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

A snow covered Seattle Waterfront

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 of roads that have been cleared, there is no parallel plan for sidewalk, curb ramp, or transit stop snow removal. This leaves those of us who can’t drive or those of us who rely on accessible sidewalks, intersections, and transit stops without any mobility options.

While major snow events in Seattle don’t occur every day, 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. An inclusive emergency preparedness plan must be a priority as our city strives to become more resilient.

We request that the City Council convene a hearing to evaluate the City’s snow response, and invite representatives from SDOT, Sound Transit, and King County Metro, as well as disabled residents to discuss Seattle’s priorities for snow removal.



Rooted in Rights/Disability Rights Washington

Washington Civil & Disability Advocate

Seattle 500 Women Scientists

Transit Riders Union

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Feet First

The Urbanist

NFB Of Washington, Greater Seattle Chapter

350 Seattle Transportation Team

Pedestrian Advisory Board


Cc. Bicycle Advisory Board, Transit Advisory Board, Citizens Accessibility Advisory Committee Sound Transit, Pedestrian Access Advisory Committee, Seattle Commission for People with DisAbilities.

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