FOLLOWUP: Still time for your thoughts on ‘Stay Healthy Streets’

From Constellation Park …

(Beach Drive south of 64th, late Sunday afternoon)

… to Highland Park …

… three areas of West Seattle remain host to what the city calls “Stay Healthy Streets.” They are streets closed to through (vehicle) traffic, so there’s more room for bicycling, walking, running in these social-distancing times. Though there’s been an intention voiced for the inland stretches – including High Point/Sunrise Heights and Highland Park/South Delridge/Puget Ridge – to be permanent, no final decision is in yet. Supporters of making the Alki Point stretch permanent have an online petition going (you can’t miss the banner on the waterfront railing at 64th/Beach). The primary official method the city’s been using for feedback on the entire program is this survey, which has been extended through August 21st.

49 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Still time for your thoughts on 'Stay Healthy Streets'"

  • Yma August 10, 2020 (6:29 pm)

    Alki point? No. You have beautiful homes & views. The rest of us would like to drive by.

    • Michael Ostrogorsky August 11, 2020 (12:20 pm)

      You can do what I do. PARK, get out of your car, and walk by!

      • Dan Hagen August 12, 2020 (10:07 am)

        Closing Alki/Beach Drive has cut off the elderly people that used to frequent the location.  I know because I walk it daily for 20+ years and the usage has dropped dramatically.   It is rare now to see elderly couples with limited mobility there.  “We” have taken away what for many elderly had been part of their daily routine.  Drive to Beach Drive, get out, enjoy the air and the view for a few precious moments.The SHS program may have merit in some neighborhoods – but it should be discontinued at Alki/Beach.  The harm to our elderly overrides whatever marginal benefits healthy people will gain.

  • ACG August 10, 2020 (6:40 pm)

    Is the one block of 24th Ave SW (I think that is the street name) between Holden and Home Depot a Stay Healthy street?I don’t recall seeing that one on the map, but when I was traveling down (eastbound on) Holden, trying to get over to Home Depot, I saw a Road Closed sign sitting on the corner at that intersection. 

    • WSB August 10, 2020 (7:56 pm)

      No, it’s not. Someone emailed us about that earlier today; I advised them to report it to SDOT. Not the first fake somebody has tried.

      • ACG August 10, 2020 (9:43 pm)

        I’ll contact SDOT too. Is that through the Find-It, Fix-It app or another method?

        • WSB August 10, 2020 (9:47 pm)

          206-684-ROAD is the main # – FiFi might work too if there’s a place for reporting road problems.

          • ACG August 10, 2020 (9:57 pm)

            Thank you!

  • Joseph August 10, 2020 (7:33 pm)

    My thoughts on this are actually actions: I’ve been driving into the “road closed” area several times a week, usually parking, and enjoying the view. When I park there I’m usually surrounded by a dozen or so others doing the same thing. I will continue to enjoy this stretch by car as I’ve done for most of my life. This area belongs to EVERY Seattle resident and visitor.

    • Outdoorsy August 11, 2020 (8:04 am)

      ‘This area belongs to EVERY Seattle resident and visitor.’

      Yes! Just not to car through traffic. You can park and get out and safely enjoy the area with everyone else.

      Limiting one particular activity (driving through) which impedes many others safe enjoyment, doesn’t limit the people from being there, just the activity.

      • Joseph August 11, 2020 (1:33 pm)

        Nope. I drive through or park in there several times a week. It’s my way of peacefully protesting. Since the navigation team has been taken away by the council members, I may even set up a tent and spend a couple nights there. 

        • Outdoorsy August 11, 2020 (2:28 pm)

          This is the thing you would choose to protest these days… your want to drive down one street that many others would benefit from if you cannot? Awesome.

          • Joseph August 11, 2020 (4:33 pm)

            Absolutely. I’m protesting against Mayor Jenny Durkan and her supporters for trying to criminalize our driving on the public roads we pay for. There are already sidewalks on both sides of the street for pedestrians. Cyclists have ALWAYS been able to use the roadway. As Americans, we have the right to protest anything, even things like illegally-closed roadways, which you obviously support.

          • Outdoorsy August 11, 2020 (10:04 pm)

            This road being closed doesn’t upset me in the least.  There are far bigger concerns in the world.
            It seems reasonable during a pandemic to create more space for people to enjoy the outdoors, at a location that receives a lot of visitors and car traffic, and also many residents who also need safely distanced outdoor opportunities.

            Also, it sounds like there are numerous ongoing neighborhood complaints which are related to people cruising around and some associated activities.  

            As a community, I believe we should support fellow neighborhoods, and not be saying my right to drive by on their street is more important than their daily quality of life and health.

