Celebrating 2019 Transportation Wins – and Looking Towards 2020

People in the rain on sidewalk with person in orange WSDOT vest

Disabled Pedestrian Safety

With the Moving All Seattle Sustainably (MASS) Coalition, we won legislation calling for the City of Seattle to adopt a new comprehensive signals policy that would include more time to cross the street and give  pedestrians a head-start over turning cars. Also, after our advocacy on the need to slow down cars to prevent pedestrian deaths, the Mayor announced 25-mph speed limits city-wide.

Preventing Scooters and Bike Share from Blocking Access

With the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, we created scooter and bike share etiquette videos. With the MASS coalition we also sponsored a piece of legislation requesting Seattle fund more scooter parking and implement fines against mis-parked bike and scooter share. We are now convening a quarterly meeting with transportation coordinators from Seattle, Redmond, King County and other jurisdictions with scooters and bike share to talk about best practices for resolving access issues. 

Accessible Sidewalks

As part of the MASS Coalition, we also pushed for legislation that would require Seattle to fund the construction of missing sidewalks and develop a plan  for holding property owners responsible for maintaining their cracked and damaged sidewalks. Because our advocacy around the impacts of uncleared sidewalks \on disabled pedestrians during winter storms, this legislation also pushed Seattle to do more to educate property owners about snow clearing

And everything else!

We also worked as part of the Fare Share Coalition to push ride hailing companies to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles, and to increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis in King County. And we made sure disabled voices were part of the conversation around the impacts of I-976. 

This year, we’ll continue to tell our stories to limit the impacts on transportation budget cuts on disabled, transit-dependent Washingtonians. Last legislative session, our viral “Don’t Block the Box” video was critical to the near-passage of the automatic traffic safety camera legislation that would allow cities to ticket vehicles for blocking crosswalks and bus-only lanes. We’re hopeful this year we’ll see the legislation pass!

And we look forward to replicating some of our success in Seattle in more communities statewide. To do this, we need to recruit volunteers and interns from communities across the state, so if you’re disabled are impacted by lack of accessible or reliable transit options, we’d love to collaborate with you!

Anna Zivarts is the program director of Rooted in Rights and a low-vision mom who can't drive. She joined the Rooted in Rights team from Time of Day Media, a digital media cooperative she co-founded in 2010. At Time of Day, Anna produced digital video for the Innocence Project and Fight for 15, and lead searches for the ACLU in Kansas and Wisconsin to find citizens disenfranchised by voter ID laws. Twitter: @AnnaZivarts