Access to transportation is identified by our constituents as one of the top three challenges facing people with disabilities in Washington State, and we have heard from other disability advocates that they hear the same message from their constituents. 

Our communities have been designed around the automobile as transportation, and for those of us who cannot drive or cannot afford to drive, this creates major barriers for us to access school, jobs, doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and everything else we need to get to in order to participate fully in our communities. 

The changes we need to improve the accessibility of our streets and transit not only benefit people with disabilities, who are more likely than other populations to not have access to cars, they also will benefit other communities who disproportionately rely on the bus, walking/rolling or biking for transit – communities of color, immigrants, low income workers, and those who were recently incarcerated.

Thus our work on accessible transportation and streets allows us to build relationships and work in coalitions with community partners who share our goals of making access to our communities not reliant on having access to a driver’s license or car. By working together in coalition, we are able to bring disability into conversations where it previously hadn’t been included, and we are able to push ourselves to connect with people who have access needs, yet haven’t previously wanted to identify as disabled or seen their needs or concerns addressed by disability advocacy organizations. And in forming these broad, and sometimes unexpected coalitions with community groups, unions, environmental and transportation advocacy organizations, we are able to achieve real and meaningful change.



Taxi signage with wheelchair symbol

Victory! City of Seattle Changes Reimbursement Rate Structure to Increase Supply of Wheelchair Accessible Cabs

The City of Seattle is changing the reimbursement rates for Wheelchair Accessible Taxi owners
A blanket of snow covers an open space; a sidewalk buried underneath a sheet of icy packed snow.

Victory! Seattle Emphasizes the Importance of Clearing Sidewalks in Snow Emergencies

As we get ready for snow, we're really glad to see the City of Seattle emphasize the importance of keeping sidewalks accessible!
People in the rain on sidewalk with person in orange WSDOT vest

Celebrating 2019 Transportation Wins – and Looking Towards 2020

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 … Continued


 

two broken escalators at Sound Transit station

Let us know – how are you impacted by broken Sound Transit elevators and escalators?

We want to hear from you how the frequent outages of Sound Transit elevators and escalators impact your mobility and ability to get where you need to go.
Clark points to giant posters of snow covered streets

Victory! Seattle City Council Passes Resolutions that Will Increase Access on Our Sidewalks and Intersections

On September 30, the Seattle City Council approved two resolutions to make our sidewalks and intersections safer and more accessible for disabled folks, and more usable for all pedestrians!
Anna speaks at 976 press conference

Program Director Anna Zivarts’ Statement On Washington’s Initiative 976

Nearly 13 percent of people in Washington State have mobility-limiting disabilities. Many of us don’t have driver’s licenses, or access to a car. It’s not just disabled folks who are transit dependent – it’s also our youth, our elders, immigrants and people who can’t afford cars. Transit for us isn’t a choice, it’s an absolutely … Continued


 

A blanket of snow covers an open space; a sidewalk buried underneath a sheet of icy packed snow.

Don’t Snow Us In

4 days. 7 days. 3 weeks. That’s how long it was before Bruce, Laura, and Neve could safely leave their respective homes after last year’s snowstorms.
Two people ride Lime scooters and are overlaid with green checkmarks.

Scoot Smart!

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) teamed up with Disability Rights Oregon, Rooted in Rights, and Lime to release a new e-scooter safety video
Vanessa and Anna accept award from Puget Sound Sage

Rooted in Rights Wins Three Community Awards for Authentic Advocacy

This year, Rooted in Rights received three awards in recognition for our groundbreaking storytelling on transportation and access. See what these community organizations are saying about our work!


 

Street view of a sidewalk

Sidewalks Are A Critical – Yet They’re Still Missing on Some Seattle Arterials

Disabled folks and other pedestrians rely on sidewalks to get where we need to go, yet a quarter of blocks in Seattle are missing sidewalks, including 1,800 blocks on arterial streets that lack a safe place to walk.
Amandeep walking on the sidewalk with their white cane

Amandeep: With Transit, The Things I Want to Do, I Can Do

Amandeep moved to Lynwood five years ago from India. Thanks to public transit, she now has the opportunity to go to school and start a career. Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 could take that away.
Krystal is wheeling up to get on a bus lift.

Krystal: Transportation Provides Independence

Krystal relies on transit to get to the Lakewood Center. If Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 passes, she could be stuck at home.


 

Clark points to giant posters of snow covered streets

Victory! Seattle City Council Passes Resolutions that Will Increase Access on Our Sidewalks and Intersections

On September 30, the Seattle City Council approved two resolutions to make our sidewalks and intersections safer and more accessible for disabled folks, and more usable for all pedestrians!
Cory and Matthew are standing by a bus stop

Corey & Matthew: It’s Not Possible To Be Independent Without A Public Transit System

Corey and Matthew teach other blind people mobility and independence skills. Hear why they think Tim Eyman’s I-976 will hurt our communities.
Jonah on a transit ride

Jonah: Without Transit, My Mom Would Have to Drive Me

Jonah lives in Spokane and relies on public transit. Hear why he thinks Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 is such a bad deal for Washington.


