Seattle’s Snow Planning Freezes Out 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.

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.

In addition to Conrad’s story, we’ve collected testimony from more than 50 King County residents about our experiences in the 2019 snow emergency. You can read those stories here, and please share your own experience below.

We are working to educate the City of Seattle, City Council, King County Metro, King County Council and Sound Transit about how our region’s snow emergency response can be improved to take into consideration the access needs of disabled residents.

Read our letter to Seattle City Council on snow removal priorities. And the response we received from Seattle Department of Transportation’s ADA coordinator. If you’d like more information or want to work with us, please email us at

Rooted in Rights exists to amplify the perspectives of the disability community. Blog posts and storyteller videos that we publish and content we re-share on social media do not necessarily reflect the opinions or values of Rooted in Rights nor indicate an endorsement of a program or service by Rooted in Rights. We respect and aim to reflect the diversity of opinions and experiences of the disability community. Rooted in Rights seeks to highlight discussions, not direct them. Learn more about Rooted In Rights