people walk and roll across a rainbow painted crosswalk
(Credit: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways)

As you might have already heard, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is creating a new plan called the “Seattle Transportation Plan.” This plan will guide transportation planning and implementation for the next decade and beyond. It will update and combine the city’s bike, freight, pedestrian, and transit maps into one plan. It also will determine how and where people will fit onto Seattle’s streets. Learn more here.

This plan is currently going through what is known as a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) alternatives analysis, and we need to ensure the alternatives are as strong as possible from the beginning. 

Please take a minute to send a comment by this Friday, July 29th, to make sure this important plan reflects and advances our safety, equity, and climate goals.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ concerns and suggestions

In conversation with our allies at the MASS Coalition, we have identified five main concerns and suggestions: 

Before moving forward with SEPA analysis for the Seattle Transportation Plan, please revise the proposed alternatives in the following way:

  1. Delete Alternative 2 which would be a failure of our necessary climate goals. Seattle must be a leader on a just transition to a sustainable future, and failing to do so by 2044 should not be studied as an option. 
  2. Add a bold Alternative 4. We need a new alternative that makes bold progress in the next decade, rather than waiting for 2044. We need an alternative that rapidly makes walking, biking, and transit the most convenient, safe, and comfortable ways to get around Seattle. Let’s plan for an accessible city for all, where sidewalks and crosswalks are ubiquitous. Let’s plan for a bike friendly city where every street is safe to bike on. Let’s plan for a city where frequent transit is prioritized over the movement of cars. Let’s plan for a city where our streets are recognized as public space for play, community building, trees, gardens, cafes, and so much more! In short, let’s plan for a future that is more sustainable, equitable, safe, affordable, healthy, accessible, and thriving. 
  3. Plan for an affordable 15-Minute City. Please revise the alternatives to plan for a city where everyone has an affordable home, and where daily needs are within a short walk or roll. These strategies must be developed in concert with the land use plan to be effective and equitable. 
  4. Improve the “themes” used to evaluate the alternatives. Please improve the universal design theme away from app solutions and towards the needs of non-drivers and people with disabilities. Please add public space, kid-friendly, elderly-friendly, and noise pollution as new themes to better help understand the outcomes that different alternatives would create. 
  5. Reduce the over-emphasis on vehicle electrification: The draft alternatives envision a large role for the City of Seattle in promoting private electric vehicles. SDOT should instead focus on what it has the most control over: prioritizing investments and street space so that walking, biking, and transit are the most convenient, safe, and comfortable ways to get around.

Taking a minute to comment on the plan is the best way to ensure that these important priorities are represented in the plan. Make sure to act today!

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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.