COVID-19 Transportation Response, Reopening, & Recovery

What’s new?

Learn about how we have responded to COVID-19 by addressing transportation and public space needs during the pandemic.

As Seattle moves through the unprecedented times of a global pandemic, we're working hard to understand how peoples' mobility needs are impacted and address them so we can move and thrive. Our objective is to identify strategies which align with our values and goals. This means:

Despite the challenges, we've been working with the community through response and reopening and will continue to do so as we make progress in defeating the virus and reimagining Seattle.


Seattle Transportation Benefit District

Seattle Transportation Benefit District$39 million annually for transit approved through November 2020 ballot measure

Rethinking Curb Space

Rethinking Curb Space
561 Food Priority Pick-up Zones & 68 Retail Load & Unload Zones

Free Safe Start Permits for Restaurants & Retail

Free Safe Start Permits for Restaurants & Retail
164 temporary permits issued as of November 2020

Increasing Active Transportation Options

Increasing Active Transportation Options
26 miles of temporary Stay Healthy Streets and 4 miles of Keep Moving Streets

Public Art Comes to Your Front Yard

Public Art Comes to Your Front Yard
1,000+ Public art yards signs placed citywide through Seattle Together

Changing Signal Operations

Changing Signal Operations
550 intersections with more time for people walking, rolling, and biking

Making Micromobility an Attractive Option

Making Micromoiblity an Attractive Option
September 2020 launched scooter share pilot and continued availability of bike share

Bringing People Safely Together

Bringing People Safely Together
August 2020 support community led safe outdoor socializing

What's Next

We'll organize around 2 themes to address community safety and resiliency. 

MOVE Strategies:

  1. Prioritize transit
  2. Accelerate active transportation and foster 15-minute neighborhoods
  3. Reduce drive-alone trips 

THRIVE Strategies:

  1. Maximize space for people
  2. Support local businesses and business districts 
  3. Optimize goods delivery and supply chains 

And CENTER EQUITY

In line with our values and goals, we've identified communities most significantly impacted by COVID-19. We analyzed the concentration of cases per capita, and then overlaid our racial equity maps, since we know people of color are disproportionately affected by the virus. While the impacts of COVID-19 will change over time, our analysis indicates the hardest hit areas are the Pioneer Square, Chinatown International District, Beacon Hill, Othello, and Rainier Beach neighborhoods. We will seek to prioritize these communities for investment as we work hard to identify potential funding sources. Through engagement with our communities, we intend to deliver a just and equitable transportation network as we move through the reopening and recovery phases of the public health crisis.

Identifying the impacts of COVID-19 on Seattle Communities

COVID-19 disproportionately impacts BIPOC communities. Rates of positive cases are more than 3 times higher in census tracts with the highest displacement risk and proportion of marginalized communities (e.g., people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities), compared to census tracts with the lowest displacement risk and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Map of Seattle showing concentration of COVID-19 cases by census tract with darker shading representing higher rates of COVID-19 and lighter shading showing lower rates of COVID-19. The map indicates that census tracts with the lowest displacement risk and socioeconomic disadvantage have experienced 10 positive cases per 1,000 residents, which are mostly located in central and north Seattle. Census tracts with the highest displacement risk and socioeconomic disadvantage have experienced 31 positive cases per 1,000 residents, which are mostly located in central and south Seattle.

Data sources: 

  • COVID-19 case data, November 21, 2020
  • Displacement Risk Index (City of Seattle)
  • Race and Social Equity Index (City of Seattle)