Let’s Get Ready For #NACTO16!

We passed the Move Seattle Levy!!

The future of living in Seattle suddenly seems a lot more hopeful.SNG Move Seattle volunteers

We’ll be repairing bridges, repaving roads, replacing broken signals and signs. Important as it is to maintain what we have, we passed a nearly billion dollar transportation levy because we’re ready to transform Seattle, not just to maintain it.

And what better motivation to transform Seattle than NACTO 2016?

Seattle is playing host to the “Olympics” of street engineers and activists next September when NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) comes to town. Since NACTO centers around walking and biking tours of the best each city has to offer, it is a perfect opportunity to ramp up our visible, transformational infrastructure.

Center City Network. (City of Seattle)
Center City Network. (City of Seattle)

Here are our four suggestions for what Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) can build by September 2016 in time for #NACTO16:

  1. Center City Bike Network. Build it. All of it. All of the blue lines. Call it a pilot project, but get it done. Seattle’s current downtown bicycle infrastructure for All Ages and Abilities is an embarrassment. Let’s put our best lanes forward for NACTO.
  2. Rainier Ave South Protected Bike Lanes. If Shirley and Adam can build 2000 feet of protected bike lanes that are safe enough for a four-year-old to ride a bike on between Hillman City and Columbia City in one day with chalk, green butcher paper, and orange cones, SDOT can link up these two Rainier Valley communities this year in time for NACTO.
  3. Safe Routes to School. Let’s make sure we can take our NACTO visitors on walking tours where we’ve transformed the school walk zones around ten of our schools in historically underserved communities. We’ve got more than 100 School Walk Zones to improve to All Ages and Abilities standards. Let’s get to work!
  4. Roll out the green carpet in South Lake Union. Of course NACTO officials will want to see the beating economic heart of Seattle. Let’s make sure South Lake Union is accessible for people who walk and bike. Westlake Cycletrack is likely to be nearly complete by 2016. South Lake Union needs to connect east, west and to downtown. Can we actually show off a walking / bicycle network that knits the city together?Murray SRTS

Our local Seattle Neighborhood Greenways groups and volunteers worked hard to get the Move Seattle Levy passed. Thank you voters!

Our challenge now is to SDOT and the Mayor: We’re inviting the neighbors over to see our streets. Let’s get Seattle ready for ‪#‎NACTO16Now it is time get to work to quickly transform Seattle into a safe, healthy, equitable city where people can safely walk, roll, and bike.

This is a cross-post and originally appeared on the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways blog.

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Cathy Tuttle (Guest Contributor)

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is a safe streets advocacy organization with a rapidly growing volunteer coalition. Together, this coalition represents many neighborhoods across Seattle who plan and advocate for safe, equitable, and comfortable streets connecting people to the places they want to go.

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The voters just gave SDOT the money to buy ingredients for a for a really sweet cake; now it’s high time they look at proven recipes for them to bake with. There are plenty of places with awesome cakes for them to take inspiration from. Get your recipes from CROW (best)! Look at MassDOT! No more flour and water mishmashes.

Queen Anne Greenways

When I heard NACTO was going to be held in Seattle next year, I got that sinking feeling. Clearly, we’re not ready and we have very little to showcase, a fact Shirley describes well.

If we are listing embarrassments, South Lake Union has to be the biggest. Here’s why. We will basically be inviting the nation’s leading transportation planners, engineers and activists to Seattle and saying, “Here we built this gleaming new urban center and we gave it almost zero bike infrastructure.”

For this reason, we need to prioritize Lake2Bay, a vision for bike and pedestrian routes that connect Lake Union with Elliott Bay, through Belltown, Uptown and South Lake Union. We need to do a whole lot more but the Lake2Bay collaboration has real momentum, an engaged group of stakeholders, and thoughtful design guidance. If we can’t make real progress on Lake2Bay in the next year, I’m not certain we ever can.


How embarrassing to have the next conference in our city. What do we have to show if it happened right now? A 2nd Ave, kinda protected bike lane where red light turns happen while pedestrians are trying to cross the street or worse, into me when I am biking with my kids. How lovely the people driving just shrug when they realize that I was outside their metal cage. How am I suppose to feel when this conference comes here and I have to warn people, “okay we are about to bike on a “safe place” but you have to watch out for the people driving. Make a real connective network downtown and fix this. Downtown is like the wild west.

Hello @SDOT, remember us and our Rainier Ave protected bike lane for PARK(ing) Day? It wasn’t just a fun hobby project it is a real need. If you didn’t see hoards of people biking there that ONE day, well that’s because it needed to be up longer. This would eliminate that WASTED space that is there. Guess where people are attempting to bike now? In that wasted space. Come on, let’s make it permanent and extend it. You made a kinda protected bike lane at the further part of Rainier Ave (not a fan!). Connect those!

Looking at what Austin accomplished this year. Their show case bike infrastructure was amazing. REAL barriers, not just paint. If you have someone who can think of making barrier structures with bowls and cement what tools does a city have? https://instagram.com/p/9iJbVAhIhU/

What do real barriers look like? Here, for real!

Austin stepped up to the challenge. Make some real infrastructure. Make Rainier Ave safe for everyone. The speed limit is 25 now but people are still driving over that. COME ON!!

Now is @SDOT’s chance to step up to the challenge! Do it! Nobody is asking you to reinvent the wheel, UGH.