FOLLOWUP: SDOT says construction starts soon on permanent ‘High Point Healthy Street’

When the city launched what were originally called “Stay Healthy Streets” four years ago, the first one announced in West Seattle was in High Point/Sunrise Heights. SDOT announced today that construction of its permanent features is about to begin:

First, SDOT’s reminder: “As announced earlier this year, 34th Ave SW will become a permanent Healthy Street and the other streets will return to neighborhood greenway (status).” So, for 34th (the stretch shown above in purple), the emailed update says:

We are excited to share an update for the High Point Healthy Street! We will start construction of the permanent installments for the High Point Healthy Street as soon as late April!

We will install permanent signage with a concrete block base and newly painted curb space around it at each intersection along the Healthy Street. At intersections where neighbors requested planters, we will install the permanent signage with a planter sign base.

SDOT crews will likely be on site soon to start preparing for work. You may see crews marking the pavement along the Healthy Street.

The project’s official page is here.

OTHER HEALTHY STREETS: SDOT says it’s still determining whether the Delridge/Highland Park Healthy Street will become permanent. And we’re checking on whether the construction schedule has been clarified for Alki Point since the reiteration four weeks ago that the design features announced last December will be built.

45 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: SDOT says construction starts soon on permanent 'High Point Healthy Street'"

  • I Live on 34th April 18, 2024 (1:03 pm)

    I live on 34th in the area where the permanent features will be installed and I’m curious if the healthy street closures has impacted the amount of traffic on these “closed streets.” I can say from my perspective the traffic initially decreased on my block when the temporary signage was installed, but it soon went back to normal-ish levels as there is essentially no way to enforce the street closures other than drivers simply respecting the fact they are closed to those who don’t live on the street.   I’m hoping this will reduce traffic again as the amount of parents who still use 34th to bypass the lights on 35th is quite high.  Plus temporary signs are constantly being blown over by the wind and knocked down by vehicles. :) 

    • Let them eat cake April 18, 2024 (1:23 pm)

      Permanent street closure isn’t enough? What more do you want to basically have a private street?

      • Rick April 18, 2024 (1:47 pm)

        At taxpayers expense. 

      • Sarge April 18, 2024 (2:36 pm)

        The street isn’t closed.  It’s just signed as a local street. It’s an effort to reduce fast cuthru traffic coming from 35th, for one thing.

        • Ok boomer April 18, 2024 (3:36 pm)

          That stretch of 34th has never been as busy as the other 2 that were removed. It made no sense to make 34th permanent and not keep the other 2 as well which connect to 3 parks and heavy sidewalk traffic that has to fit in the narrow sidewalks due to the bushes lining those streets. 

    • B Public April 18, 2024 (3:19 pm)

      “I Live on 34th” is mistaken about “closed streets.”  
      They are not closed to those who don’t live on the street.  

      They are open to all with closures intended to reduce pass-through vehicles.

      Healthy Streets are closed to pass through traffic, but open to people walking, rolling, biking, and playing. The goal of this program is to open up more public space for people to use—improving community and individual health.”

  • Brandon April 18, 2024 (3:23 pm)

    Following the original link, Robert deserves a call out for accurately predicting this would become permanent.

    After 4 years I still don’t understand the idea here.  Closing the street (sorry – limiting traffic flow for many drivers and playing semantics) for some but not all is some sort of special treatment for the residents. We should all equally demand “healthy streets” for our own blocks (for example, 35th, California, Delridge, and all others that don’t have this luxury), or close the streets entirely on 34th so the residents can’t use the road either.  Put on a special assessment for these houses on the blocks to pay for their own roads and exempt the rest of us if this is the play.  Guess how quick they’ll change the tune?

  • NannyState420 April 18, 2024 (3:24 pm)

    Who actually asked for this?? How much money was wasted repeatedly putting the silly signs up after people who live in the area repeatedly destroy them? Such a pointless thing to spend money on when the city is experiencing crazy crime and junkie assaults. I really don’t need the city to tell me how to “live healthy.”

    • 1994 April 18, 2024 (8:59 pm)

      Agree this is a waste of taxpayer money.  The city encouraging people to be healthy by using the middle of  streets for recreation is not a safe thing….people can use the sidewalks.

    • JP April 18, 2024 (10:19 pm)

      Exactly…. Who of any consequence keeps lobbying for this?? Not surprised at all though – pet project of some small but influential civil servant. I predicted these would become permanent when they were first introduced opportunistically under the Trojan Horse of COVID. Kind of like the $5.00 “sanitation supplies fee” our local barber began charging that just got rolled permanently into the price when the pandemic effectively ended. 

