West Seattleite invites you to take the Seattle Civility Pledge

(Planting flowers for bystanders and bees is a community kindness. WSB photo, Gatewood)

Just received from Andreea:

Hi, neighbors! My good friend and I have been contemplating ways to contribute to creating a slightly kinder, more civil city. We’ve embarked personally on what we call our “Seattle Civility Pledge.” I’m sharing here in case any of y’all would care to join – and she’s doing the same in her Rainier Beach neighborhood. Small acts, done with love. We know laws, policies, etc. are critical, but we don’t underestimate the power of small stuff, either. So here we go!

1. I pledge to melt the Seattle freeze. A nod, a smile, a wass up, how ya doing– or whatever human action breaks through so that we connect with each other in tiny ways that matter.
2. I pledge to slow my roll. Children crossing, red-light cameras, cyclists galore–I’m going to try my best to ease up on the gas pedal.
3. I pledge to quit trippin’ and let drivers merge and pedestrians cross. When I merge or cross, I pledge to wave a “thanks so much” and offer a smile.
4. I pledge to pick up one piece of garbage when I’m out and about. Yes, yes, I’m gonna pick up someone else’s trash, because it’s my city after all (and thank you to those I see already doing this!)
5. I pledge to give up a seat on the bus or help someone get their groceries into the car or take the cart back for them. Just because.

Civility: pass it on! xo

55 Replies to "West Seattleite invites you to take the Seattle Civility Pledge"

  • Lucy August 17, 2022 (2:40 pm)

    This is a lovely sentiment. Thank you.

  • andreea August 17, 2022 (2:47 pm)

    Thanks much for the support, WSB! It’s so silly, but in the few days since my pal and I spun this up, my wife and I find ourselves doing a thing and then saying out loud “Seattle Civility Pledge!” like huge dorks, but OMG, we can’t stop! ;)

  • Kalo August 17, 2022 (3:19 pm)

    Love this! Just one (or more!) small things a day can make our city, and the lives of others, soooo much better!

  • WSEARES August 17, 2022 (3:22 pm)

    Great ideas! One other thing I notice about Seattlites specifically compared to other cities I have been to is they take their time crossing the road, whether it be at a crosswalk or not. I think putting a little pep in your step when a vehicle is waiting for you goes a long ways. I always try to do a little jog at least if I see a vehicle or vehicles stopped waiting for me to cross the road by foot, especially if they have a green light and are waiting for you so they can turn before the light hits red again. I also am shocked how rarely I see seattlites wave thanks when you stop for them when they are crossing the street (at a crosswalk or not)  or when you let them merge with their vehicle. 

    • Lucy August 17, 2022 (4:07 pm)

      Sorry, but after 12 hours on my feet at work, I don’t much feel like jogging across the street.  I won’t be texting or scratching my bum, but I’m not jogging.  

      • Cyclistnotbychoice August 17, 2022 (11:26 pm)

        Agreed! A little pep even if not helping the actual crossing speed is a nice touch. 100% with ya!

    • heartless August 17, 2022 (4:08 pm)


      Your contribution to the topic of Seattle Civility is to complain about pedestrians taking too long to cross the street?

      I mean…  Wow.

      • Fred Chode August 17, 2022 (8:27 pm)

        Right? #hopelessinws

    • Regular Guy August 17, 2022 (4:19 pm)

      This would be like waving thanks if a car stops at a stop sign. These are the rules, the expectation is that they are followed.

      • WSEARES August 17, 2022 (5:36 pm)

        And the 3 comment replies above just goes to validate my original point. Seattlites just weren’t meant to be considerate or overly friendly. The bare minimum is what we get in return and that’s on a good day in Seattle. Waving thanks for letting someone let you merge in (when they didn’t need to let you merge in) is considerate and common courtesy was my point. And taking your sweet time to cross the street and hold up traffic is just not very civil and respectful. A little effort goes a long ways especially in a city such as Seattle with a history of being unfriendly to strangers and self centered 24/7 while claiming that Seattle is caring. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s pay kindness forward with the small acts we do and not just make excuses for being inconsiderate time and time again…

        • KT August 18, 2022 (4:29 am)

          Someone could be taking their sweet time to cross the street because they have health issues (that you can’t see) that prevent them from jogging.Maybe leave your house 15 minutes earlier to get to your destination so you won’t be in such a hurry.

        • Regular Guy August 18, 2022 (8:34 am)

          Should I also wave thanks to every person I walk by in general, since they chose not to rob me or murder me?

        • Delridge resident August 18, 2022 (8:36 am)

          If your world is filled with inconsiderate people, who’s really being inconsiderate here? I wonder…

    • agree August 17, 2022 (5:16 pm)

      WSEARES, I agree!  I’m from the south and those things are natural, you don’t even think about them.  I think it’s a completely appropriate observation on a thread about civility :)  People like a little recognition that their actions are appreciated.  It’s funny, I always pick up my pace a bit when a car is waiting for me (and no, I’m not talking about a sprint or a jog, just a little quicken of my pace).  Some folks might not be able to do that, but some of y’all can :)  To me it just shows we’re in it together – I walk, car stops, I help ’em out, so on and so forth.But I do like this pledge!  I’m going to up my game on it, recognition or not :)

      • corn fed August 18, 2022 (7:27 pm)

        midwesterner here and yes, what youre saying is true! i will stop and yield to everyone and it seems less than 10 percent of the time will anyone even acknowledge my existence. it feels like a culture of self important people who love stepping on others. i explain it to myself as “city folk” and their nature. what else should i expect

    • Jeepney August 17, 2022 (5:39 pm)

      LOVE THIS.Andreea, you had me on your side at #1.  The dreaded Seattle Freeze needs thawing, so odd that our city can be so anti social.And WSEARES, a big yes!  Whenever I cross the street I do tend to move a bit quicker if there.are cars waiting to turn.   The world does not revolve around me, and any little thing I can do to help others makes me feel better about my place in the world.

    • KM August 17, 2022 (5:57 pm)


      • April August 19, 2022 (10:34 am)


    • Fred Chode August 17, 2022 (8:26 pm)

      You cant always tell when someone is in chronic pain….

  • Socialcontract August 17, 2022 (3:59 pm)

    I pledge to do all of these things without getting s—ty when it feels like I’m the only one making an effort. And to recognize others when I see them contributing to the cause.

  • WSHS62 August 17, 2022 (4:20 pm)

    I’m all in with this GREAT idea!

  • JSBM August 17, 2022 (5:02 pm)

    I really like this idea. And what about making badges that we get when we take the pledge, like  National Parks give Jr. Rangers? I’d wear that all the time (and it would remind me not to be a turd, even if I’m feeling the urge to). 

  • LivesInWS August 17, 2022 (5:42 pm)

    I already do all these things and I’m a native Seattleite. 

  • NW August 17, 2022 (5:44 pm)

    Pledge wtf? This is in my book and I am from Seattle born and raised standard procedure all except the freeze part lol depends though I do give a smile and hello occasionally. 

  • 2 Much Whine August 17, 2022 (5:47 pm)

    I promise to do all these things (I typically do) except one.  I am happy to let you merge by the Chelan Cafe when heading east and two lanes go to one – no problem – and if you let me in I’ll always wave.  I’ll let you merge on the bridge (when it reopens) and we’re both getting onto I-5 northbound as that’s a perfect place for a zipper merge.  I refuse to be happy about or willingly let people into the right lane from West Marginal heading west toward the Chelan Cafe.  If you’re in the left turn only lane (toward Delridge) and I just waited through 5 cycles of the light heading toward Admiral (as a good citizen does) then I will not be happy about you cutting in front of me at the last minute.  I promise, however, that no matter how mad I am at you I won’t get out of my car or do anything more than swear under my breath and think of you as a jerk and move on.  Road rage has no place in modern society whether it is toward cars, cyclists or pedestrians.  

    • Kevin on Delridge August 17, 2022 (7:41 pm)

      Road rage has no place in modern society

      They said, after describing road rage. I’ll assume this was a joke because otherwise…

      • DH August 18, 2022 (6:50 am)

        @Kevin. So swearing under one’s breath, thinking poorly of someone for violating the rules of the road and not willingly letting people ‘cut in line’ is road rage? I think you need to look up what road rage is. I just did and your take is not the accepted standard. With that said, nice sentiment in the pledge. I do a lot of this but there are times I’m simply not going to cheerfully be a doormat to poorly behaving individuals. 

