20 miles of ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ to close permanently in Seattle

20 miles of ‘Stay Healthy Streets’ to close permanently in Seattle
Seattle parks will stay open this weekend, but with social distancing in place

Miles of streets will stay closed to vehicles in the Seattle area and stay open to pedestrians and bicycle traffic.

Seattle Department of Transportation stated in a blog post it would be making these changes permanently to 20 miles of street. These road changes will encourage residents to get outside to exercise or to take trips to essential locations or food service pickups. These roads will remain open to pedestrians 24 /7.

In addition to these new measures, SDOT is working on reprogramming 800 traffic signals to reduce wait-times for pedestrians to cross while using “Stay Healthy Streets”.

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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan made the announcement Thursday, stating that this is not only to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to help sustain health and safety long term.

“We are in a marathon and not a sprint in our fight against COVID-19,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “As we assess how to make the changes that have kept us safe and healthy sustainable for the long term, we must ensure Seattle is rebuilding better than before. Stay Healthy Streets are an important tool for families in our neighborhoods to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather.”

Durkan also directed SDOT to expand the program, and include new bike facilities such as neighborhood Greenways and protected bike lanes, aiding in non-vehicle travel during the West Seattle High-Rise Bridge closure.

Starting Friday, May 8, more street changes will take effect in Rainier Valley from Mt. Baker to Columbia City, Othello, and along a one-third mile section along Beach Drive SW in Alki.

Starting mid-April, Stay Healthy Streets were added to Seattle neighborhoods Central District, Lake City, Aurora Licton Springs, Ballard, Delridge/Highland Parks, West Seattle and High Point, and Green Lake.