

  • Use the sidewalk if available.
  • Wear bright clothing at night so you can be seen more easily.
  • Use marked crosswalks whenever possible.
  • Make eye contact with drivers who are approaching.
  • Don't be a distracted walker.  Turn off headphones, and pay attention when crossing the street.


OptionsHeaderOptions to Get Around

You won't need a car to enjoy fall's spectacular colors.  Pedal into autumn with a ride around the Kitsap Peninsula. Just load your bike onto Community Transit, a Metro bus, or Link Light Rail, or use SDOT's online bike map to plan your trip and coordinate it with ferry schedules. All riders--expert, average and occasional--can use this map to find a ride that suits them. Here are three great rides on the peninsula that are perfect for families and recreational riders.




ToolsTools to Help You Walk, Bike and Ride

Be Super Safe with Seattle's Road Safety Summit Action Plan!  At the end of August, Seattle released its plan for making streets safer for all and launched the Be Super Safe public awareness campaign with the goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries on Seattle's streets by 2030. It's an ambitious goal, but one we're confident we can achieve. Here's the key:  our most serious crashes are 100% preventable! We've found that the majority of these crashes involve three major issues: SPEED, DISTRACTION, and IMPAIRMENT.  Here's what you can do.


SLOW DOWN: If you hit someone when you're traveling just 10 miles over a 30 MPH speed limit, the likelihood of surviving that crash is only 15%.Those odds for survival increase as your speed decreases.


TURN OFF YOUR PHONEYou are four times more likely to be in a serious crash if you use a hand-held device while driving. Distracted walking and biking is no good, either. Focus on traveling safely.


PLAN AHEADNearly half of Seattle traffic fatalities are caused by impairment. Ride with a sober friend or consider leaving your car and paying ahead for morning parking, taking public transportation, or getting a cab.


It's simple really and starts with each and every one of us and how we use our streets -- whether we choose to walk, bike, ride, or drive. Think about how you can make our streets safer and encourage your friends and family to do the same. For more information or to read the Road Safety Summit Action Plan visit us In the coming months, SDOT and its partners will be visiting neighborhoods across the city to talk about how we can work together to Be Super Safe! 


The S. Myrtle and Othello Street project is now complete!  It improves safety and mobility for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles along this east-west corridor and access from the Seward Park and Brighton neighborhoods to Othello Park, Othello Light Rail Station, New Holly, Beacon Hill and west to Georgetown.  Restriping and a new turn lane reduce speeding and the potential for accidents, enabling a better balance between motor vehicle, bus and freight traffic with pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  There's a new westbound bicycle-only travel lane on the north side of Othello from Seward Park Avenue S. to Beacon Avenue S. and new east-bound bicycle-only travel lanes from Beacon Avenue S. to 39th Avenue S. and between Rainier Avenue S. and Seward Park Avenue S.  Watch for the shared bicycle-vehicular lane marked with sharrows from 39th Avenue S. to Rainier Avenue S. 



Walking and biking in the International District just got better! The first "green street" in the International District, Maynard Avenue S., features:

  - Improved pedestrian safety with extended and wider sidewalks that shorten the crossing distance at the S. Weller and S. King Street intersections.

  - Improved bicycle safety with new shared lane pavement markings.

  - Street trees and elongated tree pits with low growing shrubs and plantings.

  - Art in the new sidewalks. 

Read more about Seattle's Green Streets Program

InspirationInspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Seattle Bike Parking App tells you where to find the nearest designated parking for your bike.  This new smart phone application includes "nearby,"  search, and favorites capabilities, plus a map of downtown Seattle bike routes. 


Books on the Bus.One of the great benefits of taking transit is that you can read a book. At last a book club for transit riders--Books on the Bus has arrived. It's a great way to create a community among passengers. Every quarter there will be a new book recommendation. Get inspired to read and ride or get an idea for the next book to request from the library.




Columbus Day in Seattle marks the first official holiday weekend of fall. Enjoy the refreshingly clear and crisp air as you stroll or bicycle through great neighborhoods like the Arboretum. Walkers will find newly marked crosswalks, and cyclists will appreciate the new sharrows from Foster Island Road to E. Madison Street.


Focusing on the basics you need to bike and ride transit, Mayor McGinn presented his proposed 2013-2014 budget to the City Council, which includes $5 million for road maintenance. Maintenance and basic road repair--like fixing potholes--means  smoother bike and transit rides.  Read the entire budget here.



Walk Bike and Ride transit around the third annual Heineken City Arts Fest October 17-20. During this time a collection of music and art events will turn downtown Seattle into a playground. SDOT and City Arts have partnered to create an awesome map of the event locations, the amount of time it takes to walk between each one, locations of bike racks and major transit lines. Find the map in the October edition of City Arts magazine or, after October 1, download it here and...have a blast.

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Regards from the Way to Go, Seattle! Team


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