      • M.B. April 19, 2024 (6:11 pm)

        “who of any consequence” Seriously?!? Way to minimize not just the opinion of others, but their value as people. I do not live in this stretch but used it regularly biking my child to his grandparents house several times a week during the pandemic and appreciated it and the Graham bike crossing. It is really nice to be about to get someplace without having to take I-35. Should more places have traffic calming, yes, but everything has to starts somewhere. 

    • ObviousArmadillo April 19, 2024 (12:53 pm)

      I love them, and I don’t live in one. This specific location was used by cars coming up sylvan way to get around stop light at 35th/morgan to go north on 35th. Adding a permanent concrete barrier makes it so cars would need to go slow enough around the corners that they wouldn’t save time and therefore not use it as a through street, but anyone who lived on the street would. 34th is also the official greenway for anyone on a bike to safely move around west Seattle. The benefits are for everyone.

      • Call it what it is April 19, 2024 (4:42 pm)

        How is 34th the official gateway when access ends by Guadalupe and near the coffee shop? That stretch of 34th is only regularly convenient for the people who live there followed by those going to school/park. It isn’t a heavy traffic area no matter how many people rave about what a difference it makes. 

  • Erin98126 April 18, 2024 (3:47 pm)

    Did the city actually measure how many people are walking/biking/rolling/playing along this stretch of 34th over the past four years? I just don’t understand the need for this. I don’t live on 34th so I can’t speak to the usage. But I live two blocks down on 31st and see runners and baby stroller walkers in the middle of the street on a daily basis. Lots of bikers, too, but of course they’re allowed on the street. I do often wonder, though, why these people aren’t using the safe street instead. 

    • Dustin April 18, 2024 (5:20 pm)

      As a cyclist, I avoid the “safe street” because street closure signage blocking half of the lane at intersections forces me to ride on the left side of the street and potentially into the path of oncoming traffic. The streets open to the general public feel safer because you can keep right in intersections.

      • Bbron April 19, 2024 (6:54 am)

        honestly, this doesn’t read like it’s coming from a cyclist and feels like a driver astro-turfing an argument. the street you’re talking about doesn’t have a centerline, parking on either side that forces a single car to drive in the center most of the time, and the signage that is “blocking half of the lane” is far enough over on the shoulder where a parked car usually follows right behind a person who rides a scooter on the healthy streets near me (Delridge) i prefer them over other streets. the only issue i’ve ran into so far are cars that cross intersections of the healthy streets without stopping b/c they don’t understand that other traffic can be using “closed” streets.

        • Dustin April 20, 2024 (8:34 am)

          I really am a biker! The signs limit the trajectory of your turn around the corner so they do force you pretty far into the lane, especially if you are coming down the hill, which I usually am here. There are not usually cars parked on both sides of the street near the intersections, although people do get pretty close. The issue of cars being parked on both sides is a real one, but a separate issue. Parking should only be allowed on one side of the street, or the street should be one way – I’ve seen streets like these all over Seattle for years, though – I don’t think they make sense even for drivers.

  • I live on 30th April 18, 2024 (4:36 pm)

    I use all of those streets.  Especially is Sunrise Heights. What really gets me, is the Lady Guadalupe.  Those kids spend recess in the public park.  The school/church doesn’t pay the same taxes and they are closing public streets for a big chunk of the year. 

  • WSzombie April 18, 2024 (6:51 pm)

    Anybody else keep receipts? WSBApril 16, 2020 8:21 pmThis is not permanent. “End of the emergency,” and all those facilities won’t be reopening before then:

    • RobertApril 16, 2020 9:07 pmThey say that now….but you will be reporting on how they will “propose” permanent walking streets throughout Seattle. This is only the beginning. It’s shameful these people are using this disaster as a way to push their agenda. Shameful and unethical.
    • West Seattle since 1979April 16, 2020 9:54 pmOh please. Stop with the paranoia and conspiracy theories. 
    • RobertApril 16, 2020 10:18 pmI acknowledge your denial.
    • ObviousArmadillo April 19, 2024 (12:56 pm)

      Just so we’re clear, the agenda here is keeping pedestrians safe from cars? Oh man, you got ‘em.

      • JP April 19, 2024 (10:43 pm)

        “Keeping pedestrians safe”. Is that really the agenda, Armadillo? Take a look at the picture Bbron posted above and explain to us the danger pedestrians are in. Sidewalks on either side of the street with like 6’ of green space buffer between the sidewalk and the road. Talk about a solution in need of a problem. 