            There are plenty of roadways for cars to navigate around this street. 

            These complaints remind me of a kid who is asked to share some of his toys with another kid and he refuses and says they are ALL his, instead of sharing just one and enjoying the others he has. Not a good look.

          • Joseph August 12, 2020 (1:31 am)

            Your yearning for an Authoritarian police state while creating what amounts to privatizing a public road is a far worse look. Public roads with access for ALL (cars, trucks, SUVs, bikes, motorcycles, skateboards, and pedestrians) are the most democratic of municipal venues.

  • JW August 10, 2020 (7:51 pm)

    I’m not for them . I’d rather see people MASK UP , SOCIAL DISTANCE or STAY AT HOME .

  • West Seattlite August 10, 2020 (8:26 pm)

    I am not for the stay healthy streets either I would rather see the money spent on this debacle spent on repaving and repairing our streets. Streets are what they are streets for vehicles to travel on. As I continue to watch the craziness going on in our city, I am disappointed in elected officials that jump on the band wagon and don’t think these things through. My family has been in this city in the same home in the North Delridge area since 1922 and we are ready to move, enough is enough and this is a small thing.  

    • Pelicans August 11, 2020 (11:14 am)

      There is really very little visible cost to the city for this. A few signs and cones. No enforcement apparent. But amazingly, cruising cars and the throngs who used to park and take over the sidewalks and street, with open drug and alcohol use are for the most part, observing the measures. Neighbors are actually able to get out and walk, using many other kinds of recreation, to utilize the road and sidewalks to stay safely away from each other. They are able to get out of the house, breathe fresh air, and yet feel safe. Parents are closely supervising kids. There  are temp signs for designated disabled parking. Come down, park, and enjoy the view without the aggravation of the noise, congestion, and constant hazards of bumper to bumper traffic. 

  • Kyle August 10, 2020 (9:55 pm)

    So the highland park stay healthy streets aren’t permanent now? I thought the city said they were. They’ve done so much flip flopping on this without even analyzing what little feedback they did solicit. 

  • buttercup August 10, 2020 (10:15 pm)

    I am not a fan of the these streets either. I worry about young children learning to be in the middle of the road. They do not have the development to understand the dangers and make safe choices. Adults walking /riding kids down the middle of the roads are role models that this is acceptable behavior.  I live on one of these safe streets, people do not slow theirs cars down ( neither does Fed Ex/ Amazon, huge trucks) and I’m afraid one day a child will be hit and injured. As kids we were taught to use the sidewalk, a safe place to be.

    • Outdoorsy August 11, 2020 (7:59 am)

      Oh brother. When I was a kid we played in the street and understood when a car was coming to get out of the way. 

      If a kid is too young to have this awareness, they shouldn’t be outdoors unsupervised.

      • bill August 11, 2020 (10:38 am)

        And if a driver is too unaware to slow down around kids they should not have a license.Oh, wait. This is Washington and if you kill someone with your car you can claim you didn’t see them and you get a pass.

  • newnative August 10, 2020 (11:13 pm)

    I finally came across the closed part of Beach Drive on Sunday and it was very confusing. There were signs saying it was closed but cars were still driving through. No one was walking in the street.  I think this sends a very mixed message.      

    • Michael August 11, 2020 (1:34 am)

      As a nearby resident and daily walk/rider of that stretch of road there were a lot more people using it before it became deadly to do so.  It has been weeks since I felt safe riding by constellation park.  Constant traffic ignoring the signs is the norm.  WS is only neighborly when it suits the neighbors.  Parking nearby and walking literally half a block is apparently too much of a burden.  SDOT may as well give up, that street is open for regular business at this point.  WS has spoken it’s mind.

      • WSB August 11, 2020 (1:40 am)

        Must be a daypart thing? We took the top photo during a visit late Sunday afternoon, beautiful weather, and it was all but deserted. One person in a car, one on a scooter.

        • Michael August 11, 2020 (2:33 am)

          I ride through literally daily.  50/50 shot on running in to through traffic.  It used to feel welcoming to bikes and pedestrians.  Now it’s just a street.  No mystery it’s empty.

          No way you can stand down there for 10 min and not see cars ignoring the signage and driving through anyway.

      • Pelicans August 11, 2020 (11:48 am)

        Maybe you came during a short busy period, on the weekend maybe? Come down, park on the street and walk, bike, board, hoverboard, etc. Or just sit in the safety of your car or on the beach. It is your street and city park, too. No one is going to stop you. There were even several model shoots this last weekend plus a guy who serenaded everyone for hours on Sat and Sun evenings with his guitar. 

