Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday that the 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets established in the past couple weeks will be permanently closed to thru-traffic, including a section of 17th Ave NW in Ballard.
The Stay Healthy Streets program started in April, meant to help residents get outside during the COVID-19 stay-home order. The street closures block thru-traffic, while still allowing local traffic and deliveries. In Ballard, 17th Ave NW closed to thru-traffic this week between NW 58th St and NW 89th.
Now, the pilot program is becoming permanent, with all 20 miles of street closures set to usher in a “bold vision of enhanced bike infrastructure” in Seattle. Additionally, the City will begin to expand the program to include routes in more neighborhoods and accelerate more bike facilities, such as Neighborhood Greenways and protected bike lanes.
“We are in a marathon and not a sprint in our fight against COVID-19,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a statement. “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. Over the long term, these streets will become treasured assets in our neighborhoods.”
SDOT explains that the street closures will add to the parks network in Seattle, providing more room for people to be outdoors safely. In addition to the street closures, SDOT plans to adjust nearly 800 traffic signals throughout Seattle to reduce the time people need to wait to cross the street.
The Stay Healthy Streets network expands today, with new routes established in Rainier Valley and near Alki.
SDOT is launching a survey next week to gather observations from residents, ideas for improving, and approaches for further expansion. In the meantime, you can send ideas and comments to SDOT at NorthSeattleGreenway@Seattle.gov.