Walking & Cycling

Background

Walking, biking, and transit are intertwined, and in order to have a good transportation system, we need to also feel safe and comfortable while walking or cycling. The 2018 King County Metro Rider and Non-Rider Survey shows that 18% mostly get places by walking, and 6% by biking. For Seattle residents using transit, 90% get to and from the bus or light rail stop by walking.

Seattle has a Vision Zero program with a goal of ending all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. As part of this plan, Seattle will do safer street design, better enforcement of traffic rules, and public engagement. As part of this plan, the City has reduced speed limits to 25 mph on most arterials.

Seattle has a Bicycle Master Plan that covers 2019-2024, and has a vision "to create a bicycle network that is an integral part of daily life for people of all ages and abilities". The plan calls for the city to add protected bike lanes on major streets, establish neighborhood greenways on smaller streets, and maintain a trail network. Many of the projects for 2020 are currently on pause due to SDOT budget cuts in response to Covid-19.

Seattle also has a Pedestrian Master Plan that covers 2020-2024. Its vision is to make Seattle "the most walkable and accessible city in the nation". Part of this is improving intersections, and adding sidewalks. Some of these projects are also on hold in response to the budget crisis caused by Covid-19. One thing SDOT has done for Covid is to switch most of the city's pedestrian lights to always show the walk light, instead of forcing pedestrians to push the button to get the walk light.

SDOT has established some Stay Healthy streets closed to thru traffic in response to Covid-19, to give people more space to walk and cycle while social distancing. SDOT has gradually enlarged the scope of the program, and plans to keep some of the streets closed permanently.

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