        • newnative August 11, 2020 (4:11 pm)

          It shouldn’t matter that it’s busy if the street is supposed to be closed to cars period. The point is to be car free, so people are encouraged to walk in the street. 

    • Foop August 11, 2020 (7:41 am)

      Stuff like this is why I support the ‘war on cars’. Selfish jerks ruining it for everyone else. If you can’t be responsible and caring for your neighbors, I’ll be glad the day when you owning a car becomes unsustainable.

  • Malu August 10, 2020 (11:49 pm)

    I don’t think it’s working along 34th Ave. SW between SW Morgan & SW Graham. People speed through the “Stay Healthy Street” to bypass the traffic light at 35th Ave.  

  • oakley34 August 11, 2020 (6:35 am)

    The ‘safe and healthy’ street near me in High Point don’t feel particularly safe because the signs at either end keep getting moved or stolen, and broken/shoved in the planting strip.  They take weeks (!) to replace, meaning we have had streets where one end is signed and the other end is not.  This is NOT safe.  Signs either need to be made harder to move and easier to see or they need to do regular (like every day) monitoring to ensure safe signage is in place.  

  • AN August 11, 2020 (7:12 am)

    I think the East and West on Trenton is a bad idea! Why not Thistle or Cloverdale?? Trenton is the only through street from Delridge to 9th SW between Henderson and Holden. I also agree with Buttercup, this is not safe for children that do not know the difference between a safe street and a non-safe street. Kids should not be playing in the streets.  

  • Barb Z August 11, 2020 (7:32 am)

    After Covid-19 I no longer felt comfortable walking along Constellation Park  for social distancing until the road was “closed”.   Sure, there are still those who think rules don’t apply to them and drive thru anyway, but it’s nothing like it was before with cars parked on both sides  and constant traffic jams both directions.  I walk there many mornings, and use both the sidewalk & road, as do other walkers, runners, bikers, people with strollers.  I have no problem finding parking  on 64th.

  • Beth August 11, 2020 (9:20 am)

    This “initiative” has done nothing but push cars onto neighboring streets increasing the traffic significantly for others, while lessening it for a few. Doesn’t anyone at the City see the irony? Or is it hypocrisy?

  • Zark00 August 11, 2020 (9:40 am)

    Pretty clear the ‘safe streets’ are not safe and are making this worde in areas where they have been implenented. They are used by very very few people, mostly just the people who live on the block thats closed. Almost nobody is travelling to use these safe streets. The only voices you will hear supporting them are from people who live on the street, which have just been closed to non local teaffic, like block party night. Thats it, thats the entirety of the benefit of these safe streets. A few people get the luxury of shunting their normal street traffic to someone elses street. 

  • winniegirl August 11, 2020 (9:43 am)

    People still have legitimate reasons to use these streets.  They aren’t closed, they are local access.  I have to drive one of these streets to access a family members home and I’m just waiting for someone to confront me or call the police.  I think that these streets are a police disaster waiting to happen.  Especially in some of these areas (I’m looking at you Alki) where people seem to feel that buying a plot of land land entitles them to ownership of the whole neighborhood.  I’m not a fan.

  • Lola August 11, 2020 (10:24 am)

    Not a fan of the closed street.  Coming and going from WS now is an obstacle course in itself now.  You are making it harder and harder just to get out of WS with all of these closed Street, all of the new pushed out Curbing and plantings making the Roads only have 1 lane when it clearly needs to be 2 lanes.  All of this walking in the Streets Because of Covid is getting out of hand.  We do not need to walk in the street if we have Sidewalk’s.  You also have the option of Crossing the Street to the other side if you see someone walking towards you.  Walking in the Street on Every Street I think is dangerous and it makes it harder to be able to go about in WS anymore. 

  • West Seattle Dad August 11, 2020 (10:35 am)

    If you feel as strongly as I do that these benefit no one except for the people who live on these streets please take the survey. There are LOTS of freeform boxes where you can object and explain why this is a waste of money. If the rich on Alki want to own their street and close it down I’m sure they can cobble together the 9/10 figure cost of buying it from the rest of us tax payers that own it too.

  • nadmercury August 11, 2020 (2:34 pm)

    This is a terrible program; in effect turning large areas of Seattle into semi-gated communities largely for the benefit of the few that live in the restricted area.  Furthermore, I’m not a lawyer; however, it seems clear to me that Article 2, Section 40  of the Washington State Constitution quite clearly forbids using any highway/street funding to make a street into a park/recreation area.  The survey is ridiculous! It is totally biased in favor of the program and leaves little flexibility to express that this is a bad program.  It will be easy to “cherry pick” the data to make it appear almost everyone is in favor, which is not true. 

