SDOT's Transportation Options Efforts
SDOT has numerous efforts to make Seattle more walkable, bikable and transit-friendly and to reduce the dependence on the automobile for all trips. We build infrastructure (sidewalks, bike lanes and bus lanes) to make it easier to walk, bike and use the buses and trains operated by the transit agencies in Seattle. We also create rules and provide guidance to large companies and large buildings to encourage employees and tenants to reduce their drive-alone commuting. In addition, the City works directly with partners such as King County METRO Transit and local businesses to increase access to businesses. All of these efforts are complemented by education and incentive programs to encourage Seattle residents and workers to use their transportation options and reduce solo driving.
Collectively, programs and strategies to reduce automobile dependence and the impacts from drive-alone trips are commonly referred to as Transportation Demand Management (TDM). TDM strategies are inexpensive relative to costly infrastructure investments and can result in reductions in drive-alone mode share, traffic congestion, carbon emissions, and accident rates. These strategies can also reduce the demand for more roadways and parking, thereby allowing valuable space to be allotted for development and other uses to support a vibrant Seattle.
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SDOT improves pedestrian safety and encourages more walking by creating an environment where pedestrians can walk safely and comfortably. This includes construction of sidewalks, education programs and execution of the Pedestrian Master Plan.
SDOT continues to execute the Bicycle Master Plan by building an urban trails system of shared use paths, bike lanes, signed bike routes, arterials with wide shoulders, and pedestrian pathways. Seattle has about 28 miles of shared use paths, 22 miles of bike lanes, and about 90 miles of signed bike routes. The bicycle program also provides outreach to the community, such as Bike Smart, an education program to increase bicycle use and safety.
Agencies such as King County METRO transit and Sound Transit run the buses and trains in the region. SDOT works with our transit partners to make our streets work better for buses and trains by constructing infrastructure such as bus lanes and improving bus stops. The Transit Program also creates the city’s transit plan.
CTR programs encourage employees to reduce solo commuting. State law requires large companies to have CTR programs and local governments to assist companies with their programs.
Transportation Management Plans (TMP’s) encourage building tenants to reduce solo driving. TMP’s are required for large buildings and developments.
Traffic, climate change and pollution affect everyone. SDOT works with partners such as local businesses and transit agencies to address these shared challenges.
SDOT provides outreach programs for various audiences, including our young citizens.
In addition to providing information and tools about driving less, Way to Go provides incentive programs for citizens and commuters to reduce the number of cars they own and to reduce their solo driving.
SDOT’s efforts to reduce driving have a significant collective impact across the city.