The Mayor just announced free Stay Healthy Block Permits, adding to the recent success of Stay Healthy and Keep Moving Streets!

Riding along the Keep Moving Street in Green Lake. Photo Credit: Jeanne Clark.

UPDATE – OCTOBER 20, 2020

Stay Healthy Block Permits are now open to all Seattle residents, in addition to nonprofits and community organizations!

Stay Healthy Block Permits are also now available through November 30, 2020.

Previously, this initial evaluation period ended October 19, 2020.

The Stay Healthy Streets have been very popular (see here, here, and here!) and the City of Seattle has received many requests for more outdoor recreation space. 

Enter: Stay Healthy Block Permitswhich support community groups to temporarily close blocks to thru-traffic for increased access to outdoor recreation space and improved mental health. 

“Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve listened carefully to residents and worked diligently to develop a toolkit of programs to meet their needs, while keeping public health considerations at the forefront” said “Stay Healthy Blocks are an important new tool for us to use during this challenging time.” 

Sam Zimbabwe, Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation
Couple enjoying a Stay Healthy Street in Seattle.
Enjoying a Stay Healthy Street in Seattle. Photo Credit: Jeanne Clark.

Stay Healthy Block Applications for community organizations and nonprofits (and ALL Seattle residents as of Oct. 20, 2020) are available now! 

The permits allow residents, community organizations, and non-profits to take the lead. With the permit, these groups can open one or more blocks on non-arterial streets to Seattleites. 

How to know if your street is an arterial:

If you look at your street and there’s no dividing line down the center, it’s not an arterial! To learn more about arterials in Seattle, check out this map and select “arterial classification” in the Layer List (gray streets are non-arterials, and streets with colors are arterials).  


These Stay Healthy Blocks will open up more outdoor space for you and your neighbors to enjoy physical activity and recreation while making sure you can still follow physical distancing and other public health guidance

Adults and children bike riding around a roundabout on a Stay Healthy Street in Seattle.
Riding along a Stay Healthy Street in Seattle. Photo Credit: SDOT Flickr. 

We’ll start with an initial four-week evaluation period to see how the permits are working. 

We’ll take note of public feedback, participation, and compliance and use that to develop recommendations on how to proceed. During this time, the applicant can determine – according to the community’s preferences –  how long they wish to have the permit (hours, days, or multiple weeks).  The initial evaluation period will last until October 19. As of October 20, the evaluation period will now last until November 30.

Stay Healthy Streets have become a critical lifeline for residents who want to take advantage of outdoor recreation. In response to overwhelming demand from residents, we are offering more opportunities for community to safely come together during COVID-19. We can’t let up in our fight against this virus, but through programs like curbside dining, Stay Healthy Streets and now Stay Healthy Blocks, we can stay connected to our community.” 

Mayor Jenny Durkan

If you want to apply for a permit, keep these things in mind: 

  • You can go to our Stay Healthy Blocks website to apply now. 
  • You’ll be responsible for notifying neighbors, closing the street with barricades and printable signs we developed, and monitoring for safety.   
  • You’ll also be responsible for ensuring compliance with public health guidelines

Additionally, the nonprofit Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is offering a limited number of free signs and volunteer support to organizations looking to create their own Stay Healthy Block. Get in touch with them by emailing info@seattlegreenways.org or learn more at http://stayhealthystreets.org/

The permits help all of us further expand and reimagine open space and recreation opportunities. This is especially important for people who do not live near parks or outdoor spaces, which enable physical distancing. 

 “As the COVID-19 crisis continues, extra space for Seattle residents to exercise and be outdoors close to home is critical. With the new Stay Healthy Blocks, SDOT is meeting this need by building on the Stay Healthy Streets program and allowing organizations to offer socially distanced recreation and community-building opportunities at the neighborhood level. It’s a terrific development for both residents and communities!” 

Chris Leverson of Build Lake City Together
People use the Keep Moving Streets

We’re continuing to partner with nearby communities to ensure Stay Healthy Streets and Blocks, along with Keep Moving Streets and Seattle Together Streets, are safe and helpful, while acknowledging there are some short-term impacts related to changing traffic and parking patterns.  

(Photo Credit: Emily Reardon)

We have committed to make up to 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent and at the same time we’re continuing to collect community feedback. This feedback will inform street location, as well as how the streets can become treasured assets that facilitate stronger practices around mental and physical health. 

“The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has compelled us to reimagine how we live in our city. By adapting our streets to prioritize people and not cars, SDOT is transforming how we use Seattle’s public space. With the implementation of programs such as Stay Healthy Streets and the new Stay Healthy Blocks, SDOT is reclaiming streets for people by adding more space for friends and families to walk, bike, or roll while maintaining social distancing.” 

Yes Segura, Smash the Box founder and New Mobility Transportation Planner
People riding bikes on Lake Washington Blvd
People riding bikes along Lake Washington Blvd. Photo Credit: TIA International Photography

We’d love to hear how you like these streets and blocks – and if you’ve used them, please feel free to send us a picture or two to StayHealthyStreets@seattle.gov.   

  • For more details about the Stay Healthy Block application process or to submit an application online, please visit our website.  
  • For information about opportunities to use the street or sidewalk to support businesses and communities, please visit our Temporary Permits page.