Announcing Trick or Street Blocks & other fun ideas to celebrate Halloween safely.

Photo Credit: Julia Raasch on Unsplash.

Summary 

  • We know many little (and not so little!) ghouls and goblins are looking forward to Halloween, but like other things in 2020, it’ll need to look a bit different than in years past.  
  • That’s why we are excited to announce our Trick or Street Blocks, which build on our Stay Healthy Streets and Blocks, to help you celebrate Halloween safely. 
  • We’ve also gathered some tips and ideas that help you celebrate Halloween in other ways–whether you stay in or go out. Remember, though, the safest action is to stay home and stay healthy! 
  • Read on to learn how to set up your own Trick or Street Block with a free and simple permit.

We are excited to announce Stay Healthy Blocks have been extended, and now you can apply for a free Trick or Street permit for Halloween! 

We are now making Stay Healthy Blocks available to individuals in addition to non-profits and community organizations through the end of November. 

If you’re headed outdoors, we want to be sure you and your household have as much space as possible – but can still safely celebrate Halloween in accordance with Phase 2 guidelines of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan (which limits gatherings with more than 5 people outside your household).  

We encourage you to apply for a Trick or Street Block for October 31st to close your non-arterial street if you meet eligibility criteria and follow the guidelines below.  

If you live on a Stay Healthy Street, hosting an event is even easier since your street is already has barricades and “STREET CLOSED” signs. You do not need any additional permits to hold a Trick or Street Block on a Stay Healthy Street! You’ll still need to follow the guidelines, and you can print out extra signs to let people driving know about your planned activity. Read more about our Stay Healthy Blocks, which support Seattle residents/groups to temporarily close blocks to thru-traffic, in this blog and on our website

Here’re a few spooktacular Halloween activities to get you started! 

Somewhat cartoonish-looking row of homes against a cloudly backdrop. Image is intentionally spooky. In windows, orange light can be seen.
Photo Credit: Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash.

Keep Moving Halloween Costume Parade

Don your favorite Halloween costume and take a walk around your neighborhood to look at Halloween decorations, and enjoy the fall weather. Be sure to keep six feet of distance from people outside of your household and remember the streets are still open to local traffic! 

SDOT’s Halloween Movie Recommendations

If you want to stay indoors, check out our movie list below! These movies are favorites of some SDOT staff and not all are suitable for younger groups. We encourage you to decide for yourself or your family if these are appropriate for you and your family/friends! 

Family Friendly Frightening 
Hocus Pocus  
Monster House  
The Addams Family  
The Nightmare Before Christmas  
Beetlejuice  
Coraline  
Edward Scissorhands  
Goosebumps  
Monsters Inc  
Ghostbusters  
Casper 
 Twitches  
The Witches  
Don’t Look Under the Bed  
Coco 
The Conjuring  
Rosemary’s Baby  
Ready or Not  
It  
Us  
A Nightmare on Elm Street  
The Shining  
Veronica  
Paranormal Activity  
Get Out  
Halloween  
A Quiet Place  
The Babadook  
The Haunting of Hill House 
Carrie 

Read on for a step-by-step guide on how you can set up your own Trick or Street Block! 


Step 1: Plan 


Make sure your Trick or Street Block is: 

  • No greater than one block long and does not include an intersection.
  • On a non-arterial street.
    • You can find your street type using this map, which shows non-arterials as grey and arterials in other colors.
    • Tip: If there is no line—dotted or solid—running along the middle of the street, it’s most likely a non-arterial street. 
  • Not on a street that buses run on. 
  • Occurs any time between 9 AM – 6:30 PM, including setup and cleanup. This can be extended to 10 PM if you use retroreflective materials. (See Step 3 for information on retroreflective materials.)  

Step 2: Tell your neighbors 


Tell the neighbors on the proposed block in advance of your Trick or Street Block so they know it’s happening and what hours to expect the street to be closed. You can use these printable fliers to notify neighbors. 


Step 3: Apply Online! 


If you have already applied for a Street Use permit for Oct. 31, you do not need to re-apply for a Trick or Street Block. We ask that any applications for Oct. 31 (Stay Healthy Blocks or Trick or Street Blocks) be submitted by 5 PM on Thursday, Oct. 29.

When you are ready to apply, head to the Seattle Services Portal and use the button in the upper right to log in! If you are new to our permit system and need help, do not hesitate to reach out to us at publicspace@seattle.gov and we can help get you set up. 

Under “Create New,” select “Permits-Street Use,” and navigate to and select the “Short Term Use” and “Block Party” record type. (Need more help? Check out this step-by-step guide!) 

When applying, you will need to provide the host’s contact information, the time for the closure, and what street you wish to close


Step 4: Prepare to Close the Street 


(Complete this step if your street is NOT already a Stay Healthy Street! If it’s on an existing Stay Healthy Street, your Trick or Street Block does not require any additional signage or barricades described in this step!) 

