target zero Council Reports & City Updates
The Target Zero Initiative was adopted by the City of Kenmore in April of 2014 with the goal of achieving zero pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries in Kenmore by 2025 by increasing awareness of pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety issues. Kenmore is working toward its Target Zero goal by engaging the Three E's: Engineering, Enforcement, and Education. These efforts include creating safer pedestrian and bicycle pathways, offering helmets at a low price, educating bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers through events and pamphlets, and enforcing traffic safety laws for all road users - among many other citywide improvements.
The City can reach the Target Zero goal only with the community's help. We all have to work together and take responsibility for being safe and courteous road users. This page provides information on how to be a safe pedestrian, bicyclist, and driver.
Key Safety Strategies
- See and Be Seen. Pedestrians and bicyclists should always wear reflective, light-colored clothing to increase their visibility for drivers.
- Drivers and bicyclists share the road equally. Bicycles are considered "vehicles" under Washington law and are allowed to ride in the middle of a lane. They may still ride on the shoulder on your right, so always check your blind spot before making a turn or switching lanes.
- Don't be a distracted driver. Texting and talking on a hand held device while driving are banned in Washington. Both are primary offenses, meaning a driver can be pulled over purely for that reason.
- Stop, Look, and Listen. While walking down busy streets, approaching intersections, and crossing streets, please stop what you are doing, turn down the volume, look where you are going, and listen for traffic before crossing.
Target Zero Reward Program
The City's Target Zero Reward Program strives to encourage children and teens under the age of 18 to be safer bicyclists and pedestrians. While out on patrol, Kenmore police officers will "cite" children and teens for displaying good traffic safety behavior such as wearing protective and reflective gear, signaling turns while riding a bike, using yellow crossing flags at crosswalks, and many other positive safety actions. These coupons are good for free treats courtesy of 7-Eleven. Be safe, be seen and get rewarded!
When riding a bicycle in Kenmore it's important that you be aware of your surroundings. Don't trust that vehicles will stop for you, or that they will see you before they turn out of the driveway. While you can legally share the roadway with vehicles, be courteous and signal when turning, stop at intersections and stop signs, and make an effort to be seen by wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing, especially at night.
Be Aware & Be Alert!
- Under Washington law, bicyclists are considered "vehicles" and may use the entire lane if they are traveling at a similar speed as vehicle traffic. If you are going slower than the normal flow of traffic, move to the far right side of the lane. You may choose to ride on the trail, sidewalk, bike lane, shoulder or travel lane as suits your safety needs, but always yield to pedestrians.
- Do not count on drivers to signal! Drivers may turn onto driveways and side streets at any time without signaling and may not see you.
- Scan for traffic, signal your intentions, and occupy the center of the lane when turning.
- Do not pass vehicles during a red light to get ahead of them, as you will be in a driver's blind spot, which is especially dangerous if they are turning.
Please Be Safe and Seen!
- Be seen! Wear light colored and reflective clothing so you are more visible.
- Always look before you change lanes. Just because you do not hear a vehicle approaching doesn't mean there isn't one!
- Follow traffic laws: Stop at intersections, and signal your intended directions. Thank drivers who let you by.
- Yield to pedestrians and alert them via bell or voice when passing. Give pedestrians 3 feet of space when passing.
Use the Required Bicycle Equipment!
In the state of WA, during the hours of darkness, a white front light (not a reflector) that is visible for 500 feet and a red reflector on the rear are required. In addition to a red rear reflector, most people use a red light as well.
Are Cyclists Required to Wear Helmets?
- Yes! In King County, people of all ages are required to wear helmets! Failing to wear a helmet may result in a $30 fine.
- If you are under the age of 18, your parent/guardian is responsible for you to wear a helmet.
The Northshore Fire Department offers low-cost helmets. Find more information or call them at 425-354-1780 to make a helmet fitting appointment.
Tips for Kids
- Riding a bicycle to school can also be enjoyable for your child, but involves a little more skill than walking. Make sure your children have strong riding skills before allowing them to ride to school. Make sure they practice starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, looking over their shoulders, and signaling to vehicles.
- Kids need to use their eyes and ears to stay alert, so they should never use headphones or cell phones while riding.
- Your child should ride on a sidewalk when one is available, or ride in the same direction of traffic if there is no sidewalk.
