Seattle’s car-light Keep Moving Streets have been a success, so the city has extended them another month.
Created in partnership between SDOT and Seattle Parks, the city’s four Keep Moving Streets are typically on arterial streets near parks or along waterways that don’t have enough sidewalk space to safety handle all the people who want to use them. Streets, on the other hand, have lots of space. So the city decided to try closing streets to through traffic (local access is allowed) and open that space to walking and biking.
And people love it.
The program has been extended until October 5. But there’s no reason to think they won’t be needed beyond that point. Neighbors of the Alki Point project even put together a campaign to make it permanent (complete with a video).
More details on the October extension from SDOT:
Based on observations and public feedback, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (Parks) will continue to keep streets around four popular destination parks open to people walking, rolling, and biking. These Keep Moving Streets along Green Lake, Alki Point, Golden Gardens, and Lake Washington Blvd create more open space for people to get active recreation close to home while staying physically distanced and healthy. More details, maps, and photos are available on SDOT blog.
There are nearly 5 miles of Keep Moving Streets around four popular Seattle parks. These streets are similar to the over 25 miles of Stay Healthy Streets opened on Seattle’s existing network Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. While the Stay Healthy Streets are all on calm neighborhood streets, the Keep Moving Streets are in locations near busy parks that had higher speeds and traffic volumes.
Both kinds of streets are open to people walking, rolling, and biking. Cut-through car traffic is not allowed, but people may drive on these streets to reach local destinations including homes, businesses, and to drop off people with disabilities. This allows people to continue to recreate close to home while staying physically distanced and healthy while some parking lots are closed to reduce crowding in the parks.
The three-mile Keep Moving Street on Lake Washington Blvd was originally piloted in June, and then opened in July through Labor Day weekend with the option to extend based on community feedback and observations. The City will now extend the Keep Moving Street until the week of October 5. After that, the City could take the community suggestion of reopening the Keep Moving Street on weekends if funding is available.
Other Keep Moving Streets near Green Lake, Alki Point, and Golden Gardens will also be continued for longer. Updates on the individual schedules for these locations is listed on the SDOT blog.
The City is continuing to partner with nearby communities to make sure these Stay Healthy and Keep Moving Streets are safe and helpful, while acknowledging there are some short-term impacts of changing traffic, parking patterns, and potentially longer vehicular commute times. SDOT has committed to make 20+ miles of Keep Moving Streets permanent, and is continuing to collect community feedback to inform what this will look like. A Stay Healthy Street online survey recently closed with over 9,000 people participating. A portion of the survey results and feedback collected during the Lake Washington Blvd pilot are available on the program web page.