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City of Seattle

September 18, 2:41 PM click here to comment > 7

Pedestrian safety emphasis patrols today in Seattle

In support of the Road Safety Action Plan and the “Be Super Safe” outreach campaign, the Seattle Police Department’s Traffic Section will be conducting pedestrian safety emphasis patrols on Wednesday, September 18 on four key Seattle corridors: North 45th Street, Rainier Avenue South, Aurora Avenue North and Lake City Way.

The locations were selected based on numbers of pedestrian-related collisions in corridors across the city. Enforcement will focus on behaviors that are most commonly associated with these collisions, specifically speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and following the rules of the road, such as yielding to those who have the right of way.

Seattle’s long-term road safety goal is to have zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030. Currently, there is an average of 500 pedestrian-involved collisions each year. Between 2007 and 2010, 30 pedestrians were killed in crashes on our streets. While pedestrian-involved collisions made up only 2 percent of all collisions during the same time period, pedestrians represented 24 percent of all serious injuries and fatalities.

More patrols will be scheduled in the future as the implementation of the Road Safety Action Plan continues.

Posted by: April Thomas

September 17, 3:06 PM click here to comment > 0

Mayor announces funding to hire 15 new police officers in 2014

Today at Atlantic Street Center Mayor Mike McGinn announced funding for 15 new police officers in the 2014 Proposed Budget.Mayor New Officers 03 copy copy

“We have heard from neighborhoods across the city that their number one safety priority is to see more officers walking beats in their communities” said McGinn. “Our improving budget situation allows us the flexibility to meet that need. These new officers will be recruited in partnership with community groups to ensure that they reflect the diversity of Seattle, and provided extensive training in the new standards and procedures that we have developed through our 20/20 reform plan.”

The mayor also released the Seattle Police Department’s new Code of Ethics, part of the SPD: 20/20 plan, which all new recruits (along with existing officers) will be required to study and sign. The Code of Ethics asks officers to actively commit to doing the following:

  • Treat people fairly and act in good faith
  • Work toward racial and social justice for all
  • Listen to what other people are saying, ask questions and consider their concerns
  • Commit to exploring new ways to improve public safety while reducing harm to communities and individuals
  • Keep service to our community as my first priority

Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel also outlined some other new training programs recruits will undergo, including Listen and Explain with Equity and Dignity training. This training is intended to develop a style of communicating that is focused on listening and providing answers to “Why” questions. This training model was initiated for new hires in June 2012. In-service training for 2013 will consist of both classroom and scenario based training.

“These new officers will be the cream of the crop” said Pugel. “We have worked extensively with our community partners like Atlantic Street Center, El Centro de la Raza and Filipino Community of Seattle to make sure we’re recruiting folks who are committed to working directly with the public to build a safer community. I look forward to getting these new officers trained and out walking the beat.”

The mayor also directed the press and public to check out the updated 20/20 website at seattle.gov/spd2020/ for detailed information on where each initiative stands. Most initiatives are nearing completion.

“Atlantic Street Center is proud to participate in SPD’s recruitment efforts as a community partner” said Atlantic Street Center Executive Director Edith Elion. “To build stronger relationships between the police and our community, we need to make sure the department reflects the diversity of our city. We’re headed in the right direction.”

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

September 16, 5:19 PM click here to comment > 2

Mayor announces new investment in Gender Justice Initiative

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced a $1.5 million reserve to fund future recommendations made by the Gender Equity in Pay Taskforce and help equalize the City of Seattle’s gender pay deficit.

“Gender disparity in pay is a real issue for the City,” said Mayor McGinn. “That’s why we launched a Gender Equity in Pay Task Force. I thank the Task Force for their diligent work toward understanding the City’s gender pay issues, and for their recommendations so far. This reserve will allow us to do the right thing and help balance the existing inequities.”

Earlier this year, Mayor McGinn directed the City Personnel Department to conduct a review of the City’s salary structure and determine if a gender pay disparity existed among City of Seattle workers.  This study revealed that men employed by the City of Seattle make approximately 9.5% more than women on average.

