Feet First inspires, connects and informs wide-ranging discussions with government agencies, developers and community groups to promote walkable communities. We regularly meet with community members to discuss options for improving walking conditions in their neighborhoods. We hold on-street events to call attention to unsafe walking conditions and help search for solutions. We serve as a partner in important research projects related to planning, public health and policy.
Although our work is focused in communities in Washington state, our reach is far broader. We belong to America Walks, a national organization which fosters walkable communities by engaging, educating, and connecting walking advocates. We collaborate with the National Partnership for Safe Routes to School.
Through our over 9,500 supporters, we are connected to dozens of local, national and international organizations concerned with promoting walkable communities. Please support our work!
Take a look at what we have been up to, check out our 2014 Annual Report!
We’re recognized locally and nationally for our efforts to promote walkable communities. Take a look at some of our accomplishments over the years:
- Puget Sound Champion Award, 2012—one of five organizations to receive this by the Puget Sound Partnership and Leadership Council for our Watershed Walks Program.
- Innovative School Project , 2006—awarded for our project at TT Minor Elementary, part of the Active Seattle project, at the May 2006 annual grantee meeting in Denver, CO.
- Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Safety Superstar, 2006—we received the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Safety Superstar award in 2006 to honor our work in establishing the Walking School Bus project. We launched the Walking School Bus project at Gatzert Elementary School in Seattle’s Central Area as a result of a WSDOT 2004 Safe Routes to School grant to the Seattle School District.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living by Design grant competition, 2005—selected as one of 25 grant recipients from a field of 966 applicants.
- Guide to Walking Meetings This booklet describes a meeting technique that allows its participants to get out of the conference room and fit in some physical activity.
- Pocket Pedestrian Flag Invented in 2003, these brightly colored flags found in “pockets” at certain street crossings give pedestrians another tool in reminding motorists to give them the right of way.
- We developed the first Go Cart project addressing the barrier to walk to the grocery store instead of driving. This project handed out 80 carts to a targeted neighborhood through innovative social marketing campaign.
- Neighborhood Walking Ambassador Handbook. We train ambassadors twice a year with this handbook,which includes best practices of how to design and lead a walk.
- Mobile Pedestrian Safety Curriculum
- Footprints, the area’s first monthly newsletter dedicated to walkable communities.
- We have actively participated in the creation of many of Seattle’s neighborhood plans, including Beacon Hill and Southeast Seattle.
- We have led numerous walking audits to help communities to identify assets and barriers to walking, including issues with transit access, traffic signal timing and signage, lighting, crosswalk conditions and visibility and other safety issues. These audits have helped to secure funding for communities. Take a look at our work with the Lummi Reservation.
- We lead quarterly Walk & Talks with community leaders to discuss issues affecting walking.
- We support a Neighborhood Walking Ambassador program to encourage individuals to lead walks in their neighborhood and share tools and resources with their community to make their area more walkable.
- We work with community members to publish our Neighborhoods on Foot map series.
- Since 20014, we have worked with 63 schools and 31 school districts across the state to support safe routes to school, organize Walking School Buses, Walk to School celebrations, and other encouragement events.
- We have participated in Safe Routes to School training across the state, including Seattle, Spokane, Moses Lake and Wenatchee, to educate a wide variety of stakeholders about good practices for walking and bicycling to school.
Community Outreach & Education
- We work with a diverse range of organizations and government agencies, including: Washington Bikes, Cascade Bicycle Club, Transportation Choices Coalition, City of Seattle, King County Department of Transportation, Harborview, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle-King County Public Health and Washington State Department of Transportation.
- We organize a variety of events to build enthusiasm for walkability. In 2003, we collaborated with Seattle city officials and nonprofits to launch Pedestrian Summer, which included a series of public events and promotions to celebrate walking and public places, and to promote driver awareness. We continue to facilitate the PARK(ing) Day event.
- We sponsor public events that bring speakers to Washington and stimulate public discussions on transportation issues among citizens, professionals, and elected officials. Check our calendar for more information.
Advocacy & Policy
- We have provided detailed comments for many major pedestrian issues, such as the Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan, Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation 2040 Plan, Seattle Strategic Transportation Plan, and the Sound Transit scoping process for locations of both the Light Rail and Commuter Rail Stations.
- We helped achieve a successful extension of the Burke-Gilman trail to Golden Gardens Park in Seattle and continue to advocate for various other trail improvements.
- We have testified at countless public hearings involving pedestrian and broader transportation issues. Topics include both Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School legislation at the state level, Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan, Burke-Gilman Trail extension, Sound Transit scoping process, the Seattle Strategic Transportation Plan, proposed pedestrian bridges, the Madison Park/Montlake pedestrian trail, City of Seattle annual budget, the Seattle Commons project, and Seattle Monorail.
Active Living and Health
- We have participated in forums on health and obesity around the region.