Although an organization working to make Seattle a more walkable city has accomplished citywide change that could increase walking over time, a local assessment reports there are still barriers that require the initiative to modify its methods and programmatic approach.
Active Seattle (AS), a partnership of a pedestrian advocacy group and the City of Seattle’s transportation and public health units, was formed to increase walking among the city’s minority populations. Data showed that African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos were almost twice as likely as whites in Seattle to be inactive. In five neighborhoods with vulnerable populations, AS focused on advocating for policies and projects to create a more walkable city; and social marketing and education to get more people walking.
In its five-year history, Active Seattle has achieved a good base of policy change, local improvements and more public and governmental awareness of pedestrian issues. But the assessment’s authors say specific local problems should be funneled efficiently to transportation officials, while AS and other advocacy efforts should focus on larger-scale policies and programs with widespread impact.