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Issue: 9
September 2013


Walk, Bike, and Ride Back to School: Safe and Fun!


For many of us, summer winding down means it's back-to-school time. Whether your kids are returning to school or you are heading to a university or continuing education, consider including healthy habits like walking, biking, or riding transit in your school year routine. These trips can be a great way to get daily exercise and to spend time with your children. As an added benefit, a recent study showed that children who walk or bike to school concentrate better during class!


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) offers many resources for making trips to school safe and fun, and has been working hard to complete safety improvement projects before the start of the school year.


A sample walking map for Adams Elementary. Click the map to look for your neighborhood school.
Safe Routes to School Seattle has led the effort to make areas around schools safer through walking and biking route improvements, better signage, traffic management, educational and outreach efforts to schools and families. Walking maps for each school are also provided through this program.


This month's Walk Bike Rider joins in the back-to-school spirit, highlighting walking and biking school trips with safety tips, recently completed improvements around schools, and parent and teacher resources.



Options to Get Around


Improvements to Walking Routes at Eight Seattle Schools

Aki Kurose Middle School students helped identify needed improvements along S Graham St including a "Stop for Me, It's the Law" sign and a new curb bulb


So far this summer, SDOT has completed walking route improvements at eight elementary and middle schools. The improvements include new sidewalks, marked crosswalks, curb bulbs and ramps, a radar speed sign, and artwork. Try a trip on one of these improved routes! 


In addition, safety updates to NE 75th were completed, making trips to Eckstein Middle School safer and easier.


Flashing Beacons on 23rd Avenue; Other School Locations to Come


Garfield High now boasts the first flashing beacons at a Seattle high school. The location was chosen in part because there is a history of pedestrian collisions on 23rd Avenue. When the lights are flashing, the 20 mph speed limit is in effect. These beacons are proven to reduce speed when flashing and are programmed to flash during hours when most children are walking to and from school. Thanks in part to a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, nine additional sets of school zone beacons are planned for installation before the end of 2013. 


Tools to Help You Walk, Bike and Ride


Safety Tips for Walking With Children


Walking is a fun and healthy way to spend time with your child. You are your child's most important role model for walking safely. Children learn by watching others, so your own safe pedestrian behavior is the best way to teach these valuable skills. Take a look at these tips on safety when walking with your child.


Inspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Lead a Walking School Bus

Get to know your neighbors by starting your own "Walking School Bus!" It's like a carpool without a car, and encourages exercise, healthy travel habits, and community building. SDOT will help you pick a safe route that includes other interested parents and children. Get started by talking to your school principal or by contacting Seattle Public Schools at:


Apply for a Safe Routes to School "Mini Grant" 


Mini Grants provide up to $1,000 for schools, PTAs and community groups to organize programs that encourage more kids to walk and bike to school.  Recent mini grant projects have supported equipment for walking school bus programs, student patrol, bike rodeos, traffic circulation changes on school property, pedestrian crossing flags, and intersection paintings. A call for applications will be available in late September, so check back for updates.




Bike and Truck Safety Fair - Sep 6,6:30 to 8:30 am


SDOT, the Port of Seattle, Cascade Bicycle Club, and others have joined forces to foster safe biking and driving practices on our streets and raise awareness of the challenges that both bikers and truckers face daily through the Bike and Truck Safety Fair. The fair will feature bike-truck blind spot simulations, truck ride-alongs, safety information and giveaways, and even free continental breakfast!


Bicycle Sundays - Sept 15 and 22, 10 am to 6 pm


This year's last few Bicycle Sundays are almost hereBicycle or walk along Lake Washington Boulevard south of Mount Baker Beach to Seward Parks entrance to take part in this 45-year-long tradition.


PARK(ing) Day - Sept 20, 9 am to 3 pm


Visit a mini-park created by a neighbor on PARK(ing) Day! This event happens once a year on the third Friday in September, and is an opportunity for any Seattleite to temporarily make parking spaces into parks. 


Subscribe to the Walk Bike Rider, your monthly newsletter with quick tools, information and inspiration to help you walk, bike and ride.  Subscribing is quick and easy, and you may unsubscribe any time.  


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Regards from the Way to Go, Seattle! Team