Seattle will permanently close 20 miles of roads to traffic so residents can exercise and bike

Seattle will permanently close 20 miles of roads to traffic so residents can exercise and bike
Seattle will permanently close 20 miles of roads to traffic so residents can exercise and bike

Seattle residents will have more room for exercise and bikes, as the city plans to permanently close 20 miles of roads for most vehicular traffic, the mayor announced Thursday.

The Stay Healthy Streets initiative began in April to allow residents temporarily more space to get out of the house and exercise to maintain social distance during the epidemic. Mayor of Seattle Jenny A. Durkan said on Thursday that the closures would be permanent.

"Safe and healthy roads are an important tool for families in our neighborhood to go out, exercise and enjoy the pleasant weather," Durkan said in a press release. In the long term, these roads will become valuables in our neighborhood. "

According to the Seattle Department of Transport (SDOT), the roads were chosen to promote limited outdoor space options, fewer car-owned routes, and outdoor exercise opportunities in routes connecting people to essential services and takeaways. .

People are encouraged to skate, walk, jog, bike and pass through closed roads. Access to vehicles is allowed only for delivery drivers, first responders, sanitation teams and residents.

"We have seen a 57% drop in the amount of vehicle traffic entering Seattle during Governor Inslee's Stay Healthy, Stay Home Order," SDOT said in a press release. "Finding new and creative ways, such as Stay Healthy Streets, to reduce some of these traffic as we return to our new normal is good for the planet, but for our long-term battle against COVID-19 good also."

The city also announced that it will accelerate the construction of bicycle infrastructure to provide residents with more mobility options when the process of reopening Seattle begins.

"This is the kind of bold action that we need to encourage healthy choices for recreation and travel in our city as we tackle our current crisis, and discourage the return to high levels of traffic and associated pollution and injury Do. Recovery. "The Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board said in a statement. "All of these actions together will help return to Seattle as a safer, healthier and more climate-friendly city."

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