 

Woman on street corner

Traffic Signals that Work for All Pedestrians!

Seattle City Council is considering a resolution to ask Seattle Department of Transportation to create a traffic signals policy that would prioritize pedestrians. Hear Carol explain why this matters, and how slower crossing speeds help pedestrians of all ages and abilities navigate intersections safely. 
Image of Dixin in their wheelchair. They are positioned on the highway.

Our Sidewalks Are an Access Nightmare – Let’s fix them, Seattle!

We are working with the Moving All Seattle Sustainably Coalition to pass the MASS Transportation Package, which includes legislation to improve maintenance and access of our sidewalks. For more stories about our sidewalks, read our report. We hav also created an advocacy video and collected stories on the importance of snow and ice clearing policies. … Continued
Several cars blocking the curb ramp at the other end of a crosswalk.

Don’t Block the Box

When drivers block the box, it makes the streets more dangerous for everyone.


 

Image of a busy street. A car is in the right lane and a bike is resting against a pole on the sidewalk. The following words appear in yellow font: Bike Share Parking: Do The Right Thing

Bike Share Parking: Do the Right Thing!

We teamed up with Seattle Department of Transportation to create a video showing the do’s and don’ts of good bike share parking. Check out Dorian and Jacob as they describe the difficulties of navigating sidewalks that are blocked by bike share bikes, and watch them provide helpful tips on the best places to park your … Continued
A woman with long black hair pushes her wheelchair towards a sign that says, "Sidewalk Closed", infornt of a construction site.

Construction Site Access: It’s Important for Everyone!

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. And with more people comes more construction to support our expanding city. As we continue through the #SeattleSqueeze, public and private infrastructure projects continue to impact how we get around, especially those with disabilities. With many of these projects directly affecting our streets and … Continued
Conrad views an image of snow filled walkway beside a house.

Seattle’s Snow Planning Freezes Out People With Disabilities

As our city faces a more uncertain climate future it is important that we establish emergency response protocols that include disabled people and other vulnerable users.


 

two scooters parked on a sidewalk

Open Letter to Seattle Mayor Durkan on Scooter Share

By being thoughtful about how we use the entirety of our roadways, we can have a city that is more – not less – accessible for all of us, and at the same time work towards ensuring a climate future for our kids.
A snow covered Seattle Waterfront

Letter to Seattle City Council: Request to Investigate Impacts of Seattle’s Snow Removal Priorities

Dear Members of Seattle City Council: We are writing to request that the City Council investigate the City’s response to our most recent snow events, in particular how the city’s priorities around snow clearance impacted people with disabilities. While Seattle has designated emerald and gold routes for snow clearance from roadways and a real-time map … Continued
Taxi signage with wheelchair symbol

Our region needs more wheelchair accessible taxis

September 13, 2019   Dear Mayor Durkan,    Currently there are only fifty wheelchair accessible taxis (WAT) to serve our 2.2 million residents of King County.    WATs are an essential piece of our transportation network, but customers often have to wait more than an hour because of the lack of vehicles. People who do … Continued


 

Luke is seated on the bus.

Luke: Transit Gets Me from Point A to Point B

Luke is a student in Tacoma and uses the bus to get to school and to be involved in disability advocacy. Don’t let Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 stop Luke from getting where he needs to go!
Woman gives peace sign to camera.

I-976 Impacts: “My life is built on transit”

Tracy grew up in a rural town in upstate New York with no transit options. As a person with low vision, Tracy can’t drive or ride a bike, so she relied on her friends and family to get around. When Tracy moved to Seattle in 2001, it was the first time she could get around … Continued
White haired man with beard and glasses

I-976 Impacts: “I wouldn’t be able to get where I need to go”

Donavan lives in Lakewood and relies on the Puget Sound region’s connected transit system to get around. “I’m independent and mobile with transit. I can go anywhere without relying on someone.” Donavan attends brain injury support groups in Bremerton, Puyallup, and Tacoma. Puget Sound’s regional transit network makes this possible. From Lakewood, Donavan uses Kitsap … Continued


Access Bus

I-976 Impacts: “I take Access Transit everywhere”

Gina was a proud rider of the #158 bus from Kent to her job at The Lighthouse for the Blind in Seattle. She is blind as well, and says, “Transit brings me the freedom to travel anywhere I need to travel. It brings me independence. I don’t depend on someone to drive me.” Since retirement, … Continued