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Turn your Healthy Street into a Play Street this summer, no permit needed!

A young Seattleite enjoys using sidewalk chalk on his Play Street. Photo Credit: SDOT

Blog Stats: 1,350 words | 10-minute read 

Want to make your block a community gathering place this summer? Not only can you now turn existing Healthy Streets into Play Streets without a permit, but we’re offering free Play on Your Healthy Street kits! They include signs, swag, and more to help you transform your Healthy Street into a vehicle-free space for block parties, bike riding, live performances, and more! 


Play together on your Healthy Street this summer!

With the sun shining and the school year ending, it’s the season to celebrate community-centered, outdoor fun. Neighborhood Healthy Streets are already closed to pass through traffic and remain open for people walking, rolling, biking, and playing. This means it’s not only simple to turn your Healthy Street into a no-cars-allowed Play Street this summer, but now you don’t need to apply for a Street Use permit. 

Many have already taken advantage of this program to easily host their own neighborhood-scale events, including things like:   

  • End of the school year parties 
  • Pride events 
  • Barbecues 
  • Craft activities 
  • Sports 
  • Biking, scooting, and rollerblading 
  • Art walks 
  • Live music performances 
  • Holiday celebrations 
  • On-street recreation areas for kids 
  • And more! 
Two vertical photos side by side. The photo on the left is of the back of a young boy's head. He wears a sports jersey with the number eight and a rainbow polka dot helmet. He holds the handlebars of a bike in his hands. In the photo on the right, a community member sits on a street curb and smiles while a young child sits in their lap. The child smiles at the camera with her face covered in rainbow paint.
Youth ride bikes or scooters (left) and enjoy face-painting (right) on streets closed for summer play. Photo Credit: SDOT 

How do you set up a Play Street on your Healthy Street? 

If you live on a Healthy Street, just start by connecting with your neighbors. Playing on your Healthy Street is about building community and sharing public spaces. Find a time that most people can enjoy together.  

The four simple steps to hosting a Play Street on your Healthy Street are: 

  1. Connect with your neighbors. 
  1. Enhance the closure (we’ve got free resources for this). 
  1. Have fun and monitor traffic! Make a plan with the adults who will be responsible for monitoring the barricades and making sure local access vehicles (like emergency response or deliveries) can get where they need to go. 
  1. Clean Up: When the play street is over, please make sure the street is empty of play equipment, added barricades, signs and any activity debris. 

You can also save the basic instructions by downloading our Play on your Healthy Street flyer (May 2023). 

Before you start planning, remember to keep your Play Street: 

  • Just one block long and not through an intersection 
  • No more than 3 days per week, adding up to no more than 12 hours per week 
  • Free and open to the general public 
  • Between 9:00 AM and dusk (or until 9:00 PM if dusk is later than that), including setup/cleanup 
A local band, Delphine Elliot, playing live music for a Play Street in 2021. Photo Credit: SDOT 

Request a Play on Your Healthy Street kit

We’re encouraging more people to turn their neighborhood’s permanent or temporary Healthy Streets into Play Streets by providing free Play on Your Healthy Street kits! These kits have all the basics you need to put up notices, rope off your play area, and jump start your gathering. 

Play on Your Healthy Street kits include:  

  • Play signs and flags to enhance the closure and let neighbors know we’re actively playing. These pair well with a recycling bin or other item to attach the yard signs to.  
  • Play on Your Healthy Street Enhancements including sidewalk chalk, a frisbee and other items for games. (Supplies limited and will be prioritized to community groups planning to host frequent play events and organizations serving equity areas.)  
  • Delineator posts to enhance the closure and attach the play sign and flags to. (Supplies limited and will be prioritized in locations with high-density housing and limited access to individual recycle bins.)  
  • Healthy Streets tote bag to hold and store your Play on Your Healthy Street kit. 

If you’re interested in receiving a Play on Your Healthy Street kit, you can sign-up here and we will be in contact to arrange sending you a kit. 

If you would prefer to print your own Play Street signs, download this simple printable

A Healthy Street closure sign in a triangular concrete planter sits in the right shoulder of a road with a colorful string of plastic flags tied to the pole and extending out past the left side of the image. Hanging in the middle of the flag banner is a new Play on Your Healthy Street sign.
A Play on your Healthy Street sign and flags attached to a Healthy Street sign. Photo Credit: SDOT 

Share your fun with us! 

We want to see how you play and spend quality time with your community this summer! Help us spread the word about this great, community-centered program. Share your pictures on Twitter or Instagram using #PlayOnYourHealthyStreet

Hosting a Play Street on a non-Healthy Street 

If you don’t live on a Healthy Street but are interested in hosting a Play Street or Block Party, it’s still free and easy for you to take advantage of the program! However, you will need to apply for a Play Street permit at least 14 days before your first event. 

How do you know if your street is eligible for a free Play Street permit? If you want to close your block for play, it must be: 

  • On a street that buses do not run on and is not part of an emergency vehicle route. 
  • On a non-arterial street.  
    • You can find out what type of street you live on by clicking here
    • The map linked above shows non-arterials as grey and arterials as other colors. 
    • If there is no line (dotted or solid) running along the middle of the street, it is most likely a non-arterial street. 
A performer in drag (a sunflower print dress and hooded cardigan) smiles and dances on the sidewalk in front of a gathering of young children sitting in plastic lawn chairs.
Residents host a local Pride celebration on their neighborhood Play Street in 2021. Photo Credit: SDOT

New temporary Healthy Street signs at select Healthy Street locations!

As early as July, we will be installing new temporary Healthy Street signs at select Healthy Street locations. We have heard concerns from neighbors and our SDOT crews regarding Healthy Street signage being repeatedly moved. To help manage this, we will be installing new temporary signage with a large round concrete base that will reduce movement of the signs.

The signs are considered temporary until our evaluation of the Healthy Street is complete and the Healthy Street is either determined to be permanent or goes back to a Neighborhood Greenway.

For Healthy Streets on the list that have been announced as becoming permanent, we plan to install our new temporary signs while we are still coordinating installation of our standard, permanent Healthy Street signage. 

Listed below are the Healthy Street intersections where we plan to install the new temporary signs:

  • 25th Ave and Cherry, north and South side of the intersection – Central District Healthy Street (Under review) 
  • 34th Ave SW and SW Graham St, south side of the intersection – High Point Healthy Street (Permanent) 
  • 34th Ave SW and SW Morgan St, north and south side of the intersection – High Point Healthy Street (Permanent)  
  • Beach Dr SW and 63rd Ave SW, west side of the intersection – Alki Point Healthy Street (Permanent) 
  • Alki Ave SW and Beach Dr SW, north side of the intersection – Alki Point Healthy Street (Permanent) 
  • Alki Ave SW and Trail End, east side of the intersection – Alki Point Healthy Street (Permanent) 
A photo of a current temporary Healthy Streets closure sign which has a smaller concrete base. Over the existing base of the sign, we have drawn a mock-up of what the larger concrete base will look like when the updated signage is installed.
A mock-up of what the new temporary Healthy Street signs will look like, with larger concrete bases. Credit: SDOT

Questions or feedback about the Healthy Streets program

Learn more about changes to the program, how Healthy Streets are created, and where you can find existing Healthy Streets on our web page. If you still have questions, please email us at  

You can also fill out our form if you would like to provide feedback on a current Healthy Street location or share ideas for future consideration. 

Have a healthy, safe, and celebratory summer, Seattle!