In response to this finding, the City convened a Gender Equity in Pay Taskforce made up of community experts.  Since August, the Task Force has begun to conduct an in-depth analysis and review of the City’s salary data.  Based on their work so far, they recommended that the Mayor:

  • Set aside funds now in the 2014 Proposed Budget to be used for implementation of taskforce recommendations. Once recommendations are developed, prioritized and approved, the City would be able to designate the funding appropriately.
  • Fund a position within the Seattle Office for Civil Rights to lead implementation of recommendations from the Gender Equity in Pay Task Force and to lead development and implementation of strategies for the Gender and Social Justice Initiative.

The mayor implemented these recommendations in his proposed budget, setting aside funding for future programs to address the gender pay gap.

The Gender and Social Justice Initiative will be launched in 2014 to expand the scope of this work beyond the City of Seattle to the broader community. Building off of the focus on gender equity in pay, the Initiative will be inclusive of the broader range of issues impacting gender equity, such as safety, family support, health, etc. Similar to the Race and Social Justice Initiative, the Gender and Social Justice Initiative will focus on institutional and structural biases that perpetuate inequitable outcomes. Because of the current reality of both institutional gender and racial biases, recognition will be given to the disproportionate impacts on women of color.

“I am impressed by the mayor’s commitment to the issue of equity,” said Task Force co-chair Patricia Hayden. “People across the nation are talking about the issue of gender pay disparity. Mayor McGinn is putting his money where his mouth is. The mayor will be looking at pay equalization as well as other programs to address gender pay disparities at the City of Seattle as we consider how best to close the pay gap.”

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

September 16, 3:15 PM click here to comment > 2

$5.5 million in Neighborhood Street Fund Projects announced

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced that 12 community-requested projects will be constructed through the City’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) Large Project program. Utilizing funds from the voter-approved Bridging the Gap (BTG) transportation levy and $1 million in savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct project, the city will invest $5.5 million over the next three years in enhancements for Seattle’s neighborhoods.

“People across the city ask me for safer and more walkable streets,” said Mayor McGinn. “This fund supports that priority and allows neighborhoods to promote the projects that are most important to them.”

Residents of Seattle’s neighborhoods proposed projects, which were reviewed and narrowed to a list of 38 by the city’s 13 district councils. Projects were ultimately vetted by the citizen-driven BTG Levy Oversight Committee. Projects were evaluated on criteria such as investment impact, quality of life enhancement, safety, cost, geographic distribution, and Pedestrian Master Plan scoring. See the full list at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/btg_nsf_large.htm.

“Seeing the projects with my own eyes during the selection process makes it clear how important these projects are to neighborhoods from a safety and livability standpoint – they’re all good projects that deserve funding,” said Kristen Lohse, Bridging the Gap (BTG) Levy Oversight Committee co-chair. “It’s a very satisfying feeling to know I’m helping build better neighborhoods through my work on the Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project selection process.”

The Neighborhood Street Fund Large Project Program is on a three-year cycle, which allows neighborhoods to build larger projects with greater positive impacts for walking and biking. An additional $1 million was added to the funding pool by Mayor McGinn and approved through City council as part of the savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct Project, bringing the total funding available for this third and final round to $5.5 million. Projects selected in 2013 will be designed in 2014 and constructed in 2015. During the first two three-year cycles completed in 2009 and 2012, the city invested $10.5 million in 27 large projects across Seattle.

This is the second time the BTG Levy Oversight Committee has made NSF project recommendations to the mayor and council. “It is an honor to be asked to review these projects,” said Ann Martin, BTG Levy Oversight Committee co-chair. “They are all worthy projects and the committee worked diligently to make solid recommendations. We just wish we could fund all of them.”

For more information on Bridging the Gap or to learn more about the Neighborhood Street Fund for Large Projects, visit www.seattle.gov/transportation/BridgingtheGap.htm.

Posted by: April Thomas

September 12, 4:55 PM click here to comment > 2

Mayor announces increased support for Seattle senior centers

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced $210,000 in new funding to benefit nine City-funded senior centers in Seattle in his 2014 Proposed Budget, as well as $631,000 to backfill federal and state cuts to programs serving older adults in Seattle.senior image

“It is essential that we backfill state and federal cuts to programs serving older adults in our community,” said Mayor McGinn. “These programs help people age in their homes by providing meal services, transportation and case management. Support services like these can help people live longer and healthier lives. And new funds for senior centers would provide increased outreach to at-risk seniors and programming to address the social and health needs of older people.”

