Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Seattle Burb to Get Its Own Dutch-Inspired “Traffic Garden”

8:28 AM PDT on October 15, 2015

The traffic garden is a Dutch invention: a safe, controlled environment that gives children a chance to practice bicycling and walking in conditions that mimic city streets.

There aren't many places like this in the United States. But White Center, just outside Seattle, is poised to get one, reports Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blog:

Learning how to be safe and comfortable with active transportation is also a good thing for the community, which is why White Center leaders and Cascade Bicycle Club’s Major Taylor Project worked to develop a plan and win a King County Parks grant to open Washington State’s first traffic garden in Dick Thurnau Park (the recently-approved new name for Lakewood Park).The park is adjacent to or within an easy walk of a middle school, a high school and several elementary schools. It has a well-used disc golf course, but underutilized tennis courts. The traffic garden is planned where the tennis courts are currently.

The hope is that this will not only provide opportunities for expanded traffic safety education for students at all levels, but that the traffic garden will be a community gathering place.

“The goal is to reach more students and to eventually reach adults, get families involved,” said [Cascade's Ed] Ewing. “A lot of families use an existing basketball court in a different park to teach their kids to ride … We know there’s interest there.”

The garden has a pretty quick timeline. With $75,000 in King County grant funding now in hand, they hope to break ground in early 2016. Cascade, community members and King County staff will be working with Alta Planning + Design over the next couple weeks to develop a design.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Greater Greater Washington reports that curbside parking spaces in Georgetown will be converted into sidewalk extensions for a special event this weekend. And Reno Rambler reports that the "biggest little city" is attempting to capture some of the Paris magic with an open streets event Saturday.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Advocates Hammer City College Trustees’ Climate Hypocrisy on Frida Kahlo Way

City College talks a good game about supporting bike lanes and better transit, until it comes to losing a few parking spaces

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Some cities are reaching Vision Zero targets (not in CA); Walking is dangerous because drivers are; How is SF's Central Subway helping Chinatown? More

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Eyes on the Street: 8th Street in West Oakland Looking Good

A project to transform 8th from a deadly speedway back into a residential street is making real progress

February 29, 2024
See all posts