Stay Healthy Streets

What’s happening now?

Updated: June 23, 2020


MORE STAY HEALTHY STREETS


We're excited to bring more Stay Healthy Streets to the community. Over this week and the next we'll add temporary Street Closed signs and informational signs along the Cedar Park Neighborhood Greenway, along the Wallingford Neighborhood Greenway, Bell Street between 1st and 5th avenues, and extending the Beacon Hill Stay Healthy Street south to S Lucile St.

We're also partnering with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to expand the space where people can walk, roll, and bike near Golden Gardens and along Lake Washington Boulevard. We are adding 2 accessible parking spaces at the north end of the closure, on the west side of Lake Washington Boulevard S just south of Lake Park Dr. S.We are also adding 2 accessible parking spaces at the south end of the closure, on the east side of Lake Washington Blvd. S just north of S Juneau St. Both locations are temporary and the boat launch at Golden Gardens remains open. While Golden Gardens is 24/7 until further notice, Lake Washington Boulevard is a 5-day pilot from 6/26 to 6/30 to see if it might be worth extending the closure into the summer. Seattle Parks and Recreation also added 6 ADA parking spaces in a parking lot inside Seward Park, near some tennis courts. Just south of S Juneau St. These are already in place. 

Email StayHealthyStreets@Seattle.gov and let us know if people #KeepMoving, share the road well, and why or why.

LET’S TALK!

Stay Healthy Streets can only be an asset with input and support from the people who live along and use them. Over the next few weeks, we’ll launch outreach to gather input on making them permanent. Our efforts will center race and equity, discuss how to respect the cultural significance of neighborhoods to those that live there and how to evolve the streets into the neighborhood fabric, share the type of treatments we could use to replace the current Street Closed signs, and collect potential locations for expansion. We’ll also discuss creating a possible ambassador program, similar to adopting a traffic circle. Start by taking our online survey that is open until July 15.

We are currently designing the engagement plan and expect to start conversations in the next couple of weeks. We’ll look to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and community leaders to identify good forums for talking to you, as well as providing online opportunities. In the meantime, you can express your interest by emailing StayHealthyStreets@Seattle.gov.

children riding big wheels and being glad people are driving the pace of people walking and rolling

As physical distancing becomes the new normal, we're thinking longer term. Stay Healthy Streets are an important tool for Seattleites to get outside, travel to essential services and our small businesses as we start to reopen and get some exercise. Despite the many challenges we face, 2020 will remain a year of thoughtful, forward progress as we build a safer, more livable Seattle for all. With community engagement, these streets can become treasured assets in our neighborhoods to facilitate stronger practices around mental and physical health. 

Background  

Throughout April and May, over 20 miles of Neighborhood Greenways were upgraded to Stay Healthy Streets and opened to people walking, rolling, and biking. Neighborhood Greenways are residential streets identified through past public engagement with enhanced safety features like speed humps, stop signs, and crossing improvements at major streets. Like any residential street, cut-thru traffic is discouraged, but local access, deliveries, waste pickup and emergency vehicles are allowed. With the designation of Stay Healthy Streets, it becomes okay to walk in the street to keep 6 feet apart.  

Currently, Stay Healthy Streets are in 13 locations:  

Street selection included working from our 45-mile Neighborhood Greenway network and avoiding impacts to businesses, fire response routes, transit operations and layover, and COVID-19 response efforts like healthcare provider parking. Neighborhood selection considered the Race and Social Equity Index, where existing neighborhood greenways served areas of dense housing or limited public open space, geographic coverage, and access to essential services and open businesses.  

Check out the following blog posts for information on their installation: 

And view photos on our Flickr site.  We also opened Keep Moving Streets along W Green Lake Way N  and Alki Point  in coordination with the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation COVID-19 response. These streets are currently temporarily closed to thru-traffic and support social distancing at destination parks.   

What we're seeing and hearing

Observations indicate people of all ages are using the Stay Healthy Streets and travelers are following #KeepItMoving guidelines. About 10 to 40 people per mile are walking and biking in the streets depending on the location. The Keep Moving Streets near destination waterfront parks have seen the most use compared to locations along neighborhood greenways. People walking have room to spread out on both sidewalks and the street, while most people running or biking are using the street. We've also seen an increase in parents using the streets with their kids on bikes, scooters, and big wheels along with lots of chalk drawings! The streets tend to be busier in afternoons and on the weekends and are usually quiet in bad weather and in the morning. Neighbors in all locations have been observed resetting Street Closed signs and traffic cones as they get moved or knocked down. People driving are generally respectful and slow when using the Stay Healthy Streets, and we will be monitoring vehicle speed and volume over the next few weeks. Utility and construction workers, emergency services, and deliveries are still able to reach their destination when they have a job to do on the Stay Healthy Street. We continue educating drivers on the importance of sharing the road and paying attention. To make sure the temporary signs and cones remain in place and the streets function correctly, our crews inspect each route daily.

Initial feedback has been positive.    

Young boy waving with caption, “Our family loves the 25th Ave Stay Healthy Street. I’ve been surprised by how much it’s impacted our neighborhood’s quality of life. What has been a wonderful unexpected aspect is seeing how the whole neighborhood uses space

Smiling mom and daughter with quote, “we’ve been trying to teach our 6 year old to bike for a couple of years now. Since 18th became a Stay Healthy Street, we’ve felt comfortable going out to practice in it. There’s plenty of space for others to get around us and not many cars. Now instead of being scared going down a gradual hill, she’s yelling in excitement!

We've also heard concerns from communities of color around how enforcement will be handled, maintaining established cultural practices, and racism directed toward people of color traveling the routes. If we truly want to rebuild to better than before, then "we" must include everybody. It means understanding cultures that existed in the neighborhood you live in now before you arrived. It means valuing everyone's voices and finding ways to include them. It means everyone feels safe traveling on our sidewalks and streets. It means recognizing racism and becoming an ally. Use these links to learn more: 

  Coming soon! Frequently Asked Questions