The City of Seattle currently funds nine senior centers at $614,141 per year. The Proposed Budget would provide an increase of $20,000 for eight centers ($160,000 total):

  • Senior Center of West Seattle
  • Southeast Seattle Senior Center
  • The Central
  • Ballard Northwest Senior Center
  • Greenwood Senior Center
  • Wallingford Community Senior Center
  • Pike Market Senior Center
  • International Drop-In Center.

The South Park Senior Center would receive an additional $50,000.

Senior centers are community drop-in centers providing activities that focus on meeting the social, health, educational, and recreational needs of older adults. Senior centers offer a range of services and resources including health screening, health promotion activities, social work services, social activities, and meals. Each of these centers creates programming around the unique needs of its neighborhood and target population.

In 2012, the nine senior centers served more than 14,000 Seattle residents with very limited resources.

Senior centers have faced significant challenges over recent years including aging facilities, declining financial resources, and changing demographics. In response, each center has undertaken new fundraising efforts, created strategies to engage the baby boomer population, and increased partnerships such as with the Parks Department’s Lifelong Recreation Program.

The role of senior centers will continue to evolve as the needs of the aging population and rising numbers of older adults in Seattle continue to grow. The population of older adults in the Seattle area is expected to double by 2025.

The mayor also announced that his 2014 Proposed Budget would backfill state and federal reductions to the Aging and Disabilities Services (ADS) division of the Human Services Department. The Department will lose revenues due to federal sequestration ($483,000) and state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) cuts ($148,000). Without the City replacing the lost revenue, critical programs such as senior meal services, volunteer transportation, adult day services, case management, family caregiver support services and healthy aging programs would face cuts that would drastically undermine their ability to support older adults in our community.

You can find more information about senior centers in Seattle here.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance

September 12, 10:13 AM click here to comment > 0

Measuring for performance in Seattle’s budget

Residents rightly expect that government will spend their tax dollars wisely. One way we do that here at the City of Seattle is to measure the outcomes of our investments to ensure we are achieving our intended results.

Upon taking office I began working with department directors to develop performance expectations and ways to measure them. Since 2011 these performance expectation agreements with individual City departments have been available for the public to view online, the first time in Seattle history that these have been publicly posted. We update these agreements quarterly and just recently posted the results for the 2nd quarter of 2013. In addition, we regularly use performance measures to evaluate the outcomes of City investments, including the Families and Education Levy and our human services contracts.

There’s more we can do to integrate these concepts into all aspects out our budgeting and decision-making process. My 2014 Proposed Budget will provide resources to the City Budget Office to hire staff with in-depth experience in performance measurement, program design and evaluation to serve as a Citywide resource for program evaluation and outcomes measurement. Under the leadership of this new position, the City Budget Office will develop a training program to help develop this expertise among staff in departments who develop new programs and manage existing ones. These new resources will allow the City to develop standard approaches and polices on program design and evaluation, leading to more consistent, robust and thoughtful program evaluations with the ultimate goal of integrating this into all aspects of the budget development process.

To help us accomplish this work, the City Budget Office has been working with the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs to integrate some initial program design and evaluation principles into many of the programs that I will propose in my 2014 budget that I will transmit to Council on September 23.

In addition, the 2014 Proposed Budget will also include resources to replace our outdated budget systems with a new streamlined system that will allow for better integration of accounting and human resources data into the budget system. The new budget system will allow us to integrate performance measures into our budget process going forward.

Posted by: Mayor Mike McGinn

September 11, 4:39 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – $14 million for neighborhood streets and sidewalks

THE READER
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
Click here to receive The Reader via email.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

$14 million for neighborhood streets and sidewalks
Mayor McGinn announced nearly $14 million in neighborhood transportation investments throughout Seattle as part of his 2014 Proposed Budget. These investments focus on the basics, with more funding for sidewalks, road paving, design work for bridge rehabilitation, and funding for coordinated transportation planning in four key corridors.

“Seattle’s economy is doing well, and that gives us the ability to pave more streets, build more sidewalks, repair more bridges, and conduct additional coordinated transportation planning,” said McGinn. “We’re investing in better roads and sidewalks in neighborhoods across our city.”

“Neighborhoods across Seattle are always in need of, and advocating for, more transportation investments,” said Phil Shack, chair of the City Neighborhood Council. “This commitment to invest more in our neighborhoods is much needed and very welcome.”

The mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget represents a 37 percent increase in road maintenance funding over 2010 levels. A significant investment for people who walk is also part of this budget proposal. With more funding for pedestrian improvements like sidewalks and curb ramps, there is a 79 percent increase in Pedestrian Master Plan Implementation over the 2014 Endorsed Capital Improvement Program.


$500,000 for neighborhood projects
Yesterday, Mayor McGinn announced he will propose an increase of $500,000 to the Neighborhood Matching Fund as part of his upcoming 2014 Proposed Budget. This increase restores the amount of funds available to support neighborhood projects back to pre-recession levels. In addition, the budget will add another staff position to support the program and its awardees. McGinn’s proposal also includes $60,000 for projects designed to discourage criminal activity.

“For 25 years, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has been integral to so many community projects and activities,” said McGinn. “It’s contribution to neighborhoods can be seen across the city from the Fremont Troll to Georgetown’s Hat n’ Boots. This funding will help residents as they design projects to support the quality of life of their neighborhoods.”

McGinn also proposed another $60,000 to develop a special designation to the Neighborhood Matching Fund that will help neighbors participate in projects focused on discouraging criminal activity. Incorporating CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, a consultant will be hired to develop the policies and the community engagement model to help communities assess problem areas and implement solutions. This idea came as a result of the mayor’s Safe Communities Initiative community outreach project, in which residents identified CPTED as an opportunity for city investment that could reduce crime and improve safety. More information about the Safe Communities Initiative can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/safe.

The previous round of Neighborhood Matching Fund grants were announced last week.


$14.8 million for School Road Safety
Mayor McGinn announced last week substantial new investments for road safety at Seattle-area schools. $14.8 million in revenue collected through the City’s school zone speed cameras will be re-invested in safety improvements at schools across Seattle over the next two years. This will include improvements like new sidewalks, improved street crossings, and traffic calming at more than 20 schools as well as expanded education and encouragement programs to increase safety for students.

“Keeping children safe as they travel to and from school, as well as throughout their neighborhood, is a top priority,” said McGinn. “This substantial new investment will help us make lasting improvements and encourage everyone to be safe on our roads.”

This effort is part of the School Road Safety Initiative launched earlier this year. This initiative is being advised by a School Road Safety Task Force and Interagency Team, made up of residents and members of school communities throughout the city, Seattle Public Schools, representatives of Public Health – Seattle & King County, King County Metro, Sound Transit, Safe Kids Seattle, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, members of the Seattle Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Boards, and non-profit leaders such as Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition.


Budget Speech September 23
Mayor McGinn will present his proposed budget, including the investments described above, in his annual budget speech at 2:00 p.m. on September 23, 2013 in Seattle City Council Chambers.


Upcoming events (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/Engage/access.htm):
Sept 14, 10:00 a.m. – Seventh Annual Festival of Fruit, Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center (950 NW Carkeek Park Rd)

Sept 14, 11:00 a.m. – Fiestas Patrias Parade and Fiesta, South Park Community Center (8319 8th Ave S)

Sept 14, 1:00 p.m. – Jefferson Park Jubilee, Jefferson Park (3801 Beacon Ave S)

Sept 15, New Zealand Forest Opening, Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Dr E)


Video highlights (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/photos/videos.htm):

P-Patch expansion Support for Immigrant and Refugee Communities
School Road Safety Investments Neighborhood Matching Fund expansion

What we’re reading:
Paul Lambros: 20 years of helping the homeless

Seattle’s sick leave policy appears to be healthy for business

Top 1 percent in U.S. took biggest share of income since 1928

Demand cools as fight rages over coal-export terminals


To subscribe to The Reader via email, click here.

Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill

September 11, 3:39 PM click here to comment > 1

Mayor McGinn announces nearly $14 million in neighborhood transportation investments

Mayor Mike McGinn announced nearly $14 million in neighborhood transportation investments throughout Seattle as part of his 2014 Proposed Budget. These investments focus on the basics, with more funding for sidewalks, road paving, design work for bridge rehabilitation, and funding for coordinated transportation planning in four key corridors.

“Seattle’s economy is doing well, and that gives us the ability to pave more streets, build more sidewalks, repair more bridges, and conduct additional coordinated transportation planning,” said McGinn. “We’re investing in better roads and sidewalks in neighborhoods across our city.”

