Sunday, May 18, 2014

School Road Safety Public Input Workshops

From the City of Seattle:

Simply THE most important road safety meetings you can attend this year @SeattleDOT School Road Safety.

Why? Starting in 2015, the School Road Safety Plan will prioritize millions in safety improvements every year around our schools.

**Tuesday, May 20 at 6 PM to 7:30 PM SW Southwest Branch Seattle Public Library, 9010 35th Ave SW

**Tuesday, May 27 at 6 PM to 7:30 PM Northeast Branch Seattle Public Library, 6801 35th Ave NE

**Thursday, May 29 at 6 PM to 7:30 PM Garfield Community Center, 2323 E Cherry St

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) invites you to a design workshop where we’ll examine how to improve traffic safety near Seattle schools. The workshops will include a presentation and discussion on road design treatments and a “walk about” intended to provide examples of traffic barriers and potential opportunities.

These workshops are part of an effort to improve safety near schools through a combination of street improvements, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation; and builds on work already being done through the City of Seattle’s Safe Routes to School program.

SDOT is hosting three School Road Safety Design Workshops in May. PLEASE JOIN US!

CONTACT: Jim Curtin, Seattle Department
of Transportation
RSVP: or (206) 684-8874

I note that, earlier this month, there was a Lake City walk around the reopening Cedar Park Elementary.  It was lead by Katie Sheehy of DPD and included a high school volunteer for Feet First, some parents from various area elementaries.  For portion of the walk, it also included Rep. Gerry Pollet and School Board President Sharon Peaslee.  

Apparently Peaslee seems under the impression that it's the City's job to make routes safe (and that they need to put in sidewalks).  Pollet seemed very surprised that any portion of the walk could be consider to be safe for children.   

I have done a stairwalk in that area and I, too, was shocked at how difficult it would be to safely walk to Cedar Park. 


Anonymous said...

I’m glad to see that SDOT has scheduled these workshops. Student density at some sites, such as Cedar Park and Pinehurst, will increase immensely as a result of BEXIV and Growth Boundaries decisions. It is good to see that student safety is an SDOT priority.

The Lake City Walk on May 4th highlighted the southern portion of the Cedar Park Walk Zone, which spans both sides of Lake City Way, and extends across NE 125th Street to the South. Additional community walks are being planned in order to explore other areas of the walk zone. Apparently, the Cedar Park Walk Zone will go into effect as early as Fall 2015, when Olympic Hills is at Cedar Park, in interim.

The Cedar Park Walk Zone will have a huge impact on families living in the mostly low-income Little Brook neighborhood (west of Lake City Way, between NE 140th and 145th). Kids living in Little Brook currently receive busing to Olympic Hills Elementary, because they live outside of the walk zone for Olympic Hills. However, after 2015, they, along with many, many other Olympic Hills students, will be expected to cross Lake City Way, by foot, to get to Cedar Park School and back each day.

While I can appreciate that SDOT is committed to helping all kids get safely to school, and I look forward to possible pedestrian safety improvements in the greater Lake City area, it seems there are limitations to what SDOT and the City, in general, can do to ensure the safety of school children. Are additional traffic lights, cross walks, crossing guards and “walking school buses” really the answer in circumstances like this? Shouldn’t it just be SPS policy that students who have to cross state highways to get to school should qualify for yellow bus service? Until I saw the Cedar Park map, I honestly thought this WAS a part of SPS transportation policy.

- North-end Mom

biliruben said...

I went on this walk.

Nice to Gerry and Sharon join us.

It's clear the little brook has no voice, and are being shoved around and put in danger because of their circumstances.

Imagine the uproar if Laurelhurst kids were being asked to cross a state highway that lacked lights crosswalks or sidewalks. This is a travesty and a sure tragedy waiting to happen.

That these kids are being pushed out of Oly Hills just as it's being rebuilt really stinks. I can't help but think there was a better solution. Not inundating Cedar Park with portables and creating an overflowing school. Opening the old Lake City School on 125th. Pushing Cedar Park's boundary south, closer to John Rogers. All would have been far superior choice than forcing low-income and immigrant kids to play frogger across a highway.

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