Walk and Roll: WSDOT Active Transportation Update April 13, 2020




COVID-19 and Active Transportation

In these extraordinary and trying times, active transportation has been the topic of a great deal of news coverage. Much of the discussion focuses on the need for infrastructure that can support movements with safe distance between people. Other pieces focus on bicycle use, both as an alternative to transit and as a healthy activity that can also serve to get people to the grocery store. An important thread through many pieces is the recognition that some people have resources and/or own green space, making it easier to practical self-isolation, while others rely on public spaces and have far fewer choices.

This news round-up isn’t exhaustive, but gives you an idea of the conversation playing out.

Resources for Washington State

Infrastructure Responses

Bike Use for Resilience and Recovery

Effects of Reduced Vehicle Miles Traveled

Riding Tips

Facilities, Green Spaces, and Equity


Trail Use in Washington During COVID19

Trails owned and managed by WSDOT remain open as essential transportation connections.

Washington Trails Association has a list of trail closures on their website. Some trails have been announced as closed but remain open for essential transportation use.

Rails-To-Trails Conservancy created a resource page with graphics in English and Spanish you can print and use on your local trails. They're also compiling examples of local campaigns; submit yours.

If you’re going to use a trail for transportation:

  • Stay close to home. If you need to take a car you're probably going too far (depending on what's available near your home for safe walking and rolling).
  • Check the website for the jurisdiction to know whether they have any restrictions on use.
  • Maintain six feet of distance between yourself and all others, including when you overtake or pass someone.
  • Don't gather in groups.
  • Don't recreate with people outside your own household.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in case someone comes close to you. Keep it on, and don't touch your face.
  • Wash your hands when you get to your destination. Carry and use hand sanitizer if you have it.


National and Local/Regional Surveys on COVID-19 and Active Transportation


Complete Streets Grant Program Suspended

The Transportation Improvement Board announced that the Complete Streets grant program is suspended until the legislature identifies funding for it.

Complete Streets funding comes from the multi-modal account, which was significantly reduced as a result of I-976. The 2020 supplemental transportation budget eliminated $4.47 million of unallocated grant funding that TIB would have distributed.

Already awarded Complete Streets grants remain funded.


School Safety Zone Grant Applications Due Date Extended

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission announced that the due date for applications for two funding opportunities to improve safety for people walking and bicycling has been extended to April 24, 2020.

School Safety Zone Account Projects: $215,000 available for projects that will start August 1, 2020 and end by June 30, 2021. Eight types of projects eligible for funding including flashing yellow lights for school zones, walker or bicyclist education projects, and preliminary engineering studies for safe school walk routes.

Walker and Bicyclist Safety Enhancement Projects: $150,000 available for projects that can start as soon as August 1, 2020 and will end by September 30, 2021. These projects may be extended for additional years of funding depending on performance. Three types of projects available including enforcement of and public outreach about laws designed to increase safety for walkers and bicyclists and education programs regarding safe walking and bicycling.

  • Frequently Asked Questions 
  • More information: Scott Waller, (360) 522-0610, swaller@wtsc.wa.gov, or Manny Gonzalez, (360) 725-9888, mgonzalez@wtsc.wa.gov.


Safe Routes to School and Pedestrian/Bicycle Program Grants Update: Call for Projects Going Out Later this Month

WSDOT Active Transportation Division will put out the call for projects toward the end of April. Updated application guidelines and forms will be posted on the web page. WSDOT will review applications and provide a recommended list to the legislature and governor for consideration in the 2021-23 budget process.

The list of grant applications recommended for funding is always subject to legislative approval for the source and amount of funds authorized. Eligible jurisdictions include cities, counties, and tribal governments.

How to receive notice that a call for projects has been opened: Subscribe to the WSDOT Active Transportation Walk and Roll E-News if this e-mail has been forwarded to you. 

Technical assistance: WSDOT staff are available to provide technical assistance and to help jurisdictions identify and address priority locations and incorporate a safe systems approach. Crash data is available upon request at the WSDOT crash data page for local jurisdictions to use in planning projects.

Contact for more information: Charlotte Claybrooke, Active Transportation Program Manager, ClaybrC@wsdot.wa.gov.


Legislation in the 2020 Session

Bills related to bicycling, walking or rolling that passed in the 2020 session:

SSB 6208: The "Safety Stop" law. Once this goes into effect October 1, 2020, people bicycling have the option to treat a stop sign as a yield (when the coast is clear and it’s safe to enter an intersection). Washington becomes the fifth state in the nation to legalize the Safety Stop, following Idaho, Delaware, Arkansas, and Oregon. Stop sign signals on school buses and at railroad crossings will still require a complete stop.

HB 2587: This requires the Parks and Recreation Commission to establish a scenic bikeways program for the designation and promotion of bicycle routes of notable scenic, recreational, cultural, or historic value. WSDOT will coordinate US Bicycle Route identification with this new program where appropriate.

