Stay Healthy Blocks

Stay Healthy Blocks are intended to provide more space for neighbors to #KeepItMoving - whether walking, rolling, or biking. The Stay Healthy Block permit allows residents, community-based organizations, and non-profits to temporarily close a street to create more outdoor recreation space for people to enjoy while following social distancing guidelines. Local access, deliveries, waste pickup and emergency vehicles are allowed. Stay Healthy Blocks do not authorize events or gatherings. 

Note: The Stay Healthy Blocks program has been extended until February 28, 2021 and can be in place up to 20 hours a week. The program may continue beyond February based on feedback and success.

We want to hear from you!

We've created a short survey so we can collect feedback on and ideas for how we might improve the Stay Healthy Block permit program. We hope that you'll take the time - it's quick and easy! - to share your thoughts with us. Use the button below to get started!

Take the survey!

Who can apply?

Residents, community-based organizations, and non-profits may apply for a Stay Healthy Block!

How to apply

Step 1: Getting Started

Make sure your Stay Healthy Block:

  • is free and open to the general public
  • is on a non-arterial street. You can find your street type here
    • pro tip: if there is no line—dotted or solid—running along the middle of the street, it is most likely a non-arterial street
    • pro tip: the map linked above shows non-arterials as grey and arterials in other colors
  • is not on a street that buses run on
  • occurs any time between 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM or until 9:00 PM if retroreflective materials are used (including setup/cleanup) and can be in place up to 20 hours a week. 

Other things to note:

  • a Stay Healthy Block may span more than one block, but
    • it cannot include intersections
    • it will take us longer to review applications to close multiple blocks

Step 2: Talk to Neighbors

We encourage you to speak with the neighbors on the proposed block(s) before applying for a permit. This will help you avoid dates with conflicts, such as a scheduled construction project that will bring extra vehicles to the street.

You are required to notify the neighbors on the block(s) at least 2 days before a permitted closure.  If you have already notified them before applying, you will not need to notify them again after receiving your permit. 

You can use these printable fliers to notify neighbors.

A sample flyer explaining a Stay Healthy Block with fields for the information concerning the proposed Stay Healthy Block.

If you plan to reach out to neighbors by e-mail or online, here's a sample e-mail or post for you to use:

Sample Email or Post

Hello!

We are applying for a free Stay Healthy Block permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation, to close the street for some socially distant outdoor activities. We would like to get your input on the proposed days and times before submitting. We are 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 or phone number]. 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.

Thanks!

Step 3: Apply Online!

When you are ready to apply, head to the Seattle Services Portal by using the button in the upper right to login!

  • Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use" and navigate to and select the "Short Term Use" and "Block Party" record type. (Need more help? Check out this step-by-step guide!)
  • When applying, you will need to provide the hosting organization’s contact information, the date(s) and time for the closure (including set-up and breakdown), and what street(s) you wish to close.
    • Important: In the "Project Name" field, put: "Stay Healthy Block." This will help us expedite your application.

Step 4: Prepare to Close the Street

Provide barricades and signs for your street closure. We've created templates to help you set up your barricades and signs in the appropriate places.

Barricade Basics

  • At the ends of your closure, install barricades 3 – 6 feet apart
  • Place barricades behind the extension of the sidewalk to make it easy for people to cross the street
  • If you are adjacent to an arterial street, you must use Type 3 barricades (a quick internet search will show you some places to rent Type 3 barricades).
  • If you are adjacent a non-arterial street, you may use Type 2 barricades or household items like personal trash bins or furniture that are at least 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
  • See examples of Type 2 and Type 3 barricades at the top of our template.

Signs, too!

  • Install a “STREET CLOSED” sign at the center of the street.
  • The required “STREET CLOSED” sign measures 36″ x 24″. Here is a PDF version of the sign that you can either print yourself or at a print shop. If you’re not printing at a print shop and don’t have a printer that can print on this scale, you can still print this PDF, but will need to assemble the sign. You can find instructions on how to print the sign for assembly here.
  • Post King County Public Health signs at the entrances on either side of the street closure.
  • Make or print informational signs to inform others why the street is closed.
  • Tips for Placing Signs: Signs should be placed between 3 and 6 feet high to be easily visible to drivers. Maintain an 11-foot wide opening for local traffic to enter and exit the street and a 20-foot wide fire lane free of obstructions; and keep sidewalks open for people walking and rolling.

If your Stay Healthy Block will end after 5 p.m., you need retroreflective materials so the barricades are visible after dusk.

  • If using Type 3 barricades: These are already retroreflective.
  • If using Type 2 barricades or household items: This is relevant if you are adjacent to a non-arterial street. In this case, you can use Type 2 barricades or household items.
  • If using household items: They must be marked with retroreflective tape. You can still use the standard Street Closed sign; feel free to outline it in tape if you’d like! Household items must have a minimum of two 3” retroreflective bands on all sides, placed 2” from the top of the item and then a maximum of 6” between the bands. Please write to publicspace@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-ROAD for any questions or help.
  • Below is an example of a recycle bin with retroreflective tape applied.

A recycle container with retroreflective tape

If you need help getting appropriate barricades for your street, we may be able to offer financial assistance. Please email us at publicspace@seattle.gov to learn more.

Step 5: Set Up Your Stay Healthy Block!

Close off your street by setting up the barricades and signs. (We'll provide more information on how to do this as part of your permit review process.) The host for the Stay Healthy Block is responsible for ensuring compliance with public health guidance. We require that you post King County Public Health signs at the entrances on either side of the street closure.

Stay Healthy Blocks are intended to provide more space for neighbors to keep moving - whether walking, rolling, or biking. Local access, deliveries, waste pickup and emergency vehicles are allowed. The Stay Healthy Block permit allows people to use the street in addition to the sidewalk to #KeepItMoving and open more space for people to social distance while getting outside. Stay Healthy Blocks do not authorize events or gatherings. 

Step 6: Breakdown your Stay Healthy Block

After the Stay Healthy Block is over, you will need to clear the area of all equipment and debris and all borrowed signs and barricades must be returned.

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to share what went well, ideas for improvement, or photos from your event. Please be sure to take our survey and invite others to do so as well. Feel free to email us at publicspace@seattle.gov or tag us on Twitter at @SeattleDOT