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Seattle Dept of Transportation-Holiday Pedestrian Safety

Media Relations, Issues Advocacy, Marketing, Advertising and Promotion, Community Outreach, Event Planning, Media Buying, Message Development, Video Production

'Tis The Season to Drive Safely

In 2008 over 460 pedestrians were injured or killed in a vehicular collision in Washington—many of these occurred in Downtown Seattle during the holidays when the weather is wetter and downtown is busy with holiday activity. The City of Seattle Dept. of Transportation called on Team Soapbox to help them raise awareness about pedestrian safety in the downtown core.

Team Soapbox looked for ways to break through the holiday clutter and remind downtown drivers and pedestrians to watch out for each other. We launched a pedestrian safety campaign with unusual events and outreach to remind both drivers and pedestrians to “Take it slow!” Outreach included:

  • The Safety Dance: A kick-off event at Pacific Place which included senior city council members Jan Drago and Nick Licata and a surprise flashmob dance to the popular 80s hit the Safety Dance.

  • Don’t Go Dashing Through the Streets: The SDOT Pedestrian Safety Singers sang favorite holiday tunes rewritten with safety messages at the annual Great Figgy Pudding caroling contest in Seattle. Watch a clip of the singers in action on KING 5’s New Day Northwest.

  • See You in the Crosswalk: We covered downtown every holiday season in colorful messages reminding Seattleites to stay safe including parking meter stickers, colorful posters, bus ads, java jackets at coffee shops and coasters at bars and restaurants.

  • Crosswalk Actions: We placed brightly colored umbrellas for pedestrians to borrow to stay dry and safe while crossing downtown streets; paraded through downtown intersections en masse, and wowed unsuspecting shoppers in Occidental Park and Westlake Center with an umbrella dance flashmob, all in the name of reminding drivers and pedestrians to take it slow during the holiday season.

The campaigns have raised overall awareness of the danger of collisions during the holiday season, and garnered local media coverage from KING 5 News, MSNBC, KIRO Radio, Q13 Fox News, and partner organizations. The campaigns also drew extensive social media attention and thousands of viewers for the videos of flash mobs.

Events for Downtown Pedestrian Safety

The Safety Dance Flash Mob

The Umbrella Flash Mob