Block Party/Play Street Permits

Block Party/Play Street permits allow residents of Seattle to open neighborhood streets to kids and adults for more space for socializing, playing, and physical activity. Non-arterial streets may be closed to vehicle access up to three days per week for no more than 12 hours per week. These permits are now valid for single events or recurring events for up to 6 months at a time. 

Apply for a Block Party/Play Street Permit

There are a few things to keep in mind before applying for a permit:

  • You must submit your application at least 14 days before your first event
  • The street closure should be no more than one block long, and may not include an intersection
  • The street should be a non-arterial. (Find your street type here.) Hint: click on your street and the closest cross streets to see if the "arterial classification" has the word "arterial" anywhere in the name. If it is "not designated," it is not an arterial.
  • The street cannot include bus service
  • To minimize traffic impacts on adjacent streets and maintain a functional street network, recurring Block Parties and Play Streets are only valid during hours in which there is typically less than 120 cars per hour using the specific street segment.  If there is a traffic impact, the Program Coordinator will work with the permit holder to adjust the days and/or times of the permit.  
  • If you plan to have a large object (i.e. a stage or another immovable object) in the street or on the sidewalk, you must apply for a special activity permit.
  • Please review the last page of the application to understand how to safely set up and break down a non-arterial street closure and to review the terms and conditions of the permit.
  • The street closure must have neighborhood notification and coordination. This means that before you apply, you’ll need to contact your neighbors to let them know you would like to temporarily close your street. To make this step easier, we’ve provided some templates:

    • Flyer Template
    • Door Hanger Template
    • Sample Email or Online Post:

      "Hi Neighbors!

      We are applying for a free Block Party/Play Street permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation to host a neighborhood party (with [activities, i.e. bike riding, snacks, water balloon fight, dancing]), and we would like to get your input on the proposed days and times before submitting.

      We were thinking of [day/days] between [start time] and [end time]. Please let me know in the next few days if you have any concerns or questions by contacting me at [email address, phone number, or street address].

      It's important to note that this will only restrict through traffic. All local traffic, including neighbors, visitors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles, will still be able to access the street.

      We hope you can join us!"

Ready to apply? Download a Block Party/Play Street permit application. You will receive notification and instructions for your permit via email or when you pick it up upon approval. Please allow at least 14 days to obtain the permit.

Submit your application package via email to publicspace@seattle.gov or submit in person at the Street Use permit counter.  

Additional Information

Signage:

When you receive your permit, please print and sign it, then borrow the required "Road Closed to Thru Traffic" sign(s) that need to be placed at the ends of your closure. These can be picked up at the Street Use permit counter or at your local City of Seattle Customer Service Center. Once your event(s) have concluded, you will need to clean and return your signs to one of the locations above.

We also encourage you to make or print informational signage to inform others why the street is closed. Examples are provided below, but feel free to make your own!

Barricades:

You must also provide barricades at both ends of your street closure, spaced five feet apart and at least three feet tall. Be sure an adult monitor is visible from both barricades and on-site at all times to quickly move the barricades for local traffic (including residents, visitors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles). Depending on your street, you may either use personal trash bins or furniture as your barricades, or you may rent them from local providers. Please see the application document for more information.

Assistance:

If you live on a street that crosses an arterial street and you cannot afford to rent the appropriate barricades, we may be able to offer assistance. Please contact our program coordinator to learn more.

Still have questions?

Check out our frequently-asked questions (FAQ) documents: