Checking in on Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets, and more, @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets were launched as a pandemic response, but some will outlast COVID-19.

The no-through-traffic streets comprised one of two major discussions at this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting; the other recapped what’s new with the West Seattle Bridge and detour-traffic mitigation.

STAY HEALTHY STREETS: SDOT’s Summer Jawson brought this update. She reviewed some of the basics of how the program got started, and what they’re seeing – people out and about, distanced, little car usage. She acknowledged they do still get some questions – from “can my delivery get through?” to complaints about racism expressed toward people gathering.

For a refresher, here are maps of the Stay Healthy Streets in West Seattle:

High Point/Sunrise Heights and Puget Ridge/Highland Park/South Delridge; the Alki Point route (more on that shortly) is a “Keep It Moving Street” because of its proximity to a park. Data-wise, they have documented an increase in pedestrians.

She also reviewed results of their online survey, answered by more than 9,000 people.

Regarding whether the Alki Point “Keep Moving Street” – Alki SW west of 63rd, and Beach Drive south to 63rd – will become permanent, they’re still exploring options, Jawson said:

While nearby residents are strongly supporting making it permanent – one in attendance showed a video contrasting previous racing/traffic problems with the pastoral present – there are concerns from others that it’s like privatization, and that it constrains disabled people’s access (though there are parking spots set aside). It’ll remain a Keep Moving Street at least until King County goes to Phase 3, as previously announced. The two SHS in West Seattle are part of the group that the city has already said will be permanent, though details have yet to be finalized.

Jawson said they’re also interested in finding out whether any other stretches, especially greenway, might be suitable for turning into a Stay Healthy Street. The ones that are destined for permanence will see work next year – potentially 4 miles in West Seattle – and they want to hear from people abut what’s working and what’s not working. “We really want to hear from the community about what these streets could be in the future … as a community asset and part of your neighborhood,” Jawson said. Contact her with ideas. ( Outreach workers are cataloging what’s working and not working on every SHS; they’ll have an email list signup soon for each individual area. She also mentioned the newly announced Trick or Street block-closure program.

Q&A: Are electric scooters allowed on SHS? Yes.

Does SDOT have specific survey data to share about specific WS Stay Healthy Streets? They’re still picking through it, Jawson said.

They’ve clarified some things such as wildlife advocates/scientists who have to drive in with their equipment – that’s “local access.” not just residents.

After area resident Loren Schwartz showed the before/after video and talked about the online petition they’d set up to gather support, one meeting attendee said that there’s a sentiment that some feel left out and excluded. Schwartz noted the disabled-parking spots that were added, and also recommended that people can drive to 64th and be steps away from the area. He says he’s seeing lots of seniors and mobility-challenged people using it.

Meantime, before the Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets discussion concluded, Jawson mentioned the new bees on 34th SW.

See them in the bicycle zone near the southwest corner of Walt Hundley Playfield.

The meeting began with the hottest ongoing transportation topic in West Seattle:

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE: Sara Zora and Trevor Partap were West Seattle Bridge Safety Project guests from SDOT, primarily there to talk about traffic mitigation, though Zora first gave a quick review of where the repair-or-replace decisionmaking process stood, while admitting that’s not the primary focus of her work. No new info beyond what we had covered earlier in the week. SDOT currently thinks the mayor’s decision is likely going to happen in November, but they’re not certain. Bottom line:

Zora’s first official topic was the low bridge. Here’s where the access policy stands:

Sign installation was planned last weekend, the cameras will be installed in November, in time for the expected start of warning notices in December, and official $75 tickets in January. “It’s going to be really interesting to see how the behavior either shifts or doesn’t,” Zora observed.

Moving on to the traffic-mitigation projects in Reconnect West Seattle, for which she serves as mobility manager, she said they’re continuing to evaluate the detour routes, but her presentation was meant to focus more on “implementation,” starting with these toplines:

Some of the components, such as recent concrete-panel replacement near 32nd and Barton, are meant to ensure that detour routes are better-maintained, Zora said. She also talked about the Home Zone program to address traffic calming on neighborhood streets from Georgetown to South Park to Highland Park (SDOT will be talking more about this at the HPAC meeting at 7 pm Wednesday). WSTC board member Deb Barker, who is also president of the Morgan Community Association, advocated for SDOT to expand that program next year into other neighborhoods such as hers.

