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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: Seattle Awarded Platinum-Level Walk Friendly Community Designation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
4/26/2011  4:05:00 PM
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Seattle Awarded Platinum-Level Walk Friendly Community Designation

SEATTLE – Thanks to its Pedestrian Master Plan, walkability initiatives and pedestrian safety efforts, the City of Seattle has been designated a platinum-level Walk Friendly Community by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center. Walk Friendly Communities, sponsored by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration and FedEx, is a national program that recognizes cities for their commitment to walkability and pedestrian safety.

Seattle is among eleven municipalities recognized in the inaugural round of Walk Friendly Communities, and was the only one to receive a platinum-level designation. The Walk Friendly Community designation, awarded from bronze to platinum, is given to applicant communities that have demonstrated a commitment to improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies.

“Kudos to the Seattle Department of Transportation and the community for making Seattle more walkable,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The recognition is great - and we’ll keep working on making Seattle a better place to live.”

In evaluating Seattle’s application, the reviewers were especially impressed with:

-The clear establishment of goals and measurable performance indicators in Seattle’s Pedestrian Master Plan;
-Seattle’s exemplary neighborhood traffic calming program;
-Seattle’s Right-of-Way Improvements Manual; and
-The city’s celebration of physical activity through the Celebrate Summer Streets program.

The reviewers also recognized that Seattle has exhibited a desire to become a community that supports active transportation, noting that, “the city is stepping outside the status quo and making an effort to improve walkability and health in the community.”

Responding to news of the designation, Christina Bollo, chair of the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, said “Walk Friendly Communities recognizes not only our incredible pedestrian infrastructure, but also pedestrian programs such as Celebrate Summer Streets. Celebrate Summer Streets contributes to all four goals of the Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan: safety, equity, vibrancy, and health. With the creation of the Pedestrian Master Plan, we set out to be the nation's most walkable city and this award encourages us to keep pursuing that goal.”

Among other cities recognized were: Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Santa Barbara, California, at the gold-level; Charlottesville, Virginia, at the silver-level; and Austin, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina, at the bronze-level. Additional information about the designations can be found here:  http://www.walkfriendly.org/news_2011-04-26.cfm.

The Seattle Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted in 2009, is a long-term action plan to make Seattle the most walkable city in the nation. The plan establishes the policies, programs, design criteria, and projects that will further enhance pedestrian safety, comfort, and access in all of Seattle’s neighborhoods. Through the Pedestrian Master Plan, Seattle will make its transportation system more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

 

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