The results are in and Seattle’s Lake Washington Boulevard is by far the most popular street voters in a Seattle Times online survey said should close to most traffic to make room for people walking, biking and recreating.
Overall, about 70% of the more than 4,200 people who participated in the survey picked a street to close while 30% said the city shouldn’t close any roadways.
After announcing the permanent closure of about 20 miles of neighborhood streets to most vehicle traffic in early May, Seattle officials said they were open to adding more streets to the Stay Healthy Streets initiative in the coming months.
The streets are closed to through traffic but remain open to delivery and emergency vehicles, as well as people driving to and from their homes along the streets.
So far, the city has closed streets in the Aurora-Licton Springs, Ballard, Central District, West Seattle, Greenwood, Othello, Rainier Beach and Beacon Hill neighborhoods under the Stay Healthy Streets program.
The Seattle Times received more than 100 suggestions from Seattle-area readers about which additional streets — if any — they wanted closed to most vehicle traffic so pedestrians and bicyclists could have more room to move around. We then put the most popular suggestions to an online, unscientific vote.
Lake Washington Boulevard got more than 1,300 votes. A distant second place was Roosevelt Way Northeast, a busy arterial that’s an unlikely candidate for the Stay Healthy Streets program, with more than 300 votes.
Thirty-fourth Avenue Northwest got about 250 votes while Magnolia Boulevard West, Melrose Avenue and 14th Avenue Northwest each received about 200 votes.
About 1,200 people said they did not want any streets in their neighborhood closed for any reason.
The popularity of opening Lake Washington Boulevard among readers doesn’t necessarily mean the street will be added to the program. However, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is considering the roadway along with other neighborhood streets.
“So far, all of the streets have been located on existing Neighborhood Greenways, which are existing bike routes on calm residential streets chosen based on years of ongoing community engagement,” SDOT spokesman Ethan Bergerson said.
“We’ve been listening to all the feedback we’ve received, including this Seattle Times poll, and are also planning our own online survey as we get ready to make 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent and consider whether any other locations might make sense,” he said.
If you have a suggestion for another street you’d like to see converted to a Stay Healthy Street, submit your idea below.