She recapped the recent changes at West Marginal/Highland Park Way and said the islands there are being evaluated. As for the rest of West Marginal, where proposals for a NB freight-only lane and a two-way protected bicycle lane on part of the SB side have sparked some controversy, Zora said that no decisions have been made yet – conversations are continuing.

Next, a quick update on East Marginal Way, a safety project that is key for both bicyclists and freight drivers:


Zora said they’ve made some improvements on East Marginal and are hoping the rest of the project will be possible next year, though SDOT did not receive two grants for which it applied.

WHAT’S NEXT: Watch for a different date for the November meeting, as the fourth Thursday is Thanksgiving. Also watch for video of this meeting to appear soon on the WSTC YouTube channel. Meantime, for the latest on the bridge, you can watch the Community Task Force meeting at noon Wednesday – find the stream here.

25 Replies to "Checking in on Stay Healthy/Keep Moving Streets, and more, @ West Seattle Transportation Coalition"

  • John October 27, 2020 (10:01 pm)

    Maybe it’s time for the city to implement a car buyback program.
    So many decisions, or lack of decisions seem to be aimed at making it more difficult to get in and out of West Seattle.
    For what it will cost to fix or replace the bridge they could buy a lot of cars.
    Nah, never happen.

    • skeeter October 28, 2020 (11:22 am)

      @John I’m not sure if you’re joking or serious about the car buyback program.  Why would the city of Seattle want to start buying cars?  What would they do with them?  If you don’t need your car, you should simply sell it or give it to someone.  But I do see your overall point.  There are too many cars in West Seattle and as we add density we’ll have an even worse problem.  It’s silly to have people wasting hour after hour stuck in traffic.  The real answer is to either add road capacity or reduce parking capacity so our roads are not so clogged with cars.  Right now we’re not adding road capacity and we’re actually *increasing* parking spaces which is making traffic congestion worse and worse.  Start removing parking spaces and I guarantee you that people won’t get stuck in traffic so much.  There will be fewer cars to deal with.  May European cities have realized this and they are removing several hundred parking spaces per year.  Problem (eventually) solved.

      • John October 28, 2020 (12:55 pm)

        Skeeter,It was sarcasm.

        And the idea won’t cost the city $500,000 in consulting fees.🤠

  • Stevie J October 27, 2020 (10:50 pm)

    In my experience of biking on neighborhood greenways, they are almost useless. Drivers seem unaware of the concept and bully people on bikes to go get out of their way. There need to be diverters that prevent the street from being used by through traffic by auto-ists but also let emergency vehicles through if needed. Regarding the privatization of streets? Please let me know when I can ride my bike on I-5 and other public roads that have been made private for only motordom. 

    • BetteDavisEyes October 28, 2020 (1:39 am)

      I’ve also had the experience of being bullied as a pedestrian by drivers on Stay Healthy streets.  I use the sidewalk when I can, but step into the street to keep my distance when someone else is using the sidewalk.  And it’s always drivers who are using the Stay Healthy street as a through street – I can see them continue straight on through two or three more blocks, often at 30-40 mph, especially now that the cross streets have stop signs.  The speed bumps are useless, too – doesn’t slow them down at all.

    • KM October 28, 2020 (6:40 am)


    • JP October 28, 2020 (9:20 pm)

      Stevie J, this is not analogous to restricting bicycles from I-5. I-5 is available to anyone with an automobile and you are free to purchase a car for yourself. The position on privatization is that restricting auto traffic to be exclusive to the residents of the “stay healthy” street results in as-if ownership of the road by the residents who live there, while maintenance for the road continues to be funded by the broader public. 

  • SadAboutBridge October 28, 2020 (7:23 am)

    SDOT is so out of touch with the realities we face with no bridge. No one cares about stay healthy streets. We care about a bridge carrying 100K passengers daily back and operational! Every resource possible should be allocated to making it less of a cluster. 

    • Jon Wright October 28, 2020 (11:01 am)

      Just because YOU don’t care doesn’t mean other people don’t care. I would argue the high bridge closure makes Stay Healthy Streets MORE important since getting out of West Seattle to recreate is difficult.