        • Kevin on Delridge August 18, 2022 (10:53 am)

          The first two, are completely fine. I would still say you should chill, but I am not going to deny someone the right to privately express their frustration.

          But then, you slipped in “not willingly letting people ‘cut in line'” as if that is somehow the same as the first two. This was the focus of my comment. If you think not willingly letting people in isn’t road rage or might potentially lead to a dangerous situation, I don’t know what to tell you.

          Since you like definitions, from Wikipedia:

          Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by motorists. These behaviors include rude and verbal insults, yelling, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted at other drivers, pedestrians or cyclists in an effort to intimidate or release frustration

          I would consider not allowing someone to merge a dangerous driving method targeted at other drivers, and quite clearly done in anger to release frustration. I know you’ll justify it because you think they are “cutting in line,” and they may well be, but the response is still road rage whether you think it is justified or not.

          • KM August 18, 2022 (1:12 pm)

            Again, as pointed out already here, “cutting in line” is not the same as merging.

          • Kevin on Delridge August 18, 2022 (2:30 pm)

            KM, the person needs to merge though, right? And if they weren’t cutting and simply made a mistake? The action you should take is exactly the same in either case – a driver needs to merge safely into the line and you should allow them to do so. Blocking them, closing the gap, pretending they don’t exist, etc isn’t a rational response.

            This need to target a driver to release frustration or to intimidate is road rage, whether you believe you are justified in doing so or not. This really isn’t complicated.

          • KM August 18, 2022 (3:18 pm)

            No, they don’t need to merge—they want to change lanes. Theses are two separate things and are treated so in the eyes of the law and design of the roadway. There is plenty of information on the differences between the two online if you want to learn more. This really isn’t complicated.

          • Kevin on Delridge August 18, 2022 (4:56 pm)

            The old, I will resort to semantics to win my argument, tactic. This is road rage behavior. Sad you’re defending it, but I am not too surprised by folks here anymore.

            So much for civility. Rules for thee, but not for me.

  • Terri August 17, 2022 (5:54 pm)

    Smile and wave? one piece of garbage? give up your seat? This is all very nice but it’s an extremely low bar … banality really, not civility, let alone respect or true commitment to the large and very diverse needs of our community.

    • Cyclistnotbychoice August 17, 2022 (11:32 pm)

      Oooohh I don’t like you… that’s mean and these are good things!

  • anonyme August 17, 2022 (6:02 pm)

    Yes, please.  I’ve also noticed a shortage of these (once) common terms of courtesy – please, thank you, excuse me.  Simple acknowledgments, but they make a big difference in interactions.

  • onion August 17, 2022 (6:12 pm)

    I can be cynical, but I also try to follow these principles. Thanks for writing them down and promoting them. It makes a difference.

  • RJB August 17, 2022 (6:12 pm)

    Love this!!!

  • Reality Chick August 17, 2022 (6:28 pm)

    The overall sentiment is charming but needs some clarifications: Once drivers learn the difference between an actual lane merge (called a zipper merge, when two lanes taper to one) and taking cuts in any type of lane configuration (WMW 5-way intersection I am talking to you), then I will sign on.  And agree, as a pedestrian who has the right-of-way at marked or unmarked intersections, I do not need to say thank you for drivers who are obeying the law (but I do make eye contact before I cross).  Thanks for the PSA, at any rate. 

    • Grumpy Pedestrian August 17, 2022 (7:15 pm)

      I hear you about crosswalks. Drivers simply obeying the law and stopping for pedestrians shouldn’t expect a thank you. Before moving to WS we lived in the U-District and every day I walked about two miles to work in Wallingford. I can’t count how many times drivers would race through crosswalks, disregarding pedestrians. Especially at the 45th & 1-5N on-ramp. I had some close calls there and admit I may have actually slapped the tail end of a car or two that came too close. Not the best idea I know, but I was fed up. All of that said, I’ve softened. I’ll now give a smile and a wave every time someone does the bare minimum and lets me cross. What’s the harm in that? It takes almost zero effort on my part. If nothing else, maybe it makes them feel a bit better about their day and be more aware of pedestrians in general. And, you know, just general civility. “Hi, neighbor.”

