Play Streets at Schools: More Room to Have Fun Safely

Schools and play streets are a perfect pair…just like peanut butter and jelly! Our Pilot Play Streets program launched at St. Therese Academy in Madrona back in May, and the start of the school year is a great time to think about a play street at your child’s school.

St_T_relayst_t_hula3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relay game and hula hoop fun during play street at St. Therese Academy in Madrona in May


The program has been a big hit so far, with 24 recurring play streets and 12 one-time play streets. Neighborhoods all over the city are part of the fun, and now there’s an opportunity for more schools to jump on the play streets bandwagon. Street closures for school play streets integrate well with Safe Routes to School, signaling to motorists that kids are around and are are using the street in their own creative ways.
Even if your school already has a good deal of playground space, a play street allows you to close the street that connects two spaces (say, the school building and the play field) to create a safe space for students. This new space can provide a great surface for kids to learn and improve their safe biking and rollerblading skills, can be used to create temporary art installations and student-led chalk “messages of the day,” can provide space for special events with messy programming, or can host festivals or races during field day events. School play streets don’t have to be organized by school staff—they’re a great way for parent-teacher associations and other school-related groups to support regular classroom activities.

 

The free pilot program runs thru May 31, 2015, so there’s still plenty of time to get involved, either in your own neighborhood or through a school. More information is available on our website: www.seattle.gov/transportation/playstreets.htm.