Edmonds Chamber introduces ‘Walk Safe Edmonds’ program

Frannie Cohen models one of the new safety vests available at the Log Cabin Visitor Center in downtown Edmonds.

With the goal of promoting Edmonds as a walkable city, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Tuesday introduced its new “Walk Safe Edmonds” program.

To increase awareness of pedestrians and their safety both day and night, the program is offering free safety vests to downtown residents and visitors — with the goal of making them available in other areas of Edmonds soon. Safety reflective vests have been shown to reduce vehicle-pedestrian accidents and to save lives, the chamber said.

“We are a city of people who love to shop and eat in our beautiful town, a city of runners and joggers, as well as a city of dog-walkers and seniors who love to walk. We need them to feel safe and welcome,” said Ralph Sanders, a chamber board member, chief financial officer of Sanders Elder Law, and one of the program’s founders.

The free safety vests will be available through the chamber’s Log Cabin Visitor Center, 120 5th Ave. N., and at participating businesses. While supplies are limited, the chamber hopes to produce more vests as new sponsors join the campaign. The chamber offered thanks to Nancy Ekrem of DME CPA Group for sponsoring the initial order of reflective vests.

For more information on sponsoring vests with your company logo, contact Greg Urban at the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce office at greg@edmondswa.com or 425-670-1496.

  1. Yellow vests or jackets are helpful especially if used universally. Consider a campaign to educate walkers about the correct side of the street to walk on when a sidewalk isn’t available. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS walk on the side of the street that gives you the ability to see the traffic approaching you on your side of the street. This gives a walker a chance to get out of the way if a vehicle may be heading at them. If a walker is on the side of the street with their back to oncoming traffic they have no chance to avoid being hit if the driver of the vehicle is impai, looking at their phone, texting or anything else that takes their attention away from their driving.

  2. I need to get one I don’t walk but it might save me getting run over in the grocery store parking lot.

  3. This is great where there are sidewalks to use.

    Most of Edmonds does not have sidewalks and if they do, they are in bad shape. So even with the goal of going to other parts of Edmonds walking/running would still be perilous.

    I’m all for being safe while walking and I applaud this movement, but let’s think beyond the bowl.

    Let’s make our neighborhoods safe to walk in with good sidewalks and lighting to start.

    1. You are absolutely spot-on about starting with good sidewalks and lighting. How about using some of that “Green Street” and “Rain Garden” money for more practical safety uses that make all our neighborhoods walkable.

  4. I agree this is a good idea for improving pedestrian safety…but…I think the vests could be better looking, less like the wearer just walked off a construction site. With all the brilliant design professionals in this city, and the artists, let’s find a way to make these vests attractive, so people will want to wear them, maybe even look smart in them.

  5. LMAO! I can’t be the only one that thinks this is NOT a solution. Is there an education course that goes along with this vest? What happens when you forget to wear it or move? Do I get extras if I have guests in town? Side walks and lighting would be an actual solution. Enforcing the speed limit would be great too! 7th Ave N is a literal drag strip for the blue BMW and others that speed past my house at 45 mph.

  6. We have no sidewalks for our children to safely walk to school , if your not in the bowl why even bother anymore safety is not the problem leaders are and 1 sided agenda.

  7. Maybe we can get some federal grant money and throw in a hard hat, safety goggles and knee pads to complete that Edmonds Kind of Day total walking protection package. With one of those Ed green umbrellas our visitors will be prepared for any possible negative walking experience they might encounter here. Tripping on the hold down block and strap of a streaterie is a real possibility you know.

    Seriously though, it is a good idea for everyone walking anywhere now to be as visible as possible. Ten or so years back my wife and I were doing two to four miles a day often starting before daylight and after two close calls in crosswalks, we went out and bought reflective vests and wore them routinely. I still have them. Now if I’d just get out and walk some . . .

  8. Another great idea to improve safety and visibility, at least downtown where there is the most dense pedestrian traffic, would be to eliminate once and for all the visual and physical impairments that are the STREETERIES.

  9. Due to overwhelming demand, our first run of vest are already gone!! It only took one day. We are working with our printer and other sponsors to produce more vests, stay tuned and we will announce once resupplied. Thank you to our sponsors and to those in the community who want to “Walk Safe Edmonds”.

    1. Greg urban
      I an torn, I lack some context. But I think this a good way to highlight a problem and help people that could otherwise not afford gear. Again I don’t know how many you acquired. But my opinion is that many who picked one or more up could easily purchase their own and took time out of their busy day to get one or more for free instead of purchasing their own much more fashionable outerwear, which is probably what they are going to do anyway and discard the free ones. My apologies to any that really needed one. For context how many was the order for?

      1. Jim, the original order was for 50 vests and we have another 150 in the works. As to the ‘fashionable’ vest notion, do a Google search and there really isn’t an option out there. Yes, you can pay hundreds for high visibility running gear or a bright Columbia jacket but it isn’t practical or within everyones reach. These vests are not meant to walk down the runway, they are an additional tool to make sure cars see you as you walk or cross the street. We are happy to know that there is a desire and demand for the safety vests. As long as there is demand and sponsorship support we will continue to produce them and offer them to the community. If they can save one life, it is well worth the effort.

        1. Greg Urban
          Thank you for the reply. I do think this has been a good way to bring attention to pedestrian safety, hope you can continue the campaign. For everyone wanting a safety vest similar ones can be had on Amazon for 8-10 dollars. Maybe we should consider wearing a vest a requirement like bike helmets? For myself there have been a number of occasions over the years where a pedestrian came out of nowhere when driving and also not seeing me walking through a parking lot.

  10. Walking classes would be great for walkers, i.e., don’t cross the street in the middle of the block, look where you are walking, not at your phone. I have had to stop my car unexpectedly as someone steps out in the middle of the street between two parked cars. Drivers and walkers both need to be more attentive and cautious.

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