  • Purple Pilot April 18, 2024 (7:03 pm)

    This is the dumbest thing I have seen in quite some time…and it’s a low bar

  • New Burner Acct April 18, 2024 (7:33 pm)

    Stunned how many forget that Guadalupe closes the portion of Myrtle between 34th and 35th. So those of us who live on Myrtle below the church or further into Sunrise Heights are forced to take a block south or north, which puts you driving back on 34th to get to your own neighborhood. Or forced all those parents with kids at Guadalupe onto 34th to bring their kids to school. And when you go north to get here, you can take Willow past a daycare and in front of the community center, or you can go further north to Holly where many are walking to their visit to the mosque, or you can drive further to Morgan where there’s a ton of pedestrians at that area with shopping and bus stops all around. If you headed south instead, you’re literally put right into the neighborhood we’re trying to slow down traffic in. Open Myrtle, take away the street closure given to Guadalupe for God knows what reason (pun intended). 

    • Sarge April 19, 2024 (1:56 pm)

      Guadalupe closes it (for a few hours a day) because the street literally bisects their campus.  Kids going back and forth the whole school day between buildings on either side of the street.  While there is certainly need for traffic safety in the other areas mentioned it’s not exactly the same situation.  

  • Rob April 18, 2024 (8:12 pm)

    Can they do this on our street? Why not my street  to.

  • MacGyver April 18, 2024 (8:56 pm)

    The amount of traffic hasn’t gone down where I am (it wasn’t heavy to begin with) and no one’s stupid enough to play out on the street. All it does is confuse people following driving app instructions because it tells them the street is closed.

    When they were first installed, some genius thought the healthy street sign  should be blocking part of the entrance/exit and only allow for one vehicle to pass through at a time. So if you’re on the main street trying to turn onto the healthy street, you can’t go until the vehicle waiting to leave the healthy street is able to (and the vehicle behind them is willing to let you get through), creating a traffic jam on the main street.

  • Jim April 18, 2024 (9:58 pm)

    These were billed as temporary during COVID and now they’re just trying to further push their war on cars with these ridiculous street closures

  • Sunrise Heights Resident April 18, 2024 (10:14 pm)

    We’ve  never seen anyone walking, running, or exercising where they made 34th a “safe street”.We have witnessed a kid (no Driver’s License in stolen car) speed down said safe street , t-bone a woman on Holden, attempt to flee by reversing at high speed back down 34th, and crashing into the sidewalk rain garden. Designating it a “safe street” does not make it safe. 

    • Thunder Thighs April 19, 2024 (9:58 am)

      I estimate I’ve run, walked, or biked up and down that stretch of 34th about 4-5 times a week for the past….say, 12-15 years. 

      • 1994 April 19, 2024 (10:37 pm)

        Thunder Thighs, do you use the sidewalk for running or walking, or are you in the middle of the street? Biking I get would most likely be in the street. I used to frequently bike 34th prior to 34th being designated a  healthy street and it was fine without being designated a closed street to be a healthy street.  Such a waste of taxpayer money and very unsafe for the city to be encouraging people to use the streets to stay healthy.

      • JP April 19, 2024 (10:51 pm)

        ***GASP*** you mean to tell us that you walked that street for 12 years before it was declared a “Safe Street”!? Valor is true gift. You the real MVP.

  • James April 18, 2024 (10:59 pm)

    Yet another small example of our inept local government. Overall, what is the point of “safe streets” and other measures (like speed humps) to slow traffic when there is practically zero enforcement of posted speed limits? 35th Avenue especially feels like a mini-freeway at times given the almost complete absence of Seattle police monitoring and enforcing the speed limit.

    • Trudy April 18, 2024 (11:26 pm)

      The point of speed humps is that they force vehicles to slow down without any active enforcement at all. Slower vehicles = fewer deadly crashes. 

    • ObviousArmadillo April 19, 2024 (1:04 pm)

      James, I believe the idea is that streets should effectively enforce themselves. Hear me out, if you build a street very wide with two lanes in both directions and the sidewalks are set back, you are setting a design language about how fast you should go. 35th is also very strait with long stretches of no lights. it would be very expensive to put a police officer there 24/7 and even then they can only pull over so many people per day. The road should be modified so it makes sense to go slower naturally, so it’s not a mini-freeway. 

  • Wseattleite April 18, 2024 (11:51 pm)

    I interpret the signs such that if I am there and can use the street, I am local, therefore I use the street.  The blocked access and dream of people playing in the “healthy streets” are ridiculous and don’t not bolster safety. SDOT surely has other endeavors to prioritize over this.  Like general maintenance. The transportation levy is hard to justify when you see this going on. 

