People Streets

What We Do

The People Streets program supports Seattle neighborhoods to implement temporary, pedestrian-only streets by closing off certain city blocks to vehicles and opening them up for pedestrian access, business engagement, and community activation. From 2015-2017, SDOT partnered with the Capitol Hill community to pilot this program in the Pike/Pine neighborhood. We are expanding the People Streets opportunity to other neighborhoods across the city. 

People socializing in a Seattle People Street

Through the People Streets program, we:

  • Collaborate with community groups, businesses, and residents to explore ideas for expanding space and activities for pedestrians in the participating neighborhood
  • Help the community create fun, relaxing, and safe spaces for pedestrians to explore events and socialize, especially during times of high-pedestrian traffic

What's New

We have two People Streets events this year, happening in Capitol Hill!

Dancers perform in the street during a People Street event as people look on.

Program Goals

The People Streets program seeks to:

  • Provide a pedestrian environment that is comfortable, safe, accessible, and responsive to the needs of the local community
  • Enliven the street and increase public space vibrancy through community and business-led activities
  • Create a balance of pedestrian mobility, vehicle access, and streetscape activities

Program Information

Check out our 2017 People Street Program Report.

Want the quick version? Take a look at the 1-page 2017 People Street Program Report executive summary

Find out more

Prior to 2015, the idea of periodically closing Pike/Pine to auto traffic had been circling for at least four years from both community stakeholders and City departments, with interests varying from placemaking and business to safety and mobility. Given this interest, the City and community partners began to have broader conversations about the idea and what it might look like.

In the spring of 2015, Mayor Edward Murray put forth the Move Seattle Initiative, a strategic document outlining how transportation will be transformed under the goal of creating a safe, interconnected, vibrant, affordable, and innovative city. The idea of closing Pike/Pine fit with the vision of Move Seattle, and the concept became a reality.

Pike Street Pedestrian Pilots Data + Recommendation ReportAfter hashing out the details of what the community wanted and what could be feasibly implemented, E Pike St was temporarily opened to pedestrians and closed to vehicular traffic on three Saturday nights in August of 2015, between Broadway and 12th Avenue, in order to pilot a nighttime pedestrian street concept. Check out our post-2015-pilot report for the full results and recommendations.

The initial closure options considered were weekend nights, Sunday daytime, and during the second Thursday Capitol Hill Art Walk. There was enough interest to pursue a summer pilot series focused on a nighttime pedestrian street concept to address the overcrowded sidewalks on busy weekend nights. The other options weren't explored due to concerns about access during business hours and funding/organizational capacity.

There has also been interest in including fun programming in the street that celebrates the neighborhood identity. To both relieve pedestrian congestion and make the most of this high level of street life, we've continued exploring what a Pike People Street could be like.

A crowd takes in some in-street entertainment during one of the 2015 pilot closures

To get an idea of where we've come from, view our 2016 Draft Action Plan.

Pike People Street Action Plan 2016