Provide barricades and signs for your street closure. Use this template to help you set up your barricades and signs in the appropriate places.  

Barricade Basics: 

  • At the ends of your closure, install barricades 3 – 6 feet apart. 
  • Place barricades behind the extension of the sidewalk to make it easy for people to cross the street 
    • If you are adjacent to an arterial street, you must use Type 3 barricades (a quick internet search will show you some places to rent Type 3 barricades). 
    • If you are adjacent a non-arterial street, you may use Type 2 barricades or household items like personal trash bins or furniture that are at least 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. 
    • See examples of Type 2 and Type 3 barricades at the top of our template. 

Signs, too!

Example of Stay Healthy Street Halloween closure sign. Sign reads from top to bottom: Stay Healthy Halloween Street Closed Saturday, October 31, 2020. Closure can occur between 9 AM and 10 PM. Questions or comments? Call 206-684-ROAD. There are three blank boxes. Under one, text reads "hours, ex. 10am-3pm). Above another reads "On-site contact name." Above another reads "Phone Number." Icons of pumpkin, cat, person walking dog, person walking, person dancing, young person kicking a ball, and a spider with a bandage on its head are shown. SDOT logo is in lower right corner.
You can download this sign, too, by clicking on the image above.
  • Install a “STREET CLOSED” sign at the center of the street.  
  • The required “STREET CLOSED” sign measures 36″ x 24″. We’ve prepared  a PDF version of the sign that you can either print yourself or at a print shop. If you’re not printing at a print shop and don’t have a printer that can print on this scale, you can still print this PDF, but will need to assemble the sign. You can find  instructions on how to print the sign for assembly here.  
  • We encourage you to make or print informational signs to inform others why the street is closed. Here is an example, but feel free to make your own!  
  • Signs should be placed between 3 and 6 feet high to be easily visible to drivers.
  • Maintain an 11-foot wide opening for local traffic to enter and exit the street. 
  • Maintain a 20-foot wide fire lane free of obstructions. 
  • Keep sidewalks open for people walking. 
  • You must also post King County Public Health signs at the entrances on either side of the street closure. 

If your Trick or Street Block will end after 6:30 PM, you need retroreflective materials so the barricades are visible after dusk.  

  • If using Type 3 barricades: These are already retroreflective.  
  • If using Type 2 barricades or household items: This is relevant if you are adjacent to a non-arterial street. In this case, you can use Type 2 barricades or household items.  
  • If using household items: They must be marked with retroreflective tape. You can still use the standard Street Closed sign; feel free to outline it in tape if you’d like! Household items must have a minimum of two 3” retroreflective bands on all sides, placed 2” from the top of the item and then a maximum of 6” between the bands. Please reach out to publicspace@seattle.gov, or 206-684-ROAD for any questions or help. 
Blue recycling bin shown with reflective tape wrapped in two bands.
Example of a household recycle bin with retroreflective tape on it. 

Step 5: Set Up Your Trick or Street Block! 


  • Close off your street by setting up your barricades and signs from Step 3. Note that at all times, local access, deliveries, waste pickup, and emergency vehicles are allowed.  
  • In addition to the street closed signs required above, you must also post King County Public Health signs at the entrances on either side of the street closure.  
  • If you’re the host for the Trick or Street Block, you’re responsible for ensuring compliance with the Governor’s Safe Start phased reopening plan and public health guidance.  
  • Follow the City of Seattle noise ordinance, Seattle Fire Department regulations, and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board regulations as well. Don’t forget the 20′ fire lane and making sure that emergency vehicles can get through the street closure if needed. 

While you’re celebrating, please continue to keep public health guidelines top of mind. 

In general, Washington State Department of Health, King County Public Health and the CDC have provided Halloween-focused guidance, including the best ways to prepare goodie bags and suggestions for socially-distanced trick-or-treating or walking costume parades.  

While celebrating: 

Stay Healthy Trick or Street Blocks should not result in crowding. They’re designed for you and your immediate neighbors. 

Remain with members of your household and make sure to maintain physical distance from non-household members.  

Wear cloth face coverings (costume masks don’t count!) and wash your hands often! Bring hand sanitizer to use while you are out with your household members.  

If you are at a Stay Healthy Trick or Street Block and it seems crowded and you may not be able to easily maintain physical distance, you may want to come back later or go somewhere else. 


Step 6: Take down your Trick or Street Block 


Take down all traffic barricades and signage by 6:30PM (or 9 PM if you are using retroreflective materials) on October 31, 2020.  

Did you enjoy celebrating Halloween with Trick or Street Blocks? We’d love to know! Send us an email to publicspace@seattle.gov

Trick or Street! 

  • The fun doesn’t end just because Halloween is over! Stay Healthy Blocks are now available to individuals in addition to nonprofits and community organizations through the end of November. Read our blog to learn more about how to apply. 
  • If you live on a Stay Healthy Street, you don’t need a Stay Healthy Block Permit to socially distance engage with your neighbors. The streets are already closed to thru-traffic!