People Streets

What We Do

Our 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, we 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

Program Goals

We've identified the following goals for our People Streets program: 

  • 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. Or, if you want the quick version, take a look at the 1-page 2017 People Street Program Report executive summary!

2017 People Street Program Report 2017 People Street Program Executive Summary

Find out more

People Streets Program Background

Before 2015, the idea of periodically closing Pike/Pine to auto traffic had circulated amongst community stakeholders and City departments for several years with interests varying from placemaking and business to safety and mobility. In response, the City and community partners began having 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 would be transformed with 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. 

Post Pilot Report

After 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. For the full results and recommendations, click the image above to check out our 2015 post-pilot report.

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. 

Backstage of a show taking place in the Pike People Street

To get an idea of where we've come from, click the image below to read our 2016 Draft Action Plan. 

Pike People Street Action Plan 2016