The Stay Healthy Streets initiative began in April to temporarily provide more space for residents to leave the house and exercise while keeping their social distance during the pandemic. Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said Thursday that the closings will be permanent.
People are encouraged to skate, walk, run, ride a bicycle and roll around the closed streets. Access to vehicular traffic is only permitted by delivery drivers, rescuers, sanitation teams and residents.
“We saw a 57% drop in vehicle traffic volumes entering downtown Seattle during Governor Inslee’s Stay Healthy, Stay Home order,” SDOT said in a press release. “Finding new and creative ways, like Stay Healthy Streets, to maintain some of these traffic cuts as we return to our new normal is good for the planet, but it’s also good for our long-term struggle against COVID-19.”
The city also announced that it will speed up construction of bicycle infrastructure to provide more mobility options for residents as Seattle begins the reopening process.
“It is the kind of courageous action we need to encourage healthy options to recreate and travel in our city as we face our current crisis and discourage a return to high levels of traffic and associated pollution and injury as we move towards recovery.” the Seattle Advisory Board said in a statement. “All these actions together will help Seattle return as a safer, healthier and more climate-friendly city.”
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