      • John October 28, 2020 (12:59 pm)

        That makes two of us that don’t care.

        How did my family of four live in Alki for 35 years without any injuries?

        When you hear”We’re from the government and we’re here to help you.”


  • Zark00 October 28, 2020 (8:29 am)

    Stay healthy streets are an exclusionist idea, they promote a ‘stay out of my neighborhood’ mentality, and make everyone feel justified in their vilification of any form of transportation they don’t personally deem acceptable. Those of us not lucky enough to have our streets officially shut down to foreign traffic have absorbed your traffic.  Our streets are now more dangerous, busier and worse so that you can have your perfect safe street. You’re welcome.

    • Jort October 28, 2020 (9:31 am)

      SO MUCH ANGER over people walking around in the neighborhood! AAARRRGGGHHHH SO ANGRY!!!

      • John October 28, 2020 (1:04 pm)


        I see people expressing their opinions, not anger.

        Your use of caps and multiple exclamation points, on the other hand…..

      • Zark00 October 28, 2020 (6:10 pm)

        Anger? Where? You got called out on your eliteist stance , and YOU slammed back with all caps and an accusation. You are a bully. I implore you to at least attempt some civility. 

    • KM October 28, 2020 (10:43 am)

      As someone who lives one street over from a Stay Healthy Street, I wholeheartedly disagree.

      • zark00 October 29, 2020 (10:38 am)

        You live one street off a stay healthy street and do not see increased traffic on your street?  I don’t believe you at all.

        • KM October 29, 2020 (7:07 pm)

          Oh no! How will I recover from your distrust of my unique experience that is different than yours which is a totally reasonable thing that happens sometimes?

  • Joe Z October 28, 2020 (10:28 am)

    What would really improve neighborhood greenways is to ban parking on them. 

  • B October 28, 2020 (11:11 am)

    I completely agree with ZARK00. The WS SHS do not seem to be very effective, and have only increased traffic in other areas that are already high-traffic areas and dangerous as it is. On top of that, I have heard from people in those neighborhoolds who are aware of other people in those neighborhoods who are purposfully manuvering the “no access” signs around to try and shut down traffic on their own streets. This could be a good idea in some areas in WS in the future, with better planning and more foolproof infrastructure, but not right now and not the way it’s been set up.

  • Flivver October 28, 2020 (1:52 pm)

    Jort. Have you sold YOUR car yet??.

    • skeeter October 28, 2020 (3:46 pm)

      I’m a big Jort fan but have no idea if Jort owns a car or sold a car or whatever.  I like to think Jort is saving up for one of those new electric Hummers coming out next year.  They look so boss.

      • KM October 28, 2020 (8:46 pm)

        Personally, I love the obsession with Jort’s car ownership status on this website. It’s right up there with “…parking?!?!” and “will this brewery allow kids/dogs and serve gluten-free/vegan food?” People don’t understand you can (and sometimes must) work to change systems while participating in them. But the purity test comments sure are fun!

        • Foop October 29, 2020 (9:15 am)

          Jort is my wsb spirit animal. If they said they don’t own a car I’m sure all the car clutching nimbus would yell about how they dont pay taxes for the road for their bike. 

  • My two cents ... October 28, 2020 (4:34 pm)

    If they are going to go on with this program then they should actually get rid of the pavement and turn them into greenways. This half-street, half stay-healthy doesn’t seem to be working – special benefit for those living on the streets – still need to avoid and watch for pedestrians or cars – also have seen people with a DIY sign for their streets as was previously mentioned – moves traffic to other streets. 

  • Kyle October 28, 2020 (10:03 pm)

    I mean, why didn’t they ask for our input BEFORE making these street designations permanent? I’ve emailed before about the troublesome spot in highland park of having the one block of Trenton from 16th to 17th be a SHS with no response. That is a common route to a traffic light crossing Delridge at Delridge &Trenton leading to Westwood village. Yes cars should follow the rules, drive slow as they go over the traffic humps, etc. but even HPAC agreed this 1 block stretch should be removed. There are already traffic calming measures on the street. Are they ready to listen to any of that feedback? Why didn’t they get community input before making this permanent to avoid these conflicts?

Sorry, comment time is over.