Following the lead of a host of other U.S. cities and even that of the First Lady herself, the Seattle Department of Transportation has announced a new pilot program that will allow communities to close roads to cars and create “play streets”, giving kids (and adults!) freedom to use their street however they want. Giant hopscotch board? Sidewalk chalk canvas? Dinner party in the middle of the street? It’s up to you!
The very first of these play streets is happening right in our own backyard, in partnership with St. Therese Academy’s annual field day, taking place tomorrow, May 30. 35th Avenue between Spring and Marion streets will be blocked off from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. so the school can safely expand their field day to the street.
Neighbors, schools and other community organizations will have the flexibility to hold play streets as often as they want, whether its twice a week or a one-time event. There are play streets programs all over the country, and they have been a part of New York City life, for example, since 1914. The NYC program has recently expanded with the help of the NYC Parks Department, and play streets have entered the national discussion as part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity, as well. Visit SDOT’s new program website to read more about how you can play on your streets!