  • Rick August 17, 2022 (8:04 pm)

    Best post of the year! Particularly the slowing down part…

  • AG August 17, 2022 (8:14 pm)

    I really like this — I’m in!

  • I love beer August 17, 2022 (8:51 pm)

    Anybody else here hate when people race up the left lane of highland park hill and cut off right turning traffic jammed up in the right lane? Or the same on west marginal? Look, civility means not doing that, IMHO

  • Deer August 17, 2022 (9:48 pm)

    Always good to see thoughtful efforts like this, thank you, kindness matters :)

  • Diane August 18, 2022 (6:16 am)

    I love this so much and pledge to do the same!

  • Nick Garcia August 18, 2022 (7:52 am)

    Are there monthly meetings?

    • andreea August 18, 2022 (9:52 am)

      Yes! They coincide with Sounders and Seahawks games and they are held at Beer Star in WC! ;)

  • NAB August 18, 2022 (8:43 am)


  • miws August 18, 2022 (10:40 am)

    I really like this pledge idea, but, as a lifetime (West) Seattleite, except for about 4 1/2 years on the Kitsap Peninsula, which was closing in on its last year around 50 years ago now, I think I’ve done most of these things my whole life. I’ve done the nod and “Hi”, thing when passing someone on the sidewalk, but, especially when I worked downtown for a couple of decades or so up until 24 years ago, admittedly, I may have given that up at times when I felt it was seldom reciprocated. The other thing, is I’ve never picked up the “stray piece of litter” as much as I would have liked. Sometimes, the litter might be sticky, or otherwise gross, and then not having a public trashcan nearby. (Along with the mindset of if I pick up one piece, I feel “obligated” to pick up every other piece I run across). And, yes, when I was able-bodied I’d try to get across the street quickly, back when I was physically able, occasionally even breaking into a jog. I would like to echo, though, what others have said that not all disabilities are visible. —Mike

  • J August 18, 2022 (12:44 pm)

    Great ideas!! I’ve been wanting to suggest the same for the “courtesy wave” that used to be prevalent in WS (born and raised here) but is now hard to find. Have you ever pulled over at the end of a narrow residential street with cars parked on both sides to let the other driver (approaching from the other direction) go first? And then when the car finally approaches you they stare straight ahead with no acknowledgement? Seriously people, just raise your hand, smile or no, to say thanks! It’s called a courtesy wave! 

  • RAK August 18, 2022 (10:31 pm)

    I too am a Seattle native. I try to do these things all of the time. I am all for it. Thanks for the positive thoughts.Glad to see most responses are positive.

  • Pedestrian with no pep August 19, 2022 (1:09 am)

    A majority of people who live here are far too entitled to commit to any of this in a genuine way. Just look at the back and forth in these comments. Your all just a bunch of put a sign in your yard and call yourself an ally types. I’ve worked in customer service here for years, I know how you really treat people. 

  • momosmom August 19, 2022 (3:22 pm)

    All I have to say is OMG, OMG, OMG will you children please just go to your rooms and be quiet?!!!To Andreea, As you have read above some people here in WS just can’t be nice let alone courteous!

    • jim August 19, 2022 (9:24 pm)

      This thread sounds a lot like texas. Unfortunately, texans don’t need a civility pledge, they need a ‘don’t needlessly kill people pledge’.

  • BlairJ August 19, 2022 (9:24 pm)

    When I let someone change lanes in front of me, It’s OK if they don’t wave.  I’d rather that they keep their eyes on the road. 

  • Cars Suck. August 23, 2022 (6:28 pm)

    Just watched from my window, a mom and dad on bikes with their small kids in tow, driving down Delridge as some a–hole in a dark brown van and a white Kia right behind, blast their horns right behind them because they weren’t satisfied going slightly under the speed limit. West Seattle pledge is good and all but at the end of the day, there are still going to be some MFers in cars putting people’s lives at risk (and in this case a whole family). I almost lost my mind watching this and I wish I were on the sidewalk at the time, because I would have decked those cars with rocks. Arrest me, I don’t care! 

Sorry, comment time is over.