  • payattention August 11, 2020 (4:34 pm)

    I’m guessing the people that live on these streets DRIVE to their homes. I’m also betting they DON’T tell their visitor’s to park and walk in.

  • Elikapeka August 11, 2020 (6:08 pm)

    We have one in our neighborhood and I’ve definitely appreciated the opportunity to have a place to get out and walk nearby that increases safe distancing space from others during the pandemic.   Why is it so difficult for everyone to accept that they might have to drive an extra block or park and walk a little bit?  We seem to have lost any sense of community,  any sense that we can go out of our way at all to make things a little better for everyone.   This attitude of “you’re not the boss of me!” in every little aspect of life is why we can’t have nice things. And no, I don’t live on Alki.

    • Winniegirl August 11, 2020 (8:10 pm)

      It’s not always one block out of the way because west Seattle has a dearth of east west streets. If I want to get to 18th from Delridge for example, it directs me away from Myrtle which would make the quickest trip. Instead, it directs me up Dumar, down 16th and back up 17th  and with all of the traffic going to marginal, it can take 15 minutes to do this “detour.” I use to take 21st as an option, going up behind Louisa Boren, but that’s closed off too.  So, I take Myrtle anyway and I’ve never seen anyone using it as a safe street. 

  • Elikapeka August 11, 2020 (6:39 pm)

    I live near one of these streets and have appreciated the ability to get out and move around with the extra space for distancing, especially for families that have a mixture of kids on bikes and adults walking.  It’s a small inconvenience for most people – you might have to drive an extra block or walk a little further.   Why is that such an affront?  You’re not being locked out.  Local traffic is still allowed, so access remains for residents, visitors and deliveries or medical personnel.   It’s sad that so many of us  are unwilling to accommodate  even a tiny change to do something that benefits other community members.  The constant “you’re not the boss of me!” culture is getting me down.  

    • Kat Shimon August 12, 2020 (5:38 pm)

      @ELIKAPEKA – You say that people
      are “unwilling to accommodate even a tiny change to do something that benefits
      other community members.” Yet, you are “appreciating the ability to get out and
      move around with extra space” because the street that benefits other community
      members is being shut down.  The irony is amusing.

  • Jodi F Steele August 12, 2020 (3:32 pm)

    The traffic has been pushed to neighboring streets. When I emailed SDOT about it they said there was no money in the budget to analyze the problem but my neighbors and I could get together and pay for a street study privately. 

  • KShimon August 12, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    Why not just let streets be streets. And everyone can get along. Runners, drivers, bikers, parkers, people enjoying their day, etc. Why do specific streets have to be shut down for everyone to get along? If someone is breaking a law, they should be held accountable. There are other ways to keep drivers at a reasonable speed. This passive-aggressive attempt to alter traffic patterns is ludicrous. Don’t post a “Street Closed” sign if it is not really closed. This is confusing and is only causing grief that our community does not need right now.

  • Filbert August 12, 2020 (6:59 pm)

    kshimon. AMEN. I’m betting ALL the people that live on these “closed” street’s drive to their houses and DON’T park and walk in. Also bet that when friend’s or family visit they don’t tell them to park outside and walk in. Oh, also bet they don’t tell delivery driver’s-and mailman to park and walk in. Oh, to your point that people should be held accountable-won’t happen. Too many people think it’s the “other” person that is breaking the law, not them.                                         

  • Patrick August 12, 2020 (9:18 pm)

    On a somewhat related note: As much as I appreciate the current designation of parts of Alki Ave SW / Beach Dr SW as a Healthy Street, it somewhat turned 63rd Ave SW into a mess of irrationally speeding (sure, noisy too) vehicles. Even the short sprint from Alki Ave (Cactus) to the Stop sign seems to be extremely important to many 🤦 Or the other way around to the crossing island. We just had a lovely crash there, too, recently. One of the involved cars is still parked on the side. Money for souping up the car is one thing, the means to get the car towed apparently another 🤨 Anyway, I think it’s a lovely example of how the actual issue is just being pushed around. It would be really great, if SDOT could take a step back and look at the issues here in a more inclusive way with focus on solving issues. The entire area down here in Alki needs traffic management/calming of sorts. Doesn’t mean closing off entire streets per se, but rather permanent options to make the cruising, speeding, doughnuts less appealing/possible. Speed bumps, crossing islands, narrowing… whatever, but something please.

  • Escondido August 13, 2020 (9:45 am)

    I love these street. I bike to work from West Seattle to  the Central district and use many of them on Beacon Hill. There is too much congestion and it frankly is too dangerous on most streets to ride bikes. I am a very defensive biker and frankly cars don’t slow or stop even when there is a pedestrian flashing light at a crosswalk such as on Avalon. 

Sorry, comment time is over.