Prioritizing walking in both planning and funding decisions connects us to people, to places, and to other forms of transportation.
Feet First is involved in numerous activities aimed making Washington more walkable. We advocate to elected officials, participate on various committees, provide comments on plans and projects, and testify at public hearings.
Our advocacy work is supported by our Policy Committee, which is composed of board members and other volunteers who advocate for walkable communities.
Activities and Accomplishments
Feet First Policy
We develop policies to create more walkable environments. We use these policies to support decisions being made on the local, regional and statewide level. Take a look at our policy papers to learn more. If you would like to become more involved in affecting policy, consider joining the Feet First Policy Committee.
Safe Routes to School
A major priority for Feet First is advocating for the statewide Safe Routes to School program. This program provides help to school districts across the state in implementing efforts to help students walking to and from school. In 2009, we were instrumental in passing legislation codifying this program as state law. We also encourage the state legislature to maintain or expand funding for this program.
Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan
Feet First was a major contributor to the development of the Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan, an important document guiding city policy on making is safe, accessible and inviting for people to walk. This plan was adopted by the city council in 2009. Feet First continues to monitor implementation of the master plan, promoting increased funding for sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements. In 2016, Feet First will work to ensure the update of the plan provides more safe, accessible, and inviting places for people to walk.
Walkable Washington Program
Walkable Washington, a program support cities and organizations working towards more walkable and vibrant communities throughout Washington. At an annual symposium and awards celebration we bring together over 150 leaders to plan, act, and celebrate their accomplishments. We aim to highlight best practices and outstanding pedestrian projects, provide a forum for cities to interact and learn from one another, and give technical guidance to cities to enable them to take action for a more walkable future.
Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program
As the Washington State Department of Transportation began the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Program, we posed questions about the project’s impact on the character of nearby Pioneer Square. We wanted to know the effects that changes in traffic would have on people walking in the neighborhood. View the full text of the program administrator’s answers.
Sound Access for All
In the summer of 2012, Feet First was a leading member in a coalition that convinced Sound Transit to make a stronger investment in providing access for people walking to the future Link Light Rail station at Northgate, including the City of Seattle and Sound Transit to contribute $10 million dollars towards pedestrian infrastructure and a pedestrian bridge across I-5 to North Seattle Community Council. We recently celebrated the success of securing the entire funding for the bridge through the passing of Move Seattle.
At the state level, Feet First supports legislation promoting the rights and interests of people walking and bringing us closer to the goal of making every neighborhood walkable. We participate in the annual Transportation Advocacy Day, where transportation activists from all over the state descend on Olympia to ask state legislators to support legislation promoting transportation alternatives. During the 2013 session, Feet First was part of a broad-based coalition that supported passage of a bill allowing local jurisdictions to set speed limits on residential streets at 20 miles per hour. In 2015, we passed the nation’s first Pedestrian Safety Bill to create a Pedestrian Advisory Panel to look in more detail why serious injuries and deaths of pedestrians were occurring and present findings to legislators.
To incorporate more walking into plans and policies, we sit on several local, regional, and statewide committees:
- Transportation Improvement Board Advisory Board
- Puget Sound Regional Council’s Growing Transit Committee
- Puget Sound Regional Council Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
- Alaska Way Viaduct South Portal
- Traffic Safety Committee (City appointed supporting safe routes to school in Seattle)
- Safe Kids Seattle
Safety Tips for People Driving & Walking