What are Stay Healthy Streets?


These streets are closed to vehicle through-traffic, but are OPEN to people walking, rolling, biking, running, skating, and playing in the street. Local access, deliveries, and emergency services are still allowed. During the COVID-10 pandemic, Stay Healthy Streets give people extra space to recreate outside and get where they need to go while allowing each other to maintain physical distance.

So what are Keep Moving Streets?

These are streets that have been opened for socially distant recreation near some of Seattle’s most popular parks.

Who should I contact with an issue about Stay Healthy or Keep Moving Streets?

Contact the City of Seattle directly by emailing stayhealthystreets@seattle.gov

Who is Seattle Neighborhood Greenways?

We are a nonprofit, grassroots organization (not the City), powered by neighbors like you who care about making every neighborhood a great place to walk, bike, and live. We have successfully advocated for new crosswalks, sidewalks, signals, and so much more! We are fighting for a more equitable, accessible, safe city. Our people-powered effort depends on people like you — we hope you’ll considering joining our movement!

And what are the “neighborhood greenway” signs about?

So far, all Stay Healthy Streets (but not Keep Moving Streets) have been implemented on existing neighborhood greenways. Neighborhood greenways are safe, calmer, residential streets for you, your family, and neighbors. They include things like safer crossings of busy streets, signs and pavement marking to help people find their way, and traffic calming speed humps. Each neighborhood greenway that is built in the city goes through planning, evaluation, and community engagement. For more details on this, see the City’s website on neighborhood greenways.

Worth noting, our nonprofit Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, shares the name with this program by the City. Our earliest win gave us our name: we provided the vision, community outreach, and momentum that led City leaders to incorporate neighborhood greenways into Seattle’s Bicycle Master Plan. From there, we embarked on a multi-neighborhood listening effort to discover what mattered most to communities across the city and build our grassroots power, and expanded our scope to making neighborhoods great places to walk, bike, and live. In other words, we don’t only, or mainly, work on neighborhood greenways — despite our name. 🙂

Where can I find Stay Healthy Streets?


Stay Healthy Streets are currently located in thirteen neighborhood locations. See here for a complete listing and map. There are also four Keep Moving Streets located at some of Seattle’s most popular park destinations: Alki Point, Green Lake Way, Golden Gardens, and Lake Washington Blvd.

What do Stay Healthy Streets look like?

They usually have a sandwich-board “Street Closed” sign at intersections, which is required by Washington State Law to allow people to legally walk in a street (when there are sidewalks), as well as an orange traffic cone to help drivers navigate around the sign. Many have a blue sign explaining that the street is open for people to walk, roll, bike, run, and skate in and that local access and deliveries are okay.

Who benefits from Stay Healthy Streets?


  • Elders who have been looking for a space to safely get some exercise away from crowds. 
  • Families who want to have a safe place to get out of the house. 
  • People who want to walk or run but not crowd others on sidewalks.  
  • People who are learning how to ride a bike or others who are newly returning to bike riding.
  • Neighbors who want to live on a quiet street. 
  • Everyone of all ages and abilities who feels safer walking in the street when traffic is calmer.

Who does not benefit from Stay Healthy Streets?

People driving who want to cut through a neighborhood instead of using arterial streets.

 

How are streets selected to be Stay Healthy Streets?


The City of Seattle acted relatively quickly at the onset of the pandemic to create additional spaces for people to recreate and travel safely. The city decided to start the Stay Healthy Streets program by using neighborhood greenways, because these streets had already gone through study and public vetting and had existing speed humps, stop signs, and crosswalks. The city recognized the need to prioritize creating space for communities of color to safely recreate during the pandemic, particularly those in neighborhoods with limited open spaces, so the first Stay Healthy Streets they implemented were in the Central District, High Point, Beacon Hill, and Rainier Beach. 

Moving forward the City of Seattle is conducting outreach and engagement to determine where Stay Healthy Streets should expand to next, work to improve or change existing ones, and, if a community likes the changes, to make their Stay Healthy Street permanent.

Which Stay Healthy Streets will be made permanent?

The city has announced they are committed to keeping 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets after the pandemic. They are currently undertaking a listening and community engagement process to determine which streets should be made permanent, and which should not.

What would permanent Stay Healthy Streets look like?

We don’t know for sure, but the city has indicated they are looking at planter boxes and more permanent signs that indicate the streets are open for local access and for walking, biking, rolling, running, and skating.

Are Stay Healthy Streets restricting traffic?


Non-arterial streets, sometimes called residential streets, were never intended to carry through traffic. Neighborhood greenways, where so far all of the Stay Healthy Streets have been implemented, have been further designated as priority routes for walking, biking, and rolling by trying to limit traffic to local access as much as possible. Stay Healthy Streets are basically just signs that remind people of this policy. Some perspective is also helpful, as the city currently has 24 miles of Stay Healthy Streets compared to 4,230 miles of total travel lanes (1,524 miles of arterial streets and 2,706 miles of non-arterials).

Will Stay Healthy Street restrictions be enforced by police?

No. Given the problematic nature of policing not everyone would feel safe if these streets were being enforced by police officers. We ask that everyone treat each other with respect — we’re all in this together. If you notice safety issues on Stay Healthy Streets such as frequent speeding please send an email about the issue to stayhealthystreets@seattle.gov, including a photo or video if you are able.

Who should I contact with an issue about Stay Healthy or Keep Moving Streets?

Contact the City of Seattle directly by emailing stayhealthystreets@seattle.gov

I live on a Stay Healthy Street. Will I still be able to access my residence, church, food bank, job site, etc with my vehicle?


Yes. Stay Healthy Streets don’t restrict local access at all. Please drive slowly and carefully while on the Stay Healthy Street.

Will deliveries, emergency vehicles, and guests be able to access my street with a vehicle?

Yes. Stay Healthy Streets don’t restrict local access at all.

Will I still be able to park my vehicle?

Yes. There are no changes to parking. Stay Healthy Streets signs and cones are placed within the 20 foot no parking buffer (which usually aren’t painted) at intersections. These corners should not have parked cars so that drivers can see and stop for people walking. Please do not move the sign and cones from the spray painted X markings on the street.

Do I need to look out for children in the street when I pull out of my driveway on a Stay Healthy Street?

We hope you will do this on all streets, but since Stay Healthy Streets are being enjoyed by many families please be extra cautious.