As Washington state officials looked into the best ways to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Seattle officials shut down most traffic on several of the city’s streets. Thanks to this measure, local authorities gave people more room to exercise while observing social distancing rules. But as stay-at-home orders begin to ease and more people go back to work, the city decided to extend some of these measures. Now, Seattle officials say, they are planning on making the changes permanent on about 20 miles of city streets by keeping cars from traveling through them.
While local access to vehicles will still be allowed, cars will no longer be allowed to travel through protected areas. To Seattle Department of Transportation officials, this policy will help residents in quieter residential roads walk and ride their bicycles more often, even if they are just going out to run errands.
Fewer Cars, Fewer Opportunities For Seattle Auto Accidents
One of the potentially positive outcomes of this policy will be to help prevent accidents, especially those involving children.
While overall the percentage of Seattle residents who drive to work dropped 44% in 2018 when compared to 2010’s numbers, there were nearly 100 serious car accidents in the first half of 2019 in the Seattle area alone.
If fewer cars are traveling through residential areas on a regular basis, this could have a positive effect, especially during seasons such as Halloween, when more children are walking the streets at night time, making accidents more likely.
Moving forward, city officials told reporters, this plan could be part of a long-term strategy to expand the ways Seattle residents can embrace other forms of transportation and even look at walking as part of their routine.
As personal injury attorneys who have represented countless victims of Seattle car accidents, we are glad to see these measures being implemented and expanded.
We hope officials continue to think up ways to make roads across Seattle safer for all, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers.