Climate Action Leadership

Carbon neutral outcomes in our public realm

The vision

  • The greater downtown transportation network is fossil-fuel free
  • People of every income level and ability have support to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Streets in Seattle are synonymous with fresh air and innovation in addressing climate challenges
  • Transit, biking, and walking are the most attractive, convenient, safe, and reliable ways to move around greater downtown

How we'd get there

Create fossil fuel-free streets, districts, and pedestrian only zones

Example:

  • Establish a recurring car-free day, or 24/7 car-free streets

Implement congestion pricing with a robust equity strategy

Example:

  • Use pricing tools, geographies, discounts and exemptions that promote a more just transportation system

Manage parking to support transit goals

Example:

  • Manage on-street parking to balance competing needs

Create space for green stormwater infrastructure and landscaping in the right-of-way

Examples:

  • Use natural environments and systems that help absorb carbon from the atmosphere
  • Prioritize native plants and evergreens

Support the transition to electric vehicles over time

Example:

  • Create programs for individuals and small businesses who rely on vehicles to earn an income

Support and expand programs to encourage taking transit, biking, and walking

Example:

  • Create a program to waive transit fares for those who switch from driving to transit

How we strive for equity

  • Support people who may experience financial strain becoming fossil fuel free
  • Prioritize areas and communities with poor health outcomes due to particulate matter from carbon emissions
  • Consider every person’s travel needs—including all times of day

icons of two people walking a dog with text bubbles above their heads

What we've heard

  • Require new mobility options to be carbon neutral
  • Close some streets or corridors to vehicles in Greater Downtown to make great streets for families to walk and bike

Great examples from Seattle and beyond

dozens of people ride bicycles down an urban street, several bicycles wide and in both directions

In Colombia, every Sunday the city of Bogota blocks off cars from main streets so people can bike, walk, and skate.
Photo credit: Carlos Felipe Cardo

Photo of  sign indicating a Low Emission Zone, enforced by camera along a city street. Taxies, buses and pedestirans use the street.

In London’s Low-Emissions Zones, vehicles that do not meet emissions standards must pay a fee, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Photo credit: EURIST e.V.

Image of a crowded pedestrian-access only street with booths, umbrellas, trees and what looks like a dance performance of two or three dozen participants taking place in the foreground. The downtown city street bends to the right in the background with more intersections, trees and popel walking throughout.

Car-free day in New York is an annual event that opens 30 blocks between Union Square and Times Square for pedestrian and bicycle access only.
Photo credit: NYCDOT