Share photos of how newly-created “Stay Healthy” open streets are helping people in your neighborhood enjoy the outdoors and engage in active transportation.
The theme of The Urbanist’s Scavenger Hunt #4 was pocket parks, which often come in the form of pint sized oases of green distributed in dense neighborhoods. Pocket Parks can honor history, like Homer Harris Park in the Central District, which is built on a tract of land first owned by African American pioneer William Grose, and they can also preserve natural habitat like Nora’s Woods in Madrona, which is a critical part of the pollinator pathways planned habitat corridor for honeybees.
But in recent weeks a new urban park feature has entered into Seattle with much fanfare: the linear park. If the potential of Seattle’s 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets is fully realized, the active space they provide for outdoor transportation and recreation should function like linear parks, even after traffic picks up as the city reopens.
Of course the success of the Stay Healthy Streets will depend on the kinds of traffic calming measures the City chooses to employ to ensure that streets remain only open for local access. While the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board was informed that the City plans to post signs designating Stay Healthy Streets, details about plans for traffic calming infrastructure remain undecided. And traffic calming will certainly be needed, particularly where Stay Healthy Streets intersect with busier thoroughfares.
Additionally, while the 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets is a good start, there are still large swathes of city in which people lack access to safe streets for walking, biking, and rolling. That’s why The Urbanist has endorsed Seattle Neighborhood Greenway’s (SNG) call to increase that number to 130 miles.
But still it’s truly encouraging that the City has taken this step. So let’s celebrate by capturing photos of the joy that these Stay Healthy Streets have brought to many Seattleites. Additionally, in the spirit of pushing the concept forward, feel free to photograph examples of streets you believe are good contenders for future Stay Healthy Streets.
Please send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, June 6th.
Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is Managing Editor at The Urbanist. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.