The first Hopscotch CD might have been the smiliest day ever in any neighborhood in Seattle ever (see photos here). Everyday streets were transformed into a neighborhood-wide community party, with people of all ages hopping past their neighbors’ homes in a very long hopscotch course.
Seriously, that’s it. The brain child of Knox Gardner of Jackson Commons (who was inspired by a project in Detroit), Hopscotch CD is basically an invitation to everyone in the Central District to come outside and hop down the street together. It’s simple and wonderful.
While not exactly a bike event, Hopscotch CD is emblematic of how powerful streets can be when they turn their focus towards community building and fun instead of just being pipes for cars. And the 2.9-mile route follows some potential neighborhood greenway routes, including Central Seattle Greenways’ favorite “ridge” concept along 20th, 19th and 18th Avenues. The route also connects the neighborhood’s 23rd Ave commercial centers at Jackson and Union.
Along the way, people set up garage sales and community organizations and businesses set up fun stuff to do on the sidewalk in front of their doors. So as you hop along, you get to meet people you might not meet on any normal Saturday, and everyone is super happy. Especially with awful news like we’ve had lately around the country and world, I think we could all use a day of hopscotch.
Plus, you can be a part of hopscotch history if you show up at 18th and Cherry by 1 to join in the hopscotch world record attempt (most people playing hopscotch at the same time).
Start a Play Street where you live
We reported about SDOT’s new play street program a few months ago, but this is a friendly reminder that you can help start one in your neighborhood. They can be one-time or recurring events. And it’s free!
Here’s how to do it, from SDOT:
Want to make YOUR street a Play Street?
The first thing to do is to make sure the street you have in mind will have clear visibility from intersections at each end.
Play Streets can only be one block long and must be on a non-arterial (see this map to determine if your street is a non-arterial).
Next, talk to all of your neighbors and see if they want to join you in setting up a Play Street. Then, if everyone is on board, fill out your free application here!
Play Streets can be set up as a one-time event (i.e. street dance) or can be recurring (see photo above). So, meet your neighbors, break out the soccer balls and squirt guns, and set up your very own Play Street!