Remember The ABCs
Always make sure your bicycle is ready to safely ride. Before every ride, check the:
- Air in their tires (might need to fix a flat, or simply pump the tires)
- Brakes (make sure they are working)
- Chain (must be tight on single-gear bicycles)
Useful Links for Bicyclists
You may be a bicyclist, or a driver, or even both. Regardless of your choice of transportation, everyone is a pedestrian at some point, whether you are walking to your car, the mall, or on a casual walk around the neighborhood.
There are several dangers of being a pedestrian: people may not see you, you may not see them, and miscommunication can result in accidents. Follow these pedestrian safety tips:
- While walking down streets, approaching intersections, and crossing busy streets, please stop what you are doing, turn down the volume, look where you are going, and listen for traffic.
- Ensure that the drivers have seen you before you step into traffic. If crossing more than one lane, make sure that vehicles in all lanes have noticed you and stopped before you cross.
- Listening to music, texting, and simply staring at our phones while walking has become a norm of the 21st century. However, when your eyes are locked onto your electronic device, everywhere around you becomes your blind spot.
Don't Know Where to Walk?
Washington law indicates that if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far away from vehicles as possible. It is much safer to be able to observe traffic.
While Walking with Children
It is recommended that children be accompanied by an adult. Walk children on your side that is not facing oncoming traffic, if possible. In the event of an accident, they would be safer.
See and Be Seen!
Be seen! Increase your visibility by wearing lighter colored clothing and reflective clothing. If children have to walk at night, they should carry flashlights.
Some intersections in Kenmore include Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFB)'s or yellow crossing flags. Make sure you and your children know how to use these. Use the crossing flags and the RRFB's but you should never rely solely on the signals. Educate your children and remind youth to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
Useful Links for Pedestrians
If you are interested in walking to school, follow the Northshore School District's Suggested Walk Paths.
Help make Kenmore a safe place for pedestrians and bicyclists by following the rules of the road and the safety tips below.
As a driver, you have many responsibilities due to the impact a car can have on others' lives. Avoid distractions such as texting, calling, eating, attending to others, grooming, searching for items while driving, as serious or deadly accidents may occur.
- Fortunately, Washington state has the highest seat-belt wearing rate at 97.5 in 2011. Let's keep it that way! Make sure that everyone has buckled up before starting the car (consider telling younger kids the car won't start otherwise).
- The 100 deadliest days for teen driving occur during summer break. After your teens receive their license, continue to drive with them, and make sure they use their seat belt and do not use their phone.
- Multitasking is not possible. Being able to text and drive are both thinking tasks, which means you simply shift your attention very frequently between two activities. Additionally, talking on the phone is not similar to talking to someone in the car, because compared to a cell phone conversation, talking to a passenger means there is another pair of eyes and ears on the road.
- In the state of Washington, hand-held phones, and texting are banned for all drivers, and all types of cell phones are banned for drivers with learner permits and intermediate license holders. It is a primary offense¸ as in you could be pulled over purely for using a cell phone. Lastly, this offense is $124 for first-time offenders. If there are others in the car, they can use the phone for you. Alternatively, simply silence the phone and place it away (better yet, behind your seat where you cannot reach it). On certain phones, you can change your settings to "do not disturb" as well.
Driver Safety and Pedestrians
- In the state of Washington, you must give pedestrians the right-of-way at marked and unmarked intersections.
- Yield to people in the crosswalk, regardless of where they are on the road (i.e. halfway through intersection). Failure to yield may result in a $124 fine. Crosswalk law described.
- When driving in neighborhoods and school zones, be extra wary as children may bolt onto the street. Please follow the reduced speed signs.
Driver Safety and Bicyclists
- Drivers and bicyclists share the road equally. Bicycles are considered "vehicles" under Washington law and are allowed to ride in the middle of a lane.
- Please watch for bicyclists and pedestrians while making turns, exiting driveways and parking lots, and opening your car door on on-street parking. Look twice! Bicyclists may be on the right side of the road.
- Bicyclists may choose to ride on the bike path, bike lane, shoulder or travel lane as suits their safety needs.
Driver Safety and Children
- Is your kid getting too big for a booster seat? Find out if it is time to be using the seat belt!
- Never leave a child or pet alone in a car, not even for a minute. Children and pets may become a victim of a heatstroke, kidnapping, or accidentally rolling the vehicle away. In the state of Washington, it is not illegal to leave children and pets in a parked vehicle, but it is highly frowned upon.