“Neighborhoods across Seattle are always in need of, and advocating for, more transportation investments,” said Phil Shack, chair of the City Neighborhood Council. “This commitment to invest more in our neighborhoods is much needed and very welcome.”

The mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget represents a 37 percent increase in road maintenance funding over 2010 levels. A significant investment for people who walk is also part of this budget proposal. With more funding for pedestrian improvements like sidewalks and curb ramps, there is a 79 percent increase in Pedestrian Master Plan Implementation over the 2014 Endorsed Capital Improvement Program.

“Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan is the City’s guide to prioritized investments for people who walk,” said Devor Barton, chair of the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board. “This funding increase for plan implementation will make our streets safer, our neighborhood more walkable, and, eventually, it will make our residents healthier.”

The mayor’s budget proposal includes $776,000 to initiate coordinated transportation planning in four corridors in 2014: Beacon Avenue, Lake City Way, Greenwood Avenue, and East Marginal Way. This work will utilize pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and freight planning to recommend future investments. It will include project scoping, conceptual design, cost estimating, traffic studies, and public engagement to evaluate potential capital improvements. $2,400,000 is also included to leverage state and federal grants to significantly improve the 23rd Avenue Corridor, a corridor running through the Central District and Capitol Hill. Improvements will include sidewalk reconstruction, pavement reconstruction, a neighborhood greenway, signal upgrades, and more.

Specific maintenance and infrastructure investments include:

  • $4,000,000 during 2014 and 2015 to build new sidewalks, based on Pedestrian Master Plan criteria.
  • $3,000,000 during 2014 and 2015 to repair sidewalks and construct approximately 200 curb ramps.
  • $1,000,000 in additional funding to repair more of the City’s arterial roadways. Projects will be selected based on pavement condition, cost, use by transit, bicycles, pedestrians and freight, traffic volume, coordination opportunities, and geographic balance across the city.
  • $1,000,000 in additional funding to restore more of the city’s non-arterial streets.
  • $1,000,000 over 2014-2015 to improve the pedestrian and bicycle environments near the future Northgate Light Rail Station in Northgate.
  • $500,000 for design for rehabilitation or replacement of three or four of the City’s most structurally deficient bridges. This work will enable the Seattle Department of Transportation to develop competitive grant proposals for future funding.
  • $200,000 to develop small-scale capital improvements at street ends during 2014 and 2015. Improvements may include stairs, benches, seating, viewing platforms, plantings or landscaping, and habitat enhancements.
  • $100,000 to design and install traffic calming devices on approximately ten blocks of neighborhood streets. These improvements will help to achieve 20 miles-per-hour speed limits on residential streets near parks, schools, libraries, senior housing, neighborhood business centers, and walking routes to transit.

The $13,976,000 in neighborhood transportation investments listed above are in addition to the City’s baseline budget for similar items and are made possible through Bridging the Gap dollars, real estate excise tax revenues, and other funding sources.

Posted by: April Thomas

September 10, 4:41 PM click here to comment > 0

Mayor proposes $500,000 for neighborhood projects

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced he will propose an increase of $500,000 to the Neighborhood Matching Fund as part of his upcoming 2014 Proposed Budget. This increase restores the amount of funds available to support neighborhood projects back to pre-recession levels. In addition, the budget will add another staff position to support the program and its awardees. McGinn’s proposal also includes $60,000 for projects designed to discourage criminal activity.

“For 25 years, the Neighborhood Matching Fund has been integral to so many community projects and activities,” said McGinn. “It’s contribution to neighborhoods can be seen across the city from the Fremont Troll to Georgetown’s Hat n’ Boots. This funding will help residents as they design projects to support the quality of life of their neighborhoods.”

McGinn also proposed another $60,000 to develop a special designation to the Neighborhood Matching Fund that will help neighbors participate in projects focused on discouraging criminal activity. Incorporating CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, a consultant will be hired to develop the policies and the community engagement model to help communities assess problem areas and implement solutions. This idea came as a result of the mayor’s Safe Communities Initiative community outreach project, in which residents identified CPTED as an opportunity for city investment that could reduce crime and improve safety. More information about the Safe Communities Initiative can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/safe.

“Within SPD, we see the opportunity for even more success with CPTED by partnering with the Department of Neighborhoods,” said Acting Lt. Jay Shin of the Seattle Police Department. “Their role in engaging communities and providing resources such as the Neighborhood Matching Fund will help community members participate in keeping their neighborhood safe.”

