School Streets

Updated: April 4, 2024

We're making some of our School Streets Permanent!

The School Street Program has been running for three years now! We're currently working with three schools to make their School Streets permanent. 

When will this happen? We're aiming for construction sometime between mid-2024 and mid-2025. 

Which schools? Emerson Elementary, Whittier Elementary, and Genesee Hill Elementary. We selected these schools based on interest and street conditions. 

What does permanent mean? Our permanent School Streets will look and function very similar to Healthy Streets and extend the street closure to 24/7. Barricades will be upgraded to concrete cylinders with permanent signage and student artwork will be installed in thermoplastic within the street. 

We continue to accept applications for the School Streets program. Learn more below and apply today. If you are interested in in making your existing School Street permanent or have any questions about the program, please reach out to Diane Walsh at

Program Overview

What are School Streets?

School Streets are open for people walking, rolling, and biking to school, and closed to pass through traffic, including parents. The goals are to encourage families to walk or bike to school and to provide a safer school environment by reducing traffic congestion. School Streets are provided when requested by schools. 

School Streets can include:

  • One or two blocks directly next to a school open for people walking, rolling, and biking to school and closed to through-traffic
  • Neighborhood activities like hop-scotch and basketball (that you would otherwise need to get a street closure permit for)

A graphic that describes how School Streets can be used, including for residential access, by district-provided transportation/ADA, for local deliveries, and by non-motorized modes of transportation

When is a School Street in effect?

  • School Streets are in effect 7AM-5PM on school days.

What does this mean for people getting to school?

  • When possible, walk, roll, or bike with your child to school
  • If you must drive to school, try parking a block or two away and finishing the trip on foot
  • School buses and other district transportation and students with mobility needs can access the block by car

What does this mean for drivers?

  • People driving who need to get to homes and businesses on a School Street are still able to drive on these streets. Drivers should use caution and yield to people.
  • People enjoying the street should be mindful of drivers trying to get to homes and destinations as well

People of all ages travel on foot and on bikes up and down the hill on Genessee Street, which is closed to vehicle through traffic

School Street at Genesee Hill Elementary in West Seattle. Credit: SDOT

Apply for a School Street

Interested in getting a School Street at your school? Fill out the form to get started!

  • The requested block must:
    • Be a non-arterial street (if there is no line - dotted or solid - running along the middle of the street, it is most likely a non-arterial street). You can find your street type here.
    • Not have a public bus route
  • If you are a parent or PTA member making the request, we'll also ask for an email from the school principal in support of the School Street request.
  • If approved, we can have the School Street in place within a couple weeks and it will be in place through the end of the school year.
  • We'll provide you with a flyer to share with your school community and we'll let the nearby neighbors know about the closure. 

2023-2024 School Street Locations


In response to schools re-opening in person during the Covid-19 pandemic with two daily start and end times and no general education bus service, in the spring of 2021 we offered schools an opt-in option to close a non-arterial block adjacent to the school to pass through traffic and open the block up to people walking, rolling, and biking.  

Schools opted to continue their School Street closures after returning to normal bell schedules and each year our number of School Streets has grown!

School Streets help to:  

  • Encourage families to walk or bike to school or park a few blocks away and walk
  • Reduce traffic congestion in front of the school
  • Improve air quality in front of the school

Like any residential street, cut-thru traffic is discouraged, but local access for residents, school buses, deliveries, waste pickup, and emergency vehicles is allowed. Our evaluation of requested street closures from schools includes impacts to businesses, fire response routes, and transit operations and layover.


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.