  • Bbron April 19, 2024 (7:09 am)

    Stars above look at the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the prospect of losing an at least
    thrice redundant swath of pavement to drive on. y’all car drivers
    realize you’re driving a car, right? that navigating an additional turn
    or 2 or having to spend a few more seconds in your car isn’t the end of
    the world? i know when i drove in the past such a small change in my commute would not phase me, but maybe i’m more strong willed than your average driver. the sheer entitlement coming thru this comment section really
    paints a picture of the people behind the wheel, and boy does it
    frighten me and affirm my choice to not drive anymore. the comments read like they’re coming from a spoiled child getting their candy taken away. even those this isn’t a street closer and we’ll still get entitled drivers using the streets as a pass thru, anything that gets close to that is an improvement. y’all want a future where we keep the same amount of infrastructure for cars? y’all have no creativity to imagine a future where we have more walking/rolling only paths to navigate this city? seriously see what you aren’t willing to give up: some 4,000 feet of pavement that connects buildings that are predominantly used by kids. for those that are thinking this somehow unfairly benefits some: got some bad news about the amount of resources car infrastructure drains from everywhere else. if you own a house or if you use a car, you’re already using an unfair amount of resources from the government and are being subsidized. if anything, closing a street and providing more access to non-car drivers is an equitably redistribution of resources. it can’t be helped that most of the redundant streets (that should be easy to convert because they are redundant) are embedded in SFH sprawl.

    • JP April 19, 2024 (11:13 pm)

      I admit your first line is well written and made me laugh but I think you misrepresent the majority of the opposing view. The majority of folks think this is a nonissue and would feel indifferent if this project were thrown out tomorrow. It’s really just another example where the folks in charge are genuflecting to a feel-good idea that accomplishes nothing to avoid tackling weightier issues. A serious minded person would not consider this a top order priority. 

  • KM April 19, 2024 (7:46 am)

    I think a lot of the pushback here is ridiculous for the usual car-centric reasons. This stretch already was and is a Greenway, prior to the “stay healthy” label, designed to be a safer route for cyclists, so it’s not a huge change for the intended street purpose. What SDOT should be doing instead is beefing up traffic calming on existing greenways, along all parts of them, rather than adding a new permanent road style to a few blocks. Portland is a good model for this, with their greenways designed to divert drivers and physically prevent cut throughs with concrete diverters. It’s still not safe for cyclists our there–we we need complete safe routes, not just more signs and paint for a few blocks.

    • sc April 19, 2024 (11:41 am)

      I don’t know what the best approach would be, but I agree with your take.  Maybe take away parking from one side of the street?  My spouse and 10 year old have been honked at while they were bike commuting on this stretch (presumably because they were not going fast enough, and also honked at by a parent from the same school they were headed to).  Maybe if there was a wider street, instead of parking, it would be safer for cyclists to get through and the occasional driver to get by them when there.

  • Illegaltaking April 19, 2024 (9:05 am)

    I have lived in West Seattle all my life. Recently, I was driving past the lighthouse to park my car and look out at the water as I have done for decades.. some woman  were standing in the middle of the street trying to block my car driving down it. Absolutely amazing.. there are two issues here legally : adverse possession, which means I’ve done that for decades I can still continue to do it. The other is the.’taking’ public streets and basically giving the nearby residents free land… like an extended backyard right on the waterfront. I am almost 80 . I should be able to drive , park , and enjoy PUBLIC property(the street access to the view, to park

    • AllAccess April 19, 2024 (11:18 am)

      Troubling  anecdote about being blocked by some woman in the street.  
      I hope you called 911?
      Everyone, including 80 year olds in cars, is allowed to access Alki Ave SW as well as Beach Drive near the lighthouse.  
      Vehicles are still allowed to drive in and park along the streets many open spots on both the east and west sides.  
      I do it regularly without incident. Any claim of adverse possession in the context of street access is not applicable as public property is exempt from adverse possession and adverse possession applies to property i.e. land. 
      Likening the  80 foot wide concrete street with sidewalks on both sides with vehicles parked on it an extension 
      of the residents front yard is a stretch.  

      • Illegaltaking April 19, 2024 (11:51 am)

        Thank you for the input on adverse possession. I will go online and learn more about it.  But having driven there and parked for decades, I was absolutely amazed that this woman was trying to single-handedly stop cars from going down the street.! 

  • please don't April 19, 2024 (12:43 pm)

    Adding a permanent concrete barrier here is ridiculous for all the reasons already mentioned.  In addition the barriers are blocking access to the fire hydrants on the east side of the street.  maintenance crews need to be able to park immediately adjacent to the hydrant to perform overhauls or replacements.  clear the drains, pump the corner catch basins etc.   Also the fire dept. might not like the hinderance.   

  • Sarah April 19, 2024 (2:00 pm)

    I’ve never fully understood why or how these are be different from general traffic ‘calming’ and safety implementation.  Or how they are different from “greenways”.  I’m all for safety improvements, just pointing out that many people seem unclear on what a ‘healthy street’ is.

Sorry, comment time is over.