For too long, transportation policy has been written by and for drivers. For those of us who cannot drive or cannot afford to drive, this creates major barriers for us to access school, jobs, medical care, grocery stores, religious services and everywhere else we need to go in order to fully participate in our communities.
In November 2020, the Disability Mobility Initiative began interviewing people from every legislative district in our state who are nondrivers. From these interviews, we created the Transportation Access for Everyone story map.
These stories reflect the experience of nearly a quarter of our state’s population, a figure that is likely to increase as a larger percentage of our population ages out of driving. We know that Black, Indigenous and people of color, immigrants, poor people, seniors and disabled people are much less likely to have a driver’s license or access to a car and are more likely to be transit reliant. At the same time people of color, and people living in rural areas and on tribal lands face greater risks of being killed in traffic collisions because our communities lack accessible pedestrian and transit infrastructure, a trend that we have seen increase because of the suburbanization of poverty.
With our years of lived experience using buses, bikes, wheelchairs and our sneakers to live our lives and participate in our communities, we are the transportation experts who best know our barriers and needs, what does and does not work.
Want more? Read our groundbreaking research paper  based on the interviews in this story map!
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Deepest gratitude for everyone who took the time to interview with us and for sharing your stories. We recognize that this can be an intensely personal act, especially for those of us who have deeply internalized ableism, racism and confront other structural inequities that have misled us to believe our perspectives carry less value. Many story map participants also reached out to their personal networks to make new connections so we could expand the work, others shared critical feedback and helped us edit this document. Special thanks to our interns and fellows, Abby Griffith, Amandeep Kaur, Bianca Johnson, Charlie Howe, Kimberly Kinchen, Krystal Monteros and Micah Lusignan.
We also want to thank all the organizations and agencies that helped us connect to the story map participants. Doing this work in the middle of a pandemic meant that we were almost entirely reliant on the deep relationships and community building that our allies had with their communities and constituents. This would not have been possible without your support.
We especially want to thank the organizational partners that went a step further and directly conducted interviews with their constituents — Elmview, Living Well Kent and People for People. Special thanks to those that read and shared resources and ideas for our analysis and recommendations — Hopelink, Transportation Choices Coalition, Move Redmond and the Seattle Department of Transportation.