Seattle permanently closes 20 miles of street

Up to 20 miles of roads are to remain permanently closed to nonessential traffic in Seattle. The streets were originally closed to protect pedestrians and cyclists during the coronoavirus pandemic.

Seattle is making moves to protect pedestrians and cyclists. Up to 20 miles of roadways in the “Stay Healthy Streets” program shall remain permanently closed to nonessential through traffic to encourage people to exercise safely while social distancing, according to an article on The road closures that curtail traffic will also help reduce carbon emissions.

“Our rapid response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 have been transformative in a number of places across the city,” Sam Zimbabwe, Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director, told The Seattle Times, as reported by “Some of the responses are going to be long lasting, and we need to continue to build out a transportation system that enables people of all ages and abilities to bike and walk across the city.”

Seattle originally closed 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets to encourage walking, jogging, skateboarding, scootering and cycling. The city’s Office of the Mayor has also announced plans for enhanced bike infrastructure and additional protected bike lanes.

According to Mayor Jenny Durkan in the article, “As we assess how to make the changes that have kept us safe and healthy sustainable for the long term, we must ensure Seattle is rebuilding better than before. Safe and Healthy Streets are an important tool for families in our neighborhoods to get outside, get some exercise and enjoy the nice weather.”

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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