White Center Traffic Garden

Alta Planning + Design provided pro bono design services for two traffic gardens for Cascade Bicycle Club’s Major Taylor Project. The Major Taylor Project provides a year-round youth development cycling program focused on introducing youth from diverse communities to bicycling, healthy living, bicycle maintenance, road safety awareness and the importance of working toward individual goals.

traffic-garden_alta-planning-designInspired by Copenhagen’s Trafiklegepladsen (traffic playground), the traffic gardens give parents and cycling instructors safe places to teach children and adults the basics of riding a bicycle. These purpose-built places are designed for teaching road safety awareness modeled on the League Cycling Instructor curriculum developed by the League of American Bicyclists.

The traffic garden in White Center re-purposed an abandoned tennis court with a miniature street pattern specially adapted to the curriculum and provides a riding circuit that demonstrates a variety of roadway scenarios. Instructors can build from basic learn-to-ride skills through bike handling and braking practice, familiarity with roadway marking and signing, and skills related to operating a bicycle in and adjacent to traffic.

Large colored dots provide orientation, destinations and meeting places for classes.

A storage shelter protects bicycles used in the organized teaching program. Benches and bike racks support the families that participate, and a partial fence helps corral young visitors.

The White Center Traffic Garden has captured the imaginations of people across the US as a cost-effective way to activate an under-appreciated space, provide a safe, thoughtfully designed teaching environment, and provide a drop-in place for people to use on their own. For more information please contact Steve Durrant, FASLA, Vice President, Alta Planning + Design at stevedurrant@altaplanning.com

As seen in:

Next City, Fast Company, Seattle Bike Blog, and Bike Portland.