Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Close your block: instructions on how to close a block for an election night party

This diagram from the Seattle Department of Transportation shows how to temporarily close off your street.

Close your block to traffic for a neighborhood ‘Streetsgiving’ celebration

Register by noon on Tuesday.

Do you have a lot of kids on your block, and a long, homebound Thanksgiving break ahead of you? You might want for “Streetsgiving,” the City of Seattle’s latest scheme to allow you to temporarily close your block to traffic, so kids can play and neighbors can socialize from a distance.

The program goes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Friday, Nov. 27.

You must register by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Also, a one mile stretch of Lake Washington Boulevard, from Mount Baker Park to Stan Sayres Park will be closed to car traffic from Wednesday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 29.

What should you do on your street? The Seattle Department of Transportation suggests:

  • Get kids moving. Kick a soccer ball around, help them learn to ride bikes, or play hopscotch
  • Have a nature scavenger hunt, or play Simon Says.
  • Assemble holiday decorations
  • Help ready the street for the rains of winter by removing leaves from your gutter and storm drains
  • “Plan (from a safe distance) with senior neighbors and those with specific needs on how to clear sidewalks should it snow”

 

How to do it

To be eligible, a block has to be on a non-arterial street, and outside an urban center. If you are next to an arterial street, you have to rent special barricades.

You can register to close your block any time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. (If you are closing it after 5 p.m., the rules call for you to use reflective tape for your “street closed” signs. )

“Streetsgiving” comes in the wake of the very successful “Trick or Street” program on Halloween, in which more than 200 Seattle blocks closed to traffic in order to make way for parades, games, live bands and other Halloween fun.

If you and your neighbors find that you enjoy having limited traffic on your block, you can apply to the city to make it “Stay Healthy Block,” and stop non-local traffic on your block through February. The city had originally said that program would be through November, but it has extended it to go through February.

 

More:

40+ Seattle-area options for Thanksgiving takeout

Seattle-holiday events, 2020

 

About the Author

Fiona Cohen

Fiona Cohen lives in Ballard with her husband, two teenagers, a big vegetable garden and an absurd cat. She is the author of "Curious Kids Nature Guide," and is working on a new nature book for kids, to be published by Little Bigfoot in 2022.