The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Public Space Management Program makes it easy for people to use their streets in new and creative ways. And we’re excited to announce another way for you to use your street…for play! Our Pilot Play Streets Program launched this spring and includes both school-organized and community-led play streets. Play streets offer an opportunity to expand the use of our streets and provide more places for people.
What is a play street?
A play street closes a neighborhood street to traffic so that kids (and adults) can have more space for play and physical activity. School play streets provide additional space for recess or other special activities, like a field day. Community play streets help neighbors create more space for play during the summer or after school.
What are the benefits of play streets?
Play streets give kids of all ages more space to be active. Neighbors working together to organize a play street can help to build community. And moving traffic off a street—even for a few hours—helps us all remember that streets are for people. Most importantly, play streets support FUN for everyone. We all need more chances to play!
Who came up with this idea?
Lots of cities have play streets; New York City started its program in 1914 and has recently expanded with support from the NYC Parks Department. Recently, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign to end childhood obesity has supported play streets in 10 U.S. cities.