The announcement was held today at B. F. Day Elementary School, a recipient of the Neighborhood Matching Fund. “We simply would not have been able to build this playground without the help of the Neighborhood Matching Fund and its staff,” said Kristin Anderson, B.F. Day Playground Project Lead. “The project brought us together as a neighborhood with involvement not only from community members, but from Fremont businesses as well. This truly has been a ‘neighborhood project.’ Thank you to the City for this incredible resource.”

“The intent of the Neighborhood Matching Fund is to get community members actively involved in their community,” said Bernie Matsuno, director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. “And by getting involved in a Matching Fund project, neighbors – who may not have known each other – come together to create something that is of value to their community and the city as well. More importantly, a strong sense of community results when neighbors connect with one another.”

Created to promote and support community-based self-help projects, the Neighborhood Matching Fund is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Fund has awarded approximately $50 million with a community match of more than $71 million. The next opportunity to apply to the Neighborhood Matching Fund is through its Small and Simple Projects Fund. The deadline for applications is October 7. To learn more, visit http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/nmf/.

Posted by: April Thomas

September 4, 3:23 PM click here to comment > 2

Mayor proposes $14.8 million in new road safety investments near schools

Mayor Mike McGinn today announced substantial new investments for road safety at Seattle-area schools. $14.8 million in revenue collected through the City’s school zone speed cameras will be re-invested in safety improvements at schools across Seattle over the next two years. This will include improvements like new sidewalks, improved street crossings, and traffic calming at more than 20 schools as well as expanded education and encouragement programs to increase safety for students.BEFORE

South Orcas Street before revision

AFTER

South Orcas Street after revision

“Keeping children safe as they travel to and from school, as well as throughout their neighborhood, is a top priority,” said McGinn. “This substantial new investment will help us make lasting improvements and encourage everyone to be safe on our roads.”

This effort is part of the School Road Safety Initiative launched earlier this year. This initiative is being advised by a School Road Safety Task Force and Interagency Team, made up of residents and members of school communities throughout the city, Seattle Public Schools, representatives of Public Health – Seattle & King County, King County Metro, Sound Transit, Safe Kids Seattle, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, members of the Seattle Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Boards, and non-profit leaders such as Feet First, Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition.

“Safety is SDOT’s number one priority, as stated in our 2012-2013 Action Agenda. We are committed to improving safety for all users of the transportation system.  I am pleased that the school camera enforcement program will enable us to invest in significant improvements around schools and throughout the city,” said Peter Hahn, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation.

The first school zone speed cameras were installed near four schools in November 2012. Between December 2012 and April 2013 citations fell by 16 percent overall at those locations. 15 school zone speed cameras will be installed by the end of 2014. Revenues from these cameras will be used to fund safety improvements and road safety education efforts near schools.

The City estimates $14.8 million in revenue will be generated by these cameras by the end of 2014. To date in 2013, an estimated $2.9 million has been appropriated for road safety education, operations, and infrastructure. An additional $3.3 million is proposed as part of a 3rd Quarter supplemental budget request. The Mayor will include $8.6 million for school safety investments, including capital infrastructure, operations and maintenance in his proposed 2014 budget. Safety improvements will be constructed in 2014 and 2015, while education efforts will be ongoing.

“How exciting! Money to support safer streets for the most vulnerable people in our communities — our children! We are delighted and strongly support Seattle’s new School Road Safety investments,” said Cathy Tuttle, Executive Director of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

“Parents are less likely to allow their children to walk to school if the neighborhood lacks sidewalks or crossings that feel safe,” said Lisa Quinn, Executive Director of Feet First. “This substantial road safety investment supports walking routes to school, safety education, school zone traffic enforcement, and more. Together, these improvements make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

A School Road Safety Plan will be completed next year. This plan will guide future investments for infrastructure, review best practices for school road safety for engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and for evaluation. It will look at funding and implementation strategies for safe routes to school, develop safety education and encouragement curriculum, evaluate all existing school zones and walking routes, develop prioritization criteria for future improvements, and more.

This work is part of Road Safety Action Plan and the Be Super Safe campaign launched in 2012. For more information, see http://www.seattle.gov/besupersafe.  

Posted by: April Thomas