HB 1793: “Don’t Block the Box”. Establishing additional uses for automated traffic safety cameras for traffic congestion reduction and increased safety. HB 1793: This bill will allow the city of Seattle to use automated traffic safety cameras for enforcement of laws that make it illegal to block an intersection or crosswalk or travel in restricted lanes such as those marked for use only by public transportation vehicles

SB 6045: Technical update to the vulnerable user law.

SB 6493: Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Council. Technical fix to last year's enabling legislation that merged the Pedestrian SAC and Bicyclist SAC into this.


Washington Bike, Walk, Roll Summit to Be Held Sept. 20-21 in Spokane 

The Washington Bike, Walk, Roll Summit has been postponed from April to September in the interest of enabling full attendance and participation. WSDOT sponsors the Summit and encourages state and local transportation professionals to participate in technical trainings offered. 


Make Washington Count: 2020 Census Affects Transportation in Many Ways

In March the 2020 Census forms started arriving in mailboxes all across Washington. The census can also be completed at the  assistive-tech-friendly 2020 Census website or on the phone, with more than a dozen spoken languages available and Deaf-friendly services as well, like video relay.

An accurate census that includes everyone who lives in Washington state is important to ensuring we receive our fair share of federal dollars. The census also determines the number of representatives our state has in Congress – that’s important to making sure Washington residents have a voice in matters that are important to our state’s communities, businesses and industries.

Census data is essential to our transportation planning and forecasting efforts. It can give us insights to determine where people live and work, where and how they travel, and how best to engage with them. The census also affects revenue forecasting and federal transportation funding. 

Do your part – Make Washington Count!

Video produced by Rooted in Rights and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund: Deaf & Disabled Folks Have a Lot to Sign & Say About the Census



We add new trainings as we find them so the list changes with every issue. Some of these offer continuing education credits. All times are shown in Pacific time zone. 

All webinars listed are FREE unless a price is noted. All items are webinars unless a location is noted.



Planning Ahead


  • School Safety Grants: Request for Application deadline April 24.
  • Walker and Bicyclist Safety Enhancement Projects: Request for Application deadline April 24.
  • RCO grants: Deadline May 1 for several programs including Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP- Recreation; WWRP Habitat; WWRP Forestland; WWRP Farmland). A separate application will be due Nov. 1 for programs including the Recreational Trails Program.
  • USDOT TIFIA Rural Project Initiative loans can be used to construct pedestrian/bicyclist infrastructure
  • Have any funding opportunities people should know about? Send to barb.chamberlain@wsdot.wa.gov



  • Division Connects, Spokane: Study on the Division Street corridor
  • Children of the Sun Trail, Spokane: Planning efforts for the section of the NSC Children of the Sun Trail south of the Spokane River to the I 90 vicinity are ramping up. Engage in the process of determining the trail location and development of public space in and around the NSC. Visit NSCPlace.com for upcoming workshops, public surveys, and emerging concepts.
  • E-bike use in National Wildlife Refuge System: Federal regulations proposed to permit e-bike use. Learn more in AASHTO article, federal regulation notice. Submit comments by June 8, 2020.
  • Benton-Franklin COG Active Transportation Plan: Provide input.
  • Looking for a WSDOT project to check on status, get email updates, attend an open house? Start here.

Have an upcoming project, open house, public comment opportunity? Construction projects people should know about as they relate to biking/walking? Compliments on a project? Send to barb.chamberlain@wsdot.wa.gov


  • Washington State Trails Conference: Request for presentations due May 15 using online form. Conference in Everett Oct. 29-31.
  • StreetSmart invites submission of published resources on integrating health in transportation by May 15 for a clearinghouse being developed with the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Account creation required to submit; ITE members will use their member login.


  • Share your e-bike story: Invitation from Cascade Bicycle Club.
  • E-Bike Study: If you have an electric bike powered by a Bosch system you're invited to participate in a National Science Foundation study of mobility by e-bike. Depending on which type of display your e-bike has, when you fill out the application you'll learn whether you meet the study criteria. More information.
  • ITE Pedestrian Demand Survey: On behalf of the ITE Bicycle & Pedestrian Standing Committee, asks for information about crossings where before and after counts have been performed. Respondents will receive summary or link to completed results. Google account required to complete survey; for email option contact Mike Hendrix at mike.hendrix@perteet.com.
  • Does your city/town have bicycle traffic signals? Add to the crowdsourced tracking spreadsheet of cities in North America

If you read this far, thank you! You're finding something of value here and you know someone else who should receive this kind of news and learn what's happening with the state Active Transportation Plan. Forward WSDOT Walk and Roll to others and share the subscription link on social media (tag it #WSDOTactive).